The Farm Report -- 7/31/2014

No trades by the Rangers this afternoon. The non-waiver deadline has passed. 

In Frisco, Derek Holland pitched two hitless innings with ease and his usual velocity, walking a couple but striking out four. 

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 30 July

Stars of the Day
AAA: Klein / Hoying, Nicholas
AA: Gonzalez / Adams, Alberto
Hi-A: Bores, Buckel, McElwee / Alfaro, Bostick, Beck, Williams, Brinson
Short-A: Cardona

AAA: at Round Rock 4, Oklahoma City (HOU) 5
Record: 56-54, -3.0

SP Phil Irwin: 3 innings, 4 hits, 5 runs, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts, 3.78 ERA
RP Phil Klein: 2.2 scoreless innings, 2 runners, 3 strikeouts, 0.00 ERA
CF Jared Hoying: 2-5, triple, 13th steal, .247/.305/.470
1B Brett Nicholas: 2-4, double, .279/.331/.396

Klein, Texas's 30th-round pick from 2011, last allowed a run on May 8 and has faced 328 batters without giving up an extra-base hit last August.  Opponents are hitting .139/.244/.139 against him in that span. 

AA: at Frisco 3, Midland (OAK) 0

Record: 23-17, -1.0

SP Derek Holland (rehab): 2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 33 pitches
"RP" Chi Chi Gonzalez: 6 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, 2.44 ERA
SS Hanser Alberto: 2-3, 3 steals (3), .222/.267/.259
1B Trever Adams: 1-4, 12th homer, .281/.322/.455

Gonzalez had a career day (to date), retiring 17 of 20 batters and fanning seven, including the last batter of the game.  Since a three-start span in which he was unusually hittable, Gonzalez has a 1.27 ERA, opposing line of .155/.265/.186 and good-but-not-great 21% strikeout rate in 28.1 innings.  The superlative movement on Gonzalez's fastball tends to generate weak contact more than outright misses.

Adams hit an inside-the-park homer
deserving of an asterisk or two: his tailing liner skipped past RF Jesse Barfield to the wall, and Barfield compounded his misfortune with a vague return throw.

High-A: Myrtle Beach 10, at  Potomac (WAS) 6 (16)

Record: 22-19, tied for first

SP Ryan Bores: 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 2.64 ERA
RP Cody Buckel: 4 scoreless innings, 4 runners, 3 strikeouts, 6.91 ERA
RP Josh McElwee: 3 perfect innings, 3 strikeouts, 0.00 ERA
DH Jorge Alfaro: 4-9, .257/.315/.427
2B Christopher Bostick: 4-8, 3 doubles, .258/.326/.406
1B Preston Beck: 2-6, 2 doubles, 2 walks, .260/.378/.427
CF Lewis Brinson: 4-8, 2nd homer, .271/.311/.376

Brinson hit a grand slam in the 16th off infielder Khayyan Norfork, who to his credit retired the side in order in the 15th.  The homer was his first extra-base hit in nine games, a span in which he batted .161.   

Down 6-1 in the 8th, the Nationals scored three off Justin Sprenger and a two more on a 9th-inning homer off Jose Leclerc.  In extras, Cody Buckel produced one of his most controlled outings, walking just one of 15 batters.  Splitting his season roughly in half, Buckel has a 12% walk rate in his last 12 games compared to 33% in his first 13.  Buckel, like seemingly half the system, will be Rule 5 eligible if unprotected.  I'll have to review my old reports to make sure, but I'm inclined to say that Texas is facing its most challenging set of 40-man decisions in many years.

The seven innings were a career high for Bores, whom Texas redrafted in the 27th round of 2012 after he declined to sign as a 26th rounder in 2011.

Low-A: off

Short-A: at Spokane 1, Hillsboro (ARI) 9
Record: 3-6, -3.0

SP Richelson Pena: 6 innings, 6 hits (1 HR), 5 runs, 0 walks, 8 strikeouts, 3.40 ERA
RP Kevin Matthews: 1 scoreless inning, 1 runner, 1 strikeout, 3.84 ERA
CF Jose Cardona: 2-4, double, .318/.400/.500 in six games

Spokane is 14-17 since a 14-2 start.  Unlike the walk-prone Pelicans I mentioned the other day, Spokane leads the league in fewest BBs by a healthy margin.  The Indians have walked or hit 8.2% of opponents compared to 11.2% for the rest of the league.  That's a difference of 30 points of OBP, which is huge.

Rookie: off

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Texas' AAA affiliate Oklahoma City lost 23-6, a franchise-worst margin and a franchise-high in runs for opposing Albuquerque.  Justin Smoak was 3-5 with a homer.  Frisco lost 10-9 to Midland via six errors including three by 2B Marcus Lemon and two by 3B Johnny Whittleman.

Today's Starters
AAA: Edwar Cabrera
AA: Alec Asher
Hi-A: off
Lo-A: Tyler Smith
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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