The Farm Report -- 7/28/2014

MLB.com updated its prospect rankings.  Here's Texas's top 10, with overall top 100 men in parentheses:

1. 3B Joey Gallo (9)
2. C Jorge Alfaro (34)
3. RHP Luke Jackson (77)
4. OF Nick Williams (91)
5. RHP Alex Gonzalez (100)
6. RHP Jake Thompson
7. RHP Corey Knebel
8. OF Lewis Brinson
9. IF Travis Demeritte
10. OF Nomar Mazara

Despite his domination of the Texas League, I'd say Jackson is the most surprising ranking.  Some prospect experts see him peaking as a #4 starter as opposed to a #3 and slot him slightly behind Gonzalez.  Pretty much everyone thinks he might become a reliever, albeit a high-leverage one.  In any case, Jackson has unquestionably justified being one of Texas's best prospects entering the season.  My on-the-spot rankings of Thompson and Knebel at the time of the trade were 6th and 10th, respectively.  Ben Badler of Baseball America says Thompson is Texas's #3 prospect. 

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 27 July

Stars of the Day
AAA: Ross, West / Strausborger
AA: Rodriguez, Cantwell, Herrera, Wise, Gallo
Hi-A: Williams
Lo-A: Van Hoosier, Cone, Demeritte, Mazara, Jackson
Short-A: Garrett, McCain / Spivey, Greene
Rookie: Ortiz / Forbes

AAA: Round Rock 8, at Colorado Springs (COL) 2
Record: 55-2, 3rd place, 2.0 games back

SP Robbie Ross: 7 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 5.79 ERA
RP Matt West: 2 scoreless innings, 1 runner, 1 strikeout, 3.86 ERA
CF Ryan Strausborger: 2-2, double, 2 walks, 17th steal

Ross fanned only two, but of 24 balls in play, 19 were grounders.  He's pitched well in three consecutive outings after a very rough start.  If Texas deals Neal Cotts, the only lefty reliever on the active roster would be Ryan Feierabend, and the only other healthy non-starting lefties would be Aaron Poreda and rehabbing Joseph Ortiz

AA: at Frisco 12, San Antonio (SDG) 4
Record: 21-16, 2nd place, 2.0 games back, 61-45 overall, first-half champion

SP Jerad Eickhoff: 6 innings, 6 hits (1 HR), 4 runs, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 9 strikeouts, 4.41 ERA
2B Guilder Rodriguez: 3-5
C Pat Cantwell: 2-5, double, .255/.333/.319
LF Odubel Herrera: 3-5, 2nd homer, .348/.390/.436
DH JT Wise: 2-4, 2nd homer
3B Joey Gallo: 1-4, 15th homer, .272/.360/.623

Gallo's home run rate is 0.0072% higher than last year, or about 1 homer per 1,394 trips to the plate.  So there you go.  Herrera is batting .401 when he makes contact, definitely a career high, but he's been in the .350-.390 range in three other seasons.  Herrera was ignored by both Texas and MLB at large in last winter's 40-man / Rule 5 proceedings.  This winter...?

High-A: Myrtle Beach 1, at Salem (BOS) 7
Record: 19-19, 2nd place, 0.5 games back, 63-43 overall, first-half champion

SP Chad Bell: 3 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 3.86 ERA
RP Victor Payano: 5 innings, 7 hits (2 HR), 4 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 4.92 ERA
LF Nick Williams: 1-4, 11th homer

Payano walked just one but threw two wild pitches and allowed two homers. 

Low-A: at Hickory 13, Delmarva (BAL) 10

Record: 21-16, 3rd place, 3.0 games back, 62-44 overall

SP David Ledbetter: 2 innings, 7 hits (1 HR), 6 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 7.27 ERA
RP Felix Carvallo: 2 scoreless innings, 5 runners, 3 strikeouts, 3.27 ERA
LF Evan Van Hoosier: 2-5, double, 9th homer, .274/.351/.457
RF Nomar Mazara: 1-3, 18th homer, 2 walks, .261/.351/.467
CF Zach Cone: 2-4, 1st homer
C Joe Jackson: 4-5, double, triple, .306/.375/.437
DH Travis Demeritte: 1-2, 20th homer, walk, .225/.325/.476

Demeritte continues to lead all of low-A and all teenagers in homers.  Mazara is just two dingers behind.  Failing to share in the spoils again was Ronald Guzman (0-4), hitting .144/.219/.244 in 35 second-half games. 

Short-A: at Spokane 4, Vancouver (TOR) 2

Record: 2-4, 2nd place, 2.0 games back, 27-17 overall, first-half champion

SP Reed Garrett: 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, 4.60 ERA
RP Shane McCain: 2 scoreless innings, 1 runner, 2 strikeouts, 6.10 ERA
DH Seth Spivey: 0-1, 3 walks, .357/.441/.493
C Marcus Greene: 1-3, walk, 7th steal, .308/.436/.466
CF Jose Cardona: 1-3, triple, walk

The 19-year-old Greene leads the team with 23 walks.  Greene also walked plenty last year in Spokane and hit for about the same power; what's different is his .308 batting average compared to last year's .227. 

Rookie: at Rangers 3, Padres 2
Record: 1-1, tied for first, 19-10 overall, first-half champion

SP Luis Ortiz: 3 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 1 HBP, 6 strikeouts
RP Omarlin Lopez: 3.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 4.18 ERA
3B Ti'Quan Forbes: 3-4

Ortiz fanned six of 13 batters.  Rookie-league maven Jay Hashop has video of one of Ortiz's strikeouts.  He topped at 95, a touch faster than usual, arguably because of a hot gun.  

Five Years Ago Yesterday
A Cal League classic.  Bakersfield recovered from an early six-run deficit, took a six-run lead to the 9th and needed Adelberto Flores to strike out potential game-tying hitter Brian Rike to preserve a 15-12 win.

Today's Starters
AAA: Scott Richmond
AA: Andrew Faulkner
Hi-A: Chad James
Lo-A: Ricardo Rodriguez
Short-A: Andrew Barnett
Rookie: Joe Palumbo

--
Scott Lucas
Newberg Report  (newbergreport.com)
rangers.scottlucas.com
twitter: @scottrlucas

 
title_authors

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.