Minor League Monday Week 15

It’s Monday and that can only mean one thing. That’s right, everyone’s favorite – Minor League Monday. The fine folks here at Shutdown Inning will continue to be the only team around that will provide you with a weekly recap of all the Rangers affiliates while keeping you up to date with the current stats and standings. This is your one stop shop for all things Minor Leagues in the Texas Rangers organization.

Minor League Coordinator Brice Paterik will be covering the short season Spokane Indians, the High A High Desert Mavericks and the AAA Round Rock Express. Minor league writer Austin Dietz will be covering the AA Frisco RoughRiders, and prospect guru Grant Schiller will be your go to guy for the Low A Hickory Crawdads.

Click on any minor league teams logo to be taken to their team page (team page will open in a new window).

Spokane Indians

Northwest League

Short Season Class A

15-16 (3rd – 3 GB)


A 2-4 week dropped Spokane to 15-16 and three games back of first. Despite already playing only half the normal minor league year, the Northwest League still follows the model of two half-years. Thus come this time next week the first half will be wrapped up. Spokane’s elimination number is five. While winning isn’t the overall goal in the minor leagues, making the playoffs gives the players extra time to develop and play as well as more checks to cash. It works well for everyone.

Hitter of the Week:

2015 12th rounder LeDarious Clark had another big week (8-24, HR) but in the interest of not discussing the same player every week I’ll go with Yeyson Yrizarri. Owner of arguably the best name in the Rangers system (Hickory’s Rock Shoulders gives him a run), Yrizarri collected seven base knocks in his five outings. Just 18, the infielder held his own in a brief 34 plate appearance stint as an injury fill-in with Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the year (.273/.294/.364). Now in a more appropriate Short Season A setting, Yrizarri is slashing .289/.330/.361. He’s shown pull and groundball heavy tendencies so far. Neither of those enthuse me, but his plus to double-plus arm and, at least so far, good contact rate do.

Pitcher of the Week:

2014’s 30th rounder Cody Palmquist spun a gem this week. In his fifth start of the season the 6’-5” righthander went seven innings, struck out 11 Tri-City batters while walking zero and allowing only three

Hitting Stats

Pitching Stats

Hickory Crawdads

Carolina League

Class Low A

12-12 (T 4th – 5 GB)

First Half Division Champions

The Crawdads put up a 4-2 record this week behind some dominant pitching performances and three 10-run games. The run differential just for this six-game stretch was +22. This raises the ‘Dads second-half record to 12-12 which puts them five games back of first.

Hitter of the Week:

In a week where almost the entire lineup had memorable performances, OF Jose Cardona still managed to stand out. In six games, Cardona picked up 10 hits, two walks, stole five bases, hit a home run, two doubles and a triple. Cardona is not someone I have ever seen. The only info on him I can give you is the basic – 21 years old, has played mostly center field, boasts a .263/.327/.412 slashline on the year with nine home runs and 21 stolen bases.

Pitcher of the Week:

Back-to-back-to-back starting pitching performances deserve mention here. On the 16th 2014 4th rounder Brett Martin (3.31 ERA, 51:18 K:BB) hurled seven innings of two run ball. The following day fellow southpaw Yohander Mendez (1.15 ERA, 50:10 K:BB) twirled five scoreless. 2012 first round compensation pick Collin Wiles (2.22, 56:18) one-upped both with seven innings of work in which no batter scored and only three reached base.

Hitting Stats

Pitching Stats

High Desert Mavericks

California League

Class High A (Advanced)

9-11 (3rd – 1.5 GB)

high desert

The past week ended up being a short one for the Mavericks as they only played three games. Friday’s game at Rancho Cucamonga was postponed due to wild fires, my thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the fires. Saturday’s game against Inland Empire, as well as Sunday’s double header, was cancelled due to rain. The Mavericks will play back to back days of double headers Monday and Tuesday to make up the games.

Those days off might end up being a break the Mavericks needed to get off the skid. During the three games this week the Mavs went 0-3 being outscored 30-20. Notable performers this week include Lewis Brinson‘s 4-12 week with all four hits going for extra bases (two doubles and two triples). Brinson also added a pair of walks for good measure. Baseball Prospectus‘ Wilson Karaman visited High Desert and posted eye witness reports on Lewis Brinson and Ronald Guzman. It’s paywalled so I won’t spill much but he was impressed with Brinson’s defense and speed. Those tools raise the floor significantly on Brinson even if the hit tool doesn’t pan out well. Karaman was not impressed with Guzman, criticising the length of his swing and lack of progression with the bat in a position that’s all about offensive production.
Hitter of the Week: 
Welcome back Chris Garia‘s bat! Three was the magic number this week for Garia: three multi-hit games, a three bagger, and two three-hit games. Garia also stole two bags and hit a pair of doubles this week to put up a line of .571/.600/.857. Small sample sizes are fun.
Pitcher of the Week: 
David Perez pitched four perfect innings in a blowout loss to stop the bleeding. Perez struck out five of the twelve batters he faced.

Hitting Stats

Pitching Stats

Frisco Roughriders

Texas League

Class AA

13-9 (2nd – .5 GB)

roughridersThis week the Riders went an even 3-3 with a run differential of -2. The Rough Riders won three of four against Corpus Christi at home which is so much easier to do when Carlos Correa is terrorizing the Major Leagues rather than the Texas League. In that series Jose Leclerc had a particularly impressive start. His usual lack of command was evident in his five walks but what impressed me most was that he only allowed one hit and put up all 0s in the run column. Leclerc struck out three batters in his 5.2 inning start Thursday.

Nomar Mazara had a bit of a rough week for the first time in recent memory. After four hits in his first three games, he went 0-8 in his final two and had two three strikeout games on the week. For anyone else that isn’t a bad week but since Mazara has been blasting the Texas League to bits this was a bit of an off week by his lofty standards.

Luis Mendez is a name you should be paying attention to. He’s a dude who plays plus short stop defense, runs pretty fast, and has a decent hit tool. This week Mendez went 5-15 with a pair of doubles and scored on a sac fly to deep center from second base. Yes, he scored from second base on a sac fly.

Hitter of the Week:

This award is now known as the Nick Williams award. Normally I’d choose someone else for the sac of diversity but Williams has been on a tear. In Thursday’s game Williams collected three base hits, two of which were opposite field home runs. Williams notched five hits this week as well as a stolen base and a walk.

Pitcher of the Week:

This week’s award goes to a pitcher putting up numbers for a team other than the Riders: Jake Thompson. At the Pan American games Jake Thompson pitched for Team USA throwing seven dominating shutout innings. Thompson only allowed a lone baserunner on a single in the fourth inning but struck out 10 against Nicaragua. Those 10 K’s tied a USA Baseball Pan American team record. Not a bad day at the office for the red white and blue.

Hitting Stats

Pitching Stats

Round Rock Express

Pacific Coast League

Class AAA

53-40 (1st – +6 GB)


In the All-Star shortened week the Express dropped three of four games to the OKC Dodgers with a run differential of only -2. The Express sent four men to the AAA All-Star game: Tomas Telis, Jon Edwards, Jimmy Reyes, and Anthony Ranaudo.

Hanser Alberto‘s active hit streak now stands at 12 games. I’m still unsure why the Rangers prefer Adam Rosales as the utility infielder over Alberto but it’s likely because they know more about baseball than I could ever dream to know. It doesn’t stop me from questioning though.

Jared Hoying is on pace for another 20/20 season with 17 homers and 12 stolen bases. His average is up to .235 which is not going to be good enough to get a look at the big leagues.

Hitter of the Week:

Michael Choice continues to be one of the biggest question marks in the Ranger’s farm. This week Choice went 6-17 with his eighth homer of the season. Choice has 85 strikeouts in 319 plate appearances this year in Round Rock.

Pitcher of the Week:

Remember last week I was talking about that Phil Klein guy? Well he’s back and with a vengeance. Klein pitched five stellar innings for Round Rock in Friday’s game. Klein allowed only two hits, no walks, and struck out three. His ERA is down to a miniscule 0.91. Insert frog and tea emoji at your own risk.

Hitting Stats

Pitching Stats

SDI Minor Leagues
The SDI Minor League Staff is led by Minor League Coordinator Grant Schiller who covers Spokane, High Desert, and Frisco. Minor league enthusiast Travis Smith covers the Hickory Crawdads and Round Rock Express. Occasional contributions are courtesy of Billy Casey.

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