Rangers Minor League Roundup – 6/13

The Single-A Hickory Crawdads earned an extra-innings victory on Wednesday behind the bat of catcher Jorge Alfaro and the arm of starting pitcher Victor Payano. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 5 – (@) Albuquerque 2
W - Reynolds (5-5)
SV - Heilman (2)
29-38, 10.5 GB

The Express earned a series split––winning the last two games in Albuquerque––behind the strong work of starting pitcher Greg Reynolds.

With the wind blowing out to left field at 20 mph in a high-altitude environment, Reynolds (4.57 ERA/.306 BAA) limited the Isotopes to two runs over seven innings pitched. Throwing 97 pitches (65 strikes), he yielded six hits, walked one, and struck out five.

Much of Reynolds' success came from his ability to keep the ball on the ground. He induced 11 groundouts to only four flyouts.

The Stanford product's five strikeouts matched a season high. He has 35 punchouts (with 18 walks) in 80.2 innings this year.

Left fielder Ryan Spilborghs (.366/.439/.545) broke the game open with his two-run triple, which came with two outs in the seventh inning. He was 3-for-5 on the game, raising his batting average to .366.

Shortstop Greg Miclat, who was 2-for-3 with a double, had Round Rock's only other extra-base hit in the game.

Leonys Martin (.347/.414/.532) singled three times in five trips. Yangervis Solarte (2/4, BB) and Brad Nelson (2/5) also had multiple knocks.

Making his first Triple-A appearance of the season, veteran righty Ross Wolf worked around a walk in an otherwise clean eighth inning to earn his first hold.

Wolf, 29, had been pitching at Double-A Frisco but played with Triple-A Oklahoma City (Houston) in 2011.

Aaron Heilman (4.40 ERA/.271 BAA) picked up the save with a scoreless frame, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Player of the Game: RHP Greg Reynolds
7.0 6 2 2 1 5 0 4.57

AA: Frisco 2 – Midland 10
L - Brigham (3-3)
38-26, 4.0 GU

A pair of right-handed prospects with plus fastballs faced off on Wednesday morning in Midland's Sonny Gray and Frisco's Jake Brigham.

Gray, Oakland's first-round pick in last year's MLB Draft, worked around four hits and four walks in five shutout innings.

Brigham (4.02 ERA/.233 BAA) had an iffy 111-pitch, seven-inning start. He yielded five runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out seven.

Brigham permitted three first-inning runs while facing seven batters. He also gave up leadoff homers in the third and fourth before settling down late. The prospect retired 12 of the final 14 hitters he faced.

Cleanup-hitting third baseman Mike Olt (.318/.420/.622) reached base in all four of his plate appearances. He had a double, a single, a walk, and a hit-by pitch.

Olt, who has a .509 on-base percentage in June, ranks third in the Texas League in batting average, third in OBP, and first in SLG. His 19 home runs are four more than second-best Nate Freiman of San Antonio.

Jurickson Profar (.296/.375/.482) added two singles in five trips. The switch-hitting shortstop has drawn 11 walks and struck out eight times in 12 games this month.

Right fielder Jared Prince (1/3, 2B, BB) also doubled and walked while Chris McGuiness (0/2, 2 BB) walked twice.

After going 1-for-5 on Wednesday, Engel Beltre is now just 10-for-52 (.192) with two extra-base hits in June.

Recently activated left-hander Miguel de los Santos came out of the bullpen and worked a perfect eighth inning before falling apart in the ninth.

Overall, the changeup specialist coughed up five runs in two innings. Throwing 21 of his 42 pitches for a strike, he surrendered three hits, walked two, and struck out three.

Although it isn't confirmed, the Rangers may be moving de los Santos into a full-time bullpen role. The 40-man roster member has always projected as a long-term reliever. He features a lively 88-91 mph fastball, a plus-plus changeup, and an average curveball.

Despite his decent stuff and sky-high strikeout rates, the 23-year-old hurler has below-average fastball command that causes him to throw a lot of pitches in a starting role.

Including this season, de los Santos has punched out 454 and walked 157 over 290.1 career innings. That's a K rate of 14.1 per nine innings but also a walk rate of 4.9 per nine––mostly compiled below the Double-A level.

Player of the Game: 3B Mike Olt
2 0 2 1 0 1 1 0 .318

A+: Myrtle Beach 8 – Frederick 6
W - Monegro (1-0)
SV - Reyes (3)
HR - Chirino (3), Nicholas (2)
34-32, 7.5 GB

Making his second start of the season, 22-year-old righty Randy Henry (1.36 ERA/.219 BAA) pitched quite well for the Pelicans.

On Wednesday, Henry logged a season-high four scoreless frames while pitching around two hits and two walks. He struck out three.

Although Henry had been a reliever his entire professional career, the Rangers are giving him a shot in the starting rotation. He pitched extremely well as Myrtle Beach's closer this season, but he's also a 6-foot-3 hurler with a relatively deep arsenal of fastball, cutter, slider, changeup.

Henry scuffled in his first start, giving up four runs on six hits in two innings. But he's yielded just five earned runs in 33 innings all season and is headed to the Carolina League All-Star Game.

Thanks in large part to the Pelicans' offensive explosion, long reliever Jose Monegro (6.60 ERA/.279 BAA) earned the victory despite being knocked around for six runs in 3.1 innings.

First baseman Brett Nicholas (.272/.326/.386) went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer. He brought home another run on a sacrifice fly.

Santiago Chirino, who was 1-for-2, launched a two-run shot of his own in the fourth inning.

Odubel Herrera (1/5, 3B) tripled while Jared Hoying (2/4, 2 2B) doubled twice and Tomas Telis (1/4, 2B) doubled once.

The 20-year-old Telis––he turns 21 on June 18––is having a disappointing first-half with Myrtle Beach. Through 57 games, he's hitting just .249/.284/.353 on the heels of a strong .297/.329/.430 performance with Single-A Hickory in 2011.

Lefty reliever Jimmy Reyes (3.33 ERA/.276 BAA) permitted three hits in 1.2 innings but kept the Keys off the scoreboard to earn his third save.

Player of the Game: 1B Brett Nicholas
3 2 2 0 1 3 0 0 .272

A: Hickory 5 – (@) Hagerstown 3 (10 innings)
W - Mavare (2-2)
SV - Klein (3)
HR - Alfaro (1)
35-30, 7.5 GB

After Hagerstown knotted the game by plating two runs in the bottom of the ninth, Hickory came right back with two in the top of the 10th to pick up the ‘W.'

The Crawdads got their 10th-inning runs on a passed ball––which plated Jorge Alfaro––and a run-scoring infield single by Jhonny Gomez.

Alfaro had perhaps his best game of the season offensively, going 2-for-4 with solo home run and a base on balls. A hamstring issue has limited the 19-year-old backstop to only 11 games this season, but he is 11-for-40 (.275) with two doubles, a triple, and a homer when healthy.

Tall southpaw Victor Payano (3.36 ERA/.216 BAA) didn't factor in the decision, but he held the Suns to a single run in six innings. Payano permitted five hits while walking three and striking out seven.

The 6-foot-5, 19-year-old prospect has allowed 52 hits in 67 innings during his first year in full-season ball.

Arlett Mavare suffered the blown save despite the fact that he didn't allow a hit in three innings. Mavare gave up two runs (one earned) on two walks while fanning five.

Closer Phil Klein tossed a hitless ninth, working around a walk, for his third save.

Third baseman Hanser Alberto (2/5, 2B) and second baseman Drew Robinson (1/5, 2B) both doubled while left fielder Jordan Akins (2/5) had two singles.

Gomez, who helped win the game in the 10th, was 1-for-3 with a pair of walks.

Alberto, 19, stole his 15th base in 19 attempts this season. He's hitting a highly impressive .341/.388/.461 with 18 walks and 20 strikeouts in 58 games.

Player of the Game: LHP Victor Payano
6.0 5 1 1 3 7 1 3.36

DSL: DSL Rangers 3 – DSL Mets2 12
L - Vasquez (0-1)
5-5, 2.0 GB

The Rangers' Dominican Summer League club dropped its third consecutive game on Wednesday morning. And in full DSL fashion, although the Rangers were held to just two hits, they scored three runs via the benefit of two Mets2 errors and 10 walks.

Leadoff hitter Eduard Pinto had most of the Rangers' offensive production, going 2-for-2 with two walks and a run-scoring sacrifice fly.

The 17-year-old outfielder isn't a physically imposing presence––he's listed at just 5-foot-11, 150 pounds––but he's a solid prospect with an all-around advanced skill set. In eight games this season, Pinto is 12-for-31 (.387) with two doubles and two walks without striking out.

Rangers starting pitcher Kelvin Vasquez was knocked around for five runs––two earned––on five hits in three innings. Albert Decena then yielded two runs in two innings, and Stanley Solano was on the hook for four runs in the sixth.

Dominican righty Luis Morel, making his second appearance of the year, finished the game with three frames of one-run ball. The 18-year-old allowed two hits and fanned three without issuing a walk.

Aside from Pinto, the Rangers combined to go 0-for-26 at the plate. But catcher Oliver Caraballo (0/0, 3 BB) walked in all three of his plate appearances, and right fielder Jose Santos was 0-for-1 with two free passes.

The Rangers have yet to debut two of their top pitching prospects with the Dominican Summer League club, right-handers and 2011 international signees Jeily Arias and Pedro Payano.

Player of the Game: DH Eduard Pinto
2 1 2 0 0 1 2 0 .387

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