Minor League Monday Week 9

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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

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spokaneSpokane announced that their individual game tickets went on sale last week which means that the Short Season Class A Indians will be kicking off their season very soon. Their first game is just about a month away now, June 18th. If you are in the greater Spokane area, or will be visiting at any point during the summer/early fall grab some tickets and check out Avista Stadium.

The Indians will open up at home on an eight game home-stand. They do have a few names on the roster so far that you can check out here, but most of the roster will be filled out after the Amateur Draft in a couple of weeks. Jurickson Profar‘s brother, Juremi will be there.

I think his shoulder works.


Hickory Crawdads

Carolina League

Class Low A

34-16 (1st – +4 GB)

It was not the best of weeks for the dominant South Atlantic League team. The Hickory Crawdads dropped four of six reducing their record to 36-20 and the division lead to 2.5 games. The magic number currently sits at 12 as the minor league season is split into two halves with the division winners from each half qualifying for the playoffs.

More importantly, some bad news hit Hickory this week. 2013 first-round pick Travis Demeritte was suspended 80 games for using PEDs. The infielder had been struggling in his repeat trip to Low-A with 69 strikeouts in 48 games. Losing over half a minor league season won’t help his development.

Hitter of the Week: The Hickory offense has sputtered a bit since the start of May and that did not change this week. The ‘Dads 18 runs over the six games. A large part of this drop in production is the reduced power numbers coming from Jose Trevino, Luke Tendler and Tripp Martin. After combining for 17 home runs in the first month of the year, they have hit one since (belonging to Martin). Trevino in particular has struggled over the past month plus. When not providing power, it is difficult for the 22-year-old to be a positive hitter given his 2.6% BB-rate and catcher’s speed. The approach will need to be reined in at some point.

On a more positive note, Josh Morgan continues to hit well at the plate. Over the last 10 days he has slashed .280/.445/.320. Over the past 30 those numbers are .340/.426/.426. A 19-year-old in A-ball, the 2014 3rd rounder is striking out at just a 14.1% rate and is spreading the ball around the field well albeit with a high groundball rate (53.4%). Here is his spray chart courtesy of MLBfarm.com:

Josh Morgan Spray Chart

Pitcher of the Week: Yohander Mendez continues to overmatch Low-A hitters. So far in 2015, the 6’4” southpaw boasts numbers of: 19.1 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 30 K, and 0 R. Maybe more ridiculous than his >14 K/9 is the fact that Mendez is yet to allow a line drive this year. 15 grounders, seven fly balls, six popups and zero line drives. The 2011 J2 signing is in line for a promotion or a move into the rotation soon and is a guy who has drawn positive reviews from everyone I’ve seen. The biggest question here is whether the shoulder can stay healthy as he has never thrown more than 45 innings in a season due to injury problems.


High Desert Mavericks

California League

Class High A (Advanced)

26-23 (3rd – 3 GB)

high desert

Lewis Brinson is back! In his first three games since April Brinson picked up a pair of hits and a pair of walks. Brinson came back just in time to make his 2015 on camera debut. The only series of the Mavericks to be broadcast on MiLB TV has come and gone but it’s ok there’s always next season to watch the Mavericks. Also in more injury news super utility man Evan Van Hoosier was injured in Monday’s game. I’m not sure how long he will be out but hopefully it won’t be too long. Alex Burg leads the organization with his 14 home runs and Ryan Cordell trails him with 11. Cordell’s average is back over .300 so the world is still not going to end. Also look it’s a video of a Ryan Cordell homer!

My second favorite Profar, sorry Juremi you’re still awesome, played six of his eight total games for the Mavs this week. Juremi Profar is hitting .276 in a little over 20 plate appearances. Profar played in all six games this week playing each at second base and had a majestic dinger I suggest you watch.

Pitcher of the week:

Hey there Reed Garrett welcome to the pitcher of the week club! The former VMI pitcher threw 8.0 shutout innings in Thursday’s loss to San Jose. The 2014 draftee allowed seven baserunners and struck out four in a dominant start.

Hitter of the week:

Mr. Royce Bollinger had three games this week in which he delivered 3+ hits. Four of those hits went for extra bases and Bollinger now leads the team with a .354 average.

Pick to click:

Lewis Brinson had a modest week at the plate in his three games back. With his legs back under him I believe Brinson will come back and heat up like he did last year after his return from injury.


Frisco Roughriders

Texas League

Class AA

21-29 (3rd – 12.5 GB)

roughriders

Im having a tough time dealing with the fact that Joey Gallo will not be playing in Frisco anymore. I couldn’t be happier for the young man but he was sure a joy to watch while here. The young slugger got the big call up as we all know and the Riders have since gone 2-4 without him in the lineup and 7-13 when you add up the time he missed to begin the year. Gallo’s teams this year with him in the lineup are 20-22. He helps a winning percentage improve. Even the scoring has been down in the small six game sample as Frisco is barely averaging 2.5 runs a game this past week and half of their 16 total runs came in one game.

The slumps for the big guys are likely the main root of the issue as you examine Nomar Mazara’s numbers since May 20th and he is slashing .196/.300/.377. He is still taking his fair share of walks so that could mean he’s seeing the ball well and just not getting ball in play results owning a .205 BABIP. Not much to worry about. He was off to a pretty unsustainable start.

Jake Thompson continues his impressive run as he seems to be going back to wrecking hitters with his nasty slider rather than work on the changeup. Hey he cant let the pitch get too rusty can he? The results speak for themselves as he posted another marvelous start going seven innings and picking up six strikeouts against Tulsa. He allowed nine men to reach but only one via a walk as the control and command of his fastball continue to impress. Only four walks in his last 27 and 2/3 innings. I have no idea what JD has in store for the Texas boy but a promotion to Round Rock is not that far off. See him while you can lads.

Nick Williams hasn’t walked yet in June and is still stuck on 22 but hey that’s ok because that walk percentage is still at a career high 9.2 percent. How about that strikeout percentage too? It’s sitting at a career low 18 percent. The new approach continues to become a larger sample that begs for your attention. Oh and he picked up a three hit night against Tulsa on June 5th. He’s now moved from the leadoff position to the number three spot in Mik’s lineup because He’s So Awesome.

Hitter and Pitcher of the Week

My hitter of the week was actually a more challenging selection than pitcher for the first time this year. That’s what happens when your team isn’t scoring runs or hitting. I went with Trevor Adams because of his big night against Springfield where he went 3 for 4 with a triple and a home run scoring all three times he reached base. Overall for the week he slashed .263/.363/.526 obviously influenced by the big day but it’s a nice sign for a dude that is really struggling at the plate this year. In 48 games between AA and AAA Adams has a .639 OPS and this is coming off of a year where his OPS in 125 AA games in 2014 was .782. The strikeouts could be a cause as last year he was under 19 percent while this year it’s up by nearly a full 10 percent more pushing 30. Adams was merely a 16th rounder in 2011 so it’s not going to make or break the farm rankings but still he looked to have a little something and its disappointing to see him regress so much.

My pitcher of the week is another two start starting pitcher and the honor this week is Chadwick Bell. He was once thought of as a decent prospect for Texas but TJS derailed that train but you cant ever fault a dude for doing what he can to make it back. In his two starts this week he went 13 innings and allowed two earned runs in both starts and also struck out five in both. He kept Frisco in the game but the offense let him down. Or he didn’t have TWTW whichever you prefer. I do like the fact that he at least has solid command of his pitches as he’s posted a BB/9 in the low 2’s. Combine that with a K/9 over eight and he seems to have decent peripherals. Likely just a guy at this point but hey those are people too!

Pick to Click

My pick to click is the dude Frank Lopez because im hoping the team skips Jose Leclerc in the rotation and gives him two starts this week. Probably not going to happen but I can dream big. Lopez finally gave up some runs this week and only went three innings. Springfield knocked him around pretty good and racked up his pitch count to over 70 in the short outing. He did rack up four strikeouts so a K per inning isn’t too shabby. With a for sure home start against San Antonio and road start against Midland upcoming, Im looking to the lefty to keep the good vibes flowing.


Round Rock Express

Pacific Coast League

Class AAA

30-19 (1st – +5.5 GB)

rreIt was another solid week for the Express. Round Rock outscored their opponents this week by an aggregate score of 48-31 with the record of 5-2. Luke Jackson pitched three outings this week totaling 3.2 innings. In those outings Jackson accumulated four walks, seven punch outs, three hits, and an earned run. Alec Asher had his roughest start of the season in Saturday’s game. Asher allowed four home runs to the Dodgers and not one of them came from Corey Seager which blows my mind. Asher lasted 5.0 innings and walked four. All of his seven runs, six earned, came in the first and third innings. Tomas Telis had a heck of a week at the plate including four multi-hit games. One of those was a four hit night for Telis. The switch hitting catcher notched five extra base hits on the week and is knocking on Arlington’s front door. If one of the Ranger’s catchers starts slumping Telis could see time in the majors relatively soon. Spencer Patton is now with the Rangers after this week in AAA pitching two outings of an inning a piece with two total baserunners and no earned runs.

Pitcher of the week:

Anthony Ranaudo pitched one good start and one fantastic start this week. On Monday Ranaudo threw 6.0 innings and allowed two runs. In yesterday’s start he went 7.0 innings allowing only three baserunners and no earned runs. Ranaudo struck out seven in each game.

Hitter of the week:

I think Rougned Odor is close to being ready to come back to Arlington. This week Odor has an active seven game hit streak, accumulating at least two hits in all but one of those games. Odor also piled on six extra base hits in those games. Roogie is mashing and wants badly to contribute to the fun times going on in Arlington. For the season he is slugging nearly .700 in 23 Round Rock games.

Pick to click:

Jared Hoying has had a rough couple of weeks at the plate after a solid start to the season. The power was there this week and I expect those dingers to improve his confidence at the plate and lead to more offensive success.

 

 

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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