Results tagged ‘ Tyree Thompson ’

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: Hickory Crawdads at Hagerstown Suns August 2-5

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (53-54 overall, 23-16 second half, 2nd SAL North) at Hagerstown Suns (Washington Nationals) (14-23, 41-64, 7th 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?: 274 East Memorial Blvd., Hagerstown. From I-81, take exit 6A (US 40 East) through downtown Hagerstown. Turn right at Cleveland Ave.

 

GAME TIMES: Thursday and Friday 7:05 p.m., Saturday 6:05 p.m., Sunday 2:05 p.m.

 

TICKETS: $12 Reserved, $10 Grandstand, $9 General Admission

 

PARKING: Free parking available at the stadium.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday

Friday – Post-game Fireworks/ 80s Night

Saturday – Jim Palmer Bobblehead Giveaway (First 1,000 fans)

Sunday – Candy Drop

 

CONCESSIONS: Municipal Stadium has standard ballpark fare (Burgers, hot dogs, pizza, funnel cakes, etc.) There is also a beer garden down the left field line.

 

PROBABLES (Hickory/ Hagerstown)

Thursday: RHP Tyree Thompson or RHP Jean Casanova vs. RHP Jackson Tetreault

Friday: RHP Tyler Thomas vs. RHP Malvin Pena

Saturday: Tyler Phillips vs. RHP Brigham Hill

Sunday: RHP Noah Bremer vs. RHP Tomas Alastre

 

Recent Series History:

The Crawdads won the only two games played between the two teams this season during a rain-shortened series in May at Hagerstown. The Suns have not made a trip to Hickory since 2016 and this is only the third series overall between the division rivals over the past two seasons. The teams split a four-game series in 2017. Since 2009, which is the start of the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation, the teams are 46-46 overall, with Hickory holding a 31-24 margin at Municipal Stadium.

 

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

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 10): 2018 stats: .287/.340/.439, 13 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 16 BB, 68 K, 23 SB, 4 CS. Last series vs. Charleston: 2-for-8, 2B, HR, 2 K. Has hits in 24 of his last 27 games. Had 15 steals in July. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd 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. 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, 10th innings. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 18) 2018 stats: .241/.302/.442, 16 2B, 5 3B, 11 HR, 24 BB, 97 K, 8 SB, 3 CS. Last series vs. Charleston: 3-for-8, HR, 2 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. 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, T-8th hit batters, 9th strikeouts, T-9th losses (7).

C Sam Huff (No. 22): 2018 stats: .252/.309/.462, 19 2B, 3B, 15 HR, 19 BB, 103 K, 7 SB. Last series vs. Charleston: 4-for-11, 2 HR, 5 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: .219/.269/.377, 7 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 13 BB, 42 K, 1 SB, 4 CS. Last series Charleston: 1-for-6, 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.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Tyree Thompson: 18 games (15 starts), 83.1 IP, 90 H, 56 R, 43 ER, 12 HR, 4 HB, 31 BB, 51 K, 4.63 ERA, .276 OBA, 1.45 WHIP. Last start at Greensboro 7/27: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), HR, 2 BB, 5 K. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd losses (8), T-6th home runs allowed, T-10th runs allowed.

RHP Jean Casanova: 2018 stats: 21 games (7 starts), 57 IP, 59 H, 25 R (21 ER), 8 HR, 2 HB, 22 BB, 39 K, 3.32 ERA, .269 OBA, 1.42 WHIP. Last game at Greensboro 7/27: 1.2 IP, 1 H. 1 K. Thirty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Waukegan (Ill.) HS. Born in the Dominican Republic.

RHP Tyler Thomas: 2018 stats (overall): 17 games (16 starts), 83 IP, 64 H, 36 R (29 ER), 7 HR, 4 HB, 16 BB, 90 K, 3.14 ERA, .209 OBA, 0.96 WHIP. Last game 7/28 at Greensboro: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 HR, BB, 6 K. Acquired by the Rangers from the Chicago Cubs on July 19 in a trade for Jesse Chavez. Originally the seventh-round pick of the Chicago Cubs out of Fresno St. Attended Mira Mesa HS in San Diego.

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 12 games (12 starts), 57 IP, 67 H, 30 R (26 ER), 5 HR, 19 BB, 50 K, 4.11 ERA, .300 OBA, 1.51 WHIP. Last start vs. Charleston 7/30: 6.2 IP, 9 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 27 games, 4 saves, 42.2 IP, 25 H, 11 R (11 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 27 BB, 78 K, 2.32 ERA, .171 OBA, 1.22 WHIP. Last game vs. Charleston 7/31: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 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 (16.45), 2nd lowest OBA among relievers (.171).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 29 games, 4 saves, 48 IP, 18 H, 14 R (11 ER), 3 HR, 39 BB, 74 K, 2.06 ERA, .120 BA, 1.19 WHIP. Last game vs. Charleston 8/1: 2 IP, 1 H, 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 (.120), 2nd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.88), 9th walks, T-9th games.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .250/.306/.396, 19 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 26 BB, 43 K. Last series vs. Charleston: 2-for-8, 2B, 5 BB, 1 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: 4th plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.35).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .295/.359/.451, 18 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 26 BB, 85 K, 5 SB, 2 CS. Last series vs. Charleston: 3-for-7, 2 2B, 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: 5th batting avg., 10th OBP, 10th OPS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .253/.367/.328, 8 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 44 BB, 47 K, 31 SB, 8 CS. Last series vs. Charleston: 3-for-13, 2 HR, K, 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, T-4th walks, 5th OBP, T-7th CS.

 

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

OF Gage Canning (No. 13): 2018 stats (Hagerstown only): .207/.295/.402, 4 2B, 4 HR, 10 BB, 26 K, 2 SB. Last series vs. Lexington (Ky.): 1-for-7, 2B, 2 BB, 3 K. Fifth-round pick of the Nationals in 2018 out of Arizona St. Univ. Attended Ramona (Calif.) HS.

RHP Tomas Alastre (No. 25): 2018 stats: 18 games (18 starts), 95.1 IP, 107 H, 64 R (51 ER), 17 HR, 12 HB, 33 BB, 64 K, 4.18 ERA, .288 OBA, 1.47 WHIP. Last start vs. Lexington 7/31: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 K. Signed with the Nationals as an international free agent in 2014. A native of Valencia, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 rankings: T-1st hit batters, T-3rd runs allowed, 4th home runs allowed, 6th earned runs allowed, T-6th hits allowed.

RHP Jackson Tetreault (No. 27): 2018 stats: 18 games (18 starts), 99.1 IP, 101 H, 58 R (47 ER), 9 HR, 5 HB, 29 BB, 99 K, 4.26 ERA, .262 OBA, 1.31 WHIP. Last start 7/28 at Lakewood (NJ): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 8 K. Seventh-round pick of the Nationals in 2017 out of State JC of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. Also attended Cameron Univ. in Lawton, Okla. Pitched in high school at Lennard HS in Ruskin, Fla. SAL Top-10 rankings: T-3rd losses (8), 9th runs allowed, 9th earned runs allowed, T-10th hits allowed.

RHP Brigham Hill (No. 29): 2018 stats (Hagerstown only): 8 games (8 starts), 37.2 IP, 36 H, 20 R (15 ER), 3 HB, 15 BB, 21 K, 3.58 ERA, .257 OBA, 1.35 WHIP. Last start vs. Lexington 7/30: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 K. Fifth-round pick of the Nationals in 2017 out of Texas A&M. Attended Nacogdoches HS (Tex.).

 

Others to watch-Hagerstown:

RHP Malvin Pena: 2018 stats (Hagerstown only): 4 games (4 starts), 20 IP, 22 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 21 K, 2.25 ERA, .268 OBA, 1.20 WHIP. Last start at Lakewood 7/29: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. Signed with the Nationals as an international free agent in 2014. A native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

2B Cole Freeman: 2018 stats: .235/.324/.325, 20 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 35 BB, 49 K, 21 SB, 5 CS. Last series vs. Lexington: 3-for-12, BB, K. Fourth-round pick of the Nationals in 2017 out of LSU. Also played college ball at Delgado CC (New Orleans). Attended Lakeshore HS in Mandeville, La. SAL Top-10 rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.49), T-6th stolen bases, T-7th runs, T-9th games played.

C Alex Dunlap: 2018 stats (Hagerstown only): .265/.350/.529, 3 2B, 5 HR, 9 BB, 15 K. Last series vs. Lexington: 3-for-8, HR, BB, K. Twenty-ninth round pick of the Nationals in 2017 out of Stanford Univ. Attended The Woodlands School (Tex.).

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

 

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: Greensboro Grasshoppers at Hickory Crawdads June 30-July 3

Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami Marlins) (39-38 overall, 5-3 second-half 3rd SAL North), at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (34-42, 4-4 5th SAL North)

If You Plan to Go:

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

 

PROMOTIONS:

Saturday – Drawstring Bag Giveaway (first 1,000 fans), Crawdads Carnival Night

Sunday – Church Bulletin Sunday

Monday – Make a Difference Monday, Fact or Fiction Night

Tuesday – Independence Day Post-Game Fireworks

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section. July 3: $17 for VIP, $13 for regular seats

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 (Greensboro/ Hickory)

Saturday: RHP Edward Cabrera vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

Sunday: LHP Trevor Rogers vs. RHP Alex Eubanks

Monday: LHP Scott Sebald vs. RHP Tyler Phillips

Tuesday: RHP Brandon Miller vs. RHP Noah Bremer

 

Recent Series History:

Greensboro leads the overall season series 7-5, including a 2-1 series win at Hickory back in April. Since the Crawdads began the affiliation, Hickory holds a 38-36 edge at L.P. Frans, but the Grasshoppers are 83-77 overall.

About the Crawdads:

Hickory lost 2 of 3 at West Virginia and now come home for this series against Greensboro before going on the road again. The Crawdads won the final three games of the last homestand against Augusta to pull to .500 (20-20) at home… A win on Saturday would give Hickory its first winning month of the season. The Crawdads enter Saturday’s game at 14-14. They went 8-14 in April and 12-15 in May… The team batting average of .240 is 13th out of 14 SAL teams and the June avg. of .237 is tied for 13th. However, Hickory has powered up this month. The Crawdads have hit 23 homers in June, the third most in the SAL. They’ve hit 65 this season, also third in the SAL. On the bases, the team has had a decent steal ratio compared to the rest of the league. Their 70 steals are tied for fourth with Greensboro, but the Crawdads have been caught just 21 times, the third fewest …The team ERA of 4.48 in June is last in the SAL. Overall they lead the league in walks issued… Defensively, the Crawdads are third in the SAL in fielding pct. (.975)

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

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .248/.310/.393, 8 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 47 K, 8 SB. This season vs. Greensboro: 3-for-7, HR, 2 K. Last series vs. West Virginia: 2-for-8, BB, 2 K, SB. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .239/.299/.423, 12 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 64 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Greensboro: 7-for-42 2B, HR, 2 BB, 18 K. Last series vs. West Virginia: 3-for-10, 2B, HR, 3 BB, 3 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. Greensboro: 2 games (1 start) 8.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 HR, 7 BB, 10 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: 2nd walks, T-4th losses (7), 6th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats: .209/.270/.310, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 32 K. This season vs. Greensboro: 7-for-22, 2B, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 CS. Last series vs. West Virginia: 1-for-4, 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: .250/.309/.429, 13 2B, 9 HR, 12 BB, 68 K, 3 SB. This season vs. Greensboro: 8-for-34, 2B, 2 HR, BB, 9 K. Last series vs. West Virginia: 3-for-12, 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. 29): 2018 stats: 13 games (13 starts) 76 IP, 80 H, 33 R (30 ER), 3 HR, 2 HB, 8 BB, 65 K, 3.55 ERA, .269 OBA, 1.16 WHIP. This season vs. Greensboro: 2 starts: 10.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 8 K. Last start 6/26 vs. Augusta: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 HB, 1 BB, 4 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 (0.95). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Tyree Thompson: 2018 stats: 13 games (12 starts), 63.2 IP, 69 H, 40 R (31 ER), 9 HR, 3 HB, 21 BB, 37 K, 4.38 ERA, .275 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. Last start 6/24 vs. Augusta: 5 IP, 9 H, 7 R (5 ER), 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 K. This season vs. Greensboro: 2 games (1 start), 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K. Twenty-sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10th HR allowed.

RHP Alex Eubanks: 2018 stats: 13 games (12 starts), 66.1 IP, 81 H, 48 R (47 ER), 11 HR, 4 HB, 18 BB, 72 K, 6.38 ERA, .300 OBA, 1.49 WHIP. Last game vs. Augusta: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), BB, 3 K. This season vs. Greensboro: 3 starts: 15.1 IP, 23 H, 18 R (18 ER), 4 HR, 1 HP, 3 BB, 16 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, 6th runs allowed, 6th home runs allowed, 10th hits allowed.

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts), 29.1 IP, 36 H, 18 R (15 ER), 2 HR, 8 BB, 30 K, 4.60 ERA, .303 OBA, 1.50 WHIP. Last game vs. West Virginia 6/27: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 8 K. This season vs. Greensboro: 2 starts, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 3 BB, 8 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 18 games, 1 save, 28.2 IP, 18 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 21 BB, 51 K, 2.83 ERA, .184 OBA, 1.36 WHIP. Last game vs. West Virginia 6/28: 2 IP, 6 K. This season vs. Greensboro: 2 games 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 5 BB, 8 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .255/.302/.395, 11 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 32 K. Last series vs. West Virginia: 4-for-11, BB, 2 K. This season vs. Greensboro: 12-for-38, 2B, HR, 9 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: 5th plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.19).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .299/.362/.455, 9 2B, 8 HR, 19 BB, 62 K, 3 SB, 2 CS. Last series vs. West Virginia: 3-for-12, 5 K, SB. This season vs. Greensboro: 12-for-28, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 BB, 7 K, SB. Reached base in 19 straight games. 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.

About the Grasshoppers:

Managed by Todd Pratt in his second season (114-99)… Greensboro split a six-game homestand, though it lost 2 of 3 to Delmarva. The Grasshoppers have a winning record on the road in 2018, currently at 19-15. They have won five in a row on the road stretching back to the first half. Greensboro swept three at Kannapolis to close out the first half and spoil the Intimidators hopes of winning the first-half Northern Division title. They opened the second half on the road by winning two at Hagerstown… The Grasshoppers are in the middle of the SAL pack in the three slash categories (.248/.314/.377)… The team ERA of 4.03 is 9th in the SAL. It’s a club that challenges hitters. They are last in walks issued but third in hits allowed.

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

LHP Trevor Rogers (No. 5): 2018 stats: 6 games (6 starts) 20.2 IP, 33 H, 21 R (21 ER), 3 HR, 2 HB, 8 BB, 24 K, 9.15 ERA, .363 OBA, 1.98 WHIP. Last start 6/26 vs. Kannapolis: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R (7 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 K. First-round pick (13th overall) of the Marlins in 2017 out of Carlsbad (NM) HS. Made pro debut on May 22.

RHP Edward Cabrera (No. 11): 2018 stats: 13 games (13 starts) 68.1 IP, 64 H, 32 R (26 ER), 6 HR, 6 HB, 26 BB, 50 K, 3.42 ERA, .250 OBA, 1.32 WHIP. Last start 6/23 at Hagerstown (Md.): 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Has not faced Hickory in 2018. Native of Santiago, D.R., signed with Marlins in 2015. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-1st wild pitches (13), T-7th hit batters, T-9th losses (6).

SS Jose Devers (No. 21): 2018 stats: .288/.324/.367, 11 2B, 4 3B, 11 BB, 38 K, 9 SB, 5 CS. Last series vs. Delmarva (Md.): 3-for-12, 2B, 2 K, SB. This season vs. Hickory:7-for-32, 3 2B, BB, 5 K, 2 SB. Obtained by the Marlins from the New York Yankees as part of a deal the sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York. A native of Samana, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10 triples.

RHP Colton Hock (No. 24): 2018 stats: 19 games (2 starts), 45.2 IP, 41 H, 17 R (15 ER), 4 HR, 4 HR, 13 BB, 45 K, 2.96 ERA, .243 OBA, 1.18 WHIP. Last game vs. Kannapolis 6/26: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 3 K. This season vs. Hickory: 3 games (2 starts), 9.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 HR, 4 BB, 8 K. Fourth-round pick of the Marlins in 2017 out of Stanford Univ. Attended Bloomsburg (PA) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-1st wins (7), T-1st balks (3).

CF Thomas Jones (No. 25): 2018 stats: .245/.298/.415, 8 2B, 8 HR, 11 BB, 70 K, 12 SB, 3 CS. Last series vs. Delmarva: 1-for-8, 4 K, CS. This season vs. Hickory: 3-for-21, HR, 2 BB, 8 K, 2 SB. Third-round pick of the Marlins in 2016 out of Laurens (HS) S.C.

OF Isael Soto (No. 26): 2018 stats: .194/.272/.350, 9 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 15 BB, 42 K. Last series vs. Delmarva: 1-for-8, K. This season vs. Hickory: 10-for-36, 2 2B, 3 HR, 3 BB, 12 K. Signed with Marlins as an international free agent in 2013. Native of Bani, D.R.

 

Others to watch-Greensboro:

LHP Scott Sebald: 2018 stats with Greensboro: 1 start, 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 1 K. Signed free agent contract with the Marlins on June 1. Originally signed as a pro with the Rangers in 2016 and pitched for the AZL Rangers and Spokane. Pitched in college for Lindsay Wilson College (Columbia, KY). Attended Colerain HS, Cincinnati, Ohio.

RHP Brandon Miller: 2018 stats: 15 games (15 starts): 83 IP, 106 H, 59 R (55 ER), 15 HR, 5 HB, 21 BB, 65 K, 5.96 ERA, .312 OBA, 1.53 WHIP. Last start vs. Delmarva 6/28: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 8 R (7 ER), 2 HR, 2 BB, 4 K. This season vs. Hickory: 3 starts, 15.1 IP, 21 H, 11 R (11 ER), 3 HR, 2 HB, 6 BB, 14 K. Obtained by the Marlins from the Seattle Mariners organization in 2017 for RHP David Phelps. Originally sixth-round pick of the Mariners in 2016 out of Millersville (PA) Univ. Attended Ephrata (PA) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st hits allowed, 1st runs allowed, 1st earned runs allowed, 1st home runs allowed, 4th innings pitched, T-4th losses (7).

Series Preview: Augusta (S.C.) at Hickory Crawdads June 24-26

Augusta GreenJackets (San Francisco) (39-32 overall, 2-1 second-half T-2nd SAL South), at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (30-41, 0-3 7th SAL North)

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Sunday 5 p.m., Monday 7 p.m., Tuesday noon.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Sunday – Mascot Mayhem

Monday – Make a Difference Monday, YMCA Hit and Spin

 

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)

Sunday: RHP Aaron Phillips vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

Monday: LHP Joey Marciano vs. LHP Martin Perez (rehab start)

Tuesday: RHP Jose Marte vs. RHP Tyler Phillips

 

Recent Series History:

Augusta and Hickory split a four-game series at L.P. Frans Stadium in the only series played by the two teams in 2017. The Crawdads have had trouble with Augusta at home during both the current affiliation with the Rangers and during the previous affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since the San Francisco Giants hooked up with Augusta in 2005, the GreenJackets are 47-35 overall, 28-18 at L.P. Frans. Since 2009, which is the start of the Crawdads/ Rangers affiliation, Hickory has won just one series at home, that coming in April of 2011. Since then, Augusta is 15-7 at Hickory. Oddly, the Crawdads have not played at Augusta since winning 2 of 3 there in 2016.

 

About the Crawdads:

Hickory started the season 0-6 and it is in danger of starting the second half in similar fashion. The Crawdads were swept in three games by West Virginia to open the second half and have lost five in a row stretching back to the all-star break. The team is also hoping to avoid losing records in both half-seasons, which hasn’t happened since 2009… Now 10-12 in June, the Crawdads are looking to snap out of a funk on all facets of the game. This month, Hickory is last in the SAL in team ERA (4.67) and next to last in batting average (.231). Stout defensively much of the year, the team had five errors the last three games. They currently are fourth in fielding pct. Up the middle, the Crawdads shortstops and second basemen have combined for just 20 errors.

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

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .240/.307/.408, 8 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 40 K, 7 SB. Last series vs. West Virginia: 0-for-13, BB, 3 K. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .222/.276/.403, 10 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 12 BB, 60 K, 6 SB, 1 CS. Last series vs. West Virginia: 2-for-12 2B, BB, 3 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: 12 games (10 starts), 53.2 IP, 43 H, 33 R (27 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 34 BB, 70 K, 4.53 ERA, .223 OBA, 1.43 WHIP. Last series vs. West Virginia: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 2 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: 3rd walks, T-5th hit batters.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .240/.299/.417, 12 2B, 8 HR, 10 BB, 62 K, 1 SB Last series vs. West Virginia: 2-for-11, HR, BB, 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: 12 games (12 starts) 70 IP, 7-5 H, 30 R (28 ER), 3 HR, 1 HB, 7 BB, 61 K, 3.60 ERA, .274 OBA, 1.17 WHIP. Last start 6/15 at Lakewood (NJ): 6 IP, 11 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 5 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 (0.90). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

Others to watch – Hickory:

LHP Martin Perez: 2018 stats at Texas: 5 games (5 starts), 22.1 IP, 41 H, 25 R (24 ER), 7 HR, 12 BB, 13 K, 9.67 ERA, .398 OBA, 2.37 WHIP. Making an injury rehab start on Monday, it will be his first game action since being placed on the disabled list on April 30th with discomfort in his right (non-pitching) elbow. Perez made 22 appearances (14 starts) for Hickory) in 2009. Started a combined, 7-inning no-hitter for Hickory on 4/11/09, just one week after his 18th birthday.

RHP Tyree Thompson: 2018 stats: 12 games (11 starts), 58.2 IP, 60 H, 33 R (26 ER), 7 HR, 3 HB, 20 BB, 33 K, 3.99 ERA, .262 OBA, 1.36 WHIP. Last start 5/16 at Lakewood (NJ): 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 3 BB, 6 K. Twenty-sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans.

RHP Alex Eubanks: 2018 stats: 12 games (12 starts), 63 IP, 76 H, 45 R (44 ER), 11 HR, 4 HB, 17 BB, 69 K, 6.29 ERA, .298 OBA, 1.48 WHIP. Last start 6/17 at Lakewood (NJ): 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 HR, 3 BB, 6 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Clemson. Attended Byrnes High in Moore, S.C. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd earned runs allowed, 4th home runs allowed, 8th runs allowed, T-9th hits allowed.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .265/.309/.420, 11 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 14 BB, 29 K. This season vs. West Virginia:7-for-30, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 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: 5th plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.14).

About the GreenJackets:

Managed by Jolbert Cabrera in his first season with the team… Augusta was in the running for the first-half Southern Division title and were 3.5 games ahead of Rome (Ga.) after a win on June 1. Then the bottom fell out. The GreenJackets 11 straight as part of a 1-14 stretch and Augusta went on to finish tied for second, 2.5 games behind Rome. The GreenJackets got a minor measure of revenge to open the second half by taking 2 of 3 at home from the Braves… The offense disappeared much of the time during the losing streak and as a team they currently last in the SAL this month at .222. The GreenJackets scored just 46 runs during the 1-14 stretch, including seven games in which they scored two or fewer runs. The offense leads the SAL in strikeouts and is second in walks accepted. When the GreenJackets get on base, they are liking going. Augusta is second in the SAL in steal attempts (120) and third in successful steals (76)… For the most part, the pitching staff has held its own this season. The team ERA of 2.92 is second in the SAL and they have 10 shutouts. Augusta has allowed the second fewest hits, is second in strikeouts and have the third lowest WHIP (1.17).

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

CF Heliot Ramos (No.1, No. 74 overall prospect): 2018 stats: .240/.319/.384, 16 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 23 BB, 73 K, 4 SB, 6 CS. Last series vs. Rome: 2-for-12, 2B, 1 BB, 3 K. First-round pick of the Giants in 2017 out of Leadership Christian in Guaynabo, P.R. Native of Humacao, P.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10 2Bs.

3B Jacob Gonzalez (No. 10): 2018 stats: .248/.305/.364, 11 2B, 6 HR, 15 BB, 61 K, 7 SB, 5 CS. Last series vs. Rome: 2-for-12, 2B, HR, 3 K. Second-round pick of the Giants in 2017 out of Chaparral HS in Scottsdale, AZ.

RHP Garrett Cave (No. 19) 2018 stats: 14 games (13 starts), 56 IP, 53 H, 32 R (27 ER), 2 HR, 6 HB, 38 BB, 59 K, 4.34 ERA, .248 OBA, 1.63 WHIP. Last start 6/22 vs. Rome: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 6 K. Fourth-round pick of the Giants in 2017 out of University of Tampa. Also played college ball at Florida International Univ. Attended South Sumter HS in Bushnell, FL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks, T-7th HB.

 

Others to watch- Augusta:

RHP Aaron Phillips: 2018 stats: 6 games (5 starts), 30.1 IP, 33 H, 19 R (13 ER), 4 HR, 4 HB, 2 BB, 33 K, 3.86 ERA, .264 OBA, 1.15 WHIP. Last start 5/23 vs. Charleston (SC): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 8 K. Making his first start since being place on DL June 1. Ninth-round pick of the Giants in 2017 out of St. Bonaventure Univ. Attended Cleveland Hill HS in Cheektowaga, NY.

LHP Joey Marciano: 2018 stats: 12 games (11 starts), 65.2 IP, 58 H, 22 R, 17 ER, 3 HR, 1 HB, 15 BB, 59 K, 2.33 ERA, .239 OBA, 1.11 WHIP. Last start 6/15 at Asheville: 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R (4 ER), 5 K. Thirty-sixth round pick of the Giants in 2017 out of Southern Illinois Univ. Also played college ball at John A. Logan CC (Ill.) Attended Roberto Clemente HS in Chicago. Related to boxing great Rocky Marciano.

RHP Jose Marte: 2018 stats: 13 games (13 starts), 61.2 IP, 59 H, 27 R (23 ER), 4 HR, 1 HB, 23 BB, 64 K, 3.36 ERA, .247 OBA, 1.33 WHIP. Last start 6/21 vs. Rome: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 HR. Signed as an international free agent by the Giants in 2015.

1B Ryan Kirby: 2018 stats: .228/.313/.443, 16 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 25 BB, 78 K, 4 SB, 1 CS. Last series vs. Rome: 2-for-8, HR, 3 BB, 2 K. Twelfth-round pick of the Giants in 2017 out of Univ. of San Diego. Attended Granada HS in Livermore, CA. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-5th HR, 7th Ks, T-10th doubles

RF Logan Baldwin: 2018 stats: .251/.309/.391, 12 2B, 6 3B, 3 HR, 13 BB, 76 K, 16 SB, 6 CS. Last series vs. Rome: 0-for-7, 2 BB, 6 K. Twenty-first round pick of the Giants in 2017 out of Georgia Southern Univ. Attended Ringgold (Ga.) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-2nd SB, T-3rd triples, 9th Ks.

SS Manuel Geraldo: 2018 stats .277/.330/.410, 7 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 18 BB, 61 K, 176 SB, 7 CS. Last series vs. Rome: 2-for-13, 2 K. Signed as international free agent by the Giants in 2013. Native of Azua, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-10th SB.

Series Preview: Charleston (S.C.) at Hickory May 25-28

(I am my own editor… I did this in a rush. Laugh at my mistakes, but laugh gently. Thank you.)

Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs (New York Yankees) (20-25, 5th SAL South), at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (16-26, 6th SAL North)

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, 6 p.m., Sunday, 3 p.m., Monday, 1 p.m.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Friday – Memorial Day Weekend Kickoff, Salute to Troops, Post-game Fireworks

Saturday – ZOOperstars! Appearance, Hat Giveaway (1st 1,000 fans)

Sunday – Church Bulletin Sunday, Birdzerk!

Monday – Memorial Day Celebration

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 (Charleston/ Hickory)

Friday: RHP Jio Orozco vs. RHP Noah Bremer

Saturday: RHP Alex Vargas vs. RHP Derek Heffel

Sunday: RHP Rony Garcia vs. RHP Tyler Phillips

Monday: LHP Dalton Lehnen vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

 

Recent Series History:

Charleston took five of six in the series last year, which included a 2-1 series win at L.P. Frans. The RiverDogs’ three-game sweep at home in late August began a downward spiral for the Crawdads in the final week of the season that knocked them out of the SAL playoffs. Charleston has won 4 of 6 at Hickory the past two years. Since 2009, which was the start of the Rangers-Crawdads affiliation, Hickory holds a 50-45 edge in the overall series, 27-21 at L.P. Frans.

 

About the Crawdads:

Hickory started the homestand with two straight wins over Delmarva (Md.), then lost the final two to fall into a split. The current eight-game homestand is the longest of the season… Overall, the Crawdads have pitched well as of late, especially in the starting rotation. Prior to Thursday night’s 10-5 loss to the Shorebirds, Hickory starters had an eight-game stretch during which they allowed eight earned runs over 46.1 innings with 49 Ks and 8 walks. The Crawdads starters have not walked a batter in four straight games. Near the top of the SAL in walks allowed much of the season, the Crawdads are now fourth in that category… Meanwhile, the Crawdads are back to looking for answers at the plate. Since scoring 11 runs in a win vs. Columbia on 5/9, Hickory has scored more than three runs in a game just five times in 13 games. Among the 14-team SAL, the Crawdads are last in doubles and next to last iin extra-base hits. They are also 11th in batting average, 12th in runs scored and total bases, and 13th in hits. Their .240 batting average in May is next to last.… The team continues to be stellar in the field. Their 39 errors – just 23 on the infield – are the second fewest in the SAL.

 

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

CF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .245/.302/.429, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 14 K, 3 SB. Last series vs. Delmarva: 3-for-14, 2B, 6 K. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 17): 2018 stats: 7 games (6 starts), 29.2 IP, 25 H, 19 R (18 ER), 2 HR, 5 HB, 20 BB, 41 K, 5.46 ERA, .231 OBA, 1.52 WHIP. Last start 5/19 at Kannapolis: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 HB, 2 BB, 9 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 4th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 18) 2018 stats: .217/.280/.325, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 10 BB, 22 K, 0 SB, 2 CS. Last series vs. Delmarva: 2-for-4, BB, K. Rejoined the team on 5/24 after an 11-day absence. Signed as an international free agent with the Rangers in 2015. Native of San Carlos Venezuela.

RHP Alex Speas (No. 23): 2018 stats: 14 games, 4 saves, 20.1 IP, 14 H, 9 R (7 ER), 1 HR, 19 BB, 37 K, 3.10 ERA, .187 OBA 1.62 WHIP. Last game 5/22 vs. Delmarva: 1.2 IP, 3 K. Second-round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of McEachern HS (Powder Springs, GA). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st Ks-per-9 innings among relievers (16.38), T-9th walks.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 26): 2018 stats: .254/.313/.449, 8 2B, 5 HR, 6 BB, 39 K, 1 SB. Last series vs.Delmarva: 6-for-16, 2 2B, HR, 2 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.).

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 30): 2018 stats: 44 IP, 44 H, 15 R (14 ER), 2 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 46 K, 2.86 ERA, .257 OBA, 1.11 WHIP. Last start vs. Delmarva: 7 IP, 5 H, 7 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: 4th walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.02).

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 1 game (1 start), 1 IP, 1 K. Made only start on 4/8, pulled and placed on disabled list with an oblique injury shortly after. 2017 stats at AZL Rangers and Spokane: 11 games (0 starts), 20 IP, 10 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 4 BB, 30 K, 1.35 ERA, .152 OBA, 0.70 WHIP. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP Derek Heffel: 2018 stats: 2 games (1 start), 8 IP, 9 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 6 K. Last start 5/20 at Kannapolis: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 HB, 3 K. Began season at extended spring. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Madison Area (Wisc.) Technical College. Attend St. Catherine’s HS in Racine, Wisc.

RHP Tyree Thompson: 2018 stats: 8 games (7 starts) 38.2 IP, 37 H, 26 R (21 ER), 6 HR, 3 HB, 12 BB, 17 K, 4.89 ERA, .247 OBA, 1.27 WHIP. Last start vs. Delmarva 5/22: 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans.

SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats: .194/.354/.226, 2 2B, 7 RBI, 14 BB, 14 K, 5 SB, 2 CS. Last series vs. Delmarva: 2-for-4, R. Played in four games at Frisco (Tex.) from May 11-14, (3-for-11, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 SB.) Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela.

UT Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .253/.340/.425, 3 2B, 4 HR, 10 BB, 37 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. Last series vs. Delmarva: 0-for-10, 2 BB, 5 K. Will likely see more playing time with 2B Kole Enright on the disabled list. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian (Mich.) College. Attended South Haven (Mich.) HS.

UT Justin Jacobs: 2018 stats: .281/.364/.385, 4 2B, 2 HR, 12 BB, 34 K, 1 SB. Last series vs. Delmarva: 1-for-11, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K. Leads Hickory with an .813 OPS in May over 16 games. Signed with the Rangers in 2017 as a non-drafted free agent from Gonzaga Univ. Also played at Lower Columbia CC (Wash.). Attended Riverside HS in Auburn Wash.

 

About the RiverDogs:

Managed by Julio Mosquera in his first season as the skipper. He led short-season Staten Island to a 46-29 record and a playoff berth in the New York-Penn League in 2017… The RiverDogs were shutout in two games at Augusta (Ga.), but salvaged the final game of the rain-shortened series… Like the Crawdads, Charleston has struggled to put runs on the board. It has scored five or more runs in just 6 of 20 games in May, with one or fewer runs in eight of them. They are just above Hickory at .241 for the month and for the season. Collectively, the RiverDogs are 12th in OBP (.309) and slugging pct. (.360) and that has contributed to a last-place showing in the SAL in runs scored… Base stealing has also been an issue as they are just over .500 in pilfer attempts (29-for-57)…The pitching, however, has kept the team from sliding into an abyss record wise. The staff WHIP of 1.13 is second in the SAL and the team ERA of 2.86 is third. Charleston has surrendered just 18 HRs, the fewest in the league, and only Augusta has given up fewer hits.

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

3B Dermis Garcia (No. 21): 2018 stats: 4-for-22, 2B, HR, 10 K. Joined the RiverDogs from extended spring on 5/17. Last series at Augusta: 2-for-11, 4 K. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

Others to watch-Charleston:

RHP Jio Orozco: 2018 stats: 1 game (1 start) 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Made first start with the RiverDogs vs, Columbia on 5/18. Made 12 starts for the RiverDogs in 2017: 56.1 IP, 61 H, 37 R (31 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 34 BB, 48 K, 4.95 ERA, .286 OBA, 1.69 WHIP. Fourteenth-round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2015 out of Salpointe Catholic, Tucson, Ariz. Traded to the Yankees on 8/31/16 as a part of a package for RF Ben Gamel.

RHP Alex Vargas: 2018 stats with Charleston: 3 games (3 starts), 14.1 IP 17 H, 9 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 11 K, 3.77 ERA, .288 OBA, 1.33 WHIP. Last start 5/19 vs. Columbia: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K. Made a spot start for AA Trenton in April and a relief outing at High-A Tampa. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Santiago, D.R.

RHP Rony Garcia: 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts), 39 IP, 46 H, 24 R (18 ER), 2 HR, 2 HB, 8 BB, 33 K, 4.15 ERA, .291 OBA, 1.38 WHIP. Last start 5/20 vs. Columbia: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 HB, 2 BB, 7 K. Signed with the Yankees as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Mao, D.R.

LHP Dalton Lehnen: 2018 stats: 8 games (7 starts), 41.1 IP, 35 H, 14 R (12 ER), 3 HR, 2 HB, 8 BB, 44 K, 2.61 ERA, .220 OBA, 1.04 WHIP. Last start 5/21 at Augusta: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 HB, 1 BB, 7 K. Sixth-round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of Augustana (S.D.) Univ.

RF Steven Sensley: 2018 stats: .278/.353/.497, 13 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 15 BB, 49 K, 2 SB, 3 CS. Last series at Augusta: 2-for-11, 2B, 4 K. Twelfth-round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of the Univ. of Louisiana-Lafayette. Attended University HS in Baton Rouge, La. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd doubles.

1B Chris Hess: 2018 stats: .280/.396/.439, 6 2B, 5 HR, 18 BB, 39 K, 0 SB, 3 CS. Last series at Augusta: 0-for-8, 1 BB, 4 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Yankees in 2017 out of the Univ. of Rhode Island. Attended North Kingstown (RI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 5th OPB.

Tyree Ties Up Shorebirds: Hickory wins 5-1.

Tyree Thompson pitched a masterpiece, Sam Huff and Kole Enright supported him at the plate as the Hickory Crawdads defeated the Delmarva (Md.) Shorebirds 5-1 at L.P. Frans Stadium Tuesday night.

The win was the second straight by Hickory (16-24) to open the four-game series, which continues Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Delmarva (26-17) lost its third straight game and has dropped six of the last eight overall. The Shorebirds now trail first-place Kannapolis by two games in the first-half Northern Division standings.

It was the Tyree Thompson show from the start as the right-hander kept the Shorebirds off balance throughout the game. The New Orleans native allowed just six baserunners over a pro career high of 7.1 innings and struck out three.

Meanwhile, the Crawdads, led by Huff and Enright, supplied the runs Thompson (2-3) needed early. Facing starter D.L. Hall, Austin O’Banion doubled and scored when Huff also doubled off the left field wall. In the fourth, Huff doubled with two outs and Enright swatted his third homer of the season to left-center to make it 3-0.

Franklin Rollin’s speed played a large part for a run in the seventh. He reached on an infield hit, stole second and moved to third on an error from where Tyreque Reed doubled him in.

The right-hander was economical all-night, needing just 65 pitches to get through seven innings. No Shorebirds hitter saw more than four pitches in a plate appearance before the game reached one out in the eighth. That batter, Arlington (Tex.) native Jaylen Ferguson, lined a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left for his first homer in the second game since joining the Shorebirds. After Thompson walked Kirvit Moesquit, the Crawdads brought in reliever Alex Speas, who recorded the final two outs.

Hickory added a run on a bases-loaded walk in the eighth. Speas returned with a dominant ninth, striking out the final two batters of the game for his fourth save of the season.

 

More on Tyree Thompson:

When the Shorebirds Moesquit hit the second pitch of the game, a middle-in fastball, hard to Reed at first, it looked ominous. As it turned out, it was the last hard-hit ball by the Shorebirds against Thompson until Jean Carrillo lined out to center in the fifth.

Thompson’s fastball started the night topping at 93 mph, but he stayed around 89-91 much of the night and spotted it well. It was the second strong start in a row for the 20-year-old – he allowed one run on four hits and three walks over six innings last week against Rome (Ga.)  – which he said has been the result of a mechanical adjustment.

“I’m just tweaking some simple things with my hands, as far as movement,” Thompson said. “It helped me as far as conviction wise and command wise to be able to throw the ball wherever I want.”

That command was with three pitches: the fastball, change and an occasional curve. Thompson broke his first curveball off to strike out Trevor Craport in the second. After a walk and an error put two on in the second, Thompson got Carrillo to bounce a changeup into a force play.

The changeup got a lot of play by Thompson and it was largely responsible for the ten groundball outs recorded.

Overall, Thompson threw 53 strikes out of 82 pitches, starting 17 of the 28 hitters with first-pitch strikes.

“They’re a good hitting team,” said Thompson of the plan of attack. “But once you get ahead early in the count, they’re protecting. My strength is getting ahead of batters and getting them out in four pitches or less.”

A couple of defensive plays aided Thompson’s gem. In the first, Thompson tried to make a backhand stab of a comebacker. The ball deflected to the first-base side of second, where shortstop Cristian Inoa made a quick charge of the play and threw to first for the out.  Playing center on Wednesday, Rollin saved a hit in the fifth with a full-out dive and catch to his left.

The defensive plays along with the early runs boosted Thompson’s confidence.

“If I get a run ahead, that’s a plus for me because I know what kind of pitcher I am, and I know my strengths. When I get a run ahead, it makes me compete more, knowing my defense is behind me. I throw strikes and do what I have to do, knowing my defense will make plays.”

Tyree Thompson

Tyree Thompson allowed a run on three hits over 7.1 innings vs. Delmarva on Tuesday (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

 

The game’s turning point:

D.L. Hall, the Baltimore Orioles No. 4 prospect, had spotty control early, but got into a groove into the third. Gassing around 94-95 with increasing command of the changeup, Hall had retired eight in a row after Huff’s RBI double in the second. He was ready to make it nine with two outs in the fourth and Huff back at the plate.

The Shorebirds went after Huff in the second with three straight secondary pitches, the third of which was a hanging curve that Huff roped off the wall. So in the fourth, Hall came with two straight fastballs that put Huff in an 0-2 hole. A third fastball missed just inside and before Hall went back to two straight changeups. Huff spoiled both.

The final pitch of the AB was a 93 mph just off the plate – too close to take – that Huff not only spoiled, but got enough of the pitch off the end of the bat to bounce the ball past first for a double.

Enright followed with a homer on a 2-0 fastball and that turned out to be the game.

 

Alex Speas ninth:

The dude was gassing.

After a 4-3 grounder, Speas made Ryan Ripken uncomfortable in the box. A 98 mph heater had the left-handed hitting Ripken stepping towards first on a swing-and-miss. Ripken flicked a second 98 into the stands. Expecting another heater, Speas fooled him with an 89 slider that closed into the hitter’s hands. A half-hearted swing completed the strikeout.

Then to Ben Breazeale: 99, 99, 99, 100, 98, 98.

Ball game.

Series Preview: Delmarva at Hickory May 21-24

The Crawdads start their longest homestand of the season (8 games) with a four-game series against Delmarva.

Delmarva (Md.) Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles) (26-15, 2nd SAL North), at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (14-24, 6th SAL North)

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Monday – Wednesday, 6 p.m., Thursday 6 p.m.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Monday – Make-A-Difference Monday (For Safe Harbor, bring Multi-pack Paper Towels, Gas Cards, Grocery Cards, Laundry Detergent or PODS $5 or more in value and receive a free ticket.)

Tuesday – Dollar Dog Tuesday (Dogs admitted for $1 each, Hot Dogs $1 each, $2 craft pints and Pepsi products

Wednesday – Wine Wednesday

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday/ Tribute to Jim Carrey (Dress as a Jim Carrey Movie character to receive a free ticket)

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 (Delmarva/ Hickory)

Monday: RHP Brenan Hanifee vs. RHP Tyler Phillips

Tuesday: LHP DL Hall vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

Wednesday: LHP Zac Lowther vs. RHP Alex Eubanks

Thursday:  LHP Cameron Bishop vs. TBA

 

Recent Series History:

Delmarva has dominated the series this season, winning five of six overall and two of three at L.P. Frans in April. Since the Crawdads-Rangers affiliation began in 2009, Delmarva has won just one season series, that coming in 2015.

 

About the Crawdads:

A quick road trip at Kannapolis resulted in a 2-1 series loss at Kannapolis, as the final game of the series was suspended Sunday afternoon… Hickory is 10-9 at home this season… After a hot start in May, the Crawdads have come back to earth and are currently at .247/.325/.394 for the month. The team is next to last in the SAL in hits, last in doubles, 11th in runs scored, 12th in total bases and 13th in extra-base hits… The pitching had a good last run through the rotation and as a staff the team had allowed four or fewer runs in six straight before giving up five through five innings in the suspended game. Overall, the Crawdads are 11th in ERA (4.45), 12th in WHIP (1.40) and have walked the second most in the SAL… Defensively, Hickory has committed the fewest errors in the SAL (35 in 38 games). Collectively, Hickory has committed just four since May 9 (nine games).

 

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

CF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .257/.333/.486, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 8 K, 3 SB. Last series at Kannapolis: 1-for-10, 3B, 5 K. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. Joined the team last Wednesday.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 17): 2018 stats: 7 games (6 starts), 29.2 IP, 25 H, 19 R (18 ER), 2 HR, 5 HB, 20 BB, 41 K, 5.46 ERA, .231 OBA, 1.52 WHIP. Last start 5/19 at Kannapolis: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 HB, 2 BB, 9 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-2nd hit batters, 3rd walks allowed.

RHP Alex Speas (No. 23): 2018 stats: 13 games, 3 saves, 18.2 IP, 14 H, 9 R (7 ER), 1 HR, 19 BB, 34 K, 3.38 ERA, .200 OBA 1.77 WHIP. Last game 5/17 at Kannapolis: 1.2 IP, 2 K, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Second-round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of McEachern HS (Powder Springs, GA). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd Ks-per-9 innings among relievers (16.39), T-6th walks.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 26): 2018 stats: .235/.297/.412, 6 2B, 4 HR, 6 BB, 37 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-6, 2B, K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.).

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 30): 2018 stats: 37 IP, 39 H, 15 R (14 ER), 2 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 39 K, 3.41 ERA, .267 OBA, 1.19 WHIP. Last start vs. Rome: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 5 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: 4th walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.22).

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Tyree Thompson: 2018 stats: 7 games (6 starts) 31.1 IP, 34 H, 25 R (20 ER), 5 HR, 2 HB, 10 BB, 14 K, 5.74 ERA, .272 OBA, 1.40 WHIP. Last start vs. Rome 5/15: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 3 BB, 4 K. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans.

RHP Alex Eubanks: 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts), 33.2 IP, 45 H, 26 R (26 ER), 7 HR, 1 HB, 7 BB, 44 K, 6.95 ERA .321 OBA, 1.54 WHIP. Last start 5/17 at Kannapolis: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Clemson Univ. A native of Duncan, S.C. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th HR allowed.

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 10 games, 16.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 12 BB (2 IBB), 26 K, 1.08 ERA, .113 BA, 1.08 WHIP. Last game 5/19 at Kannapolis 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB (2 IBB). Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd lowest OBA by relievers.

3B Tyler Ratliff: 2018 stats: .237/.313/.339,6 2B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 29 K. Last series at Kannapolis: 2-for-9, 2 2B, RBI, 1 BB, 1 K. Hitting .310/.375/.431 in May. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Marshall (WV) Univ. Played at TC Williams High in Alexandria, Va.

OF Franklin Rollin: 2018 stats at Hickory: 6-for-18, 2B, HR, BB, 2 K, 2 SB, 2 CS. Last series at Kannapolis: 4-for-14, 2B, HR, BB, 2 K, SB, CS. Signed an international free agent contract with the Rangers in 2013. Native of La Romana, D.R.

Tyler Ratliff

Tyler Ratliff is hitting .310/.375/.431 in May (Tracy Proffitt)

 

About the Shorebirds:

Managed by Buck Britton in his first season with the club. He is the brother of Orioles reliever Zach Britton… Delmarva heads to Hickory after dropping two of three at home to Hagerstown (Md.), the Northern Division’s last place team… What had been a solid pitching staff this season, the Shorebirds got knocked around a bit last week as they gave up seven or more runs in three of the last four games – all losses. The one win was a shutout in game one of a doubleheader on Sunday. The team ERA of 3.26 is still fifth in the SAL and they have five shutouts this season. Delmarva has allowed just 20 homers, but are just five behind Hickory in walks allowed… At the plate, the Shorebirds are near the top of the SAL teams. Collectively, they are second in the SAL in batting avg. (.263) and hits, third in runs, total bases and OPS (.723), fourth in OBP (.329) and homers, and fifth in slugging pct. (.394). They are next to last in strikeouts… Delmarva is first in fielding pct. (.976).

 

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

Prospects to watch-Delmarva:

LHP D.L. Hall (No. 4): 2018 stats: 6 games (6 starts), 19.2 IP, 12 H, 6 R (5 ER), 12 BB, 20 K, 2.29 ERA, .212 OBA, 1.22 WHIP. Last start 5/13 at Columbia: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 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. 8): 2018 stats: 6 games (6 starts), 38.2 IP, 31 H, 12 R (11 ER), 5 HR, 1 HB, 8 BB, 27 K, 2.56 ERA, .223 OBA, 1.01 WHIP. Last start 5/11 at Lexington: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 7 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: T-4th wins (4), 10th WHIP.

LHP Cameron Bishop (No. 14): 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts), 43 IP, 41 H, 16 R (13 ER), 2 HR, 7 BB, 37 K, 2.72 ERA, .247 OBA, 1.12 WHIP. Twenty-sixth-round pick of Orioles in 2017 out of the Univ. of California-Irvine. Native of Brea, Calif. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 9th innings pitched.

LHP Zac Lowther (No. 15): 2018 stats: 5 games, (5 starts) 25 IP, 11 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 HR, 1 HB 6 BB, 41 K, 1.44 ERA, .129 OBA, 0.68 WHIP. Last start 5/15 at Columbia: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 HB, 3 BB, 2 K. Second pick in competitive balance round of the Orioles in 2017 out of Xavier. Attended Cuyahoga Heights in Cleveland. Native of Brooklyn Heights Ohio.

RHP Gary Fenter (No. 21): 2018 starts: 7 games (2 starts), 16.1 IP, 23 H, 14 R (14 ER), 1 HR, 2 HB, 7 BB, 19 K, 7.71 ERA, .338 OBA, 1.84 WHIP. Last game 5/19 vs. Hagerstown: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K. Seventh-round pick of the Orioles in 2015 out of West Memphis (AR) High. Signed away from commitment to Mississippi St.

SS Mason McCoy (No. 25): 2018 stats: .254/.329/.399, 5 2B, 6 3B, 1 HR, 15 BB, 26 K, 2 CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 4-for-10, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, 3 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

RHP Matthew Dietz (No. 26): 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts) 35.2 IP, 30 H, 13 R (13 ER), 1 HR, 19 BB, 41 K, 3.28 ERA, .229 OBA, 1.37 WHIP. Second-round pick of Orioles out of John A. Logan CC (Ill.). SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th wins (4), T-6th walks.

 

Others to watch-Delmarva:

RHP Tim Naughton: 2018 stats: 1 game, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 4 BB, 2 K. Made his season debut on 5/20 vs. Hagerstown. Thirty-fourth round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of NC State. Attended Charles B. Aycock HS in Goldsboro.

RHP Cameron Ming: 2018 stats: 1 game, 4.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 7 K. Made his season debut on 5/20 vs. Hagerstown. Fourteenth-round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of the University of Arizona. Attended Sandra Day O’Connor HS in Glendale, Ariz.

RF Zack Jarrett: 2018 stats: .290/.362/.510, 6 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 12 BB, 43 K. Last series vs Hagerstown: 3-for-11, HR, 1 K. Twenty-eighth round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of UNC Charlotte. Played his high school ball at Hickory High. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th home runs, 6th runs, 6th total bases, T-7th hits, 9th slugging pct.

2B Kirvin Moesquit: 2018 stats: .282/.356/.380, 5 2B, 3 HR, 16 BB, 37 K, 16 SB, 6 CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 2-for-9, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-1st steals, T-4th runs scored (14). 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.).

C Ben Breazeale: 2018 stats: .220/.340/.366. 6 2B, 2 HR, 13 BB, 19 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 0-for-2. Seventh-round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of Wake Forest. Attended Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) HS.

1B Ryen Ripken: 2018 stats: .283/.325/.336, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 BB, 12 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 1-for-7; Signed free agent deal with Orioles in 2017. Played previously in SAL with Hagerstown (Washington) in 2016. Son of Cal Ripken, Jr.

3B Trevor Craport: 2018 stats: .282/.333/.481, 6 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 9 BB, 19 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 3-for-11, 2 HR, 3 RBI. Eleventh-round pick of the Orioles in 2017 out of Georgia Tech. Attended Norcross (Ga.) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-6th RBI, T-9th runs

LF Jaylen Ferguson: 2017 stats with SS-A Aberdeen: .233/.266/.264, 6 2B, 8 BB, 59 K. Made his debut with Delmarva on 5/20 (0-for-2, K). Ninth-round pick of the Orioles in 2015 out of Arlington (Tex.) HS.

The Fire to Win: An Interview with Sam Huff

In writing the feature for the Hickory Daily Record, I had a bit of a writer’s block. I found the subject of this interview, Sam Huff, to be a multi-faceted person and there were so many directions in which I could’ve steered the article.

For the HDR writeup, I chose to go the route of the guy that had his baseball fire sparked at the age of five. As I mentioned in the article, there is a fire there that burns in the baseball soul. This kid wants to win and he wants to win however necessary.

I interviewed Huff a day after a game against Rome during which he and pitcher Jean Casanova put together a clinic on how to change the plan of attack against a lineup when the original plan didn’t work.

The night before, I had talked to the two of them about the game. A minor blip on Huff’s night was getting the golden sombrero (4 strikeouts in a game at the plate, for those that don’t know). When I asked him about that, while he wasn’t happy about the strikeouts, in the grand scheme of the game itself, he didn’t care. His team won. He had a part of that win because of the work as a catcher and that’s all that mattered to him. He repeated the mantra over and over, “I just want to win.” I left without the expletive that was a part of one of those statements.

So, inside of a measured speaker, that fire is there and the more it smolders.

There were other areas we touched on in this interview: his development, his leadership, and his curiosity for learning. I think readers will see that curiosity when reading through the interview and how he seeks to soak up information.

Both Huff and catching coordinator mentioned the influence of former Crawdads catcher Jose Trevino on Huff. So, I tracked down Trevino to get his perspective on Huff and what stands out to him.

Said Trevino about Huff:

“He’s different. Swings different. Throws different. He’s a special kid.

“He doesn’t know how dangerous he is yet though and I think being in his first full season, he will start to figure it out. He’s like that baby snake that doesn’t know how poisonous it is, yet. But sooner or later he will know when to strike and how much he needs to take down someone.

“He always wants to learn and he’s always picking my brain about everything! I like being around the kid because he still needs that person to check him back into place at times. It looks funny, a 5’8” dude telling a 6’8” dude something that will help him.

“But yes, a very special kid with a lot of talent. I don’t really compare him to a player in the big leagues right now cause I don’t think you can. Sam Huff is Sam Huff. He’s going to keep getting better and he’s always going to want to learn. Great ballplayer and a better person!”

However, Huff is not just a student for the sake of being a student. He wants to lead. He wants to lead his team. He wants to lead his pitchers. Huff doesn’t appear to be a person to lead in such a way that gives the feeling he that wants the world to revolve around him; he wants to figure out how to make his teammates better—so they can win.

Sam Huff fist pump

Sam Huff with a first pump during a game against West Virginia (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

 

Here is the interview with Sam Huff:

First of all, your three-headed monster at catcher, I guess, is now down to two with you and Pozo. How did the three of you work together where you’re not getting total playing time behind the plate but you’re having to figure that out?

Huff: At the start it was kind of different because we’d play like Melvin, me, Pozo, Melvin, me, Pozo and we kind of had to work off of that. It was kind of hard to get into a rhythm and a groove. Then we’d finally start to get the hang of it and we were like, “Okay, this is our day.”

The day before that we’d get focused on watching and studying. Then the day of, we’d talk to each other. Melvin would say, “Hey, this team is good at hitting fastballs” or “This team likes to hit offspeeds and the fastball away” or “They’re a fast team, so then like to bunt or run.” We just had to almost give each other reports to keep us in the game and to help our pitchers.

Because, our goal is to help our pitchers. Us three together, we knew we all had to come together and help each other, because overall, we want to be good and we like to see each other do good because we’re winning. What I said last night, we like to win and have us three catchers calling good games and our pitchers in the strike zone and keeping them in good rhythm. It helps a lot to talk to each other.

 

Was it hard to get the pitchers into any kind of consistency, though, when you have three different voices coming at them?

Huff: Yeah, because pitchers will want to throw to a different guy, or to one or the other, but we just had to work with it. We had to learn our pitchers by talking, then catching the bullpens, catching the sides and getting an idea of what they like to do. So, every day I didn’t catch, and it was my off day, I would go to the bullpen and catch all the relievers. That’s the biggest part is every night, you’ve got a new guy coming in. You’ve haven’t caught them in two weeks and you don’t remember the ball movements. My biggest thing is I can remember my pitchers.

I live with four: Tyler Phillips, Joe Barlow, Josh Advocate and Noah (Bremer) – he’s coming back from the rehab. I talk to them. I always work with them. I know them like the back of my hand. I love them and it’s just good to talk to pitchers because then they tell you what pitchers think like from a perspective of what they want to do, how they want to do it. What’s their strengths and what’s their weaknesses. How they rank their pitches. That comes into play because you’ve got to know, if he doesn’t have his fastball, what’s his second best and go off that. You can’t just say, “Okay, we’re going to go to his third best,” and that’s not his strength. You got to work to the strengths of the pitcher and understand them.

 

There’s so much that goes into catching, not just handling the pitching staff, obviously the defense, then you’ve got to come out and bring a stick to the plate and hit. Then, there’s so many intangibles. What’s the biggest thing you are working on right now, at this level?

Huff: The biggest thing is being consistent behind the plate, catching, calling the game, maintaining a good pitching staff and how I want to approach hitters. Last night was a really good thing for me as a catcher to learn. If a plan doesn’t work, we can work off of it where we can modify it a little bit. We don’t have to flip the script and get a whole new plan. We just build off of it. It was really cool to understand that. Here’s a team that’s a fastball hitting team. They don’t like curveballs, so, okay, we’ll pitch backwards now. As a catcher, when I see that, it’s going to be easier to call because you understand, because I’m right here and the hitter’s standing right there. So, it’s easier for me, but it has to come from the pitcher, too.

Learning that as a player and hitting and just being consistent. I’m just working on some stuff. Overall, I don’t try to focus too much about hitting, because the biggest thing for me is to become the best catcher and I want to be the best.

Sam HUff hitting

Sam Huff with a home run swing during an exhibition game vs. Catawba Valley CC (Tracy Proffitt)

 

What made you decide you wanted to be a catcher in the first place? You guys take a beating and there’s so much going into what you do at the position.

Huff: I didn’t catch my whole life. I played short when I was little, third, first, the outfield and pitched. I didn’t pitch in high school. I played first base my freshman year.

I watched a guy named Tommy Joseph and Matt Wieters and Joe Mauer. I liked the way they did their catching. I just kind of said, I want to be a catcher. I went to a guy in Arizona – he was Tommy Joseph’s catching coach. Tommy was in the (Arizona) fall league at the time with the Giants, so he’d come and watch and hang out. It kind of got me triggered there. I was in my sophomore year. In my junior and senior year, I caught.

It’s been different. I didn’t think I was ever going to be a catcher when I was younger. I thought I was going to be a third baseman or a first baseman, or the outfield type. It stuck with me. I liked the way it is, that you’re in every pitch. You’re not just standing there, but you’re doing something to help the team win.

 

What is the thing you think you bring to the position? You were playing other positions and now you’re fresh behind the plate. What did you bring to the position that you thought would make it work?

Huff: I thought I received well. I caught the ball. I threw the ball good and I could throw guys out. Blocking, I had to work at it and I’m still working at it, but it’s becoming one of my strengths. I just felt like I could catch and throw really well. I felt like I could bring energy as a player and being able to control my team and help my teammates out, because I want other guys to be good.

To be able to see a catcher, even though he’s down, but he’s still up and going, that’s a leader. I’m just trying to fill the role, because it’s something I want to be, but it’s something I’ve got to work at. Every day I’m working and I’m talking to guys that I feel like are leaders to me and they tell me how they do it and I try to copy that.

 

Who are the leaders to you?

Huff: I feel like Clay Middleton. He’s a really good guy to look after. Tyree Thompson, Tyler Phillips, I could go on. I feel like everybody, in some aspect of the way, is a leader to me. They show me things that I can do different, and they tell me things that I can do different, and I show them things that I’ve improved on that they could do different. So, it’s really cool. As a team, I try and incorporate everybody as a leader. It doesn’t matter how you lead, if you’re just a quiet guy or if you like to talk a lot. If you’re a leader, you’re a leader.

 

You mentioned some guys that got you interested in catching like Mauer and Tommy Joseph. At this stage of you career, who are you looking at as someone you’d like to model your game after?

Huff: I’d like to model my game after Mike Piazza. He wasn’t the best catcher, but he could hit. He’s a Hall-of-Famer, so you can’t say that he’s not that bad of a catcher. But, I really like to model my game after him, because watching video, he had the mentality of, he’s going to beat you. He doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t give, you know what, about you.

He plays hard. He wasn’t given the opportunity, he had to work for it. I like watching him as a player, because he had the flow. He had the mentality to just go out there and play to show everyone that he was better than they thought he would be.

 

(Rangers catching coordinator) Chris (Briones) will come in and say, “it’s time to fill my guys up.” What does a guy like Chris bring to you when he comes on a visit?

Huff: We talk about what I can do different and what I’m doing good at. What things he’s seen that I’ve improved on, or I need to improve on. Lately, we’ve just talked about being consistent behind the plate and getting wins, being consistent with the blocking, the throwing, the receiving, calling. I love Chris and love when he comes here and we talk.

We always bring up Trevino because we’re in the same agency and we always talk. I always talk to Jose, so I ask him little things and he just tells me what’s the deal and how to do it. It’s really awesome to have a guy like that talk to me. It’s really cool.

 

What are you looking at as the next step of development for you?

Huff: Just getting better every day at everything. I feel like I can get better at everything. There’s always something I want to improve on. I feel like once I start to get the hang of hitting, then everything will come together. Overall, I want to get better at everything. I’m always anxious to learn. Briones, he knows that and I’m always talking to him about stuff. So, it’s always cool to have him here and pick his brain a little more.

 

You get a call that says you’re going to the major leagues? Who’s the first person you call?

Huff: My parents. My dad first. He’s been there since the start, so he would get the first call. Then my grandma and grandpa, and then my whole family members and my coaches and friends.

 

Who is the biggest factor in your career that is not a family member?

Huff: As crazy as it sounds, my dad’s best friend, Marty Maier, a pitching coach at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. We talk all the time and he’s been playing for a while.

He was kind of the first guy I talked to in baseball when I was a five-year-old kid. He’s a pretty funny guy, but he told me, “This game ain’t easy, but you can do a lot if you just apply yourself. Play every game like it’s your last. Never, ever take anything for granted.” I took that to heart and I really love this game and I like to play.

I thank myself every day and I thank my parents. I thank everybody that’s helped me along this journey. Even though I’m in the ups and downs, I still remember what would I rather be doing: going to school or playing baseball for a living? When you tell yourself that, you really take it to heart. I’m playing a game that’s a kid’s game and I’m having fun with it. So, I try not to take anything for granted. For him doing that and telling me that at a young age, that was really cool and I thank him for that every day.

Huff Jaimes Mendez mound visit

A mound visit with Sal Mendez (left) Jose Jaimes and Huff (Proffitt)