Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 17 April
Stars of the Day
AA: Ryan Rua / Ryan Rodebaugh, Wilmer Font
Hi-A: Sam Wolff / Joey Gallo, Preston Beck, Christopher Bostick, Royce Bolinger
Lo-A: David Ledbetter, Ricardo Rodriguez / Travis Demeritte AAA: Round Rock 1, at Omaha 14
Record: 8-6, tied for 1st
Michael Kirkman (13.50 ERA) retired only eight of 20 batters and allowed eight runs in 2.2 innings. Nothing else of interest, really. It only counts as one loss, and today's another day. AA: at Frisco 3, Corpus Christi 2
Record: 9-4, +1.0, 8 consecutive wins
Frisco scored on Ryan Rua's second homer, an error, and Jake Skole's 9th-inning RBI single. Rua also singled and was hit by a pitch. He's up to .394/.512/.667 after 11 games. Rua can play several positions, but his path to the Majors is through his bat. He's at an age-appropriate level unlike during his breakout campaign in Hickory. Rougned Odor (.224/.264/.429) contributed a single, walk and sac bunt.
Nick Martinez has good (not great) control but was atypically wild last night, walking five in 4.2 innings. Martinez (1.86 ERA) also whiffed five and allowed a single run, although he did leave with the bases loaded in the 5th. Edwar Cabrera stranded those runners and allowed a solo homer in two innings. Ryan Rodebaugh, who has 30 innings of AAA experience, retired four straight, three via strikeout, and Wilmer Font fanned two in a perfect 9th.
High-A: at Myrtle Beach 2, Potomac 9
Record: 8-6, tied for 1st
Joey Gallo (.311/.433/.733) hit his sixth homer, walked twice and struck out twice.
Repeat after me: "Joey Gallo is at the right level." Okay, some of you are faking it. Say it again.
Gallo is an elite power prospect. Every other aspect of his game is very much a work in progress. He's the fifth-youngest hitter in the league.
Incidentally, Potomac intentionally walked Gallo in the 6th inning with one out and runners at 2nd and third. The Nationals were already down 5-1. Potomac's Travis Henke started the at-bat with two quasi-unintentional balls and then said to heck with it. Intentional walks are rare in the lower minors (about one per 20 games).
1B Preston Beck punished Potomac for its refusal to face Gallo (which drew boos from the crowd), smashing a grand slam over the right-field wall. Beck (.256/.289/.349) also singled. Royce Bolinger was 4-5 with a double. Both 2B Christopher Bostick and DH Odubel Herrera reached safely three times, and CF Nick Williams doubled and singled.
Righty Sam Wolff (0.98 ERA) continues to reward Texas for adding him to the rotation, tossing seven innings of one-run ball with two walks and three strikeouts.
Low-A: Hickory 6, at Asheville 1
Record: 7-8, -3.5
2B Travis Demeritte (.188/.304/.396) reached on a single, walk and HBP. SS Isaiah Kiner-Falefa picked up his first hit.
Unfortunately, 2010 1st-rounder Kellin Deglan (1-4) isn't hitting: .150/.171/.325, one walk, 15 strikeouts). Texas demoted him to Hickory in part to avoid a job share with another prospect, and he's played in 11 of 15 games, high for a low-A catcher. He might have played more if not for a couple of doubleheaders. I wouldn't focus on his stats much if he were a newcomer, but this is his fourth full season. Deglan batted only .231 last year in high-A Myrtle Beach but posted a .331 OBP and .393 slugging percentage, solid figures for his age and the environment.
Following a couple of rough starts, David Ledbetter (8.74 ERA) allowed a lone run and seven runners in five innings while striking out four. Ledbetter allowed a solo homer to a lefty. In related news, Asheville's McCormick Field is 297 feet to right and 320 to right-center. Ricardo Rodriguez held Asheville scoreless over the last four, striking out two. Five Years Ago Yesterday
OF Mike Bianucci homered twice, drove in seven and posted the first 6-for-6 in Hickory history. Of short-season Spokane’s three “B” outfielders drafted in 2008 (Bianucci, Jared Bolden, Joey Butler), I'd expected Bianucci to have the best shot at high-A to begin the season. Instead, Butler drew the assignment to Bakersfield and turned out to be the best player, although Bianucci was a capable AAA hitter. Texas announced his release on Opening Day two weeks ago, and I've not seen his name on another roster. Today's Starters
AAA: Justin Germano
AA: Alec Asher
Hi-A: Luis Parra
Lo-A: Yohander Mendez