Lone Star Dugout Q&A: Jayce Tingler (Part 2)

The Texas Rangers recently wrapped up another Fall Instructional League, and Lone Star Dugout caught up with Dominican Summer League and instructs manager Jayce Tingler for a two-part Q&A session.

Cole: I saw Emmanuel Solis throw a couple of bullpen sessions when I was out there this year. Is he a full-time pitcher now?

Tingler: I don't know. That'll be a decision for Scott [Servais] and Danny Clark and the guys up top. I think they were just wanting to take a look at it and see what it looks like. He does have a big arm at third–will that translate to the mound? I'm guessing he'll go down to the Dominican and tinker with it here or there and see where it goes.

Cole: He didn't pitch in any games at all before instructs ended, did he?

Tingler: No, that was the first time that he had been on the mound. It was just bullpen work. I think they were going to try to run him out there the last game or so, but the last game got cancelled.

Cole: I was really impressed by Teodoro Martinez out there. It looked like he was a guy that had really good bat control. Can you talk about him a bit?

Tingler: Yeah, Cafe was our leadoff hitter in the Dominican. Kind of our emotional leader, if you will. He plays with a lot of energy. I think he came over here and the first couple of days, he may have been a little intimidated by playing in the new environment and seeing bigger, physical, stronger kids.

But I was really happy the way he played the last half of the instructs. He started playing like himself–kind of a high-energy guy. A lot of it is going to depend on how much he grows. He's got the potential to be 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5 height-wise. As that comes, hopefully the muscles come. Hopefully the speed continues to pick up. And hopefully he continues to play hard every day.

Cole: His dad, Carlos Martinez, played in the Majors from the late-80s to mid-90s. He was listed at 6-foot-5, 175-pounds. I assume that's one of the reasons you expect Teodoro–who is 6-foot-0–will still do some growing?

Tingler: Just on the genetics. The mom is tall–she's 5-foot-11. The brother is with the White Sox. He's two years older, and he is 6-foot-6. They come from a big family. I don't know if Cafe will get to 6-foot-6. I think we're all hoping he gets in that 6-foot-2, 6-foot-3 range. He has really grown within the last year. I believe, when we signed him, he was 5-foot-8 or maybe 5-foot-9. He's 6-foot-0 now.

Cole: Given that he's had the experience of having an older brother in pro ball and a Major League dad, do you notice a difference in the way he carries himself versus the other young Latin players?

Tingler: That's a good question. Maybe we just had a good group this year–we had a young group this year with that team, too. They were all first-year guys for the most part. And they all carried themselves like they belong–like they're baseball players. That could've been part that Cafe has that little swagger to him. The kids may feed off of that a little bit.

But for the most part, I think most of them put in a lot of time down there and they work hard. They came over and I didn't really see any of them intimidated or anything like that, which was good to see. Especially when you're going against guys who are four or five years older.

Cole: Is there an update on the Miguel De Los Santos situation?

Tingler: I have not heard anything, but I would say by this point that he is good to go. But I have not heard anything.

Cole: Since you did get to manage the instructs team, were there any players that you were particularly impressed with or that really jumped out to you?

Tingler: I was really impressed with the athletic ability of the young group that we had. That's not just the Latin kids. Guys that stood out–I was impressed with Braxton Lane's athletic ability. Those guys–Ruben Sierra. We got some bats that are coming around.

Vin DiFazio behind the plate, for me, showed some leadership skills and swung the bat well. Tom Mendonca at third–the pop off his bat. I think, from both sides of the amateur draft and the Latin side, I think the scouts and overall up top are doing a pretty good job of getting good, athletic players with good ceilings underneath them.

Cole: I know Sierra either won or was very close to winning the hitters' points system, which is intriguing after he struggled in the AZL. I know he looked much-improved when I was out there. Can you talk about the development that he made from the start of instructs to the end?

Tingler: The first day I saw him, he had a huge, huge leg kick. The swing was a little long. I think the hitting coaches really did a good job of controlling the leg kick–not taking it away from him, but controlling it so his head is still and he was able to be more athletic. He was seeing the ball a lot better at the plate.

Cole: Do you think one of the main issues there was basically his timing?

Tingler: Yeah. I think it's timing. I think it's very tough–he's a high school kid coming out of Puerto Rico. It's tough. You come out and you've been hitting with an aluminum bat. Now you show up into pro ball and you're facing some young college players, some top high school draft picks–guys with live arms. And you're having to figure it out with a wood bat with no much of a break between either your college season or high school season. You're just thrown into the fire.

It's tough, especially with young hitters. They're so result-oriented that when they're not getting their hits, they start to panic and they go back into comfort mode and stuff like that. But I think Ruben was able to take a step back. It was very clear what he was there to work on on the offensive side, and the results didn't matter. He was able to just take his approach and what happened was he was seeing the ball well and the hits came because he was able to make those adjustments without putting pressure on himself. That's what's so great about instructs.

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