Baseball America ranked OF Julio P. Martinez 60th on its top-100 list. MLB.com placed him 70th overall. Martinez just turned 22. I don't know that Texas will be in any rush to assign him. He might spend some time in extended Spring Training.
Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 5 April Box Scores AAA: at Round Rock 4, Memphis (STL) 8
Record: 0-1, 1 GB
SP David Ledbetter: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 3 R, 0 BB, 3 HBP, 3 SO, 5.40 ERA
RP Connor Sadzeck: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
1B Ronald Guzman: 3-3, walk
2B Andy Ibanez: 3-4
LF Willie Calhoun was 1-5 with three strikeouts. He was busy defensively. Twice, he tracked down high flies to the warning track, catching one with his throwing hand against the wall. In my view, both were plays just about any LF should make, but he handled them with relative ease. He also threw home in attempt to catch a runner after a grounded single. 3B Trevor Plouffe properly cut the throw. Calhoun doesn't have a good arm, but I don't think any but the strongest of arms would have had a chance. What I'm looking for is fundamental soundness from Calhoun. Clean routes, catching what he can reach, getting feet set for proper throws, correct decisions, on-line throws. He doesn't have to dazzle.
Ronald Guzman twice hit soft liners over the infield and nearly homered to the opposite foul pole. The liners were examples of his bat control, where he went with the pitch and poked it in the desired direction. You don't see that much anymore, certainly not from a 6'5" first baseman.
Andy Ibanez reached on two solid liners and a squiggler up the middle. The Cuban import doesn't play shortstop and needs to hit to make an impression. So far, so good.
In his AAA debut, Connor Sadzeck walked his first batter but retired the rest. His fastball ranged from 95 to 98. Velocity has never been an issue. He needs to find an effective secondary to pair with it. Right now, it's a 79-81 slider that veers toward curviness. I've seen it looking respectable back when he started, but both last night and in Surprise against several MLB Mariners getting extra ABs, it wasn't showing much. Batters are ignoring it and homing in on the fastball.
David Ledbetter (2013, 3rd round) dealt a fastball in the 90-93 range. He was effective in 71 AAA innings last year despite middling walk and strikeout rates.
Memphis scored five against Tyler Wagner in the 6th. Wagner was part of Round Rock's rotation last year. AA: at Frisco 2,Tulsa (LAD) 5
Record: 0-1, 1 GB
SP Collin Wiles: 5 IP, 7 H (2 HR), 5 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 9.00 ERA
RP Adam Choplick: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Brady Feigl: 1 IP, 0 R, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
DH Hunter Cole: 2-3, HR (1), walk
1B Tommy Jospeh: 2-3, double, walk
2012 supplemental pick Collin Wiles was taken deep twice in a five-run 4th. He's repeating Frisco. Last year, he carried a sub-4.00 ERA into mid-August, but a rough finish ballooned it to 4.86. Rehabbing Tony Barnette fanned one in a scoreless 7th, and in his debut at the level, 6'9" lefty Adam Choplick worked around two hits in the 8th.
The batters listed above were responsible for all the hits. Joseph has MLB experience and is playing here because Ronald Guzman's in Round Rock. 25-year-old Hunter Cole was the return for Sam Dyson. He spent 2016-2017 in AA Richmond.
2017 offseason signing OF Michael O'Neill was promoted to Round Rock. High-A: Down East 0, at Lynchburg (CLE) 1 ()
Record: 0-1, 1 GB
SP Emerson Martinez: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 6 SO, 2.25 ERA
RP Christian Torres: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Jacob Shortslef: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
CF Leody Taveras: 0-2, 2 walks
C Alex Kowalczyk: 2-4, double, triple
Lynchburg scored the game's only run on a wild pitch in the 4th. Emerson Martinez was a little wild (two walks, a hitter batter and that wild pitch) but whiffed six of 16 batters faced. In their high-A debuts, Leody Taveras walked twice, SS Brendon Davis went 0-4, and 2B Anderson Tejeda was 0-4 with four strikeouts, the dreaded golden sombrero. Low-A: Hickory 1, at Greensboro (MIA) 6
Record: 0-1, 1 GB
SP Tyler Phillips: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 12.27 ERA
LF Eric Jenkins: 3-5, HBP, SB (1)
CF Pedro Gonzalez: 1-4, walk
2B Kole Enright: 2-4, double, HR (1)
Tyler Phillips pitched two perfect innings and then ran into trouble. Two walks would come around to score in the 3rd, and three straight hits to open the 4th would plate three more. Still, Mark Parker* tells me he induced 18 swinging strikes in 68 pitches, an unbelievable number. Phillips impressed this spring with a fastball that reached the mid-90s, a two-seamer and change both in the mid-80s, and an upper-70s curve.
Eric Jenkins, a 2015 2nd-rounder in his third attempt at mastering low-A, reached three times and stole a base. Pedro Gonzalez singled in his low-A debut. Gonzalez drew the center field start in favor of Jenkins and Miguel Aparicio (1-5), all of whom are capable there. We'll see whether they rotate or one person keeps the position to himself. 2B Kole Enright started the year properly. While he's not going to be a masher, he's got more pop in him than the four homers hit in 109 short-season games during the past two years.
Hickory managed 13 runners but only scored on the Enright solo shot.
* Parker is a former employee of the Crawdads, reporter for the Hickory Record, an occasional official scorer, and a permanent official Friend of the Newberg Report. Please check out his Crawdads Beat
blog. Five Years Ago Yesterday
Here's a sad memory: "Springfield feasted on a shaky Cody Buckel, who walked five and allowed seven runs on five hits in just 2.2 innings. Reminiscent of his A-game appearances in March, he threw a majority of pitches outside the zone. Buckel did correct himself on the back fields later that month (though I didn't see him myself, sadly), so this is hopefully just a momentary setback."
A better memory: the 2013 Hickory Crawdads. My writeup mentioned Lewis Brinson, Nick Williams,, Jorge Alfaro, CJ Edwards and Keone Kela. Today's Starters:
AAA: Adrian Sampson
AA: Ariel Jurado
High-A: Edgar Arredondo
Low-A: Alex Eubanks