Minor League Monday: June 17th

  • (AAA) Round Rock Express

Player of the week: Mike Olt

After returning from vision issues he had earlier in the season, Mike Olt is doing what he’s supposed to do.

Since being re-assigned to Round Rock on June 3rd, he’s hitting .250/.333/.577 with 5 homers in 60 plate appearances. Last night, he hit 2 dingers in Round Rock’s 8-run 9th inning against Oklahoma City, helped team’s dramatic come-from behind win.

He still strikes out a lot, but at least the power is there.

  • (AA) Frisco RoughRiders

Player of the week: Ben Rowen

You won’t see his name on top prospect rankings at websites like Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus, but you better keep you eyes on the Riders’ submarine right hander Ben Rowen.

While serving as Frisco’s closer lately, Rowen is posting a stunning 0.56 ERA over the season. He has not given up a run since May 6th.

Actually, his numbers were better last year. He tossed 57.1 innings for Myrtle Beach and struck out 57 while walking only 3. That 17.33 K/BB ratio is in Cliff Lee’s territory.

He doesn’t have electric stuff, but I guarantee that you won’t regret remembering his name.

  • (High-A) Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Player of the week: Drew Robinson

My personal favorite. Last year, the 21-year old third baseman drew the most walks among the entire Rangers organization, including the major league club.

Robinson started his 2013 campaign poorly. In the first 20 games, his slash line was .200/.300/.300.

He’s getting hot lately, hitting .317/.462/.488 and has a 10/12 BB/K in June. Of course, 53 plate appearances is a small sample size. But it’s good to see your favorite player swinging a hot bat, at any level in baseball.

  • (Class-A) Hickory Crawdads

Player of the week: Joey Gallo

At the beginning of June 2012, Joey Gallo was a kid in a high school in Las Vegas. A bit over a year later, he’s wowing the entire baseball world.

Over the past week, he’s made hitting a baseball look like a piece of cake. Last Monday, Hickory played a doubleheader. Joey Gallo went a perfect 4 for 4 with 3 dingers in the first game, 2 of them were off former Rangers 1st rounder and former TCU Horned Frog Matt Purke. Can we ignore the fact that he was 0 for 3 in the nightcap?

On the next day, Hickory played two again. After going 0 for 3 in the 1st game, he unleashed 2 bombs in the nighter, making it 5 homers in 2 days.

Gallo’s numbers over the last 10 games make people swoon. In 40 at bats over the span, he’s hitting ridiculous .425/.465/.1.125 with 8 HR. Eight home runs in 40 at bats. He’s pulling his best May 2012 Josh Hamilton at class A level.

  • (Short Season A) Spokane Indians

Their 2013 season is only 3-games old, so I’m not going specific with one player.

The Indians haven’t gotten their first win of the year.  They faced the Mariners’ SS-A squad Everett over the weekend.

The Rangers’ top pick of the 2013 rule 4 draft that held last week, Alex “Chi-Chi” Gonzalez started in Friday’s season opener. But his pro-debut didn’t go well. Gonzalez gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk, failed to get out of the 2nd.

18-year old Venezuelan left hander Yohander Mendez went 3 innings of 3 runs, 3 hits, 4 walks, 5 K ball on Saturday.

On Sunday’s series final, Collin Wiles, Rangers’ compensation pick in 2012 amatuer draft, posed a 5.1 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 BB, 2 SO line, but it wasn’t enough to get Spokane’s first win of the season.

Kazuto Yamazaki is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning.com. He can be reached on Twitter@LaBlynne.
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Kazuto Yamazaki
Grew up in Tokyo, Kaz fell in love with the 2004 Rangers that featured Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira, and has been a fan since then. Other than doing baseball-related activity, which consumes most of his time, he enjoys singing and playing the guitar. He also writes for The Dynasty Guru and The Scoop Sports. You can follow Kaz on Twitter @Kazuto_Yamazaki and reach him via email kazuto.yamazaki@shutdowninning.com.

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