Rangers Minor League Roundup – 4/4

Opening day was a rainy day throughout much of the United States, as three of the Texas Rangers' four full-season affiliates were washed out on Thursday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 3 – Omaha 1
W - Tepesch (1-0)
SV - Meek (1)
1-0, 0.0 GU

Rangers fifth starter-to-be Nick Tepesch made his lone minor league tuneup in Thursday's season opener. The outing was also Tepesch's Triple-A debut, as he split the 2012 campaign between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco.

The 24-year-old righty pitched well in the start, tossing five innings and yielding just an unearned run. He scattered five hits (all singles) and fanned five without issuing a walk. Tepesch pounded the zone, throwing 56 of his 77 pitches for a strike and inducing seven groundouts to three flyouts.

According to the Newberg Report's Scott Lucas, who was in attendance at the game, Tepesch flashed 88-92 mph velocity to go along with his typical slider/curveball/changeup mix.

The off days on the Rangers' early-season big league schedule led to Tepesch making one minor league start before earning the call. He'll likely make his debut in Arlington on April 9 against Tampa Bay.

Omaha starter Will Smith suffered the loss despite striking out 11 Round Rock hitters in five innings on the chilly night at Dell Diamond.

Rangers top prospect Jurickson Profar performed well in his Triple-A debut, going 2-for-3 (both singles) with a walk and a stolen base. He committed a throwing error at shortstop.

Leadoff man and centerfielder Engel Beltre, also making his Triple-A debut, singled twice in four at-bats. He stole a base and was caught stealing.

Third baseman Mike Olt (1/4, 2B) doubled once, struck out twice, and committed a throwing error of his own. Joey Butler (1/3, BB) and Yangervis Solarte (1/4) singled for the club's only other knocks.

It was a rough day at the plate for slugging first baseman Chris McGuiness, who makes his return to the Rangers' organization after failing to make the Indians' big-league roster as a Rule 5 Draft pick. McGuiness whiffed in all four of his plate appearances on Thursday.

After Tepesch exited the game, righty reliever Josh Lindblom hurled three innings of one-hit shutout ball, throwing 36 pitches. He walked one and struck out four. Veteran right-hander Evan Meek closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, working around a hit and striking out one.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Tepesch
5.0 5 1 0 0 5 0 0.00

AA: Frisco – (@) Arkansas – PPD (Rain)
0-0, 0.5 GB

The RoughRiders and Travelers were washed out on Thursday. They'll open the season with a doubleheader on Friday, beginning at 6:10 p.m. Central. Cody Buckel will take the mound in the opener, and he'll be followed by lefty Ryan Feierabend.

A+: Myrtle Beach – Wilmington – PPD (Rain)
0-0, 0.0 GU

The Carolina League's entire Northern Division was wiped out by rain on Thursday evening. Myrtle Beach's game with Wilmington will be made up when the Blue Rocks come to town in late May.

A: Hickory – Greensboro – PPD (Rain)
0-0, 0.5 GB

Like the Rangers' Double- and High-A affiliates, the Crawdads were also rained out on Thursday. Hickory will open the season against Greensboro on Friday, and they'll play a doubleheader on Saturday.

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