Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 6 July
AAA: Nashville 3, at Omaha (KAN) 11
Record: 38-50, 12.5 GB
SP Tim Dillard: 6 IP, 13 H, 10 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 5.78 ERA
LF Scott Heineman: 3-3, HR (3), walk
Tim Dillard threw 42 pitches and gave up eight runs in the 1st. Then he came back out and threw five more innings (which were pretty good!). Dillard has allowed 21 earned runs in his last two starts, and in both cases, I think every other pitcher in the organization would have been pulled earlier. Not that I know the guy, but he seems to have the temperament (and certainly the arm) to handle such situations. It's strange to see, though.
Scott Heineman (.369/.456/.631) continues to make up for time lost. Barring injury to someone on the 25-man roster, it's hard to see how he'd fashion a role in Arlington, but at least he's letting the decision-makers know he's available.
AA: Frisco 0, at Amarillo (SDG) 5
Record: 5-10, 4 GB, 38-46 overall
SP Brock Burke: 6 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 2 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 4.18 ERA
RP Joe Barlow: 1 IP, 0 R, 3 SO, 1.38 ERA
I saw one inning of Brock Burke's outing, in which he walked three but avoided any runs. Later, his one other walk and a Buddy Reed homer put two on the board.
Joe Barlow's last 12 batters: one single, 11 strikeouts. He's also fanned at least two batters in seven straight outings, and his K rate for the season is an astronomical 48%, slightly higher than Demarcus Evans' 47% from last year.
High-A: Down East 6, at Salem (BOS) 2 (10)
Record: 9-8, tied for 1st, 59-28 overall
SP Collin Wiles: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 3.77 ERA
RP Scott Williams: 1 IP, 0 R, 0.00 ERA
RP Joe Kuzia: 1 IP, 0 R, 2 SO, 0.61 ERA
3B Diosbel Arias: 2-4, triple, walk
Down a run in the 9th, Down East tied the game on four walks, the last by pinch-hitter Yohel Pozo. DIosbel Arias hit a bases-loaded triple in the 10th.
The Woodies have already equaled last year's win total. I'm confident they'll surpass it at some point during the remaining 53 games.
Low-A: at Hickory 7, Columbia (NYM) 6
Record: 11-6, 2 GB, 52-31 overall
SP Ronny Henriquez: 1.2 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 5 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 4.37 ERA
RP Nick Snyder: 3.1 IP, 0 R, 1 SO, 4.11 ERA
2B Jax Biggers: 2-3, double, 2 walks
1B Tyreque Reed: 3-3, HR (4), walk
RF Pedro Gonzalez: 2-4, double
Tyreque Reed capped a four-run 9th with a game-ending solo homer. Kole Enright had just singled in two to tie the game but was thrown out stretching for second. Jax Biggers doubled in the first run.
Reed is hitting .326/.467/.630 in 15 games with Hickory. Preferably, Curtis Terry can start 2020 in Frisco, allowing Reed to return to Down East. Having them on the same team is problematic, and if Sam Huff is around it's even worse, as there wouldn't be nearly enough DH at-bats to share. They all need to play.
Ronny Henriquez had to call it a day after three extra-base hits and two walks in the 2nd. His ERA isn't anything special, but it's still a promising campaign for the 19-year-old.
Short-A: Spokane at Hillsboro, July 4-6
3-2 win, 9-0 win, 7-3 win
Record: 13-10, + 2 G
SP1 Ben Anderson: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 3.86 ERA
SP2 Ricky Vanasco: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 SO, 1.83 ERA
SP3 Ryan Garcia: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Teodoro Ortega: 5.0 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 1.59 ERA
RP Theo McDowell: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 SO, 5.00 ERA
RP Jeifry Nunez: 2.1 IP, 1 H (1 HR), 1 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 3.07 ERA
RP Nic Laio: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.93 ERA
Cristian Inoa: 4-9, 2 doubles, 3 walks, .227/.330/.307
Blaine Crim: 4-14, double, triple, HR (1), walk, .292/.300/.438
Kenen Irizarry: 4-14, 2 doubles, 2 walks, HBP, .326/.429/.413
Kellen Strahm: 2-9, 2 walks, .292/.352/.313
Games in Hillsboro are on MiLB.tv, so I was able to get looks at Ricky Vanasco, Ryan Garcia and others. Vanasco didn't look the part early, as his first five batters included four full counts, two walks, two wild pitches and a worrying 33 pitches. Then he flipped a switch and retired 15 of 16, eight via strikeout. The one who reached hit a weak chopper that deflected off the top of Vanasco's glove, breaking up a no-hitter in the 5th. Vanasco's fastball was on the straighter side but he spotted it very well once he got control of it. The curve had impressive depth, capable of getting both called strikes and ugly swings.
Garcia, Texas's 2019 2nd-rounder, made his Spokane debut. After a couple of slower offerings, Garcia's fastball mostly ran 91-92. He had trouble throwing strikes early but those that caught the plate were located well. His slider was largely ineffective. He introduced a curve and change in his second inning, the latter of which ducked under a bat for a swinging strike. Nobody came close to a hard-hit ball. Loose-limbed, lively-armed 19-year-old Teodoro Ortega followed Garcia with five strong innings. He's looks larger than his listed 145 pounds, but he's still a string bean.
19th-round 1B Blaine Crim curled his first professional homer just inside the foul pole. He didn't hit it fully flush and paused at second, thinking perhaps the ball had bounced over the fence. In the coming years, the ball will gain in distance and majesty as the story is retold. Young Kenen Irizarry continues to lead the team in OBP. Irizarry played sparingly in rookie ball last year after being drafted in the 13th round, but he showed an aptitude for getting on base.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Baseball America listed Joey Gallo and MLB's #4 prospect, and catcher Jorge Alfaro was 46th. Top 2014 pick Luis Ortiz threw a scoreless inning in his pro debut. Ortiz is scuffling in AAA Norfolk (6.38 ERA) but did get a spot-start for Baltimore last month.
AAA: Esmerling Vasquez
High-A: Alex Eubanks
Low-A: Cole Winn
Short-A: Joshua Javier