Results tagged ‘ AJ Alexy ’

Flipping the Switch: A Look at the 2018 Hickory Crawdads with Manager Matt Hagen

Quite honestly, the Hickory Crawdads were a dreadful team to watch much of the first half. There were a few early successes – Catcher Melvin Novoa’s hot April that earned him a promotion and the season-long consistency of Crawdads opening day starter Tyler Phillips – but overall, the team didn’t hit well, didn’t pitch well, couldn’t hold leads, and so on. However, for me, what I will remember about this team is the ability for players to grind through the season and endure the process of development. Several players turned in big second half-seasons and kept the Crawdads in the playoff hunt until the final few days of the season.

The Crawdads came out of the South Atlantic League all-star break at 30-38, and promptly were swept at home in three straight by West Virginia to drop to its low point of the season at 30-41. But the Crawdads bounced back with a sweep of Augusta (S.C.) and then began to piece together series wins. An 18-10 July put the team within the .500 mark, which the Crawdads reached for the first time on August 4 at Hagerstown (Md.).

Hickory stayed within range of first-half Northern Division winner Lakewood (N.J.) for the second-half race and were within 2 1/2 games of the BlueClaws, when they traveled to L.P, Frans Stadium for a series on August 10. Lakewood took 3-out-4 to surge ahead, but a 5-2 road trip by the Crawdads followed and got the team again within 2.5 games of the BlueClaws. Lakewood returned to L.P. Frans for another series and again asserted its dominance with a 3-1 series win to put a bow on the second-half division title. Left with an outside shot at a wildcard slot – something unthinkable when Hickory finished sixth in the first half – the Crawdads took three-of-four at Delmarva (Md.) and the first game of the series finale against Greensboro. However, a loss to the Grasshoppers the next night officially knocked the Crawdads out three games from the end of the season. It was the second straight season in which Hickory was eliminated during the final weekend of the season.

The 70-68 record was the eighth time in ten seasons as the Texas Rangers affiliate the Crawdads had a winning record.

What changed? The hitting improved. The pitching improved. However, in talking with manager Matt Hagen, he was adamant that none of that would’ve occur had the accountability of the squad and their expectations had not changed. In talking with him the first half, there was a constant mantra of being one play short. A big hit in a key spot was missed. One pitch in a key spot wasn’t made. One ball wasn’t caught.

The attitude changed in the second half and the confidence came with it.

During an interview with Matt Hagen prior to the final game of the season on Monday, he talked about that shift in the mental approaches that occurred, as well as highlights of the season with some of the individual players.

Matt Hagen

Manager Matt Hagen from a game in May (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

 

Considering where you guys started, 0-6 and 1-8, that was a heck of a turnaround in the second half. What are some things you contribute that to?

Hagen: Our coaches did a really good job of getting the players better. The players got better, and I think we raised the accountability level and the expectation level. Some of the things we were doing early on, as far as not just not playing with the right level of focus and intensity, we challenged them to be accountable to it.

We flat out just played better. We had a 4.6 ERA in the first half and a 3.2 in the second half. Some of those guys that were hitting .190 at the break ended up hitting .260. So, we had several guys hit over .300 for the second half. So, that was a pretty good deal.

Was there a tipping point at some time in the middle of the season, maybe late June or early July? That time period was a point where there seemed to be a gear shift. You went on a long road trip right after the (July) 4th.

Hagen: It was our first series in Hagerstown (Md.). We had a team meeting and we talked about raising expectations and making sure that guys are completely switched on when they walk in the door, and when they walk out the door to go to the field. From that point on, we won a lot more games than we lost.

The pitching staff, what a turn around: DeMarcus (Evans), Tyler (Phillips), who pretty much had it all year, AJ (Alexy), he finished strong.

Hagen: Reid Anderson.

What were some of the things that you guys were able to figure out?

Hagen: I would give credit to (pitching coach Jose) Jaimes. He’s out there every day sweating in that bullpen with those guys.

Tyler, I think, was more of a continuation of the success he had last year in Spokane.

To see the transformation of Reid Anderson, who won only one game last year. His demeanor on the mound was better. His presence was better. His conviction was better. His belief was better. His confidence was better.

Reid Anderson 2018

Reid Anderson was in the SAL top-ten in ERA (3.22) and WHIP (1.13) in 2018 (Photo courtesy of Ashley Salinas/ Hickory Crawdads)

 

I think AJ has just completely progressed as a pitcher, everything from his preparation to his mentality to his repertoire, his control, his attitude. Everything has gotten better.

And then our bullpen, my goodness, our bullpen was probably one of the best one in the league in the second half. If we had a lead in the seventh inning, we held on to it.

You mentioned the bullpen, what a luxury to have DeMarcus and Joe (Barlow). I talked with him and he talked about the walks to the point of saying I’m not going to use the word. (Joe) Kuzia had a good second half. (Josh) Advocate, when he was healthy, had a good second half. Did you get a sense that those guys got together to change the attitude of the bullpen?

Hagen: I think they took a lot of pride being in the bullpen. They saw it as kind of a brotherhood down there. It’s a great collection of guys. They joke around a lot and they pick on each other, but it’s like a family and they hold each other accountable, too.

DeMarcus, his numbers tell the whole story; he was lights out. He and Joe Barlow were like 1 and 1A; take your pick. Statistically, they were two of the best three relievers in the league. You can’t even argue that. The other guys you named were really good down the stretch, too.

DeMarcus Evans 2018

DeMarcus Evans struck out 66 during the second half and had over 16 Ks per 9 innings to lead the SAL (Salinas/ Hickory Crawdads)

So, I think there was a confidence that kind of grew when one or two guys started having some success, and I think it got contagious down there.

 

Tyreque (Reed) was another guy that when the calendar turned to July, he found something. He talked about his approach going up the middle and going away, and he added the power back. What did you see with him, as far as flipping that switch?

Hagen: He came in right away and his first at-bat was a walk-off home run. Then, having not played at an affiliate yet, I think the rigors of playing against better competition, the hotels, the bus rides, the fans, playing under the lights, that kind of stuff caught up to him a little bit. Once he and Bubba (Thompson) kind of realized, hey, not only do we belong here, we can excel here, you just handed the keys over to them at that point. When Bubba was clicking in the leadoff spot, he was a guy that hit over .300 in the second half. Then, Tyreque, more or less, carried the middle of our lineup for the entire last month. If he were here all year, who knows where his numbers end up. We’d be talking a potential league MVP had he been here all year.

To watch those guys and to know the conversations that (hitting coach) Chase (Lambin) was having with those guys every day, making sure they stayed logged in, making sure they stayed confident and got their work in every day. It was a pleasure to high five those guys as they came around the base.

Tyreque Reed (2).jpg

Tyreque Reed finished third in the SAL in slugging pct. (,503) and OPS (.846) (Salinas/ Hickory Crawdads)

 

Bubba (Thompson) had a little hitch and then in July, he found a switch. It just seemed like a bunch of you found a switch at the same time.

Hagen: Bubba is a really talented kid and he can beat you in a lot of ways. One night, he’d go out – you talk about trying to leave your fingerprints on the game in a positive way – he may have gone 0-for-4 at the plate, but he might have made two or three plays in the outfield that might have won us the game. As young players do, they get locked in on the fact that maybe they didn’t have a great day at the plate, but you can still walk, you can steal two bases, you can still make plays in the outfield. He’s a special kid and not a lot of people can beat you in that many ways.

Bubba Thompson- Proffitt.jpg

Bubba Thompson stole 32 bases for Hickory and had a second-half slash of .300/.341/.441 (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

 

Yonny (Hernandez), I just like watching him play. You said it in the first meeting you and I had where you called him “The Mosquito”. He’s another guy that had a strong second half. You put him second in the lineup and that seemed to be a good niche for the guy with he and Thompson at the top of the order.

Hagen: The expectations were, we know he can play defense and we know he can run the bases a little bit. The question was, is he going to hit. You look up and he’s second in the league in walks and second in the league in stolen bases. He hit over .300 in the second half and raised his batting average over 70 points. Pretty special. He’s a disruptor, too. He gets on the bases and gets the pitchers thinking about him instead of the hitter. The next thing you know, the pitcher leaves a pitcher over the middle that (Ryan) Dorow or Tyreque and three runs are on the board.

He’s just a fun kid to watch. You just let him go out and do his thing. He attacks the game very aggressively.

Yonny Hernandez

Yonny Hernandez finished the season second in the South Atlantic League in steals (44) and OBP (.371) and third in walks (58) (Salinas/ Hickory Crawdads)

 

The three-headed monster at catcher wound up being two with (Yohel) Pozo and (Sam) Huff. Please with their progress this year?

Hagen: Yeah. The goal was to get them both over 400 at-bats and they both got their 400 at-bats. Two guys that made an all-star team. Obviously, Melvin was doing good enough to get promoted. He was on fire early.

From a defensive standpoint, they both finished the season, hopefully with winning records <Note: Yohel Pozo was 30-30 entering the final game of the season. Pozo caught the game, which Hickory lost to Greensboro.>

Sam Huff and Yohel Pozo

South Atlantic League All-Star Catchers Yohel Pozo (left) and Sam Huff played a big role in the pitching staff’s turnaround in the second half (Salinas/ Hickory Crawdads)

To see those guys mature, to where the pitchers have confidence in them – you’ve got to give them a lot of credit for the success the pitchers had in the second half, too. Because, they got better in calling the game and controlling the game. Two guys that can throw pretty well and I think they both finished in the top two or three in the league in receiving metrics. They’re getting pitches that are strikes called strikes, and stealing a few strikes here and there.

 

Was there any disappointment that Miguel (Aparicio) didn’t have the year I think folks were expecting from him, and maybe Pedro (Gonzalez), as well? Any concerns on their progress for this year?

Hagen: No, if we look it up, Pedro’s run production is the third best on the team, as far as scoring runs and driving in runs. The only downside there is the batting average is down a little bit. The slugging pct. is good. He’s had some leg issues that kind of plagued him all year, so his stolen bases weren’t as high as he wanted them to be. Earlier in the season, he was stealing bases when he was healthy. For me, I think Pedro actually had a good year.

Miguel was just up-and-down. He was player of the week one week, and then the next week you see a 19-year-old kid who’s going to struggle. He’d struggle to stay in his approach and then the next week he’d get hot again. Obviously, the power is there, as evidenced by the home run he crushed a couple of days ago over the advertisements there. For him, it’s just finding a way to be consistent.

Miguel Aparcio

Top-30 prospect Miguel Aparicio took home a South Atlantic League hitter of the week award in mid-July, but struggled much of the season and finished at .214/.263/.361 (Salinas/ Hickory Crawdads)

 

The glue of the team all year, for me, was Dorow. Is that a fair read for you?

Hagen: That’s a bull’s eye right there. We came in talking about somebody needing to step up to surprise you. I knew Dorow could catch a ground ball if it was hit to him, but I had no idea that he could catch every ground ball within running range and then throw guys out from any arm angle. What he did at the plate, he’s two away from 30 doubles, 12 home runs and right around .300 most of the year.

He really exceeded a lot of people’s expectations and he’s been a pleasure to watch run out and play and go about his business. You just plug him into the lineup and let him go. He has a very mature approach and a very tough kid mentally, and a very tough kid physically. He’s a manager’s dream.

Ryan Dorow

Ryan Dorow (Proffitt)

 

When you look back at this team in a couple of years, what’s going to stick out for you?

Hagen: I think just the turn around from where we were in the first half to where we finished up. The way they came together and started worrying less about themselves and started playing for each other a lot more, which is hard to do in this game, because everybody wants to get to the big leagues. They were able to take the focus off of their individual success and started thinking about what the team was doing.

They learned how to win, so when they get to the next level, or the guys that get to the big leagues, they don’t get there and go, “Well, I’m a big-league player, but I don’t know how to win.” They’re learned how to win and what it takes to win. That’s invaluable.

 

What did you learn this year as a manager?

Hagen: Ooooo, that’s a good question. Something new every day. I think knowing and continuing to learn when to push the guys and when to just pat them on the back. I think I would’ve liked to have held them to a higher level of expectation, earlier on. But there was a lot of getting to know one another still going on at that point.

Definitely letting my staff do their job. That’s been a luxury for me. Knowing when to speak up and when to stay out of the way and let Chase do his thing, or Jaimes do his thing, or Turtle (Thomas). I’m really fortunate to have three really good coaches, and that extends to the weight room, too. I didn’t have to monitor anything there. I’d stick my head in once in a while. Adam (Noel) does a great job with those guys. But, just trusting those guys to do their jobs and letting them do them was a big part of our success.

 

 

Series Preview: Lakewood BlueClaws at Hickory Crawdads August 10-13

Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies) (72-43 overall, 31-15 second half, 1st SAL North) at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (59-56 overall, 29-18 second half, 2nd SAL North)

The Crawdads continue their homestand with a four-game series against the BlueClaws

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

 

WHERE IS IT?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

GAME TIMES: Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday 5 p.m. Monday noon.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Friday – Post-game Fireworks, Super Hero Night

Saturday – App State Hat Giveaway (1st 500 fans), 90s Night, Catawba Science Center Night

Sunday – Church Bulletin Sunday

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

 

PROBABLES (Kannapolis/ Hickory)

Friday: RHP Gustavo Armas vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

Saturday: RHP Andrew Brown vs. RHP Hans Crouse

Sunday: RHP Julian Garcia vs. RHP Noah Bremer

Monday: RHP Spencer Howard vs. RHP Tyler Phillips

 

Recent Series History:

Lakewood holds a 4-2 series lead in 2018 with all the games played in New Jersey. The majority of the games between the two clubs over the past 10 seasons have been played at the BlueClaws ballpark. During the stretch dating back to 2009, which is the start of the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers, Lakewood is 51-46 overall. However, just 29 of the 97 games have been played at Hickory, where the Crawdads hold a 15-14 edge. This is the first series played by the teams at LP Frans since 2016, when the BlueClaws took 2 of 3.

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse (No. 5): 2018 stats at Spokane: 8 games (8 starts), 38 IP, 25 H, 11 R (10 ER), 2 HR, 11 BB, 47 K, 2.37 ERA, .179 OBA, 0.95 WHIP. Second round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Dana Hills HS, Dana Point, Calif. Named to Northwest League/ Pioneer League All-Star Game this week. Making his first start with Hickory.

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 10): 2018 stats: .281/.336/.427, 14 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 18 BB, 75 K, 24 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Lakewood: 2-for-22, 2B, 4 BB, 13 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-11, 2 BB 5 K, SB, CS. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th stolen bases.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 14): 2018 stats: 19 games (19 starts) 111 IP, 106 H, 39 R (36 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 12 BB, 111 K, 2.92 ERA, .247 OBA, 1.06 WHIP. This season vs. Lakewood: 2 starts, 12 IP, 20 H, 8 R (8 ER), HR, BB, 6 K. Last start vs. Kannapolis 8/7: 7 IP, 6 H, 13 K. In his last 29 starts stretching to 6/23/17 at Spokane 174.2 IP, 19 BB, 183 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (0.97), T-2nd wins (9), 6th ERA 6th WHIP, 9th innings, 9th strikeouts, 10th hits allowed. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 18) 2018 stats: .239/.305/.436, 16 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 28 BB, 101 K, 9 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Lakewood: 4-for-18, 2B, BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-9, BB, K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 19): 2018 stats: 17 games (15 starts), 84.2 IP, 74 H, 45 R (39 ER), 4 HR, 8 HB, 44 BB, 101 K, 4.15 ERA, .239 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. Not expected to pitch in this series. Last start vs. Kannapolis 8/9: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), HR, 2 BB, 9 K. Joined the Rangers after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers in 7/17. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th walks, 10th strikeouts, T-10th losses (7).

C Sam Huff (No. 22): 2018 stats: .244/.299/.452, 20 2B, 3B, 16 HR, 19 BB, 111 K, 7 SB. This season vs. Lakewood: 2-for-17, 2 BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 1-for-8, HR, 2 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 5th HR/ AB Ratio 1/21, T-6th HR.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 27): 2018 stats at Hickory: .222/.275/.383, 8 2B, 5 3B, 7 HR, 14 BB, 48 K, 3 SB, 5 CS. Has not faced Lakewood this season. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-7, 2B, 3 K, SB, CS. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Tyree Thompson: 19 games (16 starts), 89.2 IP, 95 H, 59 R, 46 ER, 13 HR, 5 HB, 33 BB, 55 K, 4.62 ERA, .274 OBA, 1.43 WHIP. This season vs. Lakewood: 2 starts, 10 IP, 10 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 3 BB, 10 K. Last start at Hagerstown 8/4: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), HR, HB, 2 BB, 4 K. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th losses (8), T-6th home runs allowed.

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 13 games (13 starts), 62 IP, 73 H, 32 R (28 ER), 6 HR, 19 BB, 55 K, 4.06 ERA, .300 OBA, 1.48 WHIP. Has not faced Lakewood this season. Last start vs. at Hagerstown 8/5: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), HR, 5 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 29 games, 6 saves, 45.2 IP, 27 H, 11 R (11 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 27 BB, 83 K, 2.17 ERA, .172 OBA, 1.18 WHIP. This season vs. Lakewood: 1 game, 1 IP, 2 BB, 2 K. Last game vs. Kannapolis 8/8: 2 IP, 4 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 31 games, 6 saves, 51.1 IP, 19 H, 14 R (11 ER), 3 HR, 40 BB, 78 K, 1.93 ERA, .118 BA, 1.15 WHIP. This season vs. Lakewood: 1 games, 2 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 2 K. Last game vs. Kannapolis 8/9: 1.1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.118), 2nd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.68), T-8th games, T-10th walks.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .256/.312/.401, 21 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 26 BB, 43 K. This season vs. Lakewood: 4-for-22, HR, 2 BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-7. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.86).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .294/.359/.451, 22 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 29 BB, 91 K, 5 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Lakewood: 2-for-17. 8 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 4-for-14, BB, 2 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 6th batting avg., 10th OPS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .254/.363/.324, 8 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 45 BB, 49 K, 31 SB, 8 CS. This season vs. Lakewood: 2-for-13, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 SB. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 4-for-14, BB, CS. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sacrifice bunts (13), 2nd stolen bases, 5th walks, T-6th CS, 7th OBP.

1B Tyreque Reed: 2018 stats: .267/.338/.485, 22 2B, 12 HR, 24 BB, 82 K, SB. This season vs. Lakewood: 3-for-14, 2B, HR, BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-12, HR, 2 BB, K. Eighth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Itawamba (MS) CC. Attended Haulka (MS) HS.

 

Prospects to watch-Lakewood (rankings by MLB.com):

RF Jhailyn Ortiz (No. 7): 2018 stats: .220/ .281/.363, 14 2B, 11 HR, 24 BB, 117 K, 2 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 6-for-23, HR, 2 BB, 9 K. Last series at Charleston: 3-for-10, BB, K. Signed with the Phillies as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Jarabacoa, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-9th strikeouts

RHP Spencer Howard (No. 19): 2018 stats: 19 games (19 starts), 91 IP, 79 H, 45 R (41 ER), 6 HR, 36 BB, 116 K, 4.05 ERA, .231 OBA, 1.26 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts, 10 IP, 11 H, 7 R (7 ER), 4 BB, 13 K. Last start at Charleston 8/7: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K. Second-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Attended Templeton (CA) HS SAL Top-10 Rankings: 6th strikeouts, T-9th wins (7), T-10th losses (7)

SS Nick Maton (No. 30): 2018 stats: .268/.334/.424, 25 2B, 5 3B, 6 HR, 33 BB, 84 K, 4 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-15, 3 BB, 3 K, SB, CS. Last series at Charleston: 1-for-7, 2 K. Seventh-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 out of Glenwood HS, Chatham, Ill. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-5th doubles.

Others to watch-Lakewood:

RHP Andrew Brown: 2018 stats at Lakewood: 10 games (6 starts), 44 IP, 30 H, 12 R (10 ER), 1 HR, 2 HB, 7 BB, 39 K, 2.05 ERA, .192 OBA, 0.84 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory : 1 game 2 IP, 3 K. Last start vs. Lexington 8/4: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 6 K. Thirteenth-round pick of the Phillies in 2016 out of Granite Hills (CA) HS.

RHP Gustavo Armas: 2018 stats (at Lakewood): 4 games (4 starts), 27 IP, 20 H, 6 R (6 ER), 3 HR, 4 BB, 24 K, 2.00 ERA, .206 OBA, 0.89 WHIP. Has not faced Hickory this season. Last start vs. Lexington 8/4: 7 IP, 5 H, 6 K. Signed with the Phillies as an international free agent in 2013. Native of Playa Iguana, Venezuela.

RHP Julian Garcia: 2018 stats: 24 games (4 starts), 54 IP, 46 H, 19 R (17 ER), 1 HR, 2 HB, 19 BB, 62 K, 2.83 ERA, .236 OBA, 1.20 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 game, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 K. Last start vs. Lexington 8/5: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HB, 1 BB, 4 K. Tenth-round pick of the Phillies in 2016 out of Metro State Univ. of Denver. Attended Fossil Ridge HS in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

LHP Zach Warren: 2018 stats: 31 games, 10 saves, 46.2 IP, 28 H, 14 R (12 ER), 2 HR, 3 HB, 24 BB, 76 K, 2.31 ERA, .177 OBA, 1.11 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 game, 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K. Last game at Charleston 8/7: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 out of the Univ. of Tennessee. Attended St. Augustine Prep in Vineland NJ. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (14.66), 2nd OBA by relievers (.177), T-4th saves, T-8th games pitched.

IF-OF Jake Scheiner: 2018 stats: .292/.358/.465, 26 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, 37 BB, 71 K, 9 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 6-for-24, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 4 K, SB. Last series at Charleston: 3-for-11, 2B, 3B, 2 K, SB. Fourth-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 out of the Univ. of Houston. Attended Maria Carrillo HS in Santa Rosa, CA. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th doubles, 5th hits, 7th OPS, T-7th RBI, 8th OBP, 9th batting avg., T-10th at bats.

1B-3B Madison Stokes: 2018 stats overall: .327/.422/.482, 10 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 16 BB, 24 K, SB, CS. Last series at Charleston: 2-for-9, 2 K. Tenth-round pick of the Phillies in 2018 out of the Univ. of South Carolina. Attended AC Flora HS in Columbia, SC. Called up to Lakewood on 8/3.

OF Matt Vierling: 2018 stats (at Lakewood): .283/.320/.425, 10 2B, 2 HR, 5 BB, 27 K, 3 SB, 2 CS.  Has not faced Hickory this season. Last series at Charleston: 2-for-8, 2 K. Fifth-round pick of the Phillies in 2018 out of Notre Dame. Attended Christian Brothers College HS in St. Louis.

Series Preview: Kannapolis Intimidators at Hickory Crawdads August 7-9

Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) (62-46 overall, 23-18 second half, 3rd SAL North) at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (55-56 overall, 25-18 second half, 2nd SAL North)

The Crawdads take a short road trip for a four-game series at Hagerstown’s Municipal Stadium.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

WHERE IS IT?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

GAME TIMES: Tuesday, 7 p.m. Wednesday, 5 p.m. (Doubleheader), Thursday, 7 p.m.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Tuesday – Local Heroes Week, Dollar Dog Day

Wednesday – Local Heroes Week, Purr in the Park

Thursday – Local Heroes Week, Battle of the Bags, Cornhole Tournament

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

PROBABLES (Kannapolis/ Hickory)

Tuesday: RHP Drew Harrington vs. RHP Tyler Phillips

Wednesday: LHP Parker Rigler/ RHP Jhoan Quijada vs. RHP Reid Anderson/ RHP Alex Eubanks

Thursday: TBD vs. RHP AJ Alexy

 

Recent Series History:

The teams are 8-8 this season with Hickory 5-2 at home. The Crawdads have taken 6 of the last 9 games. Since 2009 – the start of the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation, Hickory is 104-71 overall, 50-32 at home. The Intimidators are looking for the first season-series win vs. Hickory since 2010 (9-7).

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 10): 2018 stats: .283/.335/.434, 14 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 16 BB, 70 K, 23 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 13-for-42, 3 3B, 3 BB, 11 K, 5 SB. Last series at Hagerstown: 1-for-7, 2B, 2 K. Had 15 steals in July. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th stolen bases.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 14): 2018 stats: 18 games (18 starts) 104 IP, 100 H, 39 R (36 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 12 BB, 98 K, 3.12 ERA, .248 OBA, 1.08 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 1 start, 5 IP, 6 H, 6 R (1 ER), 5 K. Last start 7/29 at Greensboro: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. In his last 29 starts stretching to 6/23/17 at Spokane 167.2 IP, 19 BB, 171 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.04), T-3rd wins (8), 7th WHIP, 9th ERA. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 18) 2018 stats: .236/.302/.430, 16 2B, 5 3B, 11 HR, 27 BB, 101 K, 9 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 12-for-44, 5 2B, 4 HR, 10 R, 14 RBI, 8 BB, 17 K, SB, CS. Last series at Hagerstown: 1-for-11, 3 BB, 4 K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 19): 2018 stats: 17 games (15 starts), 84.2 IP, 74 H, 45 R (39 ER), 4 HR, 8 HB, 44 BB, 101 K, 4.15 ERA, .239 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 4 starts, 23.2 IP, 11 R, 2 R (2 ER), 2 HB, 8 BB, 23 K. Last start vs. Charleston 8/1: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. Joined the Rangers after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers in 7/17. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th walks, 9th strikeouts, T-9th losses (7), T-10th hit batters,

C Sam Huff (No. 22): 2018 stats: .247/.303/.451, 20 2B, 3B, 15 HR, 19 BB, 109 K, 7 SB. This season vs. Kannapolis: 10-for-48, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 14 K, 3 SB. Last series at Hagerstown: 2-for-14, 2B, 2 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 5th HR/ AB Ratio 1/20.93, T-6th HR, 10th slugging pct.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 27): 2018 stats at Hickory: .220/.272/.382, 7 2B, 5 3B, 7 HR, 14 BB, 45 K, 2 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 8-for-30, 2 3B, HR, BB, 7 K, SB. Last series at Hagerstown: 2-for-8, 3B, BB, K. Named SAL hitter of the week July 9-15. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 18 games (15 starts), 87.1 IP, 77 H, 43 R (33 ER), 1 HR, 4 HB, 22 BB, 75 K, 3.40 ERA, .235 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 2 starts, 11.2 IP, 13 H, 7 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 14 K. Last start 7/31 vs. Charleston: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.

RHP Alex Eubanks: 2018 stats: 19 games (15 starts), 89.1 IP, 113 H, 67 R (64 ER), 12 HR, 5 HB, 27 BB, 85 K, 6.45 ERA, .310 OBA, 1.57 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 4 games (3 starts), 17 IP, 28 H, 15 R (13 ER), 3 HR, 2 HB, 7 BB, 19 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Clemson. Attended Byrnes High in Moore, S.C. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd runs allowed, 3rd earned runs allowed, 6th hits allowed, T-8th home runs allowed,

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 28 games, 5 saves, 43.2 IP, 27 H, 11 R (11 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 27 BB, 79 K, 2.27 ERA, .179 OBA, 1.24 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 5 games, 7.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R (4 ER), 7 BB, 11 K. Last game at Hagerstown 8/4: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 30 games, 5 saves, 50 IP, 19 H, 14 R (11 ER), 3 HR, 39 BB, 76 K, 1.98 ERA, .121 BA, 1.16 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 5 games, 1 save, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 6 BB, 12 K. Last game at Hagerstown 8/5: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.121), 2nd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.68), T-9th games, T-10th walks.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .253/.309/.397, 20 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 26 BB, 43 K. This season vs. Kannapolis: 14-for-51, 4 2B, 2 HR, 5 BB, 6 K. Last series at Hagerstown: 4-for-12, 2B. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.65).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .293/.358/.453, 21 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 27 BB, 88 K, 5 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 10-for-43, 3 2B, HR, 3 BB, 8 K. Last series at Hagerstown: 3-for-12, 3 2B, BB, 3 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 7th batting avg., 10th OPS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .253/.364/.326, 8 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 44 BB, 49 K, 31 SB, 8 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 10-for-33, 2 2B, 7 BB, 5 K, 5 SB, 2 CS. Last series at Hagerstown: 2-for-8, 2 K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sacrifice bunts (13), 2nd stolen bases, 5th walks, 7th OBP, 10th CS.

1B Tyreque Reed: 2018 stats: .268/.337/.484, 22 2B, 11 HR, 22 BB, 81 K, SB. This season vs. Kannapolis: 9-for-43, 3 2B, 3 HR, 3 BB, 16 K. Last series at Hagerstown: 7-for-13, 4 2B, HR, BB, 2 K. Eighth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Itawamba (MS) CC. Attended Haulka (MS) HS.

 

Prospects to watch-Kannapolis (rankings by MLB.com):

CF Steele Walker (No. 12): 2018 stats (combined at AZL White Sox, Great Falls and Kannapolis): 13-for-55, 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 9 K, SB, CS. Last series at Greensboro: 1-for-10, BB, K. Second-round pick of the White Sox in 2018 out of the Univ. of Oklahoma. Attended Prosper (TX) HS. Called up to Kannapolis 8/2.

3B Luis Curbelo (No. 27): 2018 stats: .242/.291/.360. 15 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 13 BB, 53 K. This season vs. Hickory: 10-for-35, 3 2B, 3 BB, 8 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 2-for-12, 2B, 5 K. Sixth-round pick of the White Sox in 2016 out of Cocoa (HS), FL. Born in Carolina, P.R.

 

Others to watch-Kannapolis:

LHP Drew Harrington: 2018 stats (Kannapolis only): 8 games (6 starts), 1 save, 40.1 IP, 32 H, 11 R (11 ER), HR, 4 HB, 9 BB, 26 K, 2.45 ERA, .222 OBA, 1.02 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory (with Kannapolis only): 1 start, 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 4 K. Last start at Augusta 7/30: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HB, 2 BB, 4 K. Signed a free-agent contract with the White Sox on June 18. Released by the Atlanta Braves on June 9. Originally a third-round pick of the Braves in 2016 out of the Univ. of Louisville. Attended Central Hardin HS, Cecilia, KY. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-6th hit batters, T-8th wins (7).

RHP Jhoan Quijada: 2018 stats: 14 games (6 starts), 56.2 IP, 61 H, 35 R (30 ER), 7 HR, 2 HB, 15 BB, 29 K, 4.75 ERA, .276 OBA, 1.34 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 games (1 start) 4.1 IP, 7 H, 10 R (9 ER), 3 HR, 4 BB, 4 K. Last game vs. Greensboro 8/4: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB. Signed as an international free agent with the White Sox in 2012.

LHP Parker Rigler: 2018 stats: 21 games (21 starts), 111.2 IP, 101 H, 60 R (54 ER), 8 HR, 7 HB, 50 BB, 94 K, 4.35 ERA, .245 OBA, 1.35 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 4 starts, 19.1 IP, 20 H, 15 R (14 ER), 3 HR, HB, 12 BB, 21 K. Last start at Augusta 8/1: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 5 BB, 1 K. Thirty-first-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Kansas State. Attended Edmond (Okla.) Memorial HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-1st starts, 2nd walks, 5th earned runs allowed, T-7th innings, T-8th runs allowed.

RHP Jake Elliott: 2018 stats: 26 games, 1 start, 2 saves, 57 IP, 49 H, 25 R (22 ER), 6 HR, 3 HB, 13 BB, 66 K, 3.47 ERA, .233 OBA, 1.09 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 4 games, 1 save, 9 IP, 10 H, 8 R (8 ER), 3 HR, 1 HB, 4 BB, 8 K. Last game at Augusta 7/30: 2.1 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K. Fifteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2016 out of the Univ. of Oklahoma. Attended Coppell (Tex.) HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

2B Tate Blackman: 2018 stats: .254/.358/.403, 16 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 52 BB, 117 K, 3 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 10-for-56, 2B, 3B, HR, 8 BB, 23 K, 1 CS. Last series vs. Greensboro: 2-for-9, 3B, 3 BB, 4 K. Thirteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Ole Miss. Attended Lake Brantley HS (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd walks, T-4th games, 8th strikeouts,

LF Craig Dedalow: 2018 stats: .259/.309/.427, 28 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR, 24 BB, 92 K, SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 18-for-65, 6 2B, 3B, HR, 2 BB, 21 K, CS. Last series vs. Greensboro: 2-for-10, 2 2B, 2 BB, 5 K. Ninth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out Indiana Univ. Attended Munster (Ind.) HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd doubles, T-4th games, 4th at-bats, T-5th RBI, T-7th triples 8th hits, 10th total bases.

RF Tyler Frost: 2018 stats: .232/.309/.448, 15 2B, 3 3B, 15 HR, 31 BB,10 K. This season vs. Hickory: 7-for-40, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 13 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 2-for-8, HR, K. Fifteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Gonzaga Univ. (College teammate with Hickory’s Justin Jacobs.) Attended Greenway HS in Phoenix, AZ. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-6th HR

C Evan Skoug: 2018 stats: .204/.299/.325, 10 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 33 BB, 79 K. This season vs. Hickory: 14-for-37, 2 2B, HR, 9 BB, 7 K, 2 SB. Last series vs. Greensboro: 0-for-2, BB, K. Seventh-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Texas Christian Univ. Native of Libertyville, Ill. Big 12 Co-player of the year in 2017. First-team All-American.

1B Justin Yurchak: 2018 stats: .257/.351/.332, 16 2B, 3B, HR, 41 BB, 50 K. This season vs. Hickory: 17-for-47, 5 2B, 3B, 10 RBI, 8 BB, 9 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 1-for-6, BB, 2 K. Twelfth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Binghamton (N.Y.) Univ. Attended Shenendehowa HS in his native Clifton Park, N.Y. Played at Wake Forest his freshman season. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-7th walks.

 

Series Preview: Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs at Hickory Crawdads July 30-August 1

Charleston RiverDogs (50-53 overall, 17-18 second half, 3rd South Atlantic League South) at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (50-54, 20-16, T-2nd SAL North)

The Crawdads host the RiverDogs for three games during a short homestand at L.P. Frans Stadium.

WHERE IS IT?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Monday and Tuesday, 7 p.m. Wednesday Noon

 

PROMOTIONS:

Monday – Make-a-Difference Monday (Habitat for Humanity)

Tuesday –Dollar Dog Day

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

PROBABLES (Charleston/ Hickory)

Monday: LHP Reiver Sanmartin vs. RHP Noah Bremer

Tuesday: RHP Deivi Garcia vs. RHP Reid Anderson

Wednesday: RHP Miguel Yajure vs. RHP AJ Alexy

 

Recent Series History:

The Crawdads and RiverDogs have split eight games this season, each going 3-1 at the other’s ballpark. Hickory took 3 of 4 at Charleston two weeks ago. The RiverDogs have owned Hickory the past three seasons, taking 7 of 10 at LP Frans since 2015. Since the start of the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation in 2009, the Crawdads are 54-49 overall, 28-24 at home.

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 9): 2018 stats: .288/.340/.428, 12 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 16 BB, 66 K, 23 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Charleston: 5-for-32, 2B, 3B, BB, 9 K, 3 SB, CS. Last series at Greensboro: 2-for-8, 2 K, 3 SB. Had hits in 22 of his last 25 games before an 0-for-4 on Sunday. Has 15 in July. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd stolen bases.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 13): 2018 stats: 18 games (18 starts) 104 IP, 100 H, 39 R (36 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 12 BB, 98 K, 3.12 ERA, .248 OBA, 1.08 WHIP. Not scheduled to pitch vs. Charleston. Last start 7/29 at Greensboro: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. In his last 29 starts stretching to 6/23/17 at Spokane 167.2 IP, 19 BB, 171 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.04), T-3rd wins (8), 7th WHIP, 8th ERA, 9th innings. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 17) 2018 stats: .238/.301/.434, 16 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 24 BB, 95 K, 8 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Charleston: 3-for-18, 2B, HR, BB, 6 K, SB. Last series at Greensboro: 0-for-9, 2 BB, 5 K, SB. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10th triples

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 18): 2018 stats: 17 games (15 starts), 79.2 IP, 70 H, 44 R (38 ER), 4 HR, 8 HB, 44 BB, 94 K, 4.29 ERA, .241 OBA, 1.43 WHIP. This season vs. Charleston: 1 game, 3.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 1 K. Last start at Greenville (SC) 7/26: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), BB, 6 K. Joined the Rangers after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers in 7/17. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th walks, T-7th hit batters, T-9th losses (7).

C Sam Huff (No. 21): 2018 stats: .244/.304/.440, 19 2B, 3B, 13 HR, 19 BB, 101 K, 7 SB. This season vs. Charleston: 11-for-24, 5 2B, 5 K. Last series at Greensboro: 1-for-10, 2B, 2 BB, 6 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-9th HR

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 26): 2018 stats at Hickory: .221/.269/.383, 7 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 13 BB, 42 K, 1 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Charleston: 4-for-21, 2 2B, 3B, BB, 6 K. Last series at Greensboro: 2-for-11, HR, BB, K. Named SAL hitter of the week July 9-15. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 11 games (11 starts), 50.1 IP, 58 H, 29 R (25 ER), 5 HR, 17 BB, 47 K, 4.47 ERA, .291 OBA, 1.49 WHIP. This season vs. Charleston: 2 starts, 9.1 IP, 17 H, 8 R (8 ER), 4 BB, 6 K. Last start at Greenville 7/25: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), BB, 3 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP Reid Anderson: 17 games (14 starts), 80.1 IP, 73 H, 40 R (31 ER), 1 HR, 4 HB, 21 BB, 70 K, 3.47 ERA, .240 OBA, 1.17 WHIP. This season vs. Charleston: 1 game, 2 IP. Last start at Greenville 7/25: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 26 games, 3 saves, 40.2 IP, 11 H, 11 R (11 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 26 BB, 74 K, 2.43 ERA, .173 OBA, 1.23 WHIP. This season vs. Charleston: 2 games, 1 save, 3 IP, 6 K. Last game at Greensboro 7/29: .1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st K-per-9 innings ratio among relievers (16.39), 2nd lowest OBA among relievers (.152).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 28 games, 3 saves, 46 IP, 17 H, 14 R (11 ER), 3 HR, 39 BB, 70 K, 2.15 ERA, .119 BA, 1.22 WHIP. This season vs. Charleston: 2 games, 4 IP, 3 BB, 6 K. Last game at Greensboro 7/28: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.119), 2nd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.70), 9th walks, T-9th games.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .250/.302/.400, 19 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 23 BB, 42 K. This season vs. Charleston: 10-for-24, 7 2B, 4 BB, 3 K. Last series at Greensboro: 3-for-10, 2B, 2 BB, 3 K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.29).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .292/.353/.446, 16 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 25 BB, 83 K, 5 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Charleston: 9-for-29, 2B, 2 HR. 5 BB, 5 K. Last series at Greensboro: 5-for-13, 2B, 3 K, SB. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 7th batting avg.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .254/.373/.310, 8 2B, 3 3B, 44 BB, 46 K, 30 SB, 8 CS. This season vs. Charleston: 6-for-26, 2B, 5 BB, 4 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. Last series at Greensboro: 3-for-12, 2B, BB, 5 K, 5 SB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sacrifice bunts (13), 2nd stolen bases, 4th walks, 5th OBP, T-8th CS.

 

Prospects to watch-Charleston (rankings by MLB.com):

RHP Deivi Garcia (No. 12): 2018 stats at Charleston: 7 games (7 starts), 34.2 IP, 27 H, 14 R (12 ER), 3 HR, 5 HB, 8 BB, 56 K, 3.12 ERA, .208 OBA, 1.01 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 start, 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 HB, 2 BB, 7 K. Last start vs. at Augusta 7/25: 6 IP, 2 H, HB, 12 K. Signed by the Yankees as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Bonao, Dominican Republic.

RHP Roansy Contreras (No. 19) 2018 stats at Charleston: 2 games (2 starts), 11 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 9 K. Not expected to pitch vs. Hickory. Last start 7/29 vs. Greenville: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 5 K. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2016. Native of Yamasa, D.R.

 

Others to watch-Charleston:

LHP Reiver Sanmartin: 2018 stats at Charleston: 4 games (4 starts), 20.2 IP, 18 H, 10 R (8 ER), 6 HB, 3 BB, 14 K, 3.48 ERA, .231 OBA, 1.02 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 start, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 HB, 2 BB, 2 K. Last start vs. Augusta 7/24: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HB, 5 K. Traded to the Yankees from the Rangers 11/20/17 for RHP Ronald Herrera. Pitched for Hickory in 2017. Originally signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Cartagena, Columbia.

RHP Miguel Yajure: 2018 stats: 8 games (8 stats), 36.1 IP, 31 H, 22 R, 15 ER, 1 HR, 9 BB, 35 K, 3.72 ERA, .228 OBA, 1.10 WHIP. Has not faced Hickory. Last start vs. Augusta 7/26: 5 IP, 2 H, 6 K. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Cabimas, Venezuela.

RHP Braden Bristo: 2018 stats: 27 games 7 saves, 42 IP, 32 H, 11 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 2 HB, 12 BB, 55 K, 1.93 ERA, .209 OBA, 1.05 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 3 games, 1 save, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 1 BB, 9 K. Last game 7/28 vs. Greenville: 2/3 IP, 1 K. Twenty-third round pick of the Yankees in 2016 out of Louisiana Tech. Attended Ouachita Christian, Monroe, La. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd K-per-9 IP ratio among relivers (11.79).

2B Oswaldo Cabrera: 2018 stats: .237/.278/.339, 18 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 20 BB, 51 K, 2 SB, 8 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 11-for-26, 3B, BB, 3 K, SB, CS. Last series vs. Greenville: 2-for-13, 2B, BB, K. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Guarenas, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd games played, 4th AB, T-7 CS.

SS Wilkerman Garcia: 2018 stats: .232/.288/.326, 18 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 28 BB, 78 K, 12 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 7-for-30, BB, 7 K, SB. Last series vs. Greenville: 3-for-10, 2B, 2 K. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maracay, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 6th AB.

RF Frederick Cuevas: 2018 stats at Charleston: .217/.266/.261, 5 2B, 7 BB, 33 K, 3 SB. This season vs. Hickory: 6-for-14, 2 BB, 4 K. Last series vs. Greenville: 0-for-7, BB, K. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

3B Charles Hess: 2018 stats: .242/.324/.377, 18 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 27 BB, 99 K. This season vs. Hickory: 5-for-27, 3 2B, BB, 10 K. Last series vs. Greenville: 4-for-13, 2 2B, 4 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of the University of Rhode Island. Named to 2017 All-Star Game.

Series Preview: Kannapolis Intimidators at Hickory Crawdads July 19-22

Kannapolis Intimidators (52-40 overall, 13-12 second half, 4th South Atlantic League North) at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (44-49, 14-11, 3rd SAL North)

The Crawdads host the Intimidators for four games during a short homestand at L.P. Frans Stadium.

WHERE IS IT?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 5 p.m.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday, Usher Hunger Games

Friday –Post-game Fireworks, Christmas in July

Saturday – Post-Game concert by Sidewalk Prophets

Sunday – Church Bulletin Sunday

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section. Note: Saturday’s game tickets are $15-$20, which includes the concert

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

PROBABLES (Kannapolis/ Hickory)

Thursday: RHP Jhoan Quijada vs. RHP Reid Anderson

Friday: LHP Parker Rigler vs. RHP AJ Alexy

Saturday: RHP Yosmer Solorzano vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

Sunday: TBA vs. RHP Alex Eubanks

 

Recent Series History:

Kannapolis has won 7 of 12 vs. Hickory this season, though the Crawdads have won 2 of 3 in the only series played at L.P. Frans this season. Since 2009 – the start of the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation, Hickory is 101-70 overall, 47-32 at home. The Intimidators are looking for the first season-series win vs. Hickory since 2010 (9-7).

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .273/.321/.414, 10 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 12 BB, 59 K, 17 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 9-for-30, 2 3B, 1 BB, 8 K, 3 SB. Last series at Charleston: 4-for-14, 2B, 3B, 5 K, 2 SB, CS. Has hits in 15 of his last 17 games (24-for-77, 2 2B, 3B, 2 BB). Has 6 steals in his last six games. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10th stolen bases.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .235/.285/.424, 16 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 17 BB, 82 K, 7 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 7-for-30, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 12 K, SB. Last series at Charleston: 3-for-15, 2B, HR, BB, 3 K, SB. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 15 games (13 starts), 68.2 IP, 58 H, 42 R (36 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 41 BB, 83 K, 4.72 ERA, .232 OBA, 1.44 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3 starts, 17.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), HB, 6 BB, 18 K. Last start vs. West Virginia 7/13: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 7 K. Joined the Crawdads after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th walks, T-5th losses (7), T-9th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats at Hickory: .225/.269/.359, 7 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 13 BB, 44 K, 0 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-17, 3B, BB, 4 K. Last series at Charleston: 3-for-12, 2 2B, 3B, BB, 2 K. Named SAL hitter of the week July 9-15. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 25): 2018 stats: .245/.302/.410, 18 2B, 9 HR, 15 BB, 85 K, 4 SB. This season vs. Kannapolis: 9-for-39, 3 2B, HR, 2 BB, 10 K, 2 SB. Last series at Kannapolis: 7-for-13, 4 2B, 4 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 30): 2018 stats: 16 games (16 starts) 93 IP, 92 H, 37 R (34 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 10 BB, 90 K, 3.29 ERA, .254 OBA, 1.10 WHIP. Not scheduled to pitch vs. Kannapolis. Last start 7/16 at Charleston: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 5 K. In his last 27 starts stretch to 6/23/17 at Spokane 156.2 IP, 17 BB, 163 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (0.97), T-4th wins (7) 10th innings, 10th strikeouts. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Reid Anderson: 15 games (12 starts), 67.2 IP, 58 H, 33 R (28 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 20 BB, 57 K, 3.72 ERA, .229 OBA, 1.15 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 1 start, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Last start vs. West Virginia 7/12: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.

RHP Tyree Thompson: 16 games (14 starts), 73.1 IP, 82 H, 53 R, 41 ER, 12 HR, 3 HB, 29 BB, 44 K, 5.03 ERA, .284 OBA, 1.51 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 1 start, 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 HR, 2 BB, 2 K. Last start at Charleston 7/14: 5 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 4 K. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-5th losses (7), T-5th home runs allowed, T-10th runs allowed.

RHP Alex Eubanks: 16 games (15 starts), 80.2 IP, 96 H, 58 R (56 ER), 12 HR, 4 HB, 22 BB, 82 K, 6.25 ERA, .296 OBA, 1.46 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3 starts, 12.2 IP, 21 H, 14 R (13 ER), 3 HR, 2 HB, 6 BB, 18 K. Last start at Charleston 7/15: 2 IP, 6 H, 7 R (6 ER), 3 BB, 1 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Clemson. Attended Byrnes High in Moore, S.C. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd earned runs allowed, 4th runs allowed, T-5th home runs allowed, 10th hits allowed.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 23 games, 3 saves, 37.1 IP, 19 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 23 BB, 68 K, 2.17 ERA, .152 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 4 games, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 5 BB, 9 K. Last game at Charleston 7/16: 1 IP, 3 K. Last 8 outings: 15.1 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 33 Ks. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st K-per-9 innings ratio among relievers (16.39), 2nd lowest OBA among relievers (.152).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 25 games, 2 saves, 42 IP, 14 H, 14 R (11 ER), 37 BB, 64 K, 2.36 ERA, .109 BA, 1.21 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 4 games, 5.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R (2 ER), 6 BB, 10 K. Last game at Charleston 7/15: 3 IP, 2 BB, 6 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.109), 2nd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.71), 8th walks, T-10th games,

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .255/.305/.404, 16 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 19 BB, 36 K. This season vs. Kannapolis: 13-for-38, 4 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 4 K. Last series at Charleston: 6-for-14, 5 2B, BB, 3 K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.47).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .295/.366/.455, 11 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 25 BB, 75 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 6-for-28, 2B, HR. 3 BB, 7 K. Last series at Charleston: 5-for-15, 2B, 3 BB, 3 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 8th batting avg, 10th OBP.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .249/.367/.315, 8 2B, 3 3B, 38 BB, 37 K, 22 SB, 6 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 4-for-17, 2 2B, 6 BB, 5 K, 3 SB, 1 CS. Last series at Charleston: 4-for-14, 2B, 4 BB, K, 3 SB, SB. Has at least one hit in 14 of the last 16 games and reached base in 21 of the last 22 games. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sacrifice bunts (13), 2nd stolen bases, 8th walks.8th OBP,

 

Prospects to watch-Kannapolis (rankings by MLB.com):

C Evan Skoug (No. 21): 2018 stats: .203/.290/.336, 10 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 27 BB, 76 K. This season vs. Hickory: 11-for-28, 2 2B, HR, 6 BB, 6 K, 2 SB. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 3-for-10, 2B, 3B, BB, 2 K. Seventh-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Texas Christian Univ. Native of Libertyville, Ill. Big 12 Co-player of the year in 2017. First-team All-American.

3B Luis Curbelo (No. 22): 2018 stats: .239/.292/.342. 11 2B, 3B, HR, 11 BB, 40 K. This season vs. Hickory: 5-for-17, 2 2B, 3 BB, 5 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-16, BB, 2 K. Sixth-round pick of the White Sox in 2016 out of Cocoa (HS), FL. Born in Carolina, P.R.

1B Justin Yurchak (No. 27): 2018 stats: .253/.354/.333, 15 2B, 3B, HR, 39 BB, 46 K. This season vs. Hickory: 14-for-36, 4 2B, 3B, 10 RBI, 8 BB, 7 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 1-for-10, 2 BB, 2 K. Twelfth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Binghamton (N.Y.) Univ. Attended Shenendehowa HS in his native Clifton Park, N.Y. Played at Wake Forest his freshman season. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-5th walks.

 

Others to watch-Kannapolis:

RHP Jhoan Quijada: 2018 stats: 10 games (4 starts), 45 IP, 48 H, 22 R (20 ER), 5 HR, 2 HB, 8 BB, 26 K, 4.00 ERA, .276 OBA, 1.24 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 game, 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 K. Last start at Greensboro 7/13: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K. Signed as an international free agent with the White Sox in 2012.

RHP Zach Lewis: 2018 stats: 21 games (8 starts), 58.2 IP, 40 H, 28 R (24 ER), 5 HR, 8 HB, 32 BB, 53 K, 3.68 ERA, .198 OBA, 1.23 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 4 games (2 starts), 12.1 IP, 12 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 4 HB, 5 BB, 12 K. Last start vs. Hagerstown vs. 7/16: 5 IP, 3 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 6 K. Signed a non-drafted, free-agent contract with the White Sox in 2017. Played college ball at Wabash Valley College (IL) and Wichita St. Attended St. Laurence HS, Burbank Ill. Top-10 Rankings: T-7th hit batters.

LHP Parker Rigler: 2018 stats: 18 games (18 starts), 94.1 IP, 87 H, 51 R (45 ER), 7 HR, 7 HB, 39 BB, 83 K, 4.29 ERA, .244 OBA, 1.34 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 3 starts, 13.1 IP, 14 H, 12 R (11 ER), 2 HR, HB, 9 BB, 18 K. Last start vs. Hagerstown 7/14: 5 IP, 8 H, 7 R (5 ER), BB, 2 K. Thirty-first-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Kansas State. Attended Edmond (Okla.) Memorial HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-1st starts, 7th walks, 8th earned runs allowed, 9th innings, T-9th hit batters.

RHP Yosmer Solorzano: 2018 stats: 21 games (8 starts), 57.2 IP, 53 H, 37 R (34 ER), 5 HR, 4 HB, 30 BB, 43 K. This season vs. Hickory: 2 games, 3 IP, 1 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 3 K. Last start vs. Hagerstown 7/15, 2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), HR, HB, 5 BB. Signed with the White Sox as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Higuerote, Venezuela.

LHP Andrew Perez: 2018 stats at Kannapolis: 5 games, 1 save, 8 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 HB, 2 BB, 7 K, 2.25 ERA, .241 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2 games, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (ER), 4 K. Eighth-round pick of the White Sox in 2018 out of the Univ. of South Florida. Attended Timber Creek HS, Orlando, Fla. Promoted to Kannapolis from rookie-affiliate Great Falls (Mont.) 6/29.

LHP Bennett Sousa: 2018 stats at Kannapolis: 1 game, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K. Promoted from Great Falls 7/15. Tenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2018 out of the Univ. of Virginia. Attended The Benjamin School, North Palm Beach, Fla.

RHP Jake Elliott: 2018 stats: 23 games, 2 saves, 48.2 IP, 39 H, 19 R (17 ER), 5 HR, 2 HB, 12 BB, 56 K, 3.14 ERA, .223 OBA, 1.03 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 3 games, 1 save, 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 HR, 4 BB, 7 K. Last game vs. Hagerstown 7/15: 3 IP, 2 H, ER, K. Fifteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2016 out of the Univ. of Oklahoma. Attended Coppell (Tex.) HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

SS Nick Madrigal: 2018 stats at Kannapolis: 1 game 3-4, 2B, BB, SB. Promoted from AZL White Sox 7/16. First-round pick (fourth overall) in 2018 out of Oregon St. Univ. Attended Elk Grove (Calif.) HS.

2B Tate Blackman: 2018 stats: .269/.364/.426, 13 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 40 BB, 103 K, 3 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 8-for-42, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 BB, 19 K, 1 CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 7-for-11, 2B, HR, 3 BB, 2 K, CS. Thirteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Ole Miss. Attended Lake Brantley HS (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th walks, T-6th strikeouts, T-10th games, T-10th RBI

LF Craig Dedalow: 2018 stats: .262/.309/.420, 24 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 18 BB, 76 K, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 12-for-48, 5 2B, 3B, 2 BB, 16 K, CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 3-for-13, 3B, HR, 4 K. Ninth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out Indiana Univ. Attended Munster (Ind.) HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd at-bats, 2nd doubles, T-4th triples, 8th hits, 10th total bases, T-10th games, T-10th RBI 1st assists by an OF (11).

RF Tyler Frost: 2018 stats: .217/.298/.422, 13 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 26 BB, 89 K. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-25, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 10 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 5-for-13, 2B, HR, 4 BB, 3 K. Fifteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Gonzaga Univ. (College teammate with Hickory’s Justin Jacobs.) Attended Greenway HS in Phoenix, AZ. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10th HR

 

In Control: An Interview with Tyler Phillips

When Tyler Phillips was a member of the 2017 Hickory Crawdads, the outings were painful to watch. A 6.39 ERA over 25.1 innings and a .280 OBA quickly showed that Phillips was not ready for class Low-A. The five hit batters and 9 walks over that stretch showed he didn’t trust the stuff he had.

A demotion to the Texas Rangers extended spring was an awakening for the then-19-year-old from Pennsauken, N.J. Dealing with the anger over the demotion, Phillips, who was 18-0 during his high school career, was also dealing with the reality that he was experiencing failure and needed to make mental changes.

The start of the short-season Northwestern League at Spokane (Wash.) had its ups and downs, including a three-walk over a four-inning start on June 23. Since then, Phillips has made 26 pro starts. He’s walked more than one in a start just once. That came on opening night 2018 to back-to-back hitters at Greensboro.

Over his last eight starts with Spokane, the right-hander in 49 innings allowed 47 hits, 13 earned runs (2.39 ERA), one hit batter, 5 walks with 55 strikeouts.

For much of the season, Phillips has been the Crawdads most consistent starter. Following the opening-night loss to the Grasshoppers, Phillips has gone five innings in his remaining 14 starts. All 14 has seen 0 or 1 in the walk column. He has 85 strikeouts to just 10 walks over 88 innings (through July 9).

His fastball is around 91-92 mph consistently, but it’s the changeup that is often his money-maker. In a July 2 start vs. Greensboro, Phillips had, by my count, 16 missed bats out of 54 strikes, 12 of those on changeups.

However good Phillips’ control has been over the last 12 months, that has come, in many ways, through the ability to control some of the fiery emotion he battled on the mound, and to control some self-doubts, regaining his confidence.

The following interview took place the day after the Greensboro start on 7/2/18 and it starts with the outcome of that outing and then weaves through the events of his career over the past year.

 

First of all, last night’s start, I don’t know how you felt about it but it seemed like once you got through the first inning you seemed to find a groove. What was the key for you?

Phillips: To be honest, in that first inning I was pretty gassed. I was down there in the bullpen warming up and the humidity was getting to me and I was sweating, and I couldn’t catch my breath. And there was a little bit of miscommunication in the dugout, so I went out there earlier than I wanted to. That’s kind of the whole reason the first inning seemed a little longer than it should’ve been.

After that, me and (Yohel) Pozo – I told him the plan before the game, they’re an aggressive team and they swing a lot. You don’t really see many adjustments made, so I’m just going to keep pitching to my strengths. I said, “Hey, I’ve been watching them and we’re just going to keep them mixed up and let them get themselves out.” As hitters, they’re hitting .250 for a reason and they’re not going to hit it every time. So, I just kept it mixed up and kept making them uncomfortable. That’s why I fell into that groove there. We just stuck to our plan. I just kept making pitches and he was blocking pitches in the dirt. That was a big help from him.

 

A lot of changeups last night. Has that pitch come along for you over the last year?

Phillips: I mean, the changeup is a feel pitch. I guess it was two years ago I started working on it, because it was always too hard. I got it and then I started to lose it a little bit, then I got it back last year when I went back to extended after getting sent down from here. I just practiced that because that’s the last pitch a hitter is going to learn to hit, and it looks just like a fastball, if you throw it right. I just practiced it every single day.

My last three, four outings, it hasn’t really been there. So, like I said, it’s a feel pitch and every day for the past two weeks I’ve been out here every day just tweaking my grip and messing around with different things until I got it back. I was playing catch with A.J. (Alexy) and he was throwing his hard, so I just started throwing mine hard and that’s kind of how I got it to come back. You’ve just got to trust it. That’s been the big pitch for me.

 

Is that the hardest pitch for a starter to learn?

Phillips: I picked it up pretty quickly, but it’s different for every guy. Some guys have more feel than others. It’s just something that I put a lot of time into it. I kind of take pride in that pitch a lot. I know (Alex) Eubanks is working on one right now. Some things will click for some guys and some things won’t. I tried telling him things that I do with mine, but that might not click for him. So, you’ve just got to talk to teammates and talk to coaches, and eventually it’ll come. It’s a tough pitch to come along with.

Tyler Phillips 2

Tyler Phillips from a 2017 start (Crystal Lin/ Hickory Crawdads)

 

Who have you seen either on the major league level, or even at this level, that has a changeup that you have looked to, or were impressed by?

Phillips: Probably Cole Ragans. Unfortunately, he got hurt in spring training; I would’ve loved to have had him here. He’s another guy, we’d sit there and we both have similar swing-and-miss changeups. I love watching it because it’s a fun pitch to watch come out of his hand.

I know he models his after Cole Hamels, which – I’m a Phillies fan because I’m from New Jersey, and I’m a Cole Hamels fan, too. Those are the two guys that come to mind when I think about a changeup. Obviously, there’s Pedro Payano, he’s got a good one. There’s a lot of guys, but both of the Coles, they come to mind when you talk about changeups.

 

You mentioned Cole Hamels, have you been able to talk to him any?

Phillips: He talked to us just about routines and stuff, like all of the pitchers. But whenever I see him, we talk about the Eagles basically. I wish I could have a little bit more time with him, just to talk about pitching and all the different aspects to it. He’s a smart guy, obviously. He’s been in the league for a long time and he’s had success. I wish I could talk to him more about it.

 

Is that an awe thing for you? Like, dude, this is Cole Hamels.

Phillips: This was weird how that came about. My assistant high school baseball coach, his brother’s friend sent him these selfies with Cole Hamels, so apparently, they’re friends. Cole came up to me and my heart was pounding, and I was like, “Oh my God, this is Cole Hamels.” It is a little weird, but he’s just another guy, just like us. He just has a little bit more experience.

Tyler Phillips 2018

Tyler Phillips warming up for a 2018 start (Hickory Crawdads)

 

You have a real calm presence on the mound, or at least it looks like that to me sitting up in the press box. I get the impression that you have this cool demeanor on the mound. Is that important for you as a starter? Where did you gather that?

Phillips: That’s another thing that just comes along just talking to older guys and talking to all kinds of people that have been through it.

I know in high school I was successful. I was 18-0 and I didn’t really experience failure. I went to Spokane my first year and struggled there, and there were errors and stuff. I wasn’t really liking that and I was getting fired up on the mound. Then I sat down with Rags (Corey Ragsdale) and he was like, “Hey, man, they’re not perfect and you’re not perfect. You’ve just got to trust it, man. You’re working. You can’t sit there and deny that stuff and you can’t control it. You need to work harder and get better yourself.”

That’s kind of where it started, that and all the peak-performance classes we have with Josiah (Igono), who’s our big-league, peak-performance guy now. He was just like “You don’t want to waste energy out there and it’s not going to do anything by getting upset.”

When I walk guys – I don’t like walking guy, when I walk guys, I get angry – you’ve just got to step off, regather yourself and make your pitches. I try to do that and I try to have a little fire in my eye. It’s just a big confidence thing and it’s what’s making my season better now. I go out there and I walk out there and I think I’m the best one here and no one’s better than me. It’s not true, but you’ve got to fake it until you make it. There are plenty of pitchers out there better than me, but it’s all up in the mind.

 

Did you grow up a lot from when you were here last year?

Phillips: A whole lot (laughing). Maturity, I feel like. A lot of guys and a lot of coaches have said that I’ve become much more mature. I guess I do see it and it’s just like, you just learn things.

My offseason throwing partner (Scott Oberg) – he’s in the big leagues with the Colorado Rockies right now. He talks to me a lot right now about philosophies and Chinese proverbs, and I’m just sitting there just taking it in. I know that he’s in the big leagues, so why not listen to him and take advantage of your resources. And the whole thing with Josiah, just listening to him.

I’m getting older and if I want to move, I’ve got to get mature. Just like Spanish players, you’ve got to learn English. They don’t have to, but it makes a big impact in the game. I feel like it makes me a better person on the field and off the field. It makes it easier to be a pitcher if you’re not worried about that other stuff.

 

I know you saw my tweet about your last 25 starts (Tyler Phillips walked 3 in a start with on 6/23/17. In the 25 starts since, he’s walked more than 1 batter once – back-2-back on opening night 2018. Since then: 144.2 IP 16 walks, 147 Ks), Was there a point where you began to trust your stuff? I know you went down from here last year and learned some things, but there comes a moment where you’ve got to trust what you do. For some guys there’s a moment or a conversation that gets you to trust your stuff.

Phillips: It’s just a big confidence thing. At instructs, Rags asked me, “What’s different?” I came from here and got moved down, and obviously, I’m not going to be happy. Josiah said, “You should take this week to be pissed off. I know you’re going to be angry and you’re going to be upset, but none of these younger guys here in Arizona, they don’t feel bad for you. They see it as an opportunity for them to move up and they’re going to take advantage of that, if they can.”

That kind of really hit home for me and I really starting to get worried, like “What am I doing? Yeah, I’m going to be pissed off, but I’ve got to get back there and I’ve got to keep moving up and keep getting better.” So, I went out there every single day and just worked hard. That’s really all you can do. It just clicked for me there and that’s the big thing. I went out there and started to throw better and started to pitch better and my confidence started to come back up. I realized, “Hey, this is what’s going to make me better than everyone else.” I’ve been there, and I wasn’t confident, and you saw what happened last year at the beginning of the season. That was just a big thing for me.

Was the all-star selection a big moment for you?

Phillips: Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make it. My last outing wasn’t the best and I was looking at my stats on the milb thing and thought, “Oh man.” But it happened. That was one of my goals for the season.

I told them in my individual meeting, “Yeah, I want to make an all-star game. I want to move up halfway through the season.” Hopefully, that happens, but if it doesn’t, as long as I progress in my pitching and just keep getting better, that’s what I want. But, the All-Star Game was big for me. I was happy about that.

 

Good experience for you?

Phillips: Yeah, it was a really good experience. It was weird being in the clubhouse with all the other teams. Like, you’re trying to beat them as a pitcher and I’m trying to strike them out and I’m trying to get them out. Like I told you, I had that little fire in my eye and I’m thinking of staring guys down. It’s just a mental thing, but I get in the clubhouse with them and I feel like nobody liked me. Like, this is weird. But, it was definitely fun to meet some of those guys and hear some of their stories of the things they’ve done. It was all a good time.

 

What does your path to the major leagues look like? You probably don’t see the whole journey, but you guys are always looking at the next thing, the next step.

Phillips: I mean, I’m still young. I’m only 20-years-old right now. I’m hoping I move up every year from here on out, kind of just keep a steady track. That’s what my goal is. If anything happens before that, great, but I don’t need to rush myself, I don’t think. Because, what’s the point of going up too soon and you risk not having a good season and you just go back to square one? Hopefully that doesn’t happen to where I’ll lose some confidence. I just want to move steadily.

 

Who have you met from the Rangers – I know you mentioned Cole Hamels – but who you’ve met that you’ve gravitated towards?

Phillips: I mentioned Rags. I mentioned Josiah, and I try to talk to him as much as I can. It’s a little different now because he’s pretty busy with the major leaguers. That’s the main one, Josiah.

Everyone says that baseball is 90 percent mental and the other 90 percent is physical, but it’s all mental, I think. This is a grind. I like talking to teammates just to see what they have to say. I try to go towards older guys and put myself out of my comfort zone. I used to be really shy and I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. You’ve just got to force yourself to do some things.

I talked to Kyle Cody last year before I got sent down. I talked to him the short time I was here to get some input from him and his thoughts. I talked to guys my age just to see what they think and compare things and see what works for people. I’m a big observer. I like to watch and not talk as much.

And there’s a time where you can let some stuff out, because you’ve experienced it. I like to experience things through other people’s experiences. That’s really what I do; I don’t really have a set person. I just try to watch people and see what they’ve got going on. There’s a lot of smart guys and I’m not going to get to talk to all of them.

 

You call the call to the major leagues, what do you think that will be like for you? Who do you call?

Phillips: Both of my parents, obviously. My girlfriend, she’d definitely be pretty excited about that.

I wish I had my grandpa around to tell him that. So, I try to pitch for him every time I go out there. If you ever see me behind the mound just staring up, I pick out a cloud out there, a tree or something and just try to talk to him a little bit right before I pitch. That always settles me down. I wish I can call him, but I know he’s watching. That’s one guy, but my parents will tell everyone else and reach out. I’ve got my two best friends that I’d call.

 

What’s your grandpa’s name?

Phillips: Frank Phillips.

 

What did he mean to you?

Phillips: I was young when he passed, probably 9 or 10 years old, but he was one of my heroes. He was in wars, he was in all the wars. He has a purple heart and just had some great stories and just took care of me, whenever my dad would bring me over there. We had fun and he showed me how to pitch and play checkers and do all the things that you teach younger kids how to do. I just loved being around him and he was really a great guy. He was awesome, and I was pretty close to him. I like to try to model myself after him, I think he was a good guy. He taught my dad everything that my dad knows and my dad tries to teach me everything that my grandpa knew. I know he would’ve loved to be there. He’s never seen me pitch. That’s something I wish he could’ve done, but I know he’s up there watching.

Series Preview: Hickory Crawdads at Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs July 14-17

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (41-48, 11-10, T-3rd SAL North) at Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs (New York Yankees) (45-43, 12-8 1st SAL South)

The Crawdads travel to Charleston S.C. for a four-game set against the RiverDogs at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park (“The Joe”)

WHERE IS IT?: Take I-26 East to Hwy.17 South. Turn right onto Lockwood Dr. Follow Lockwood for 1/2 mile. Stadium is on left.

 

BROADCASTS: All games are streamed live on the web through milb.com or the Charleston RiverDogs website.

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Saturday 6:05 p.m., Sunday 5:05 p.m. Monday 7:05 p.m., Tuesday 12:05 p.m.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Saturday – Post-Game T-Shirt Toss

Sunday – Dino Day

Monday – National Get Your Dog out of the House Day

Tuesday – Splash Day

TICKETS: $20 Diamond View, $18 Field View, $10 Grandstand, $8 General Admission

PARKING: Lots controlled by the team $5 for non-VIP lots (VIP lots for parking pass holders). Sunday parking is free.

CONCESSIONS: 13 different options for food, including Dave’s Sausage World, Land Shark Tiki-Bar, Chelsea’s Cantina, Pie House, etc.

 

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Charleston)

Saturday: RHP Tyree Thompson vs. RHP Janson Junk

Sunday: RHP Alex Eubanks vs. RHP Alex Mauricio

Monday: RHP Tyler Phillips vs. LHP Reiver Sanmartin

Tuesday: RHP Noah Bremer vs. RHP Deivi Garcia

 

Recent Series History:

The RiverDogs took 3 of 4 from host Hickory earlier this season. Charleston is 8-2 vs. the Crawdads over the last two seasons. Since 2009 and the start of the Rangers-Crawdads affiliation, Hickory is 51-48 overall, but the RiverDogs are 24-23 at home.

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .272/.320/.408, 9 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 12 BB, 54 K, 15 SB, 2 CS. Last series vs. West Virginia: 3-for-9, HR K, 3 SB. Has reached base in 14 of his last 15 games (20-for-63, 2B, HR, 2 BB), which includes a current, 10-game hitting streak. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .238/.288/.421, 15 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 79 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. Last series vs. West Virginia: 4-for-9, 3B,  K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 15 games (13 starts), 68.2 IP, 58 H, 42 R (36 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 41 BB, 83 K, 4.72 ERA, .232 OBA, 1.44 WHIP. Last start vs. West Virginia 7/13: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 7 K. Joined the Crawdads after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd walks, T-5th losses (7), T-7th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats at Hickory: .218/.272/.335, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 11 BB, 32 K, 0 SB, 4 CS. Last series vs. West Virginia: 4-for-12, 2B, HR, 3 K Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .231/.291/.388, 14 2B, 9 HR, 15 BB, 81 K, 4 SB. Last series v. West Virginia: 1-for-8, 3 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 29): 2018 stats: 15 games (15 starts) 88 IP, 86 H, 35 R (32 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 10 BB, 85 K, 3.427 ERA, .254 OBA, 1.09 WHIP. Last start 7/9 at Delmarva: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 11 K. In his last 26 starts stretch to 6/23/17 at Spokane 151.2 IP, 17 BB, 158 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.02), T-10th wins (6). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Tyree Thompson: 15 games (13 starts), 68.1 IP, 79 H, 53 R, 41 ER, 12 HR, 3 HB, 25 BB, 40 K, 5.40 ERA, .289 OBA, 1.52 WHIP. Last game at Delmarva 7/7: 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 HR, 3 BB. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-5th losses (7), T-5th home runs allowed, T-8th runs allowed.

RHP Alex Eubanks: 15 games (14 starts), 78.2 IP, 90 H, 51 R (50 ER), 12 HR, 4 HB, 19 BB, 81 K, 5.72 ERA, .288 OBA, 1.39 WHIP. Last start at Delmarva 7/8: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Clemson. Attended Byrnes High in Moore, S.C. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd earned runs allowed, T-5th home runs allowed, T-10th hits allowed.

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 9 games (9 starts), 41.1 IP, 45 H, 22 R (19 ER), 5 HR, 13 BB, 41 K, 4.14 ERA, .278 OBA, 1.40 WHIP. Last start vs. West Virginia 7/11: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 HR, 3 BB, 5 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 22 games, 2 saves, 36.1 IP, 19 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 23 BB, 65 K, 2.23 ERA, .156 OBA, 1.16 WHIP. Last game vs. West Virginia 7/13: 3 IP, 1 BB, 5 K. Last 7 outings: 14.1 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 30 Ks. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st K-per-9 innings ratio among relievers (16.10), 2nd lowest OBA among relievers (.156).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 24 games, 2 saves, 39 IP, 14 H, 14 R (11 ER), 35 BB, 58 K, 2.54 ERA, .117 BA, 1.26 WHIP. Last game 7/11 vs. West Virginia: 2 IP, 4 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.117), 2nd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.38), 10th walks.

RHP Royce Bollinger: 2018 at SS-A Spokane: 7 games (1 start), 14.1 IP, 18 H, 7 R (5 ER), 2 HB, 3 BB, 20 K, 3.14 ERA, .321 OBA, 1.47 WHIP. Called up to Hickory 7/14. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2012 out of Gonzaga Univ. Attended Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. Was an outfielder in the Rangers system through 2017 at AA Frisco.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .246/.297/.384, 11 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 18 BB, 33 K. Last series vs. West Virginia: 0-for-2, BB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.79).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .292/.360/.448, 10 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 22 BB, 72 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. Last series vs. West Virginia: 3-for-12, HR, 2 BB, 4 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 10th batting avg.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .248/.366/.310, 7 2B, 3 3B, 38 BB, 39 K, 21 SB, 5 CS. Last series vs. West Virginia: 2-for-11, 2B, BB, 2 K, SB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T1st sacrifice bunts (12), T-3rd stolen bases, 9th walks.

1B Tyreque Reed: 2018 stats: .271/.322/.448, 16 2B, 6 HR, 11 BB, 63 K. Last series vs. West Virginia: 6-for-12, 2 2B, 4 K. Has 7 multi-hit tallies in his last 9 games (17-37) and 10 in the second half. Eighth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Itawamba Community College in Mississippi. Attended Houlka (MS) HS.

 

Prospects to watch-Charleston (rankings by MLB.com):

RHP Deivi Garcia (No. 14): 2018 stats: 5 games (5 starts) 24.1 IP, 23 H, 14 R (12 ER), 3 HR, 2 HB, 6 BB, 37 K, 4.44 ERA, .242 OBA, 1.19 WHIP. Last start vs. Delmarva 7/11: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 HR, 4 BB, 6 K. Signed by the Yankees as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Bonao, Dominican Republic.

3B Dermis Garcia (No. 20): 2018 stats: .222/.297/.431, 9 2B, 3B, 8 HR, 18 BB, 62 K. Last series vs. Delmarva: 3-for-8, HR, 5 K. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

Others to watch-Charleston:

RHP Janson Junk: 2018 stats: 9 games (7 starts), 45.1 IP, 40 H, 23 R (22 ER), 5 HR, 2 HB, 14 BB, 32 K, 4.37 ERA, .235 OBA, 1.19 WHIP. Last start at Columbia 7/7: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. Twenty-second round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of Seattle Univ. Attended Decatur HS, Federal Way, Wash.

RHP Alex Mauricio: 2018 stats at SS-A Staten Island (NY): 4 games (4 starts), 21 IP, 16 H, 9 R (5 ER), 2 HB, 6 BB, 21 K, 2.14 ERA, .211 OBA, 1.05 WHIP. First start with Charleston. Twenty-seventh round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of Norfolk (Va.) State. Attended Manchester HS, Midlothian, Va.

LHP Reiver Sanmartin: 2018 stats with Charleston: 2 games (2 starts), 10 IP, 9 H, 6 R (4 ER), 2 HB, 1 BB, 7 K, 3.60 ERA, .237 OBA, 1.00 WHIP. Last start at Columbia 7/9: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 HB, 1 BB, 3 K. Traded to the Yankees from the Rangers 11/20/17 for RHP Ronald Herrera. Pitched for Hickory in 2017. Originally signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Cartagena, Columbia.

RHP Kyle Zurak: 2018 stats: 22 games, 8 saves, 39.1 IP, 31 H, 13 R (12 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 10 BB, 40 K, 2.75 ERA, .215 OBA, 1.04 WHIP. Last game vs. Delmarva 7/13: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 K. Eighth-round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of Radford (Va.) Univ. Attended Williamsville (N.Y.) North. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 7th saves.

RHP Braden Bristo: 2018 stats: 22 games 6 saves, 35.1 IP, 26 H, 7 R (5 ER), 2 HB, 11 BB, 44 K, 1.27 ERA, .203 OBA, 1.05 WHIP. Twenty-third round pick of the Yankees in 2016 out of Louisiana Tech. Attended Ouachita Christian, Monroe, La. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 5th K-per-9 IP ratio among relivers (11.21).

Series Preview: West Virginia Power at Hickory Crawdads July 11-13

West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates) (47-37, 10-8 T-2nd SAL North), at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (39-47, 9-9, T-4th SAL North)

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Wednesday-Friday 7 p.m.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Wednesday – World Record Wednesday

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday, Sandlot 25th Anniversary

Friday –Post-game Fireworks, 40th Anniversary Halloween, Halloween T-Shirt Giveaway (First 1,000 fans)

 

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section.

WHERE IS IT?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

PROBABLES (West Virginia/ Hickory)

Thursday: RHP Hunter Stratton vs. RHP Noah Bremer

Friday: RHP Cody Bolton vs. RHP Reid Anderson

Saturday: Travis MacGregor vs. RHP AJ Alexy

 

Recent Series History:

West Virginia has dominated the series in 2018 with a 14-5 record against Hickory. which includes a 7-3 mark at L.P. Frans Stadium. The Power swept the Crawdads in three-straight to open the second half.

 

About the Crawdads:

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .269/.319/.394, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 53 K, 12 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 6-for-32, 2 2B, 4 BB, 7 K, 2 SB. Last series at Delmarva: 3-for-11, 3 K, SB. Has reached base in 12 of his last 13 games (17-for-54, 2B, 2 BB). First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .229/.283/.411, 15 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 78 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 16-for-58, 5 BB, 14 K, 2 SB. Last series at Delmarva: 3-for-13, 2B, 3B 5 K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 14 games (12 starts), 63.2 IP, 51 H, 38 R (32 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 39 BB, 76 K, 4.52 ERA, .224 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 4 starts, 19 IP, 16 H, 14 R (12 ER), 2 HR, 1 HB, 9 BB, 24 K. Last start at Kannapolis 7/5: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K. Joined the Crawdads after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd walks, T-5th losses (7), T-7th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats at Hickory: .209/.263/.310, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 29 K, 0 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 5-for-26, 2 HR, 4 K, CS Last series at Delmarva: 4-for-13, K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela. Assigned to Hickory 6/29 after a two-weak stint at short-season Spokane. He is 8-for-37 with a HR, BB and 5 Ks in nine games since his return.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .234/.296/.397, 14 2B, 9 HR, 15 BB, 80 K, 4 SB. This season vs. West Virginia: 7-for-42, 2B, HR, 5 BB, 11 K. Last series at Delmarva: 3-for-10, 2B, 2 BB, 5 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 29): 2018 stats: 15 games (15 starts) 88 IP, 86 H, 35 R (32 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 10 BB, 85 K, 3.427 ERA, .254 OBA, 1.09 WHIP. Not scheduled to pitch in the series. Last start 7/9 at Delmarva: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 11 K. In his last 26 starts stretch to 6/23/17 at Spokane 151.2 IP, 17 BB, 158 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.02), 10th innings pitched. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 8 games (8 starts), 35.1 IP, 40 H, 19 R (16 ER), 3 HR, 10 BB, 36 K, 4.08 ERA, .284 OBA, 1.42 WHIP. Last game vs. Greensboro 7/4: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 6 K. This season vs. West Virginia: 2 starts, 9 IP, 7 H, 5 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 12 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 13 games (11 starts), 64 IP, 56 H, 31 R (27 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 19 BB, 56 K, 3.80 ERA, .233 OBA, 1.17 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 4 starts, 21.1 IP, 20 H, 14 R (12 ER), 2 HB, 7 BB, 19 K. Last start 7/4 at Kannapolis: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 8 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 21 games, 2 saves, 33.1 IP, 19 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 22 BB, 60 K, 2.43 ERA, .168 OBA, 1.23 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 4 games, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 17 K. Last game at Delmarva 7/9: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K. Last 7 outings: 11.1 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 25 Ks. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 23 games, 2 saves, 37 IP, 13 H, 14 R (11 ER), 35 BB, 54 K, 2.68 ERA, .123 BA, 1.32 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia : 4 games, 6.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 8 BB, 10 K. Last game 7/8 at Delmarva: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), BB, 2 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.103), 3rd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.14), T-9th walks.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .248/.294/.387, 11 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 17 BB, 33 K. This season vs. West Virginia: 15-for-53, 2 2B, 3B, HR, BB, 4 K. Last series at Delmarva: 1-for-8. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.67).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .295/.361/.456, 10 2B, 3B, 9 HR, 20 BB, 68 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 14-for-48, 2 2B, HR, 2 BB, 11 K, SB, CS. Last series at Delmarva: 5-for-13, 2B, 3B, 3 K. Had a 20-game, on-base streak stopped 7/1. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .250/.367/.314, 6 2B, 3 3B, 33 BB, 34 K, 18 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 6-for-38, 2B, 8 BB, 9 K, 2 SB CS. Last series at Delmarva: 3-for-9, K, 2 SB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T1st sacrifice bunts (11), 4th stolen bases, 8th walks, 10th on-base pct.

1B Tyreque Reed: 2018 stats: .256/.311/.433, 14 2B, 6 HR, 11 BB, 59 K. This season vs. West Virginia: 7-for-26, HR, 3 BB, 6 K. Last series at Delmarva: 4-for-11, 2 2B, BB, 3 K. Has 8 multi-hit tallies in his last 7 games. Eighth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Itawamba Community College in Mississippi. Attended Houlka (MS) HS.

About the Power:

Prospects to watch-West Virginia (rankings by MLB.com):

CF Lolo Sanchez (No. 8): 2018 stats: .233/.309/.335, 13 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 25 BB, 50 K, 16 SB, 7 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 8-for-42, 2B, HR, 5 BB, 13 K, 3 SB, CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 0-for-6, 3 BB, K. Signed with the Pirates as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-8th steals.

SS Oneil Cruz (No. 12): 2018 stats: .304/.364/.511, 51 R, 17 2B, 7 3B, 11 HR, 53 RBI, 29 BB, 79 K, 9 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 16-for-53, 3 2B, 4 HR, 8 BB, 13 K, 2 SB. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 3-for-10, HR, 3 BB, K, SB. Traded to the Pirates last summer for former Crawdads LHP Tony Watson. Signed as an international free agent by the L.A. Dodgers in 2015. Native of Nizao, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-2nd 3B, 3rd total bases, T-4th hits, T-4th RBI, 4th OPS (.876), 5th batting avg., 6th runs, T-7th at-bats, 7th OBP, 7th slugging pct. T-9th HR.

RF Calvin Mitchell (No. 15): 2018 stats: .304/.368/.487, 18 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 25 BB, 66 K, 4 SB. CS. This season vs. Hickory: 10-for-39, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 12 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 1-for-7, 2B, BB, K. Second-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) HS. Native of San Diego. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 6th batting avg., 9th OBP. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

RHP: Travis McGregor (No. 23): 2018 stats: 9 games (9 starts), 39 IP, 39 H, 21 R (11 ER), 2 HR, 4 HB, 9 BB, 55 K, 2.54 ERA, .252 OBA, 1.23 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts: 10 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 8 K. Last start 7/8 vs. Hagerstown: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, HB, BB, 6 K. Second-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, FL.0

C Deon Stafford (No. 29): 2018 stats: .255/.319/.398, 12 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 18 BB, 68 K. This season vs. Hickory: 12-for-39, 2 2B, 3B, 5 BB, 13 K. Fifth-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of St. Joseph’s Univ. (Pa.) Native of Hummelstown, Pa. Attended Lower Dauphin HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch- West Virginia:

RHP Hunter Stratton: 2018 stats: 13 games (11 starts), 55.2 IP, 56 H, 42 R (35 ER), 7 HR, 3 HB, 31 BB, 56 K, 5.66 ERA, .265 OBA, 1.56 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 10 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 3 BB, 9 K. Last start 7/6 vs. Lexington: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), HR, 3 BB, 5 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Walters State (TN) CC. Attended Sullivan East (Bristol, TN). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st wild pitches (16).

RHP Cody Bolton: 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts): 34.1 IP, 32 H, 12 R (12 ER), 3 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 33 K, 3.15 ERA, .242 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K. Last start 7/7 vs. Hagerstown: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 4 K. Twentieth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Tracy (CA) HS.

LF Chris Sharpe: 2018 stats: .264/.367/.368, 11 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 38 BB, 92 K, 10 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 20-for-55, 4 2B, 2 3B, HR, 5 BB, 16 K, 5 SB. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 0-for-11, 7 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Univ. of Massachusetts-Lowell. Native of Burlington, Mass., attended Bridgton (Mass.) Academy. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th BB, T-4th games played (80), 10th K.

RHP Beau Sulser: 2018 stats: 20 games, 4 saves, 34.1 IP, 30 H, 11 R (9 ER), 2 HR, 2 HR, BB, 37 K. This season vs. Hickory: Save, 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), HB, 11 K. Last outing 7/9 vs. Hagerstown: 2 IP, H, 2 K. Tenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Dartmouth. Attended Ramona HS, Santa Ysabel, CA. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks to 9 IP ratio among relievers (0.26), 4th baserunners per 9 IP ratio (8.65).

3B Jesse Medrano: 2018 stats: .257/.325/.400, 2 2B, HR, 2 BB, 6 K, SB. This season vs. Hickory: 1-for-9, 2 K. This season vs. Hickory: 1-for-9, 2 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 3-for-9, HR, BB, 2 K, SB. Thirty-first round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Fresno (CA) State. Attended Clayton Valley HS (Concord , CA).

Series Preview: Hickory at Delmarva July 7-9

Series Preview: Hickory at Delmarva July 7-9

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (38-45 overall, 8-7 second half T-4th SAL North) at Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles) (44-39, 9-7 3rd North)

The Hickory Crawdads continue a six-day road trip with three games at Delmarva’s Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Saturday, 7:05 p.m., Sunday, 5:05 p.m., Monday, 7:05 p.m.

BROADCASTS: All games are streamed live on the web through milb.com or the Delmarva Shorebirds website.

PROMOTIONS:

Saturday – Post-game fireworks

Sunday – 2018 All-Stars Poster, Post-Game Autograph Session, Strike out Hunger Sunday (Bring two canned-food items and receive an upper reserve ticket for $3, Kids Run the Bases

Monday – 47 ABC 2 Buck Monday ($2 Upper Reserved Tickets, hot dogs and Pepsi products)

TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $8-$13 in advance, $1 more on game day. Upper reserved are $2 on Monday.

PARKING: Parking at the ballpark is $4.

CONCESSIONS: Purdue Stadium offers standard ballpark fare (hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, etc. The Bird’s Eye Café has BBQ sandwiches, crab dip and shrimp salad. The Angus Stand serves Angus Burgers, BBQ sandwiches and steak subs. Vegetarian, gluten-free options are also available.

Where is it?:

From Salisbury, Md. take U.S. 50 east towards Ocean City. Turn right onto Hobbs Rd.

 

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Delmarva)

Saturday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. LHP Cameron Bishop

Sunday: RHP Alex Eubanks vs. RHP Brenan Hanifee

Monday: RHP Tyler Phillips vs. RHP Luis Perez

 

Recent Series History:

The Intimidators are 6-4 vs. Hickory in 2018, which includes a 5-2 record at Intimidators Stadium. The Crawdads won 2 out of 3 in the last series played between the two squads last month at Hickory. Hickory won the season series in 2017 12-10, which included a 7-5 edge at Intimidators Stadium. Since the start of the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers in 2009, Hickory is 100-69 against Kannapolis, 53-37 at Intimidators Stadium. The Intimidators last won a season series vs. Hickory in 2010 (9-7).

 

About the Crawdads:

The Crawdads split a rain-shortened two-game series at Kannapolis and have won four of their last five. The stretch has come with a good stretch of starting pitching. Over the last five games, the starting pitchers combined have tossed 28.1 innings with a line of 20 H, 7 R, 6 BB, 30 K, 2 HR. Walks continues to plague the team as the Crawdads are tied with Rome for the most walks allowed and that has contributed largely to a 1.33 WHIP, which 11th in the 14-team SAL. However, the Crawdads have received solid help in the field this season. Hickory is third in the SAL in fielding pct. (.975) and have committed the third fewest errors. With the solid defensive help, Hickory has given up the second-fewest earned runs in the league… At the plate, Hickory is 11th in runs scored, hits, 13th in batting avg. and last in doubles. The Crawdads do have the ability put the ball over the fence. Their 71 homers are third in the SAL.

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .268/.320/.402, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 50 K, 11 SB, 1 CS. This season vs. Delmarva: 3-for-14, 2B, 6 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 4-for-9, BB, K, SB. Has reached base in 9 of his last 10 games (14-43, 2B, 2 BB). First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .229/.286/.404, 13 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 73 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Delmarva: 0-for-14, 7 K, 2 SB. Last series at Kannapolis: 1-for-8, 2B 3 K. Currently in a 2-for-17 stretch with 9 K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 14 games (12 starts), 63.2 IP, 51 H, 38 R (32 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 39 BB, 76 K, 4.52 ERA, .224 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. Not expected to pitch during the series. Last start at Kannapolis 7/5: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K. Joined the Crawdads after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd walks, T-5th losses (7), T-7th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats at Hickory: .201/.259/.309, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 28 K, 0 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Delmarva: 4-for-19, 3 BB, 5 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 1-for-4, 2 K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela. Assigned to Hickory 6/29 after a two-weak stint at short-season Spokane. He is 4-for-24 with a HR, BB and 4 Ks in six games since his return.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .231/.291/.397, 13 2B, 9 HR, 13 BB, 75 K, 4 SB. This season vs. Delmarva 9-for-33, 2 2B, 2 HR, BB, 9 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 0-for-7, BB, K, SB. Currently in an 0-for-18 slump with 7 Ks. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 29): 2018 stats: 14 games (14 starts) 81 IP, 83 H, 34 R (31 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 9 BB, 74 K, 3.44 ERA, .263 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 2 starts: 12 IP, 11 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 1 H, 14 K. Last start 7/2 vs. Greensboro: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 9 K. In his last 25 starts stretch to 6/23/17 at Spokane 144.2 IP, 16 BB, 147 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.00). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 17 games (5 starts), 43.2 IP, 47 H, 22 R (18 ER), 7 HR, 2 HB, 16 BB, 30 K, 3.71 ERA, .278 OBA, 1.44 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 3 games (1 start), 8 IP, 8 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 HR, 1 BB, 5 K. Last game 6/29 at West Virginia: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K. Thirty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukegan (Ill.) HS. Born in the Dominican Republic. Has allowed at least one HR in all four of his starts.

RHP Alex Eubanks: 2018 stats: 14 games (13 starts), 71.2 IP, 87 H, 50 R (49 ER), 12 HR, 4 HB, 18 BB, 76 K, 6.15 ERA, .300 OBA, 1.47 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 1 start, 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 6 K. Last start 7/1 vs. Greensboro: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 4 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Clemson. Attended Byrnes High in Moore, S.C. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd earned runs allowed, T-4th home runs allowed, T-7th runs allowed, T-8th hits allowed.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 20 games, 2 saves, 32.1 IP, 18 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 21 BB, 59 K, 2.51 ERA, .165 OBA, 1.21 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 2 games, 3 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 K. Last game at Kannapolis 7/5: 2 IP, 4 K. Last 6 outings: 10.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 24 Ks.Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 22 games, 2 saves, 35.1 IP, 11 H, 13 R (10 ER), 34 BB, 52 K, 2.55 ERA, .103 BA, 1.27 WHIP. This season vs. Delmarva: 3 games, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 HR, 7 BB, 3 K. Last game 7/4 at Kannapolis: 1 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.103), 3rd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.25), 9th walks.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .252/.299/.395, 11 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 17 BB, 33 K. This season vs. Delmarva: 4-for-27, 3 BB, 6 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 1-for-4. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.42).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .289/.339/.439, 10 2B, 8 HR, 20 BB, 65 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs.Delmarva: 4-for-23, 3 BB, 10 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 0-for-4, K. Had a 20-game, on-base streak stopped 7/1. Since then, he is 1-for-10, 2B, BB, 2 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .246/.369/.313, 6 2B, 3 3B, 33 BB, 33 K, 16 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Delmarva: 2-for-16, 3 BB, 5 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 2-for-5, 2 BB, K, 2 SB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T1st sacrifice bunts (11), T-6th stolen bases, 8th walks, 9th on-base pct.

 

About the Shorebirds:

Delmarva is coming off a 2-1 home series win over in-state rival Hagerstown… The Shorebirds started the season with a franchise-best 7-0 record and pushed its record as high as 25-12 on May 14. But the Shorebirds went 4-10 the rest of May and dropped to 32-30 before finishing the first half at 35-32… With a stable of top-30 prospects in the starting rotation, Delmarva has been able to get ahead in most games. They’ve scored first in 48 games – the second most in the SAL – but holding leads has been a work in progress. Delmarva has 8 losses when leading after six innings and four losses when leading after eight. Both are the most in the SAL. In extra inning games, the Shorebirds are 3-8, the second worst mark in the SAL… Walks have also troubled the Shorebirds as they are third behind Hickory and Rome (Ga.)… Delmarva is second in fielding pct. (.976) and in fewest errors committed.

Prospects to watch-Delmarva (rankings by MLB.com):

LHP D.L. Hall (No. 4): 2018 stats: 14 games (12 starts), 54.1 IP, 42 H, 21 R (17 ER), 5 HR, 3 HB, 29 BB, 49 K, 2.82 ERA, .213 OBA, 1.31 WHIP. Not expected to pitch in this series. Last start 7/5 vs. Hagerstown (Md.) 5.2 IP, 1 HB, 2 BB, 7 K. First-round pick (21st overall) of the Orioles in 2017 out of Valdosta (Ga.) High. Signed away from a commitment to Florida St.

RHP Brenan Hanifee (No. 7): 2018 stats: 15 games (15 starts), 89 IP, 78 H, 28 R (26 ER), 6 HR, 5 HB, 15 BB, 62 K, 2.63 ERA, .234 OBA, 1.04 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts, 13 IP, 9 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HB, 4 BB, 5 K. Last start 7/3 at Lakewood (NJ): 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 6 K. Last 4 starts: 28 IP, 22 H, 6 R, 1 HR, 2 HB, 2 BB, 17 K. Fourth-round pick of the Orioles in 2016 out of Ashby High in Bridgewater, Va. Signed away from a commitment to East Carolina. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd innings pitched, T-3rd wins (7), 9th WHIP.

LHP Cameron Bishop (No. 13): 2018 stats: 14 games (14 starts), 85 IP, 74 H, 31 R (28 ER), 4 HR, 4 HB, 16 BB, 65 K, 2.96 ERA, .234 OBA, 1.06 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 start, 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 4 K. Last start 7/2 at Lakewood (NJ): 7 IP, 4 H, 5 K. Last 4 starts: 25 IP, 13 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 5 BB, 16 K. Twenty-sixth-round pick of Orioles in 2017 out of the Univ. of California-Irvine. Native of Brea, Calif. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd wins (7), 7th innings pitched.

SS Mason McCoy (No. 25): 2018 stats: .251/.321/.375, 12 2B, 9 3B, 2 HR, 29 BB, 57 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 8-for-33, 2B, 2 3B, 5 BB, 7 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 4-for-12, 2B, BB, 4 K. Since 6/26, 16-for-52, 3 2B, 2 3B, HR, 1 BB, 12 K. Sixth-round pick in 2017 out of Univ. of Iowa. Native of Peoria, Ill. Attended Washington (Ill.) Community HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st triples

 

Others to watch-Delmarva:

RHP Luis Perez: 2018 stats (at SS-A Aberdeen and Delmarva): 22 IP, 9 H, 1 HR, 2 HB, 7 BB, 20 K, 0.41 ERA, .122 OBA, 0.73 WHIP. Last start 7/4 vs. Hagerstown: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K. Called up to Delmarva on 7/4. Signed by the Orioles as a free agent in 2016. Previously pitched in the San Diego Padres organization.

RHP Tim Naughton: 2018 stats: 11 games, 3 saves, 14 IP, 15 H, 8 R (5 ER), 8 BB, 13 K. Has not faced Hickory this season. Last game 7/2 at Lakewood: 0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB. Thirty-fourth round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of NC State. Attended Charles B. Aycock HS in Goldsboro.

OF Zack Jarrett: 2018 stats: .309/.382/.488, 18 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 30 BB, 85 K. This season vs. Hickory: 11-for-38, 2 2B, HR, 1 BB, 17 K. Last series vs Hagerstown: 4-for-9, 2B, 4 BB, K. Twenty-eighth round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of UNC Charlotte. Played his high school ball at Hickory High. Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st games played, 3rd hits, 3rd batting avg., 4th steals, 5th on-base pct., 5th OPS, 5th RBI, 5th total bases, 6th at-bats, T-10th doubles

C Ben Breazeale: 2018 stats: .245/.350/.335. 8 2B, 2 HR, 23 BB, 45 K. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-20, 2B, 3 BB, 5 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 0-for-3, BB, 3 K. Seventh-round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of Wake Forest. Attended Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) HS.

3B Trevor Craport: 2018 stats:.265/.337/.441, 14 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 24 BB, 44 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 5-for-26, 2B, 4 BB, 4 K, SB. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-10, 2B, BB, K, CS. Eleventh-round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of Georgia Tech. Attended Norcross (Ga.) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sac flies, 2nd RBI, T-6th RBI, T-9th runs

SS Cadyn Grenier: 2018 stats: 1-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 K. Competitive-Balance pick of the Orioles in 2018 out of Oregon State. A member of the Beavers National Championship team. Attended Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas. Joined the Shorebirds on July 5.

2B Kirvin Moesquit: 2018 stats: .275/.350/.375, 12 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 30 BB, 59 K, 35 SB, 9 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 12-for-39, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 3 BB, 8 K, 5 SB, CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-12, BB, 4 K, 2 SB. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st steals, T-1st caught stealing, 2nd runs scored. Twenty-fourth round pick of the Orioles in 2015 out of Seminole St. College (Fla.). Born in Willemstad, Curacao, attended high school at Highland Christian HS (Pompano Beach, Fla.).

1B Ryen Ripken: 2018 stats: .236/.281/.304, 7 2B, 3 HR, 14 BB, 38 K. This season vs. Hickory: 5-for-27, 2 BB, 5 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-11, 2B, 2 K; Signed free agent deal with Orioles in 2017. Played previously in SAL with Hagerstown (Washington) in 2016. Son of Cal Ripken, Jr.

RF Will Robertson: 2018 stats: .238/.280/.389, 19 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 12 BB, 48 K. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-23, 2B, 2 BB, 4 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-11, 2 2B, 4 K. Signed with the Orioles in 2017 as a non-drafted free agent out of Davidson (NC) College. Attended The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-6th doubles

Series Preview: Hickory at Kannapolis July 4-6

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (37-44 overall, 7-6 second half T-3rd SAL North) at Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) (45-35, 6-7 6th North)

The Hickory Crawdads begin a six-game road trip with a trip to Intimidators Stadium to face the Kannapolis Intimidators.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Wednesday through Friday, 7:05 p.m.

PROMOTIONS:

Wednesday – Post-game fireworks

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday, Los Rapidos de Kannapolis promotion

Friday – Chicken-Fried Friday, Kids Run the Bases

 

TICKETS: Advance tickets: Adult General Admission $6.50/ Children $5.50; Adult Reserve $8.50/ Children $7.50. Add $1.50 to each ticket the day of the game.

WHERE IS IT?: From I-85 take Exit 63 (Lane Street). From I-85 South, turn left; I-85 north, turn right. Stadium Drive will be on the right.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: Intimidators Stadium is your no-frills ballpark with traditional burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, BBQ sandwiches, etc.

 

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Kannapolis)

Wednesday: RHP Reid Anderson vs. RHP Zach Lewis

Thursday: RHP AJ Alexy vs. LHP Drew Harrington

Friday: RHP Jean Casanova vs. RHP Jhoan Quijada

 

Recent Series History:

The Intimidators are 6-4 vs. Hickory in 2018, which includes a 5-2 record at Intimidators Stadium. The Crawdads won 2 out of 3 in the last series played between the two squads last month at Hickory. Hickory won the season series in 2017 12-10, which included a 7-5 edge at Intimidators Stadium. Since the start of the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers in 2009, Hickory is 100-69 against Kannapolis, 53-37 at Intimidators Stadium. The Intimidators last won a season series vs. Hickory in 2010 (9-7).

 

About the Crawdads:

The Crawdads won the final three games of a series vs. Greensboro… Hickory has the fewest road wins (14-23) in the SAL… Defensively, the Crawdads have gone three straight games without an error and are currently third in the SAL in fewest errors committed and fielding pct. (.975)… Collectively at the plate, Hickory remains near the bottom of several SAL’s statistical categories. However, they continue to pommel home runs (five in the last three games) and are currently third in the SAL at 70. The team .243 batting avg. is 13th out of 14 teams and they are last in doubles… Though improved in recent days, Hickory is tied for the most walks issued and is 12th in WHIP (1.34).

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .258/.314/.400, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 49 K, 10 SB, 1 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 5-for-21, 2 3B, BB, 7 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 4-for-10, BB, 2 K, 2 SB. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .233/.291/.410, 12 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 70 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 6-for-22, 4 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 9 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 1-for-9, 6 K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 13 games (11 starts), 57.2 IP, 47 H, 36 R (30 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 37 BB, 74 K, 4.68 ERA, .225 OBA, 1.46 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 2 starts, 11.2 IP, 2 H, 1 HB, 4 BB, 16 K. Last start vs. West Virginia 6/29: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 4 K. Joined the Crawdads after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd walks, T-5th losses (7), T-7th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats: .200/.259/.310, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 26 K, 0 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-13, 3B, BB, 2 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 2-for-16, HR, K, CS. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela. Assigned to Hickory 6/29 after a two-weak stint at short-season Spokane.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .238/.296/.409, 13 2B, 9 HR, 12 BB, 74 K, 3 SB. This season vs. Kannapolis: 8-for-34, 2B, 2 HR, BB, 9 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 0-for-11, 6 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 29): 2018 stats: 14 games (14 starts) 81 IP, 83 H, 34 R (31 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 9 BB, 74 K, 3.44 ERA, .263 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 1 start: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 5 K. Last start 7/2 vs. Greensboro: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 9 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.00), 10th innings pitched. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 12 games (10 starts), 58 IP, 53 H, 30 R (26 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 18 BB, 48 K, 4.03 ERA, .242 OBA, 1.21 WHIP. Has not faced Kannapolis this season. Last start 6/28 at West Virginia: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 6 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 17 games (5 starts), 43.2 IP, 47 H, 22 R (18 ER), 7 HR, 2 HB, 16 BB, 30 K, 3.71 ERA, .278 OBA, 1.44 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3 games (1 start), 9 IP, 12 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 6 K. Last game 6/29 at West Virginia: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K. Thirty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukegan (Ill.) HS. Born in the Dominican Republic. Has allowed at least one HR in all four of his starts.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 19 games, 2 saves, 30.1 IP, 18 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 21 BB, 55 K, 2.67 ERA, .175 OBA, 1.29 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3 games, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 5 BB, 5 K. Last game vs. Greensboro 7/1: 1.2 IP, 4 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 21 games, 2 saves, 34.1 IP, 11 H, 11 R (9 ER), 31 BB, 50 K, 2.36 ERA, .106 BA, 1.22 WHIP. This season vs. Kannapolis: 3 games, 4.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 8 K. Last game 7/2 vs. Greensboro: 2 IP, BB, 3 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.106), 4th SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.11), 10th walks.

RHP Samir Vivas: 2018 stats (at High-A Down East, AA Frisco and AAA Round Rock) 19.2 IP, 19 H, 15 R (15 ER), 5 HR, 1 HB, 12 BB, 18 K, 6.86 ERA, 253 OBA, 1.58 WHIP. Assigned to Hickory on 7/3 and is awaiting his debut. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. Native of Barquisimento, Venezuela.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .252/.299/.398, 11 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 17 BB, 33 K. This season vs. Kannapolis: 12-for-34, 4 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 4 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 2-for-11, HR, BB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.30).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .295/.363/.446, 10 2B, 8 HR, 20 BB, 64 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 6-for-24, 2B, HR, 3 BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Greensboro: 3-for-13, 2B. BB, 2 K, SB. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .241/.364/.310, 6 2B, 3 3B, 31 BB, 32 K, 14 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-12, 2 2B, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. Last series vs. Greensboro: 8-for-15, 3B, BB, K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sacrifice bunts (11), T-8th walks, T-9th stolen bases.

 

About the Intimidators:

A near shoo-in for the first-half, Northern Division title, Kannapolis lost its final five games, which shifted the playoff spot to Lakewood (N.J.). Since then, a rash of promotions has the Intimidators regrouping to start the second half. Kannapolis split a four-game series at Rome (Ga.) as a part of a 4-7 stretch.

 

Prospects to watch-Kannapolis (rankings by MLB.com):

C Evan Skoug (No. 22): 2018 stats: .208/.294/.344, 9 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 23 BB, 66 K. This season vs. Hickory: 10-for-25, 2 2B, HR, 5 BB, 4 K, 2 SB. Last series at Rome (Ga.): 1-for-7, 2B, 3 K. Seventh-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Texas Christian Univ. Native of Libertyville, Ill. Big 12 Co-player of the year in 2017. First-team All-American). Has thrown out 6-of-15 base stealers in 2018.

3B Luis Curbelo (No. 23): 2018 stats: .267/.315/.397. 10 2B, 3B, HR, 7 BB, 28 K. This season vs. Hickory: 3-for-10, 2B, 2 BB, 3 K. Last series at Rome (Ga.): 3-for-12, 3 2B, BB. Sixth-round pick of the White Sox in 2016 out of Cocoa (HS), FL. Born in Carolina, P.R.

1B Justin Yurchak (No. 28): 2018 stats: .252/.351/.338, 14 2B, 3B, HR, 34 BB, 41 K. This season vs. Hickory: 14-for-34, 4 2B, 3B, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 6 K. Last series at Rome (Ga.): 3-for-8, 2 2B, K. Twelfth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Binghamton (N.Y.) Univ. Attended Shenendehowa HS in his native Clifton Park, N.Y. Played at Wake Forest his freshman season. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-6th walks.

 

Others to watch-Kannapolis:

RHP Zach Lewis: 2018 stats: 12 games (8 starts), 53 IP, 46 H, 18 R (16 ER), 2 HR, 6 HB, 13 BB, 45 K, 2.72 ERA, .241 OBA, 1.11 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 3 games (1 start), 7.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 6 K. Signed a non-drafted, free-agent contract with the White Sox in 2017. Played college ball at Wabash Valley College (IL) and Wichita St. Attended St. Laurence HS, Burbank Ill.

LHP Drew Harrington: 2018 stats (at Low-A Rome (Ga.), High-A Florida, Rookie AZL White Sox, Low-A Kannapolis): 16 games (7 starts), 1 save, 45 IP, 59 H, 35 R (29 ER), 7 HR, 6 HB, 15 BB, 31 K, 5.80 ERA, .321 OBA, 1.64 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory (with Rome): 1 start, 4 IP, 1 HR, 1 HB, 3 K. Last start 6/30 at Rome: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 HB, 2 BB, 3 K. Signed a free-agent contract with the White Sox on June 18. Released by the Atlanta Braves on June 9. Originally a third-round pick of the Braves in 2016 out of the Univ. of Louisville. Attended Central Hardin HS, Cecilia, KY. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10th hit batters.

RHP Jhoan Quijada: 2018 stats: 8 games (2 starts), 33 IP, 39 H, 18 R (18 ER), 4 HR, 2 HB, 6 BB, 20 K, 4.91 ERA, 2.98 OBA, 1.36 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 game, 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 3 K. Last start 7/1 at Rome: 6 IP, 10 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 2 K. Signed as an international free agent with the White Sox in 2012.

RHP Jake Elliott: 2018 stats: 21 games, 2 saves, 44.1 IP, 34 H, 17 R (15 ER), 5 HR, 2 HB, 10 BB, 54 K, 3.05 ERA, .217 OBA, 0.99 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 3 games, 1 save, 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 HR, 4 BB, 7 K. Last game 7/3 at Rome: 3 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 2 K. Fifteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2016 out of the Univ. of Oklahoma. Attended Coppell (Tex.) HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

2B Tate Blackman: 2018 stats: .272/.367/.426, 12 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 35 BB, 91 K, 3 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 7-for-35, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 BB, 15 K, 1 CS. Last series at Rome: 1-for-13, 2B, BB, 2 K. Thirteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Ole Miss. Attended Lake Brantley HS (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th walks, T-5th games played, 6th strikeouts, 10th OBP, T-10th RBI.

LF Craig Dedalow: 2018 stats: .269/.320/.424, 21 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 17 BB, 65 K. This season vs. Hickory: 11-for-40, 5 2B, 3B, 2 BB, 14 K, CS. Last series at Rome: 2-for-13, 2B, 2 2 K. Ninth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out Indiana Univ. Attended Munster (Ind.) HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st at-bats, T-2nd doubles, T-5th games played, T-7th triples, T-9th total bases, 1st assists by an OF (11).

RF Tyler Frost: 2018 stats: .213/.283/.425, 10 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 18 BB, 78 K. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-21, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 8 K. Last series at Rome (Ga.): 3-for-16, 2B, BB, 2 K. Fifteenth-round pick of the White Sox in 2017 out of Gonzaga Univ. (College teammate with Hickory’s Justin Jacobs.) Attended Greenway HS in Phoenix, AZ. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-9th HR