RHP Tanner Scheppers, OKC - Scheppers has now made two appearances in Triple-A, and the level does appear to be providing him with more of a legitimate challenge than the Texas League could offer him. The Rangers reportedly do intend to stretch Scheppers out and allow him to throw three and eventually four innings per appearance, rather than the two that he has typically thrown so far this season. Both of his appearances for OKC have been two innings in length, however, and he’s allowed four hits, three walks and a home run in those four innings. He has struck out six and has induced more ground balls so far. How Scheppers progresses at this level could play a role in how the Rangers approach their pitching personnel this summer, so he bears continued close watching.
RHP Carlos Pimentel, Bakersfield - Pimentel will always be overlooked as a prospect in the Texas organization, because he does everything well but doesn’t leap off the page via scouting or statistical analysis. That doesn’t mean that he won’t be a major league pitcher. He has moved a level per year since signing as a 16 year old out of the Dominican Republic and had his best season as a pro for Hickory in 2009, pitching 123 innings and posting 101:35 K:BB while allowing 15 home runs. He will pitch this entire season at age 20, and while his ratio is down to 21:10, he is holding his own in a very difficult pitchers league at a young age. He had his best Cal League start Sunday, lasting seven innings (his previous best was 5.1), allowed no runs on four hits and no walks, and struck out three.
RHP Matt Thompson, Hickory - Thompson topped himself on Friday, throwing 6.2 innings, striking out nine and walking one, while maintaining his superlative ground ball rate and allowing just four hits and a run. His 38:6 K:BB ratio for the season is among the best in baseball, and he’s beginning to catch the attention of scouts outside of the organization. Thompson looks like a prototypical Twins pitching prospect, something that could be said about few Rangers arms over the years.
RHP Cody Eppley, Bakersfield - Speaking of looking statistically like a Twins prospect, this guy has posted K:BB numbers that are unmatched in this organization. He was a 43rd round pick in 2008 out of Virginia Commonwealth, so he has flown way under the radar outside of the most interested circles, but he had posted a 113:10 ratio in 95 pro innings leading into this year and has somehow improved on that with a 21:1 in 16 High A innings. He has also improved the rest of his stat line, allowing just eight hits and posting an imposing 4.4 GO:AO, both about twice as good as his 2009 numbers. He uses a low arm angle and will have to prove himself against lefties at higher levels, as the small bit of success against him this season has come from the left side. The Frisco bullpen is crowded, but Eppley and Hickory closer Josh Lueke are two interesting names who could be pitching locally later this season.
OF Brandon Boggs, OKC - He’s slowed down (zero for his last 13), but provides an intriguing option as the year goes on if he can continue his early season performance: .282/.398/.526, 15BB:21SO
RHP Tommy Hunter, OKC - Hunter is back in a rotation and has allowed seven baserunners in seven innings but struck out just one.
RHP Alexi Ogando, Frisco - All in all he's been solid in the pen (6 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K) but does have a walk in his last three appearances.
RHP Blake Beavan, Frisco - With his start televised locally Sunday, those watching were treated to standard Beavan: three hits and a walk along with three strikeouts in six innings.
RHP Joe Wieland, Hickory - His last two starts haven’t produced stellar end results, but he has completed 13.2 innings, allowed just ten hits, and posted a 15:2 K:BB.
OF Miguel Velazquez, Hickory - The Velazquez train rolls on, with six more hits over the weekend. He’s at .342/.415/.614 for the season and should be on the verge of a promotion.