The Farm Report -- 7/5/2017

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 4 July
Box Scores

AAA: at Round Rock 1, Memphis (STL) 10
Record: 39-46, 13.5 GB

SP Clayton Blackburn: 4.2 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 5.72 ERA
RP Tanner Scheppers: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 4.18 ERA
RF Jared Hoying: 3-4, .258/.347/.461
DH Travis Snider: 2-4, HR (4), .319/.402/.447

In front of a massive crowd (but not me), Blackburn got by until the 5th, when seven of eight opponents tallied base hits.  Reliever Tanner Scheppers allowed three more runners including a walk with the bases loaded.  Despite Memphis's 24 baserunners, the game lasted just under three hours, giving the fans their fireworks at a reasonable time. 

RHP Preston Claiborne accepted his outright assignment to Round Rock.

AA: at Frisco 4, Springfield (STL) 11
Record: 7-5, 1 GB

SP Pedro Payano: 4 IP, 8 H (1 HR), 8 R, 4 BB, 7 SO, 4.50 ERA
CF Michael O'Neill: 1-2, 2 walks, .289/.397/.505
LF Scott Heineman: 1-4, HR (7), .288/.367/.442
SS Luis Marte: 2-4, HR (2), .214/.244/.333
Video recap

In front of what I assume is the largest audience of his career (8,831), Payano picked an unfortunate spot for his career-worst eight runs allowed.  The trio of Brady Feigl, Reed Garrett Nick Gardwine pitched scoreless innings.

Scott Heineman has reached in every game since a 7-inning affair on June 3 (.329/.416/.447 in that span).  Michael O'Neill has to be feeling pretty good about himself.  Paul's nephew was released by the Yankees after last year's poor showing in AA Trenton (.233/.289/.318).  O'Neill was drafted out of Michigan in 2013's third round. 

High-A: Down East 7, at Winston-Salem (CHW) 6
Record: 7-5, 1.5 GB

SP Emerson Martinez: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 SO, 4.73 ERA
RP Scott Williams: 2 IP, 0 R, 1 SO, 1.31 ERA
CF Matt Lipka: 3-5, 2 doubles, HR (3), .262/.319/.430
1B Yanio Perez: 2-4, 2 HR (2), .250/.317/.361
2B Luis La O: 1-2, 2 walks, 2 SB (8), .286/.337/.420

Two days after my "much tougher sledding" metaphor that awkwardly described Yanio Perez's time in high-A, he regaled Winston-Salem's crowd with two homers, one skied just beyond the fence, the other a rocket over the outfield berm.  Perez has bumped his slugging percentage up 99 points in three games.  Nominally a 3B when signed, he appeared there only sparingly while in low-A and has played only 1B and RF for Down East.

Scott Williams retired six straight to close it.

Low-A: at Hickory 5, Kannapolis (CHW) 4
Record: 8-5, 2 GB

SP Walker Weickel: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 2.33 ERA
RP Jairo Beras: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, 3.00 ERA
DH Blaine Prescott: 2-4, HR (4), .237/.291/.351
LF Tanner Gardner: 3-4, double, .219/.306/.375
SS Yeyson Yrizarri: 3-4, 2 doubles, .256/.281/.378

Walker Weickel needed only 73 pitches to breeze through seven scoreless innings.  After a scoreless 8th by Jairo Beras, Kannapolis plated four off Joe Kuzia, an undrafted righty from St. John's making his low-A debut.  Christian Torres retired the final Intimidator on a deep fly to right with the tying run on third. 

Yeyson Yrizarri is hitting .364/.370/.614 in 12 second-half games, albeit without a walk.  Ideally, he and fellow level-repeater Ti'Quan Forbes play well enough down the stretch that assignment to high-A next April isn't in question.  Both are 20 years old.

Short-A: at Spokane 0,Vancouver (TOR) 5
Record: 7-13, 6 GB

SP Cole Ragans: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 8 SO, 2.12 ERA
1B Andretty Cordero: 2-3, walk, .329/.373/.543

Cole Ragans extended his theme of being wild but nearly impossible to hit.  In four starts, he's walked 16 but has whiffed 25 and allowed only six hits.  Opponents are hitting .111/.314/.185.  Statistically, he reminds me of lefty Miguel de los Santos, who posted a .116/.256/.116 opposing line with a 38% strikeout rate in 32 innings for Spokane back in 2010.  Ragans does not remind me of de los Santos in other respects.  The latter had one of the best changeups I've ever seen, an erratic 90ish fastball and borderline-unusable curve. 

Aside from Cordero, offense was negligible.

The Rangers have promoted several pitchers from the rookie league to Spokane, including 2017 picks Noah Bremer (6th round), Alex Eukanks (14th) and Josh Advocate (20th).  With Friday's signing deadline looming, the Rangers have inked 24 picks to contracts: everyone through Round 20 plus 22 (RHP Kyle Keith), 23 (SS Myles McKisic) and 30 (SS Ryan Dorow). 

Rookie: Rangers 15, Royals 7
Record: 5-4, tied for 1st

SP Werner Leal: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 9.53 ERA
SS Chris Seise: 4-6, triple
LF Tyler Ratliff: 3-6
C Sam Huff: 3-6, triple, HR (3)
RF Justin Jacobs: 3-3, 2 doubles, walk

I mistakenly listed the rookies as off yesterday.  They were on, very on.  Chris Seise improved to .400/.488/.486 after nine games, while Tyler Ratlif registered his fifth multi-hit game in eight played.  Undrafted Gonzaga alum Justin Jacobs has nine hits in his first four games.

Five Years Ago Yesterday

Baseball America's top 50 midseason prospects included Jurickson Profar (#2), Mike Olt (#11) and Cody Buckel (#41).  Buckel shut down AA Arkansas for six innings.

Today's Starters:
AAA: Tyler Wagner
AA: Yohander Mendez
High-A: Brett Martin
Low-A: Edgar Arredondo
Short-A: Tyler Phillips
Rookie: off

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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