RHP Tommy Hunter, OKC - IF Rich Harden needs a replacement for whatever reason, Hunter appears to be nearly ready. Already on Harden's schedule, he pitched five innings (though only 68 pitches) Friday, allowing just three hits and a walk. He has not allowed a run in twelve innings for the Redhawks. His only issue so far is a 3:4 K:BB.
RHP Blake Beavan, Frisco - Beavan made his best start of the season Saturday: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K. He’s an interesting case, because he’s only in his third professional season out of high school, and he’s essentially dominating the Double-A level, but most don’t consider him likely to impact the major league staff any time soon. That may change, as the TL isn’t hitting him well, and his current 35:8 is the best of his career, evidence of the gradual improvement his pitches have made.
RHP Joe Wieland, Hickory - Though they have their differences as pitchers, Wieland currently looks like a statistical clone of Beavan. With a strong start Saturday (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 HR, 0 BB, 3 K) he sports a similar K:BB (38:9) and has similar hit, home run and ground ball rates. Promotion season has started, and Wieland could soon be a candidate to see Bakersfield.
C Vin DiFazio, Hickory - Speaking of candidates to join Bakersfield, DiFazio actually reached Hickory last summer after signing quickly as a 12th round draft pick. He had no trouble with the level, hitting five of his twelve home runs in just 62 AB and posting an OPS that Albert Pujols would be proud of. He battled injuries early this season and started slowly in April (.162/.347/.351) but has caught fire in May, hitting five more home runs in 52 AB and raising his season line to .270/.389/.551.
LHP Zach Phillips, OKC - Promoted to AAA, nice first game: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
RHP Cody Eppley, Frisco - Promoted to AA, nice first game: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
OF Joey Butler, Frisco - More 2B of late, still getting on base: .307/.385/.467
RHP Neil Ramirez, Hickory - Still not consistent, struggled Friday: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 HR, 3 BB, 2 K
Check out Bob Hersom's look at Tanner Scheppers' path to Triple-A and Jason Parks' latest installment of his scouting reports on the 25 players with the highest ceilings in the Rangers system: #13 Miguel Velazquez.