Texas Rangers: Blake Beavan
Harrison (17-9, 3.26 ERA): The 27-year-old lefty will make his 30th start of the season and hopes to become the Rangers’ first 18-game winner since Kenny Rogers in 2004. ... Will face a Seattle team that he’s had success against, both this season and in years past. This will be the second time he faces Seattle in the last week; the southpaw picked up his 17th win in a 2-1 victory Sunday, going 8 2/3 innings and giving up just one run. He was pulled with two outs in the ninth and runners on first and third. … Threw a five-hit shutout at Safeco Field on July 15 and has won nine straight starts against the Mariners, which ties for the second-longest win streak against an opponent in Rangers history. ... Overall, he’s 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA in four career starts against the M’s. … Tied for third in the American League with 17 wins, behind David Price (18) and Jered Weaver (18). He also ranks seventh in ERA.
Beavan (9-10, 4.88 ERA): The 23-year-old right-hander will make his 24th start against the team that drafted him. Beavan, who the Rangers’ first-round draft pick in 2007, arrived in Seattle via the Cliff Lee trade in 2010. … The Irving, Texas, native was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma in mid-June and is 6-4 with a 3.97 ERA since he returned to Seattle mid-July. … Lost for the 10th time this season Sunday against Texas, giving up two runs in seven innings. … Is 2-3 with a 2.91 ERA all-time against Texas with 13 strikeouts in five starts.
Hitters: Adrian Beltre, who is scheduled to play Saturday, is batting .429 (6-for-14) with a home run and an .857 slugging percentage against Beavan. David Murphy is 6-for-15 with two RBI. Mitch Moreland has a home run and four RBI off the Seattle righty but is hitting just .154. ... Mariners centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez is 7-for-21 lifetime against Harrison. ... Brendan Ryan, who is hitting just .191 this season, is 4-for-13 lifetime against the lefty with two doubles and a triple. ... Miguel Olivo, meanwhile, hasn't had much success. He's 1-for-21 with eight strikeouts. Don't be surprised if John Jaso gets the start from behind the plate.
Sun. at SEA: Ryan Dempster (11-7, 3.08 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (14-10, 3.92 ERA), 3:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/FSSW
Mon. vs. OAK: Derek Holland (11-6, 4.42 ERA) vs. TBA. 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.
Only the Springfield Cardinals had more players (five) named to the team.
Loux, 23, is the second RoughRider to be named Pitcher of the Year, joining Blake Beavan in 2010. In 24 starts, Loux is 14-1 with a 3.50 ERA. He leads the Texas League in wins and is tied for second most victories in all of minor league baseball.
He suffered his only loss on June 22 against Corpus Christi, his first defeat in 11 months (when he was pitching for Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League). Loux is first in winning percentage (.933) and fourth in fewest baserunners/9 IP (11.50).
A former first-round pick out of Texas A&M by the Diamondbacks (sixth overall in 2010), Loux was granted free agency after Arizona failed to sign him. The Rangers signed the Houston native as a free agent on November 22, 2010.
Beltre, 22, has been Frisco’s regular center fielder and leadoff batter for most of the season. Through 127 games he is batting .262 with 16 doubles and career highs in home runs (16), triples (17), RBIs (54) and steals (36).
Olt, 24, played in 95 games for Frisco before being promoted to the Rangers on Aug. 2. With the Riders, Olt hit .288 with 28 home runs, 17 doubles, one triple and 82 RBIs. At the time of his promotion, he was leading all Double-A players in OPS (.877) and was tied for the second most home runs in all of the minors.
Profar, 19, was also named a Midseason Texas League All-Star. Through 123 games, the switch-hitter is batting .280 with 14 home runs, 26 doubles, seven triples and 62 RBIs. He is tied for fourth in the league in triples and is fifth in total bases (216). The youngest player in all of Double-A, he played against Olt in the Futures Game as the starting shortstop for the World Team.
Springfield outfielder Oscar Taveras is the Texas League Player of the Year, while Corpus Christi's Keith Bodie was honored as the Manager of the Year.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The final game of this three-game series features left-handed pitcher Derek Holland and right-hander Blake Beavan at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. A quick look at the matchup:
Holland (4-3, 4.05 ERA): He has quality starts in three of his last four outings, going 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA in those four starts. ... He gave up two runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings pitched with nine strikeouts and one walk in a win over Toronto last week. ... Holland had six runs of support in the first inning and made it hold up. ... He is 6-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 11 games (seven starts) against Seattle in his career, including 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA in those seven starts. ... Since the start of 2011, Holland is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in five games (all starts) vs. Seattle, including a five-hit, complete-game shutout on July 14, 2011 in Seattle.
Beavan (2-4, 4.38 ERA): The 23-year-old former Ranger first-round draft choice (2007) will make his 10th start of the season after getting a no-decision May 25 agianst the Angels. ... Beavan allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings as the team lost, 3-0. ... He's 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA in his last five starts. ... Beavan is 1-2 with a 1.71 ERA with nine strikeouts in three starts against the Rangers. That includes a 5-3 loss in Seattle to the Rangers in April in which he allowed four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk in 6 2/3 innings.
Hitters: Current Rangers are hitting just .200 against Beavan. ... Elvis Andrus (2-for-9), Adrian Beltre (3-for-8, two doubles), and David Murphy (4-for-9, two doubles) are the only three with multiple hits. ... Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young are a combined 2-for-26. ... Chone Figgins is 6-for-20 off Holland, the best average of anyone on the Mariners with more than 10 at-bats against him. ... Brendan Ryan is 1-for-9.
Thu.: Off day
Fri. at LAA: RHP Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.58) vs. RHP Jerome Williams (5-2, 3.81), 9:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3/1540/Ch. 21
Sat. at LAA: RHP Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.25) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.77), 9:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3/1540/FSSW
It has nothing to do with the contusion he suffered on the left side of his head. Napoli said his head is sore and he passed a concussion test. Manager Ron Washington said it was just Yorvit Torrealba's time to catch. Washington said Napoli is available to play, if necessary.
"Everything is good, just a little soreness," Napoli said. "I guess it's a contusion, a little sore. I'm good."
Napoli said he didn't think Beavan tried to hit him intentionally. But when he got up after getting beaned, he was a upset.
"You get hit in the head you're going to be happy about it?" Napoli said. "Yeah, I was pissed off. Hey, it's part of the game and I'm glad I'm alright."
Napoli said he was also sore from catching Yu Darvish's first start. So after Tuesday night's game, Napoli got in the ice tub.
"I'm fine. That's probably the grind of catching," said Napoli, who has one hit in 10 at-bats this season. "I signed up for it. I enjoy it. [It's] bumps and bruises. You're going to have them during the year."
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It won’t generate nearly as much hype as Yu Darvish’s debut, but a matchup pitting the Rangers’ closer-turned-starter against a high-profile former Texas farmhand is still pretty intriguing. A look at the matchup that will air at 7:05 p.m. on FSSW:
Neftali Feliz (0-0, 0.00 ERA): This will be the first major league start for Feliz, who recorded 72 saves as the Rangers’ closer the last two seasons but blew a save opportunity in Game 6 of the World Series that would have clinched the championship. … Feliz couldn’t ask for a better foe to make his first start against. He has not allowed a hit or run in 16 career innings against the Mariners, going 2-0 with nine saves, 21 strikeouts and only four walks allowed. … Feliz came up in the minor leagues as a starter, but his last start in a game that counted was June 21, 2009, in Triple-A. … Went 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in four Cactus League starts this spring.
Blake Beavan (0-0, 0.00 ERA): The former Texas first-round pick, who was sent to Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal, is making his Rangers Ballpark in Arlington debut. … Beavan, a 23-year-old Irving High product, broke into the big leagues last season. He was 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA in 15 starts. He made 11 quality starts, including six in a row after being called up from Triple-A Tacoma. … He allowed only 1.39 walks per nine innings, the lowest single-season mark in Mariners history. … Beavan is 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA against the Rangers. He gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings in a 3-1 loss on July 17. He shut out the Rangers for eight innings in a 4-0 win on Sept. 16.
Hitters: No Ranger has more than one hit or six at-bats against Beavan. Mitch Moreland is 1-for-6 with a three-run homer, the only homer a Ranger has hit off of Beavan. He is also the only Ranger with an RBI against Beavan. … The Seattle roster is a combined 0-for-28 with 13 strikeouts against Feliz. Ichiro Suzuki (0-for-4 with one K) has the most at-bats against him of any Mariner.
Tuesday vs. SEA (7:05 p.m., FSSW): RHP Neftali Feliz vs. RHP Blake Beavan
Wednesday vs. SEA (7:05 p.m., FSSW): RHP Colby Lewis (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. RHP Kevin Millwood
Thursday vs. SEA (1:05 p.m., FSSW): LHP Derek Holland (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (1-0, 2.31 ERA)
NOTE: Games are on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM (or KSKY 660 AM when the Mavericks are playing), and we will be chatting live on ESPNDallas.com as well.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- There was a time, not too long ago, that former Rangers first-round pick and Irving native Blake Beavan was convinced that he could pitch just as well as anyone in the Texas rotation. Beavan, taken 17th overall in 2007, was brash and confident.
But bus rides and minor league struggles will humble you. And to Beavan's credit, he's focused on getting better.
"It will be a good experience to get to pitch here," Beavan said. "It will be nice to be at the Ballpark in Arlington and be on the mound and not in the stands."
Beavan thought he'd be making that start in a Rangers uniform.
"That was the plan, but everything happens for a reason," Beavan said. "Seattle gave me that opportunity to come up to the big leagues and get that experience. Now I get to pitch against the Rangers at their home ballpark... should be fun."
Beavan made two starts against the Rangers last season, both at Safeco Field, and was 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA. In fact, all four runs he gave up were in one inning. He threw eight shutout innings in a 4-0 win over Texas on Sept. 16.
Beavan said the chance to make 11 starts in the big leagues in 2011 helped his learning curve tremendously.
"I feel like I've learned a lot. I feel like I need to do a lot more, just for me," he said. "I put a lot of pressure on myself to get better and try to watch guys and pick peoples' brains and watch how guys go about their business and try to fine-tune myself and get to where I want to be some day. I'm trying to learn and figure things out."
Weather permitting, the Rangers expect starter Neftali Feliz to pitch a simulated game, 60-65 pitches, at the Ranger Ballpark this morning. The session should end around 9:30 a.m., and then Feliz will join his teammates at a banquet.
Feliz is scheduled to pitch Tuesday vs. Seattle.
Manager Ron Washington said the young starter's simulated game should be the finishing touches to make sure he's ready for the 2012 season.
"Yes because last time he did close to 90 [pitches] and we got him where we wanted to get him," said Washington, alluding to Feliz's last start of the spring. "I think he did a good job of making adjustments. He's coming along. The first inning, last time out, he had out there was rough. He got out of it with minimal damage, and then the next three innings he [looked] pretty good using his stuff."
Here's the rotation to start the season, with the opposing pitcher:
Friday-Saturday, Rangers vs. White Sox
- Friday: Colby Lewis vs. John Danks
- Saturday: Derek Holland vs. Jake Peavy
- Sunday: Matt Harrison vs. Gavin Floyd
* The Rangers were shut out for the first time since Aug. 25 in Boston. It was the eighth time this season. Much of the credit for that should go to former Ranger Beavan (traded as part of the Cliff Lee deal last year). Beavan, who went to Irving High School, was excellent on Friday. He kept the ball down, used his off-speed and breaking stuff effectively and the Rangers managed just two hits. His slider was effective and he got ahead of hitters. He threw 95 pitches (64 strikes).
* Wilson's scoreless streak stopped at 19 when an errant throw by Ian Kinsler, a wild pitch and a single right off the second base bag helped the Mariners score three runs in the third. (They also had another infield hit and a hit by pitch.) All three runs were scored with two outs and Wilson threw 41 pitches in the inning. He threw 18 of those after Kinsler's error. That made all three runs unearned. Wilson was unlucky the inning didn't end sooner and without all that damage.
* That was only the fourth error by Kinsler in his last 75 games and his 11th of the season.
* The Rangers best chance came in the sixth after singles from speedsters Kinsler and Endy Chavez. Elvis Andrus came up with runners at first and second and no outs in the sixth and Texas down 3-0. He made two attempts to get a bunt down to move the runners up. The first was popped up behind the plate and out of the catcher's reach. The second was foul down the third-base line. He then hit into a 6-4-3 double play that killed any chance of a rally. Josh Hamilton then popped up to end the inning.
* With one on and one out in the second, Wilson induced a double play to short off the bat of Kyle Seager. It was the 30th double play that Wilson has induced, tops in the majors. That also ties a club record (Rick Honeycutt, Kevin Brown). Matt Harrison, who pitches Sunday, has induced 29. Wilson actually tried to glove the ball and missed. It went straight to Elvis Andrus, who stepped on second and threw to first.
* Wilson gave up a home run to No. 9 hitter Casper Wells in the seventh. That earned run (his only one of the game) ended a streak of 23 innings without allowing an earned run. Wilson lowered his ERA from 3.01 to 2.97 after allowing four runs, but just one earned, on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
* Mitch Moreland struck out in the second. It was his 24th strikeout in his last 69 at-bats. Moreland was hitting just .162 in his last 19 games coming into Friday's contest.
* Andrus singled to lead off the fourth (he was stranded at second). That pushed Andrus' hitting streak to 10 games. He is batting 13-for-40 (.325) in that span.
* Adrian Beltre's hitting streak ended at 19 games after he went 0-for-3 on Friday. It was the longest active streak in the majors and was a career-high for Beltre.It was tied for the third-longest streak in the majors behind Seattle's Mike Carp (20 games from July 30 to August 21) and Boston's Dustin Pedrioa (25 games from June 29-July 28).
* Josh Hamilton made a couple of nice plays in left field, diving to catch a ball in the third and then sliding to make a tough catch near the line to end the eighth.
* Mark Lowe and Scott Feldman pitched in relief and retired all five hitters they faced.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers send left-handed ace C.J. Wilson to the mound in the opener of a three-game road series against the Seattle Mariners at 9:10 p.m. Friday at Safeco Field. Right-hander Blake Beavan, a former Rangers farmhand and a graduate of Irving High, will oppose. Here’s a look at the matchup:
Wilson (16-6, 3.01 ERA): The 30-year-old from Newport Beach, Calif., named the AL player of the week on Monday, is scheduled to make his 32nd start of the season pitching on regular four days rest…Wilson has not allowed a run in his last two starts covering 17 innings and has won six of his last seven starts…In his most recent start Sunday, Wilson limited Oakland to five hits and one walk while striking out 11 in eight innings of an 8-1 victory…In a prior start at Tampa Bay, Wilson struck out six, allowed five hits and three walks in a complete-game 8-0 triumph…It will be Wilson‘s fourth start against Seattle this season…Against the Mariners, Wilson is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA…In 23 innings against the Mariners, Wilson has recorded 21 strikeouts while allowing 17 hits and six walks…Two of his wins over Seattle have been at Safeco Field, where his ERA this season is 1.13...He will be attempting to go 4-0 in September. Wilson has already matched his best monthly win total of the season with three.
Beavan (4-5, 4.32 ERA): The 6-7, 240-pound 22-year-old, a first-round choice (17th overall pick) of the Rangers in the 2007 amateur draft, is scheduled to make his 13th start of the season on seven days rest…He snapped a personal three-game losing streak in his last start, a 7-3 win over Kansas City…In that game, he allowed nine hits and three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings to win for the first time in more than a month…Beavan lost a previous start against the Rangers on July 17 at Safeco, allowing six hits and three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings…Mitch Moreland’s three-run home run in the second inning that traveled an estimated 429 feet accounted for all the scoring for Texas that day. It spoiled Beavan’s third major league start…He made his major league debut two weeks earlier…Beavan has allowed nine home runs in 45 innings at Safeco this season, where he is 3-3 with a 4.80 ERA…Left-handed hitters have feasted on Beavan, batting .327 with 17 doubles and eight home runs.
Hitters:Adrian Beltre (double) and Mike Napoli were 1-for-2 against Beavan. Josh Hamilton was 1-for-3 with a double and Mitch Moreland was 1-for-3 with the decisive home run...Seattle’s Franklin Gutierrez is hitting .375 (6-for-16) against Wilson with a home run and five RBIs while Adam Kennedy is 3-for-9...Wilson has contained Ichiro Suzuki to a .225 career average (9-for-40) with just one RBI.
Harrison (7-7, 3.04 ERA): He has a quality start in five of his last six outings, including his last one. ...Harrison gave up no runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings last weekend in Arlington against the A's. ...In his last six starts, Harrison is 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA. The Rangers have won four of those starts. He's pitched at least six innings in all of them. ...This is his first start against the Mariners this season. ...Harrison is 2-1 with a 3.19 ERA in nine career games (five starts) against Seattle.
Beavan (1-0, 2.03 ERA): The former Rangers prospect was traded to the Mariners more than a year ago as part of the Cliff Lee deal and is now in the majors as part of Seattle's rotation. ...The Irving native has had two starts this season and has quality starts in both. ...Beavan's last start was a seven-inning gem against San Diego where he allowed one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a win. ...Opponents are batting just .184 against him. ...Beavan has allowed two homers -- both to the Angels -- in 13 1/3 innings. ...This is the 22-year-old's first start against his former team (drafted 17th overall in 2007 by Texas).
Hitters: Beavan has never faced anyone on the Texas roster. ...Chone Figgins has had the most success of any Mariners batter off Harrison, going 4-for-11 (.364). ...Ichiro Suzuki is batting just .222 (4-for-18) against Harrison.
AP Photo/Ted S. WarrenIrving's Blake Beavan, who was traded by the Rangers to the Mariners in the Cliff Lee deal, has a 2.03 ERA after two major league starts.
A little more than a year after being traded to Seattle as part of the Cliff Lee deal, Beavan is in the big leagues and making his third start of 2011 and first against his former team.
“Some people have told me that I’m almost too calm out there compared to how I used to be or what they saw in high school, that competitiveness, the I-don’t-care, I’m-coming-right-at-you approach. I still have that mentality inside. I’ve controlled it a lot.”
In the process, he’s thrown strikes and developed a good change-up and is gaining some confidence with a curveball, still a new pitch for him. Through two starts in 2011, Beavan is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA and has quality starts in both outings. Beavan admitted he wasn’t thrilled about leaving the Rangers when the trade occurred last year.
“It was hard at first, just knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to make my first start as a Texas Ranger,” Beavan said. “But in the end, your main goal is to pitch in the big leagues and it doesn’t matter where it is. That’s what I went back to my focus on. I got over it pretty fast when I started playing again.”
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels spoke with Beavan briefly on Friday, telling him that he was happy for him and that he was impressed by the 22-year-old’s first two starts. Beavan hopes to continue the trend against Matt Harrison and the Rangers today by staying focused on throwing strikes and avoiding walks.
“I try to tell myself, ‘Don’t get caught up by whose name is on the back of the jersey,’ ” Beavan said. “You see these guys on SportsCenter all the time hitting home runs and leading the league in average and if you think about that out there and get caught up too much in that, you won’t execute pitches.”
Beavan was traded as part of the deal that brought Cliff Lee to Texas. But before he was dealt, Beavan was 10-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 starts for Double-A Frisco. He has 68 strikeouts and 12 walks.
BTW, he was 6-0 with a 2.23 ERA in May, earning Rangers' minor league pitcher of the month honors and he started for the South Division in the Texas League All-Star Game.
Beavan pitched three times for Seattle's Double-A squad before moving up to Triple-A Tacoma, where he's 2-2 with a 6.69 ERA in six starts.
Teagarden, who was a distant fourth in American League voting for the MLB All-Star Game last week, is hitting .264 with two home runs and 16 RBIs over 24 games.
Lawton (.306, four HRs), Butler (.270, six HRs, 28 RBIs) and Osuna (.287) have helped stake the Riders to first place in the South Division. Beavan (8-3, 2.58 ERA) leads the Texas League in wins and was the league's pitcher of the week twice.
The Riders also had five All-Star selections last season. This season's ASG will be played at Citibank Ballpark in Midland on Wed., June 30.
RHP Tanner Scheppers, OKC - Scheppers threw his first three inning game Thursday. It went…let’s just say that it went well - he struck out seven, walked one and didn’t allow a hit, while throwing a season high 55 pitches. The pitch count was a bit high, but he did fight through an error, and when seven of your nine outs come via strikeout, you’re going to throw a few pitches. Scheppers exhibited control issues in his first three games in Triple-A, walking five in six innings. In his last three, spanning seven innings, he has walked two. For the season Scheppers has struck out 41 in 24 innings.
RHP Blake Beavan, Frisco - Beavan dominated his fourth straight Double-A outing Wednesday, completing seven shutout innings and allowing just four hits and no walks, while striking out five. The strikeout totals are still not high (42 on the season), but he has walked just nine all season in 63.1 innings. That ratio of almost five strikeouts per walk paints a picture of an extreme control pitcher who has enough stuff to miss bats - in other words, a legitimate starter. Beavan will pitch this entire season at age 21, and he may need a promotion to Triple-A to be challenged.
OF Engel Beltre, Bakersfield - Beltre is still hitting (.340/.373/.456 for May), but he’s stopped walking again - he last walked on May 9, 19 games ago. He also has just two extra base hits in his last 11 games. Progress has been made here, but this will still be a process for Beltre, improving his approach over time and putting his game together slowly. Fortunately, he is still just 20 and won’t require a first of three options until next season.
LHP Miguel De Los Santos, Hickory - This guy hasn’t received the fanfare that Alexi Ogando and Omar Beltre saw this spring, but he could be just as important. De Los Santos last appeared in the U.S. in 2008, pitching for the Rangers’ rookie league club in Arizona and piling up 54 strikeouts but also 18 walks in 34.2 innings. The lefty had shown enough stuff - including a blistering fastball - to excite, but visa issues kept him out of the country in 2009. The Rangers pitched him in their Dominican summer league entry, where he had pitched in his first pro season in 2006, and he posted a startling 70 strikeouts in 32 innings. He allowed just eight hits, but even at the lowest level in organized ball, he walked 22. He was allowed into the country once again this spring, and his season with an unspectacular inning last Wednesday. His second outing on Monday was more intriguing, as he struck out five in two innings and allowed a hit and a walk. Now 21, he is still quite raw, but this is a talented arm.
LHP Matt Harrison, Frisco - Working his way back in Frisco’s pen: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K so far
RHP Josh Lueke, Frisco - Getting his feet on the ground, struck out four of the five batters he’s faced this week in 1.2 perfect innings
RHP Cody Eppley, Frisco - Developing story here, hasn’t slowed down ( 9 K, 1 BB) after jumping from Low A to AA in less than a season
LHP Joseph Ortiz, Hickory - Another precocious Venezuelan lefty, repeating Low A for a third season at age 19, opened his season Monday (2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K)
SS Leury Garcia, Hickory - Still filling up the stat sheet - 26 SB, 15 E - but hasn’t been walking or getting on base
LHP Robbie Ross, Hickory - Solid again Thursday: 7 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
RHP Alexi Ogando, OKC - Ogando threw three more nearly perfect innings (one hit) this week out of the Redhawks pen. In six Triple-A innings he’s allowed four hits and has posted a fine 8:0 K:BB. His combined season line: 21.2 IP, 8 H, 1 HR, 5 BB, 29 K, 1.25 ERA. The Rangers appear to be waiting for him to perfect his slider, but he will be in the majors before long.
OF Engel Beltre, Bakersfield - There are eleven prospects mentioned here today and one is a position player. Such is the state of the Texas system in 2010. It took him a while, but Beltre is now conquering High A. His five hit game Thursday night raises his season line to .295/.354/.418 and his May line to .351/.393/.494. He still sits at just two home runs and he hasn’t walked since May 9, so the full game still isn’t there on a consistent basis. Still, his line drive rate has jumped from 7% in April to 20% this month, and his ISOP is up 42 points. He seems to be figuring some things out.
LHP Robbie Erlin, Hickory - Erlin replaced Wilmer Font in the Hickory rotation Tuesday and celebrated by throwing five perfect innings and striking out nine. His overall numbers are surreal: 25.1 IP, 11 H, 1 HR, 4 BB, 31 K, 0.36 ERA. That’s one run allowed on the season, a solo home run on April 23. Erlin has been written up several times since his breakout game, but Jason Parks’ scouting report still provides the best breakdown. He appears to be too advanced for the SAL, but since he is essentially making his professional debut (he threw just 4.1 innings in rookie ball last summer), he likely won’t throw a lot of innings late in the summer.
RHP Matt Thompson, Hickory - This guy is getting easier and easier to like as a prospect. He has walked eight batters in eight starts and struck out 52. He induces groundballs at a solid rate (58%). The only statistical knock is that he’s been hit fairly well, allowing a .272 average against and four home runs in 43.1 innings, though a .372 BABIP against helps explain the former. His curveball ranked third (behind Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez pitches) on Jamey Newberg’s recent list of top secondary pitches, and he does feature a solid fastball. Thompson was held back last season for short-season ball, rather than starting in Hickory, so the Rangers might consider jumping the 20-year-old to Bakersfield this summer.
RHP Neil Ramirez, Hickory - Mr. Inconsistency hit a major high point Thursday: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K
RHP Tommy Hunter, OKC - Bit of a hiccup Thursday: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
RHP Wilmer Font, Bakersfield - Struggled mightily in his High A debut: 2 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 2 K
RHP Josh Lueke, Hickory - Toying with Low A: 16:1 this month, may be ready to jump to Frisco
RHP Tanner Scheppers, OKC - Six walks in 8 AAA innings but still showing dominant stuff
LHP Martin Perez, Frisco - Not controlling the strike zone, had possibly his worst start as a pro Wednesday: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 1 HR, 3 BB, 6 K
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Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
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