Rangers Minor League Roundup – 6/15

The Texas Rangers got strong starting pitching throughout their minor league system on Friday, including Nick Tepesch's strong seven-inning Double-A debut. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 2 – Oklahoma City 0
W - Perez (4-5)
SV - Hamburger (2)
30-39, 10.5 GB

Although Martin Perez (4.90 ERA/.264 BAA) had shaky control at times on Friday, he ultimately tossed seven innings of one-hit ball while throwing 61 of his 101 pitches for a strike. The 21-year-old prospect matched his season high in both walks (five) and strikeouts (five).

Perez actually settled down late in the contest, retiring the final 11 batters he faced.

Perez's last two starts have been particularly odd. On June 10, he worked seven innings versus Omaha and yielded 11 hits without walking a batter or recording a strikeout. But on Friday, he gave up just one hit in seven innings with five walks and strikeouts each.

The southpaw induced only two swinging strikes in seven innings during that June 10 start. He had nine on Friday.

For the season, the Venezuela native has yielded 75 hits in 75.1 innings, walking 36 and striking out 45.

Round Rock plated both of its runs in the bottom of the first inning, and the two clubs played scoreless ball through the remainder of the game.

One day after Express leadoff hitter Julio Borbon (.322/.366/.473) had his hitting streak snapped at 21 games, he singled four times in four at-bats. After getting out to a slow start, Borbon is now batting .401 (61-for-152) over his last 34 contests.

Catcher Dusty Brown (1/1, 2 BB) singled and walked twice to reach base safely in all three of his plate appearances.

Mike Bianucci (1/4, 2B) doubled while Joey Butler (1/3, BB) singled and walked.

Reliever Mark Hamburger (6.75 ERA/.350 BAA) worked around three singles in two scoreless innings to earn his second save. He struck out one.

Player of the Game: LHP Martin Perez
7.0 1 0 0 5 5 0 4.90

AA: Frisco 3 – Corpus Christi 2
W - Rodebaugh (1-1)
SV - Tufts (1)
40-26, 6.0 GU

With their victory over the Hooks on Friday, the ‘Riders clinched the Texas League South Division's first-half title and a berth in the postseason regardless of what happens during the second half.

Making his Double-A debut, starting pitcher Nick Tepesch breezed through seven innings. He allowed two runs while scattering seven hits and striking out two without issuing a walk.

The strike-throwing Tepesch threw 62 of his 93 pitches for a strike, and he had a three-ball count on just two of the 28 hitters he faced. Although he struck out only two over the seven innings, he induced 11 swings and misses.

The 23-year-old righty pitched like he belonged in Double-A. In 12 starts at High-A Myrtle Beach this season, he posted a 2.89 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 18 walks in 71.2 innings.

Frisco corner outfielders Ryan Strausborger (1/4, 2B) and Jared Prince (1/2, 2B, SF) each doubled and drove home a run. Strausborger also stole his 11th base.

Infielders Leury Garcia (1/3, BB), Jurickson Profar (2/4) and Mike Olt (1/3, BB) all reached base twice.

Garcia, known for his excellent pure range and arm strength, has also always been regarded as a raw defender who runs into trouble with errors. But he appears to be progressing while spending most of his time at second base.

The 21-year-old Garcia has committed five errors in 34 games (.974) at second base this season.

Right-handed relievers Ryan Rodebaugh (1 IP) and Tyler Tufts (1 IP) retired the side in order during the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Rodebaugh (0.64 ERA/.143 BAA), who punched out two in his 1-2-3 frame, now has 19 strikeouts and two walks in 14 Double-A innings.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Tepesch
7.0 7 2 2 0 2 1 2.57

A+: Myrtle Beach 0 – Potomac 3
L - B. Henry (1-1)
34-34, 8.5 GB

Hard-luck Pelicans starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks (2.72 ERA/.252 BAA) threw his Carolina League-leading 10th quality start in 13 tries on Friday. But, once again, he didn't pick up the victory.

Hendricks, who is 1-7 on the season with a 2.72 ERA, didn't factor in the decision despite working six innings of three-hit, shutout ball. He struck out three and didn't walk a batter.

The 22-year-old Dartmouth product has been remarkably consistent this season, logging at least six innings in each of his last 10 starts. In 82.2 innings, he's permitted 79 hits, walked just eight, and struck out 67.

The Pelicans' offense had some issues against Texas Tech alum and Potomac starting pitcher Nate Karns, who punched out 10 Myrtle Beach batters over 6.2 scoreless innings.

Myrtle Beach was held to one run or fewer for the seventh time in their last 14 games.

Left fielder Teodoro Martinez (.251/.307/.317) was about the lone bright spot for the bats, as he went 2-for-4 with his ninth double and his eighth stolen base.

Edwin Garcia (2/3), Tomas Telis (1/3, BB) and Jake Skole (0/2, 2 BB) all reached safely twice.

But the Pelicans' offense combined to strike out 15 times in the game. DH Jared Hoying punched out in all four of his plate appearances. Infielders Odubel Herrera (0/4, 3 K) and Christian Villanueva (0/4, 3 K) each fanned three times.

Although he only pitched to one batter in the game, 28-year-old former Astros prospect Jimmy Barthmaier appeared for Potomac––in a High-A game.

Ben Henry suffered the loss after he permitted three runs in two innings. Zach Osborne struck out a pair in a perfect ninth.

Player of the Game: RHP Kyle Hendricks
6.0 3 0 0 0 3 0 2.72

A: Hickory 3 – (@) Lakewood 4
L - Lamb (0-6)
36-31, 7.5 GB

Crawdads starting pitcher Nick Martinez (5.03 ERA/.254 BAA) got out to a glowing start on Friday, striking out five of the game's first six batters.

Martinez's pace slowed after that, though he still turned in a strong effort. The 21-year-old Miami native gave up three runs on six hits in a season-high six innings, striking out seven. He didn't issue a walk.

While Martinez has had some up-and-down results this season––particularly since moving into the starting rotation––he's recorded 53 strikeouts in 48.1 innings.

Lefty Will Lamb (4.93 ERA/.248 BAA) dropped to 0-6 on the season after falling into some control issues in relief of Martinez. Though Lamb didn't allow a hit and struck out two in two innings, he gave up a run on three walks, a hit batter, and a wild pitch.

Right fielder Chris Grayson (1/4, 2B) hit his 17th double while shortstop Hanser Alberto (1/4, 2B) smacked his 16th two-bagger.

Alberto, who is batting .340 on the year, has hit at least .319 in every month so far.

Second baseman Luis Sardinas (.262/.333/.283), who was 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, stole two bases to give him 19 in 22 attempts through 48 games.

After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Friday, toolsy outfielder Jordan Akins is now just 5-for-37 (.135) with one double, zero walks, and 15 strikeouts over his last 10 games.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Martinez
6.0 6 3 3 0 7 0 5.03

SSA: Spokane 1 – Vancouver 8
L - Kukuruda (0-1)
0-1, 0.0 GU

On opening night in Spokane, the Indians were dealt an 8-1 beating at the hands of Vancouver in front of 6,478 fans at Avista Stadium.

Spokane starting pitcher John Kukuruda was undone by four third-inning runs, although just one was earned due to an error from third baseman Smerling Lantigua.

Lantigua, who has an intriguing bat but is quite raw in the field, committed two errors at the hot corner on Friday.

Overall, Kukuruda gave up four runs––one earned––in four innings, yielding two hits while walking one and striking out four. The 20-year-old righty pitches mostly off his sinker, and he induced seven groundouts to one flyout in the start.

Righty Richard Alvarez, who is repeating at Spokane this season, coughed up three runs on five hits in three innings. Alvarez had a 7.79 ERA in 34.2 innings for the Indians in 2011.

Shortstop Nick Urbanus (1/4), first baseman Ryan Rua (1/3, BB) and second baseman Cam Schiller (1/4) had Spokane's only hits of the game. Urbanus drove home the club's lone run.

Making his professional debut, UT-Arlington product Preston Beck was 0-for-1 but had a walk and two HBP.

Catcher Joe Maloney whiffed three times in four hitless at-bats.

Dominican righty Abel de los Santos was a bright spot for Spokane out of the bullpen, as he punched out a pair in a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Seton Hall product Ryan Harvey finished the game by allowing one run in one frame.

Player of the Game: RHP Abel de los Santos
1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00

DSL: DSL Rangers 6 – (@) DSL Pirates1 7
L - Rodriguez (0-1)
6-6, 2.0 GB

DSL Rangers starting pitcher and top prospect Yohander Mendez had an erratic day in his lone inning. Facing seven batters, Mendez gave up two runs on three hits and a hit batter. He also uncorked two wild pitches.

Through 2.2 professional innings in three appearances, the 17-year-old southpaw has allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out four.

Reliever Jorge de Jesus (1.23 ERA/.111 BAA) was particularly strong out of the Rangers' bullpen, as he tossed 2.1 innings of hitless, walkless ball. He struck out four.

The Rangers scored all six of their runs within the first five innings. They held on to the lead until the bottom of the ninth, when Pittsburgh plated three runs for the walkoff victory.

Centerfielder Jose Cardona went 2-for-5 with his second double and two RBI. Second baseman Ramon Urias was 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI.

Leadoff man Eduard Pinto kept his batting average at an even .400 with two singles in five trips.

Player of the Game: RHP Jorge de Jesus
2.1 0 0 0 0 4 0 1.23

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