RHP Alexi Ogando, OKC - Ogando has made two Triple-A appearances this week following his promotion from Frisco. He picked up the save Tuesday with a perfect ninth inning and was asked to throw two innings in a 14-inning marathon Thursday. His aggregate line: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. The five strikeouts without a walk are obviously encouraging, but there is a belief that he needs to work on his delivery for his off-speed pitches. Whether more advanced hitters hit him significantly harder than Texas Leaguers could provide a clue on his progress in that regard.
OF Engel Beltre, Bakersfield - Beltre’s harmonic season continues. With eight hits over the last four days, his May line is an impressive .333/.397/.471. The power is not consistent (.398 SLGfor the season in a good hitting environment), but he’s making strides, and, most encouraging, his effort to mature as a hitter is much more evident than in previous seasons.
RHP Guillermo Moscoso, OKC - Moscoso was strong Wednesday, making his longest and best start of the season: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 9 K. The four walks were the only blemish, and though he has been solid at the Triple-A level, he has regressed from a 60:15 BB:SO ratio there last season to 33:16 this spring. He is a nice insurance policy, particularly since he is viable as a starter and reliever, but with the addition of Ogando and Tanner Scheppers to the Redhawks staff, he has work to do in order to maintain his spot in the pecking order.
LHP Robbie Ross, LHP Robbie Erlin, RHP Braden Tullis, Hickory - These three recent draftees have been among the Rangers’ most promising arms so far this season, and they combined for one of the most impressive performances in baseball Monday. In a nine inning shutout, they struck out ten and walked none. They allowed four hits, but just five balls left the infield all day, and 13 of their 16 outs in play were groundballs. Their combined ERA for the season is now under two.
SS Leury Garcia, Hickory - Garcia can really fill up a stat page. Through five weeks he has 17 stolen bases, 12 errors, 13 walks, and even two home runs (only one all last season). Though the power is still modest and likely always will be, Garcia has made offensive strides this season. That 13BB:16SO ratio represents major improvement in controlling the strike zone from his 18:64 ratio last season in Hickory, and he has nearly matched his extra-base hit total from last season. The error total is still way too high, particularly for a player whose primary value is defensive wizardry.
RHP Tanner Scheppers, OKC - The PCL appears to be a whole different deal for Scheppers so far, as he’s still had success - nine strikeouts and one run in six innings - but has seen his efficiency dip. He has allowed five hits and five walks, and Thursday needed 44 pitches to complete two innings. After watching him pitch in Frisco, I suspected that he was ready for the majors immediately, but this level of competition appears to be serving him well.
LHP Kasey Kiker, Frisco - More ugliness Thursday with five more walks, 32:31 ratio for the season
RHP Wilfredo Boscan, Bakersfield - Best start of the year Wednesday: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K
OF David Paisano, Bakersfield - Still hitting for average (.306) but indicators dropping: 9BB:27SO, .413 SLG
OF Miguel Velazquez, Hickory - Still hitting lights out, now at .331/.403/.583 for the season - when will promotion come?
RHP Wilmer Font, Hickory - Struggled of late but returned to form Wednesday: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K