Minor League Monday Week 17
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).
Short Season Class A
3-4 (T 2nd – 1 GB)
It wasn’t the best week for the Spokane bats as they provided only 17 runs over seven games of work. After a 3-4 week the Rangers Short Season A squad is just that for the second half, which puts them one game out of first.
Hitter of the Week:
Once again LeDarious Clark had a big we— wait, what? He went hitless? In 23 at-bats? That can’t be right.
Let’s start again. I don’t know how to write about anyone else but I’ll give it a shot. This week’s hitter of the week is LeDari Darius Day. 2014’s 23rd round draft pick, known for his 80 grade speed, picked up seven base knocks and stole a base after five of his nine trips to first. Now hitting .273/.337/.364 on the year (with 10 steals in 10 attempts) this is a deep name to watch down the line. Speed never slumps.
Pitcher of the Week:
Dan Scheibe, an undrafted pitcher signed out of Whitworth University, tossed 4.2 innings of scoreless ball while striking out eight. In 12.1 innings, the 22 year old has allowed three earned runs. I couldn’t tell you much about Dan Scheibe the baseball player, but his college bio says he plays piano, likes board games and missed most of his junior year with arm injuries.
Class Low A
20-16 (T 3rd – 5 GB)
First Half Division Champions
It’s been an odd couple of weeks for the Low-A Hickory Crawdads. In general, the team has received dominant pitching and middle of the road offensive output. In six games this week, the lineup provided 38 runs (6.3 per game) but allowed 32 (5.3) on the way to a 4-2 week. Hickory, who won the first half division title, is now 20-16 and five games back of West Virginia.
Hitter of the Week:
This week’s name is a welcome one – Jairo Beras (.288/.339/.433) went 9 for 21 at the dish with one home run and two doubles. The raw 20 year old has really turned it around in the back half of 2015. Beras spent the entirety of 2014 in Low-A where he slashed .242/.305/.342. Through half of this year the numbers were similar at .258/.307/.398. Since then he’s at .311/.364/.459 in 33 games. After receiving a big signing bonus four years ago now, Beras is starting to click as his raw ability and athleticism starts to become utilized in-game.
Pitcher of the Week:
Yohander Mendez continues to roll right through the South-Atlantic League. After ticking on another 4.2 innings of one run ball (with six strikeouts to only one walk, of course) Mendez boasts an ERA of 1.50 48 innings in. In that time he’s racked up 59 Ks and dished out only 11 free passes. Given the 20 year old’s history of shoulder injuries and his reported advanced repertoire and feel, I will be interested to see if he starts the 2016 season in hitter’s haven High Desert or whether he skips the High-A level altogether. I will be interested in much of the current Hickory roster’s assignments. This year the Rangers haven’t rolled one large pitching prospect through the California League yet.
High Desert Mavericks
Class High A (Advanced)
19-14 (1st – +1 GB)
High Desert has been scorching hot the last two weeks, winning 10 of their last 11 games by a run differential of +43. During that stretch the Mavericks have scored at least five runs in all 11 of those games while holding their opponents under that margin in all but three contests.
17-19 (3rd – 6.5 GB)
What a week for the Roughriders in many ways. The team is in a big time funk as their losing streak sits at ten in a row. The bad pitching is back as starters just cant seem to get it going continuing to get hit hard. Jake Thompson, Frank Lopez, Chad Bell, and Jose Leclerc combined to allow 22 earned runs throughout the week in just 20 and 1/3 innings.
Also, if you were living under a rock, the big club made a large exchange with the Phillies that effected the Riders roster in a significant way. The dynamic duo is no more and top pitching prospect Thompson is gone but certainly not forgotten. In 24 games with the Riders, Thompson had a 8.69 K/9 and a BB/9 of 3.53. He posted a FIP of 3.80 as he had a high BABIP perhaps leading to the ERA over 4.00.
Nick Williams ends his Riders career and through 112 games he slashed .289/.343/.452 with 13 HRs and 60 runs scored. Lucky for the Riders and for fans of the Rangers, #2 prospect Nomar Mazara is still here and crushing fastballs. The club also promoted former first round pick and #4 prospect Lewis Brinson from High Desert up to Frisco to take Williams’ spot in the outfield. It’s a huge opportunity for him to show what he can do moving forward as he was likely Minor League Baseball’s hottest hitter going. His first hit as a Rider came in his second start as he tripled to the gap to drive in a run. He also later doubled in that game.
In a minor move, the club also dealt lefty Cody Ege along with Tomas Telis for Sam Dyson so the Riders lose their top LOOGY in the pen but lefty Andrew Faulkner’s recent success in that role should help soften the blow.
Nomar Mazara had himself another nice week as he deals with the lack of lineup protection around him. He clubbed his 13th home run of the year off Missions’ starter Ronald Herrera and it was quite the shot. He had eight hits, a walk, a double, and a hit by pitch. On the year, the 20 year old has a .801 OPS at AA and is just about the last remaining must watch player moving forward.
Drew Robinson has really been struggling over his last ten games hitting just .176. The power isnt exactly carrying the average either as he hasnt homered since June 26th. In that span his slugging percentage has fallen from .484 to .423. At least the one positive thing to be said is he still is drawing plenty of walks to keep his on base percentage at a solid .372. His contact rate is obviously suffering as the batting average plummets. His K percentage sits in the 27 percent rate which is bordering on a problem for a middle infielder. Sounds like a Jedd Gyorko type player.
Hitter and Pitcher of the Week
My hitter of the week is Zachary Cone. He’s been finding every day playing time lately as Ryan Cordell DH’s and plays 3B and responded with a nine hit week this week including a three hit night on the 27th where he doubled twice and drove in four runs. He had four doubles total and a walk. Oddly enough he did not score a run during the week despite being on base that much. Still, he was productive and may be earning a fulltime OF role as he he’s hitting over .300 in his last eleven games. He may not be in center now as that should be Brinson for the most part.
My pitcher of the week is Edwar Caberera. The lefty has been a bit of an every role pitcher for the Riders this year. He’s come out of the bullpen for mopup duty, made some spot starts, and acted as a LOOGY. This week he came in relief once and then made a start in replace of traded starter Jake Thompson. In that start he game the club five innings of two run ball. He gave up three hits and one walk while striking out two. It was a gritty 67 pitch performance coming off two days rest when he tossed 21 pitches of scoreless ball over an inning of relief. The 27 year old Dominican career minor leaguer isnt a prospect but every system needs these kind of guys.
Pick to Click
My Pick to Click is Andrew Faulkner who hasn’t allowed a run since July 13th. The southpaw is shoving lately and continues to tune it up to miss bats and get outs. Actually, since his July 20th appearances, he’s surrendered only two base runners in 6 and 2/3 innings. If this is what he’s going to be moving forward, then it appears to be the best way to utilize his skills.
Round Rock Express
Pacific Coast League
61-46 (1st – +5 GB)
Round Rock in the middle of a 12 game home stand went 4-3 this week. There has been some player movement this week with the trade deadline and rehab assignments. Tomas Telis is gone after being traded to the Marlins for Sam Dyson at the deadline. Jon Edwards is back in Round Rock as are Carlos Corporan and Derek Holland for rehab assignments. Chris Gimenez was also called up to the big leagues to replace the injured Robinson Chirinos.
Corporan so far on his rehab stint has gone 0-6 at the plate with a walk and three strikeouts. Meanwhile Derek Holland threw 1.2 innings allowing two hits, two earned runs, and a walk. Holland struck out three batters and reached 98 on the gun down in Round Rock.
One of Michael Choice’s two homers this week was a walk off in the bottom of the 11th inning of Saturday’s game. Choice collected only two other hits on the week.
Luke Jackson threw four total innings this week while allowing only four hits. Bad news is that he also allowed two runs in his three inning Saturday outing. According to Scott Lucas after Jackson’s rough start to Saturday’s appearance Jackson looked as sharp as he had ever seen him. Six of Jackson’s last eight outings have been of the multi inning variety. Saturday Luke Jackson ended up with three innings, three hits, two earned runs, and five strikeouts. He could be a candidate for a September call up but I’m not sure he’s ready for the bigs quite yet.
Hitter of the Week:
Hanser Alberto had a phenomenal week piling up multiple hits in four of his six games this week. Alberto had three hits in two of his games and capped off the week with a four hit performance Sunday night. Alberto’s average is now up to .336 which is up 19 points from the beginning of the week.
Pitcher of the Week:
Jerad Eickhoff pitched admirably in his last outing as a Texas Ranger. Eickhoff threw five shutout innings allowing two hits while striking out three.