Rangers Minor League Roundup – 8/17

The Texas Rangers got solid pitching performances from top to bottom in their minor league system on Friday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

Prospect Scouting Reports

  • 3B Joey Gallo

  • RHPs Daniel Lopez and Matt West

  • AAA: Round Rock 2 – (@) Reno 8
    L - Reynolds (10-8)
    59-68, 13.0 GB

    Round Rock's red-hot offense was halted by Diamondbacks prospect Trevor Bauer in Friday's series finale.

    The Express got to Bauer for a run in the first inning and another run in the ninth.

    Both scores were set up by Julio Borbon leadoff hits––a single in the first and a triple in the ninth. But after the first-inning run, Bauer retired 13 consecutive hitters.

    The 21-year-old Bauer ended up logging his first professional complete game, as he threw just 102 pitches (70 strikes) in nine innings. He gave up those two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out 12.

    Meanwhile, Express right-hander Greg Reynolds surrendered five runs (two earned) on seven hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out one. Reno got some insurance against left-hander Neal Cotts, who coughed up three runs in the eighth inning.

    DH Joey Butler (1/4) drove in Borbon both times. Luis Hernandez (1/4) and Alberto Gonzalez (1/3) had the other hits. Hernandez extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

    Catcher Koyie Hill, playing in his third game with the Express, struck out once in three hitless at-bats.

    Player of the Game: CF Julio Borbon
    4 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 .298

    AA: Frisco 5 – Tulsa 1
    W - Tepesch (6-2)
    SV - Mendez (1)
    27-26, 5.0 GB

    The Tulsa Drillers' offense ranks second-to-last in the Texas League in all three slash line categories––batting average (.248), on-base percentage (.305), and slugging percentage (.379).

    The Drillers' bats were particularly punchless this week, as Frisco limited them to four total runs during the three-game sweep.

    Nick Tepesch (3.57 ERA/.270 BAA) got the job done on Friday, needing only 78 pitches (56 strikes) to toss seven scoreless innings. He yielded two singles, walked one, and struck out five.

    Tepesch, who induced three double play balls in the seven innings, faced just one batter over the minimum.

    Through his first five Double-A appearances (four starts), the 23-year-old righty had a 6.04 earned-run average. He has been excellent in eight games since––50.1 ip, 44 h, 13 er (2.32 ERA), 15 bb, 30 k.

    Overall in Double-A, Tepesch is throwing 66.3 percent of his pitches for a strike.

    Third baseman Tom Mendonca drove in two of Frisco's runs, as he had two singles and a walk in four plate appearances. After scuffling mightily in Triple-A, Mendonca is 15-for-51 (.294) with two doubles and two homers since returning to Frisco.

    Shortstop Leury Garcia (2/4, 3B) singled and tripled while first baseman Chris McGuiness (2/4, 2B) singled and doubled. The three-bagger was Garcia's ninth of the year.

    Engel Beltre (2/4) singled twice and stole his 33rd base in 41 tries.

    Catcher Jose Felix went 2-for-3 with a walk––his fourth free pass earned in 73 games.

    Making his Double-A debut in relief of Tepesch, fireballing right-hander Roman Mendez earned the save by permitting a run on two hits in two innings. He walked one and struck out one.

    Mendez, who threw 23 strikes out of 35 pitches, allowed a solo home run to Rockies prospect Nolan Arenado with two outs in the ninth inning.

    Player of the Game: RHP Nick Tepesch
    7.0 2 0 0 1 5 0 3.57

    A+: Myrtle Beach 3 – Carolina 4
    L - R. Henry (5-9)
    31-23, 4.0 GB

    The Rangers' 27th-round pick in last year's MLB Draft, Kyle DeVore is an organizational arm with an upper-80s fastball who has performed well this season.

    After beginning the year at extended spring training, the 21-year-old DeVore earned a mid-May assignment to High-A Myrtle Beach. It was initially expected that he'd be filling a roster spot. But after pitching well, DeVore ultimately became a full-time member of the Pelicans' pitching staff.

    The 6-foot-4, 225-pound hurler has worked most of this season in long relief, but he was pushed into a starting role after the Pelicans lost pitchers to the bullpen (Font, Mendez, Randy Henry), injury (Ben Henry), and trade (Kyle Hendricks).

    Overall this season, DeVore has a 3.70 ERA in 19 appearances.

    On Friday, he limited Carolina to two runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out three without walking a batter.

    While DeVore pitched well, the Myrtle Beach offense scratched across only three runs on six hits.

    Catcher Tomas Telis (2/4, 2B), DH Odubel Herrera (1/4, 2B) and second baseman Edwin Garcia (1/4, 2B) all doubled once. The switch-hitting Telis has caught fire of late, going 14-for-29 over his last seven games.

    Teodoro Martinez (1/3, BB) and Brett Nicholas (1/3, BB) each singled once and walked once in four trips.

    Left fielder Chris Grayson, who went 0-for-4 with three punchouts, is now just 6-for-45 (.133) in his first 13 Carolina League games.

    Right-hander Randy Henry suffered the loss while making his first relief appearance since June.

    Entering the 2012 campaign, Henry's career-high innings was 52.2––last season in the Orioles' organization. He's now at 83.1 innings and has shown signs of fatigue in recent outings.

    Henry is likely back in the bullpen due to his innings total. He gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning on Friday.

    Relievers Daniel Lopez (1.1 IP) and Phil Klein (2 IP) kept the Mudcats off the scoreboard through the final 3.1 frames. Lopez was making his High-A debut while Klein retired all six batters he faced––striking out two––in his second game with the Pelicans.

    Player of the Game: RHP Kyle DeVore
    5.0 6 2 2 0 3 1 3.69

    A: Hickory 6 – Savannah 0
    W - Martinez (7-6)
    SV - Schwendel (1)
    29-25, 1.5 GB

    Crawdads pitchers Nick Martinez and Paul Schwendel combined on a four-hit shutout of the Sand Gnats on Friday evening. The shutout was Hickory's seventh of the season and their third within the last eight days.

    Martinez (4.47 ERA/.264 BAA) hurled his second consecutive start of six-inning, two-hit shutout ball. He walked one and struck out four.

    While the 22-year-old Fordham product was primarily an infielder––and occasionally a reliever––in college, the Rangers drafted him as a pitcher last summer. He turned in strong results between the two short-season levels in 2011.

    Currently in his first full season on the mound, Martinez hasn't been without his ups and downs this year. But he has pitched well overall––102.2 ip, 105 h, 51 er (4.47 ERA), 31 bb, 95 k. The 6-foot-1 righty shows solid stuff with a feel for pitching.

    Schwendel (1.56 ERA/.210 BAA) is another prospect with an intriguing background. Listed at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, the right-hander is a product of Division III Emory University.

    The Rangers selected Schwendel, a fifth-year senior, with their 40th-round pick in this year's draft. He was the third-to-last player taken in the entire draft.

    But the 23-year-old has quickly established himself as an arm worth watching. On Friday, he finished the game by allowing two singles in three scoreless innings, striking out five. He didn't walk a batter.

    After striking out 19 batters (with two walks) in 12 rookie ball innings, Schwendel has continued to pitch well with Hickory––17.1 ip, 13 h, 3 er, 7 bb, 21 k. His stuff has also been solid. The Georgia native is attacking hitters with a heavy 92-94 mph sinker that reaches 95 and an upper-70s, low-80s slider. The sinker has helped him induce more than two groundouts per airout thus far.

    At the plate, leadoff hitter and shortstop Luis Sardinas (.292/.345/.351) went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and two RBI. He's now hitting .341/.370/.457 in 33 games since the All-Star break.

    Centerfielder Zach Cone was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. DH Kellin Deglan added a single and a two-bagger in four at-bats.

    After hitting .209/.290/.385 in the first half, Deglan has posted a respectable .250/.324/.523 slash line in 38 second-half games.

    Player of the Game: RHP Nick Martinez
    6.0 2 0 0 1 4 0 4.47

    SSA: Spokane 1 – (@) Yakima 6
    L - Edwards (1-2)
    9-15, 7.0 GB

    Having dropped six of their last seven games, the Indians are now seven games out of first place (with 14 remaining) and quickly falling out of postseason contention.

    Spokane fell into an early hole when starter C.J. Edwards (2.75 ERA/.189 BAA) gave up four runs in four innings pitched. The 20-year-old righty allowed a career-high seven hits while walking two and striking out four.

    The offense scored a run in the first inning and scattered seven singles through the nine innings.

    Second baseman Ryan Rua and right fielder Preston Beck both had two hits in four at-bats.

    Slugging third baseman Joey Gallo, playing in his second Northwest League game, took the golden sombrero by whiffing in all four of his plate appearances. He's 0-for-7 with a walk and six K's through two games.

    Royce Bolinger (1/4) drove home the Indians' lone run while Chris Garia (0/2, 2 BB) walked twice and stole his 13th base.

    Venezuelan right-hander and former Little League World Series standout Richard Alvarez, who has pitched exceedingly well of late, permitted two runs on five hits in two innings.

    Ryan Harvey finished the game with two scoreless frames, pitching around two singles and a walk.

    Player of the Game: RF Preston Beck
    4 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 .233

    RK: Surprise Rangers 9 – (@) Peoria Padres 0
    W - Leclerc (2-1)
    28-18, 2.0 GU

    A trio of Rookie Rangers pitchers combined on their third shutout of the summer, helping extend the club's division lead over the AZL Mariners to two games.

    Dominican right-hander Anyelo Leclerc (3.26 ERA/.285 BAA) began the game with 5.2 innings of four-hit shutout ball. He struck out a season-high seven batters without issuing a walk.

    Sidearming southpaw Alexander Claudio (2.17 ERA/.261 BAA) followed with 2.1 scoreless frames, yielding one hit and fanning three.

    Perhaps the most interesting nugget from Friday's game was the 2012 debut of right-handed pitcher Matt Thompson, who worked the ninth inning.

    Thompson walked the leadoff hitter on four consecutive pitches (all fastballs) before getting two strikeouts (both on curveballs) and a groundout to finish the contest.

    After the 2010 season, Thompson was regarded as one of the Rangers organization's more intriguing pitching prospects due to his strike-throwing ability with a low-90s fastball and plus curveball.

    But after walking only 23 batters in 129.1 innings two seasons ago, Thompson issued 80 walks in 88.1 innings last year. The control issues––more mental than anything––remained throughout last season and have extended into this year.

    The 22-year-old's curveball remained a solid pitch last season when he still racked up 96 strikeouts in those 88.1 frames. But he wasn't able to locate his fastball.

    Thompson has been at the Rangers' complex in Arizona since the beginning of spring training, throwing on the side in an effort to regain his fastball control.

    Not to be overlooked, the Surprise Rangers' talented offense pounded out nine runs on 12 hits.

    Leadoff hitter Lewis Brinson (.300/.357/.530) went 3-for-5 with a double (his 20th), two RBI, and his 12th stolen base in 13 attempts. Nick Williams added a single, a double, and a steal in four trips. He also stole a base.

    Luis Marte (1/4, 3B) hit his second triple while Nomar Mazara (2/5) singled twice. Ronald Guzman went 0-for-3 but brought home a pair of runs with two sacrifice flies.

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

    DSL: DSL Rangers 3 – (@) DSL Red Sox 5
    L - Fandino (0-2)
    HR - Urias (1)
    39-26, 1.0 GB

    The Dominican Rangers dropped an important game to the DSL Red Sox on Friday. With only seven regular-season games remaining, four teams––the Rangers, Red Sox, Mets2, and Pirates1––are within ??? games of first place.

    The Rangers and Red Sox scored all eight runs within the first three innings on Friday.

    Rangers starting pitcher Richelson Pena (3.99 ERA/.209 BAA) lasted only 1.1 innings, as he yielded three runs on three hits and three walks. Jesus Fandino, who suffered the loss, allowed two runs (one earned) in 3.2 innings.

    DSL All-Star pitcher Jose Leclerc (1.69 ERA/.184 BAA) kept the club within striking distance by tossing three innings of hitless, scoreless relief. He walked three and fanned three.

    The 18-year-old Leclerc has pitched well in 17 games this summer––42.2 ip, 28 h, 8 er, 18 bb, 36 k. His brother, Anyelo, pitches for the Rangers' rookie club in Arizona.

    The Rangers' offense stranded 14 runners on base for the game, and they weren't without their chances in the ninth inning. Although a leadoff walk was erased by a double play, the club loaded the bases with two outs before Anderson Jesus struck out swinging to end the game.

    Mexico native Ramon Urias (.253/.330/.335) went 2-for-3 with his first professional home run and a walk. The round-tripper was the Dominican Rangers' fifth as a team in 65 games this summer.

    Left fielder Alex Gonzalez (2/3, 2B, BB) singled, doubled, and walked while right fielder Eduard Pinto (2/4, BB) had two singles and a walk.

    Pinto, who stole his seventh base, tops the Dominican Summer League with his .388 batting average. He's also drawn 28 walks and fanned just 12 times in 51 contests.

    Talented centerfielder Jose Cardona went 1-for-3 with two walks and his eighth steal. The switch-hitting 18-year-old is batting .388/.481/.488 as a right-handed hitter this year but just .216/.340/.284 from the left side.

    Player of the Game: 3B Ramon Urias
    3 2 2 0 1 1 1 0 .253

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