The Farm Report -- 8/7/2017

I'd like to repeat Jamey's message from last week:

Once a year, in August, we announce an “honor system” program, for you to respond to, or not respond to, as you wish.  I’ll share your contributions with folks who put significant time and talent and energy into the Newberg Report — including Scott, as well as Norma & George & Ryan Wolfson, Don Titus, Ed Coffin, Devin Pike, and Marty Yawnick — to help improve the product, some of whom do so every day.  Without their efforts, the newsletter and website and book and our events wouldn’t be what they are today, and probably wouldn’t even exist.

What we ask for is modest, I think: a contribution of $15 to $25, or whatever you feel is appropriate, if you think it’s worthwhile.  Don’t feel compelled to participate.  Take part in this only if you want to.

The easiest way to do this is to go to and click the “Donate” button near the top right. Or go to and make your contribution by sending payment to the account. Or you can send a check or money order to:

          Jamey Newberg
          Vincent Serafino Geary Waddell Jenevein, P.C.
          1601 Elm Street
          Suite 4100
          Dallas, TX 75201

With your positive response to this “honor system” program, we’ve never had to seriously think about heading down a subscription-based path.  That said, I want to reiterate that I never hold it against anyone who chooses not to participate.  This is totally voluntary. Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support of the Newberg Report.

And, for my part: thanks for contributing if you can, and thanks for reading no matter what.  We've created one of the most informed and astute communities in baseball, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 6 August
Box Scores

AAA: at Round Rock 5, Albuquerque (COL) 4
Record: 53-61, 21.5 GB

SP David Ledbetter: 6 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 3 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 4.20 ERA
LF Willie Calhoun: 2-4, 2 HR (27), .295/.353/.588
1B Ronald Guzman: 3-4, .318/.388/.473
SS Pete Kozma: 3-3, 2 doubles, .294/.314/.412

Willie Calhoun hit one ball off the railing above the yellow stripe and a no-doubter that caused the CF camera operator to faint momentarily. WIth the Express, Calhoun is batting .250/.250/.850, that being four homers and a single in 20 trips to the plate. He's played one game at second base, the rest in left.

Not one to be upstaged, Ronald Guzman is batting .467/.500/.533 with Calhoun in the lineup.  Here's Guzman's 2017 compared to his best in any of his four previous years of full-season ball:
Average: 35 points better
OBP: 55 points better
Slugging: 24 points better

Also worth noting: Guzman was omitted from the 40-man roster and exposed to the Rule 5 draft after 2015. Some guys take longer, especially when they sign as a 16-year-old.

AA: at Frisco 7, Corpus Christi (HOU) 6
Record: 18-26, 8.5 GB

SP Richelson Pena: 6 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1.50 ERA
RP Ricardo Rodriguez: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 SO, 1.20 ERA
C Isiah Kiner-Falefa: 2-4, double, SB (13), .287/.353/.386
DH Eric Aguilera: 1-4, HR (13), .237/.334/.409
2B Juremi Profar: 1-3, HR (10), walk, .268/.303/.394
CF Jose Cardona: 2-4, .265/.307/.370
SS Michael De Leon: 2-4, .223/.253/.282

Isiah Kiner-Falefa has added 100 points to last year's slugging percentage and, with last night's 27th double, he's six shy of his total of 33 from 2013-2016.  IKF has caught all or most of 29 games and thrown out 29% of would-be stealers.

I recently mentioned not writing about Hickory OF Eric Jenkins for a month because of an extended slump. If not for a mid-July solo homer, the same would apply to Michael De Leon, who's batting .149/.165/.207 over the last 30 days. De Leon has the defensive chops for MLB, but he has to hit a little. My expectation is that De Leon won't be added to the 40 this fall and will safely slide through the Rule 5 draft. He's still just 20 years old. Likewise, 23-year-old Jose Cardona hasn't hit well lately. Splitting his 90 games into two halves, he's batted only .192/.237/.279 in the most recent 45. He's not striking out much but is batting only .205 when he puts the balls in play.

Like Tyler Davis, Richelson Pena doesn't warm up the radar gun but throws strikes with confidence and gets results.

High-A: Down East 1, at Lynchburg (CLE) 5
Record: 21-23, 8.5 GB

SP Brett Martin: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 5 SO, 5.23 ERA
CF Matt Lipka: 2-4, .281/.337/.447

The Carolina League named Matt Lipka its player of the month for July (.336/.389/.593, five homers, 12 other extra-base hits). I haven't mentioned him much because he's 25 and signed as a free agent over the winter. That said, he's been very useful to Down East, playing CF and providing offense for a club that doesn't score much.

Low-A: at Hickory 5, Lexington (KAN) 1
Record: 24-19, +1 G

SP Walker Weickel: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 2.75 ERA
RP Christian Torres: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 SO, 3.30 ERA
DH Blaine Prescott: 2-5, double, SB (5), .250/.306/.398
CF Leody Taveras: 1-3, HR (7), walk, .248/.308/.358
3B Charles Leblanc: 3-4, HR (3), .290/.374/.430

Weickel, the former supplemental first-rounder, has held opponents to a .209/.257/.343 line as a Crawdad and has faced 93 in a row without a walk.  Charles Leblanc appears to have put is defensive troubles behind. Leblanc committed ten errors in a 17-game span, mostly of the throwing variety, but has a clean record during the past two weeks.

Leody Taveras's average and power have declined slightly of late, but his walk rate has improved from 5% in the first half to 11% in the second. He's reached at a better rate in the second half despite a lower batting average.

Short-A: at Spokane 3,Eugene (CHC) 2
Record: 8-3, +2 G
KHQ highlights

SP Cole Ragans: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 2 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 3.27 ERA
RP Noah Bremer: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 SO, 0.87 ERA
RP Alex Eubanks: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 SO, 2.16 ERA
CF Miguel Aparicio: 2-3, walk, .299/.335/.418
RF Chad Smith: 2-4, 2 doubles, 2 SB (11), .294/.364/.471

Cole Ragans showed no ill effects from his previous start, in which he allowed a career-high six runs in 3.1 innings. For the first time this season, the oft-wild Ragans didn't issue a walk. The Bremer-Eubanks tag team was dominant again. Both are pitching once a week after busy seasons at Washington and Clemson, respectively. 

Miguel Aparicio wants me to type his name every day, and I'm fine with that. The 18-year-old has reached in 15 straight with a line of .382/.425/.574.

The game ended when SS Cristian Inoa threw to catcher Matt Whatley, who applied the tag to a sliding Jared Young of Eugene.

Rookie: Rangers 4, at Padres 2 11
Record: 4-2, tied for 1st

SP Adrian Sampson: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 7.04 ERA
RP Dylan Bice: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 SO, 3.92 ERA
CF Bubba Thompson: 2-5, .295/.354/.500
LF Marcus Mack: 1-2, triple, walk, .154/.283/.269
C Sam Huff: 2-4, walk, .270/.338/.539

Top pick Bubba Thompson continues to play sporadically and produce regularly.

Dylan Bice whiffed a career-high nine, a number you don't see much in rookie ball, where most outings are abbreviated. The 19-year-old righty was last year's 23rd-round pick.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
OF Engel Beltre was named Texas League Player of the Month for July, during which he batted .308/.352/.592 with six homers, six triples, four doubles and 12 steals. To my eyes, Beltre peaked as a player (if not as a prospect) in early 2013 in AAA, virtually the only time he showed genuine (as opposed to coach-decreed) patience at the plate. It didn't last. Beltre, still just 27, is in his second year at Campeche of the Mexican League.

Today's Starters:
AAA: James Dykstra
AA: off
High-A: off
Low-A: Reiver Sanmartin
Short-A: Demarcus Evans
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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