Rangers Farm Report: Games of 4/5
Sorry about the formatting for some of you yesterday. The text doesn't wrap in gmail on Firefox and IE browsers even though I've defined the table width. I'll try to find a solution.
Stars of the Day:
AAA: Justin Grimm / Yangervis Solarte
AA: Guilder Rodriguez, Tomas Telis
Hi-A: Nick McBride / Luis Sardinas, Rougned Odor, Trever Adams, Kevin Torres, Jake Skole
Lo-A: CJ Edwards, Jose Leclerc / Lewis Brinson, Joe Maloney
Justin Grimm fell just short of six innings on his 89 pitches but limited Omaha to a run on four hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Grimm was in the running for the back of the Texas rotation but quickly demonstrated he wasn't quite ready. Cory Burns earned a save with a perfect, two-strikeout inning. Collin Balester and Neal Cotts also fanned two in clean single innings.
CF Engel Beltre and SS Jurickson Profar drew walks in hitless evenings. Mike Olt was 0-4 with three strikeouts. 2B Yangervis Solarte walked twice and singled. Solarte's path to the Majors will be hewn with his bat. He can defend multiple positions but none particularly well, and shortstop isn't among them.
In the opener, Frisco narrowly avoided an abbreviated perfect game by 31-year-old Jarrett Grube. Hanser Alberto reached on an error in the 6th, and RF Jared Hoying broke up the no-hitter with a double in the 7th.
Meanwhile, Springfield feasted on a shaky Cody Buckel, who walked five and allowed seven runs on five hits in just 2.2 innings. Reminiscent of his A-game appearances in March, he threw a majority of pitches outside the zone. Buckel did correct himself on the back fields later that month (though I didn't see him myself, sadly), so this is hopefully just a momentary setback.
In the nightcap, Ryan Strausborger erased a 3-2 deficit with a bases-loaded walk, after which Tomas Telis cleaned them with a double. Telis was once fairly bright prospect with his high-contact bat, but a down year in Myrtle Beach prevented his placement on the 40-man roster last fall. Still, he doesn't turn 22 until June.
Guilder Rodriguez bashed his second career homer. (I saw him connect on an inside-the-parker in a March intersquad, and his teammates celebrated as if it really counted.) Rodriguez also singled twice. He's as much coach as player, which is why Texas signs the now-29 Rodriguez year after year.
Ben Rowen walked a couple but escaped the 7th unharmed. Roman Mendez's clean 8th included a 98 MPH fastball (on the stadium gun) off an opponent's backside. Wilmer Font walked the bases loaded and struck out two in a 28-pitch 9th. The Cardinals took his first 15 pitches, nine for balls.
The Pelicans scored two in the 8th and singletons in the 9th, 10th and 11th for a hard-fought win. Against hard-throwing Kyle Zimmer, last summer's #5-overall selection, 2B Rougned Odor and 1B Kevin Torres hit solo homers. SS Luis Sardinas was 2-5 with a walk, and RF Royce Bolinger walked, doubled, and hit the game-winning single. DH Trever Adams singled and doubled, and Zach Cone singled twice. All were making their high-A debuts.
Jake Skole was 2-3 with a walk and a spectacular diving catch in left field. Last summer, Texas's #1 pick from 2010 hit poorly in Myrtle Beach before spending 50 games on the shelf for violating MLB's substance policy. Now is his chance to reclaim prospect status.
Starter Luke Jackson allowed nine runners (six hits, three walks) in his four innings, struck out four and conceded two runs. Jon Edwards threw hard and exceptionally wild, issuing four free passes and allowing two runs (one "unearned" because of a wild pitch and passed ball) in 1.2 innings. Alec Asher, last year's 4th rounder, gave up two runs on three hits. Nick McBride provided two scoreless innings and fanned one.
CF Lewis Brinson knocked the first pitch he saw for a single, and LF Nick Williams followed by turning an 0-2 count into a seven-pitch walk. Unfortunately, both were stranded. Brinson finished 3-5 with a steal. 1B Joe Maloney had Hickory's lone extra-base hit, a double, and walked. 3B Joey Gallo was fine in the field but drew air three times in four hitless at-bats. Catcher Jorge Alfaro was vexed by a throwing error and two passed balls.
2011 48th-rounder CJ Edwards performed as advertised, allowing a run on two hits and a walk while striking out six in five innings. Edwards offered ample servings of his curve and change with his already-potent fastball. Opponents will be miserable if he continues to use them effectively.
Hard-throwing Keone Kela lost the zone in the 8th, walking two batters and hitting another en route to two decisive runs. Kela was removed after a visit from the trainer, but reports suggest it was a precautionary measure. Forced into action, 19-year-old Jose Leclerc sent down four in order, two on strikeouts.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
In Low-A Clinton, Neftali Feliz nearly completed the back end of a doubleheader himself in his full-season debut, allowing three runs and striking out six. In the opener, teammate Engel Beltre was pulled after his first at-bat for what I deemed "non-injury-related issues." He returned in the nightcap to triple and single. Evan Reed tossed six scoreless innings. AAA's Doug Mathis struck out five in an eight-inning, one-run start. Homers from Taylor Teagarden, Max Ramirez and Adam Fox inspired a 7-4 Frisco win.
AAA: Brad Mills
AA: Neil Ramirez
Hi-A: Victor Payano
Lo-A: Connor Sadzeck / John Kukuruda