Rangers Minor League Roundup – 8/14

Triple-A Round Rock centerfielder Leonys Martin went deep for the fourth consecutive game on Tuesday while short-season Spokane won on a walkoff hit-by pitch. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

Prospect Scouting Report

  • RHPs Phil Klein and Coby Cowgill

  • RHP Roman Mendez

  • AAA: Round Rock 9 – (@) Reno 4
    W - Grimm (2-1)
    HR - Martin (10), Kata (8)
    57-67, 14.0 GB

    Playing in the hitter-friendly confines of Reno's Aces Ballpark, Round Rock touched up Diamondbacks prospect Tyler Skaggs for eight runs on 10 hits in five innings.

    Skaggs, who entered the game with a 1.70 ERA in eight Triple-A starts, had allowed more than one earned run just once.

    Express centerfielder Leonys Martin went deep for the fourth consecutive game, launching a two-run shot off Skaggs in the third inning. Martin was 2-for-5 with that homer and three RBI.

    The 24-year-old prospect has now hit safely in 18 of his last 19 minor league contests. He's sporting a .352/.422/.615 slash line with 14 doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs through 44 Triple-A games.

    Shortstop Luis Hernandez logged his ninth consecutive multi-hit effort by pounding out two singles and a double in five at-bats. He also drove home three runs.

    Veteran third baseman Matt Kata (2/5, HR) added a single and his eighth home run.

    Round Rock starter Justin Grimm got the benefit of three double play ground balls during his outing, and the Express' infield turned four for the game.

    Grimm surrendered four runs on eight hits (seven singles) in 6.2 innings, walking two and striking out one. He threw 59 of his 95 pitches for a strike.

    Catcher Robinzon Diaz, playing in his second game for Round Rock, was 2-for-4 with a double. First baseman Brandon Snyder had two singles and a walk in four trips.

    Julio Borbon (1/4, BB) snapped an 0-for-15 skid with his sixth-inning single.

    Relievers Ben Snyder (1.1 IP) and Willie Eyre (1 IP) allowed five singles through the final 2.1 innings but kept Reno off the scoreboard to preserve the victory.

    Player of the Game: CF Leonys Martin
    5 2 2 0 1 3 0 1 .352

    AA: Frisco – OFF
    24-26, 7.0 GB

    The entire Texas League was off on Tuesday.

    A+: Myrtle Beach 3 – (@) Lynchburg 8
    L - McBride (2-1)
    30-21, 2.0 GB

    The Pelicans dropped to two games behind first-place Winston-Salem in the division standings after their loss on Tuesday. But to reach the playoffs, Myrtle Beach doesn't necessarily need to chase the Dash.

    Because Winston-Salem was the first-half division champion, the second-place club will earn a Carolina League postseason spot if the Dash also win the second half. Myrtle Beach, at 30-21, currently sits four games ahead of third-place Carolina (26-25).

    Myrtle Beach fell into an early hole on Tuesday, as starting pitcher Nick McBride surrendered four first-inning runs. The big blow was a three-run homer off the bat of Lynchburg third baseman Edward Salcedo.

    McBride, who had pitched well in his first two starts, was tagged for eight runs––six earned––on seven hits in five-plus innings. He walked three and struck out two.

    The 21-year-old righty has the following stat-line in High-A––25.0 ip, 23 h, 8 er, 8 bb, 10 k. While McBride isn't getting many swings and misses––largely due to his lack of a plus secondary offering––his lively low-90s fastball (touching 94-95 mph) has helped him induce nearly 2.5 groundouts per airout in the Carolina League.

    The Pelicans offense scored three runs on 10 hits, stranding nine runners on base.

    First baseman Brett Nicholas (.288/.348/.409) was 1-for-3 with his 29th double and a walk. His two-bagger was the club's only extra-base hit of the game.

    Odubel Herrera (2/4, BB), Hanser Alberto (2/5), Jeremy Williams (2/4) and Edwin Garcia (2/4) all singled twice. Herrera and Alberto both stole their 23rd base of the year.

    The 19-year-old Alberto now has multi-hit efforts in seven of his last nine games, and he's 21-for-52 (.404) so far in August.

    Making his High-A debut, 6-foot-7 reliever Phil Klein hurled two hitless, scoreless frames while walking one and striking out three. The 23-year-old righty posted a 1.90 ERA in 33 appearances with Hickory.

    Player of the Game: DH Odubel Herrera
    4 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 .286

    A: Hickory 3 – (@) Hagerstown 4
    L - Perez (3-9)
    HR - Deglan (12)
    27-24, 1.5 GB

    Hickory tied the game by scoring two runs in the top of the ninth inning but lost it in the bottom of the frame on a walkoff double.

    Although the Crawdads dropped the game, Hickory starter Will Lamb (4.58 ERA/.243 BAA) held Hagerstown hitless through 4.1 innings. The 21-year-old prospect ended up posting his best outing since July 4, as he yielded three runs (one earned) in six innings. He gave up two hits while walking two and fanning four.

    Catcher Kellin Deglan (.228/.307/.452) launched a solo home run for his only hit in four trips. It was his 12th round-tripper of the season and his fourth in nine games.

    During that nine-game stretch, the 20-year-old Deglan is 13-for-31 with six doubles and four home runs. While scouts appear plenty satisfied with Deglan's work behind the plate this season, there's still plenty of uncertainty and doubt regarding his bat. But the left-handed hitter has flashed some power in 2012, posting a .452 slugging percentage with 23 doubles and 12 homers through 80 games.

    Corner infielders Jorge Alfaro (2/4, 2B) and Drew Robinson (1/4, 2B) both doubled once.

    DH Rougned Odor, who went 0-for-3 with a walk, saw his batting average drop to .259. He stole his 16th base in 24 attempts.

    After Taylor Dennis (2.59 ERA/.293 BAA) tossed two scoreless frames out of the bullpen, Santo Perez recorded only one out before giving up the walkoff run. Perez fell to 3-9 on the season.

    Player of the Game: LHP Will Lamb
    6.0 2 3 1 2 4 0 4.58

    SSA: Spokane 6 – Everett 5
    W - McElwee (1-1)
    9-12, 5.0 GB

    The Indians claimed Tuesday's game in the bottom of the ninth inning despite putting only one ball in play.

    Spokane and Everett entered the bottom of the ninth in a 5-5 tie. After Royce Bolinger led off the inning with a flyout to center, Ryan Rua walked and moved to second in a wild pitch. Preston Beck was then intentionally walked. AquaSox closer Marcos Reyna then plunked Joe Maloney to load the bases before plunking Saquan Johnson to force home the winning run.

    The game's final four hitters reached on either a walk or hit-by pitch.

    Indians starting pitcher Connor Sadzeck (3.94 ERA/.218 BAA) had his own bout with control, as he walked four and plunked one in four innings. Sadzeck allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits, striking out one.

    While the 20-year-old Sadzeck has excellent raw stuff, he has walked 35 (while striking out 50) in 48 innings this summer.

    DH Preston Beck went 3-for-4 with his eighth double and a walk. Royce Bolinger raised his average to .278 by hitting three singles in five at-bats.

    Ryan Rua (1/3, 2 BB) singled once and walked twice.

    Relievers Cody Kendall and Joseph Burns each surrendered one run in two innings of work. Closer Josh McElwee, who earned the victory, fanned two in a perfect ninth inning. He earned his first professional win.

    Player of the Game: DH Preston Beck
    4 1 3 1 0 0 1 0 .238

    RK: Surprise Rangers 11 – (@) Tempe Angels 3
    W - Lopez (3-2)
    HR - Gallo (18), Brinson (4)
    27-17, 2.0 GU

    The Rookie Rangers' talented lineup pounded out 11 runs on 14 hits, including eight extra-base knocks in Tuesday's victory.

    Leadoff hitter and centerfielder Lewis Brinson (.300/.360/.537), the Rangers' top pick in this year's MLB Draft, went 3-for-5 with his 19th double, his fourth home run, three RBI, and a stolen base.

    Brinson now has 30 extra-base hits through 43 professional games, and he has stolen 11 bases in 12 attempts.

    Slugger Joey Gallo (.293/.435/.733) belted a double and a solo home run in five trips. The homer was Gallo's 18th in 43 games. Entering this summer, the Arizona League record had been 16 round-trippers––set by the Mariners' Wladimir Balentien in 2003.

    Nomar Mazara (1/5, 3B) tripled while Luis Marte (2/5, 2B), Fernando Vivili (1/4, 2B) and Luis Mendez (2/2, 2B, BB, HBP) also doubled. Mendez reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances.

    Lefty starter Aliangel Lopez (4.95 ERA/.244 BAA) began the game by tossing five innings of one-run ball, scattering five hits while striking out four. He didn't issue a walk.

    Fireballing righty reliever Keone Kela pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out one.

    Kela, the Rangers' 12th-round pick in this year's draft, has the following stat-line through six pro appearances––7.0 ip, 3 h, 2 er, 4 bb, 9 k.

    Player of the Game: CF Lewis Brinson
    5 2 3 1 1 3 0 0 .300

    DSL: DSL Rangers 1 – (@) DSL Pirates1 3
    L - Vasquez (2-3)
    37-24, 1.5 GB

    By losing three of their last four games, the Dominican Rangers have fallen into third place and 1.5 games out of first. Just 10 regular-season games remain, including two against the first-place Red Sox and two more versus the second-place Pirates1.

    The Rangers plated their only run in the top of the first inning, and the Pirates got all three scores in the bottom of the second.

    Hard-throwing Rangers starter Kelvin Vasquez (3.38 ERA/.255 BAA) gave up three runs on six hits in five innings, striking out six without issuing a walk.

    The 19-year-old Dominican Republic native, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, suffered the loss on Tuesday but has pitched well in his last 10 outings––38.0 ip, 34 h, 8 er (1.89 ERA), 7 bb, 37 k.

    Vasquez is one of the Dominican Rangers' more talented arms and should get his first state-side action during this coming fall instructional league.

    For the second consecutive day, the Rangers got practically all of their offensive production from Eduard Pinto and Elio Castillo––the lineup's top two hitters.

    Pinto raised his batting average to .381 by going 2-for-4 with his 12th double. Castillo was 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and his seventh stolen base.

    Castillo, 18, is batting .300/.420/.372 with 30 walks and 27 strikeouts in 56 games this summer. He played shortstop on Tuesday but has seen the majority of his action at first base and third base.

    First baseman Carlos Garay (1/4, 2B) doubled for his only hit in four trips.

    Although the offense wasn't able to rally, righty reliever Richelson Pena (3.41 ERA/.194 BAA) kept the game close with three innings of one-hit shutout ball.

    Player of the Game: RF Eduard Pinto
    3 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 .378

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