Texas Rangers: Mike Bianucci

Rangers Magazine: Steve Buechele

August, 29, 2011
The magic number is one…for the Frisco Roughriders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, to reach the Texas League playoffs. However, developmental magic continues to be produced by their manager, former Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele.

Frisco RoughRiders coach Steve Buechele talks about prospects, the transition from High-A to Double-A and dealing with the dog days of baseball season in the minors and majors.

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“My primary focus is to make sure that they are playing the game the right way,” Buechele said when he was a recent guest on Rangers Magazine (Saturday 10-11 a.m.) on 103.3 FM ESPN. “Get them ready to play at the next level. We have a lot of young kids in this organization who are being pushed and challenged to play at a level that they maybe they shouldn’t be at age-wise. If I can pass along a kid up to Triple-A, the best thing I can pass along is a kid who plays the game the right way.”

Buechele, along with pitching coach Jeff Andrews, were able to “pass along” a couple of their pitchers earlier this season to the San Diego Padres in order to acquire reliever Mike Adams for the major league club. Adams pitched a scoreless relief inning in last night’s Rangers win against the Angels.

“The trades…part of you, when you lose a Robbie Erlin and a Joe Wieland all at one time, part of the trades you’re saying ‘gosh darnit, you just took 40 percent of my staff and these are the two guys we are leaning on,’ but the other half is that’s what we’re here for is to develop these young players and if they go in trades, they go in trades.”

In the interview, Buechele also talked about pitching prospect Robbie Ross, outfielder Mike Bianucci, third baseman Tommy Mendonca, outfielder Engel Beltre, the transition from High-A to Double-A and dealing with the dog days of baseball season in the minors and majors.

Follow Bryan Dolgin on Twitter @RangersRadioBD.

Rangers prospect update - Monday edition

May, 3, 2010
RHP Tanner Scheppers, OKC - Yes, you already know that Scheppers was promoted Friday from Frisco to Oklahoma City. No, he hasn’t pitched for OKC yet. But I think it’s worth mentioning what to watch out for as he tries to earn one more promotion. Scheppers has shown excellent stuff since he began pitching full time as a sophomore at Fresno State. But his lack of command and consistency have held his results short of dominant at every level, including short stints for independent league Saint Paul and in the Arizona Fall League last year. That changed at Frisco, where his strikeout to walk ratio was an unthinkable 19:0 in his eleven innings. He did catch too much of the plate with his fastball in hitters counts on a few occasions and generally did not pay for it, so it will be interesting to see how Triple-A hitters react to him. But with the elite quality of his stuff and his improved location it’s hard to imagine too many struggles at this level.

OF Engel Beltre, Bakersfield - Beltre is just 20 years old, but since he was playing in the U.S. when the Rangers traded for him as a 17 year old, he seems like a minor league veteran. Similarly, the minor league season is just 25 days old, yet Beltre has been through enough ups and downs already to account for a half-season. His last three series have been almost exclusively positive, as he is 11-35 in those ten games with his second home run (this one was inside-the-park), but most eye catching: five walks and two strikeouts. His power still has plenty of time to develop, but in his 2+ seasons with the Texas organization he had made little progress in developing a more advanced approach at the plate. This stretch has moved his walk to strikeout ratio for the season to a respectable 6:10 in 88 PA. It’s still a small sample and he is repeating his level, but that represents an improvement in his walk rate from 3.2% the past two years to 6.8% - more than double - along with a reduced strikeout rate. Mix in a handful of HBP and his line is now a much more aesthetically pleasing .273/.349/.403. His tools make him one of the most intriguing prospects in the system, but if he continues to play at this level, he will soon be considered one of the best.

IF Chris Davis, OKC - When baseball players experience disappointment like Davis has this season and are demoted, they often experience a let-down and perform well below their ability for a week or two. To Davis’ credit, he showed up ready to work his way back. Through seven games he is 14-31 (.452/.485/.677), and on Saturday he played third base (did commit an error). This stay in Triple-A could be a lengthy one for Davis, but he is too talented and too willing to work through his weaknesses to forget.

OF Mitch Moreland, OKC - Turning around slow start with five hit, three walk weekend, up to .243/.326/.446 overall
OF Mike Bianucci, Bakersfield - Delayed start due to injury but handling the Cal League much better second time around: .290/.405/.484 with 6:3 in 38 PA.
RHP Alexi Ogando, Frisco - Now officially a reliever and pitched twice over the weekend: 3 IP, 1 H (HR), 1 BB, 4 K
LHP Kasey Kiker, Frisco - Control continues to regress, as seven walk game Sunday raises season total to 22 in 23.2 innings
RHP Evan Reed, Frisco - Easy to lose in talented Frisco bullpen, 3rd round pick has performed well: 11.1 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 12 K, 63% GB rate.
LHP Michael Kirkman, OKC - He’s strung together a pair of very nice starts, including Friday: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Season K:BB of 24:13 still needs work.



Adrian Beltre
.324 19 77 79
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182