The Farm Report -- 7/11/2014

Sunday, 4pm CDT: All-Star Futures Game, starring Joey Gallo and Jorge Alfaro

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 10 July

Stars of the Day
AAA: Jackson / Sardinas, Choice, Arencibia, Nicholas
AA: Lotzkar, Kela
Hi-A: Sprenger / Beck
Lo-A: Leclerc, Ledbetter / the offense
Short-A: Pena, Fasola / Pinto, Tendler, Spivey
Rookie: Lanphere / McDonald

AAA: at Round Rock 10, Colorado Springs (COL) 4

Record: 47-45, -0.5

SP Luke Jackson: 5 innings, 4 hits (1 HR), 3 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 6.00 ERA
SS Luis Sardinas, 2-5, 2 doubles, .304/.333/.457
LF Michael Choice: 3-5, 1st homer
C J.P. Arencibia: 3-5, 13th homer
1B Brett Nicholas: 2-3, HBP, .260/.322/.368

Jackson was victimized by the long ball again but otherwise pitched well.  I didn't see him in person because I had donned my World Greatest Dad tee shirt and taken care of the young'un during my wife's run class.  Three of Jackson's four worst outings in terms of pitches per inning have come in his three Round Rock starts.  He's needed 246 pitches to complete 12 AAA innings (20.5 per). 

AA: at Frisco 1, Corpus Christi (HOU) 4
Record: 10-9, -2.0

SP Alex Claudio: 6 innings, 4 hits, 4 runs (1 HR), 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 2.40 ERA
RP Kyle Lotzkar: 2 scoreless innings, 2 runners, 1 strikeout
RP Keone Kela: 1 perfect inning, 3 strikeouts

Rehabbing Geovanny Soto collected his first hit in six games.  And, unfortunately, he was later arrested for marijuana possession.  As I understand the Joint Drug Agreement, MLB does not randomly test for so-called drugs of abuse without "reasonable cause," and players who do test positive are subject to a treatment program rather than the severe penalties for performance-enhancing substances.

Claudio's six innings were a career high. 

High-A: Myrtle Beach 2, at Winston-Salem (CHW) 3

Record: 12-10, -1.0

SP Martire Garcia: 4 innings, 5 hits (2 HR), 3 runs, 1 walks, 3 strikeouts, 2.51 ERA
RP Justin Sprenger: 3 scoreless innings, 3 runners, 2 strikeouts
RF Preston Beck: 2-4, 2 doubles, .261/.376/.429
CF Lewis Brinson: 2-5

Brinson has four hits in his first two high-A games.  Pinch-hitting Jorge Alfaro delivered a 9th-inning single.  Royce Bolinger donned the golden sombrero.  Garcia spot-started for Sam Wolff, who is on the DL.

Low-A: Hickory 15, at Rome (ATL) 0
Record: 14-8, -0.5

SP Angelo Leclerc: 4.2 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts, 2.50 ERA
RP David Ledbetter: 3 scoreless innings, 2 runners, 2 strikeouts
CF Ryan Cordell: 4-4, 2 walks, .347/.419/.569
RF Nomar Mazara: 2-4, double, walk, .245/.336/.423
DH Kellin Deglan: 2-5, double, walk, .252/.320/.496
C Joe Jackson: 2-4, double, 2 walks, .314/.393/.450
1B Ronald Guzman: 1-3, 5th homer, 2 walks

Nothing like a visit to sad-sack Rome (29-63) to erase a losing streak.  Hickory put 25 runners on base and scored ten in the first two innings. 

Behind the paywall, Baseball America's Matt Eddy coverage of nine batters "seeking second-half rebounds" included Ronald Guzman, who hit a grand slam last night.  Key sentence: "While he has strong plate approach and hand-eye coordination, he lacks the quick-twitch actions and bat speed scouts expect from a big-time first-base prospect."  Since his big splash in some A games in March, Guzman has batted .223/.302/.354 while repeating Hickory, although he does have 10 hits in his last 11 games (.261/.333/.478).

Pitching in Hickory for the first time since mid-May, 2013 3rd-rounder David Ledbetter produced his first scoreless outing in full-season ball. Ledbetter was battered in seven previous appearances, posting an 8.26 ERA and opposing line of .400/.447/.731.

Incidentally, Rome's radio announcer argued that Leclerc should've been allowed to complete his five innings to get the win, irrespective of the pitch count (which, given his walks and strikeouts, was probably around 90.)  Ugh.  Leclerc had surrendered back-to-back hits with two outs in the 5th, so he wasn't exactly denied out of spite.  Here at the Newberg Report, we give him a Star of the Day, commend him for fanning six of 22 batters while noting his continued control issues (14% walk rate as a starter), and then we move on.

Short-A: at Spokane 5, Tri-City (COL) 2
Record: 19-8, +3.0, magic number 9

SP Richelson Pena: 5 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, 3.29 ERA
RP John Fasola: 2 scoreless innings, 1 runner, 6 strikeouts
CF Eduard Pinto: 3-4, walk, .325/.406/.373
2B Seth Spivey: 2-3, walk, .385/.461/.474
RF Luke Tendler: 3-4, 2 doubles, 4th homer, .358/.441/.611

A college senior at North Carolina A&T, Tendler was expected to be drafted higher, perhaps as a money-saving pick in the late single digits.  He can also play the infield and pitched a little.  Tendler wasn't drafted after his junior year.

Fasola, Texas's 31st-rounder out of Kent State, fanned six of eight batters.

Rookie: Rangers 2, at D-backs 3
Record: 12-2, +6.0, magic number 8

SP Luke Lanphere: 3 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 2.65 ERA
RP Emerson Martinez: 1.1 scoreless innings, 2 runners, 3 strikeouts
DH Todd McDonald: 1-2, 1st homer

The Australian outfielder McDonald made only his second appearance.  Texas signed him for a healthy $475,000. A December story in Brisbane's  Courier Mail suggested McDonald "could play in all 160 games of his next baseball season."  Australia, understandably, has a bit to learn about minor league ball.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Martin Perez (5 IP, 2 UER, 5 SO) led the entire farm system with 85 strikeouts.  Robbie Ross (5 IP, 0 R, 5 SO) led the Northwest League with 44.

Today's Starters
AAA: Scott Richmond
AA: Alec Asher
Hi-A: Andrew Faulkner
Lo-A: Ricardo Rodriguez
Short-A: Derek Thompson
Rookie: TBA

Scott Lucas
Newberg Report  (
twitter: @scottrlucas


Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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