Leiter to skip start: 'Concern is very low'

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Leiter to skip next start (June 29)
Rangers top prospect Jack Leiter will be placed on the Development List with Double-A Frisco on Wednesday, the club announced. He will miss his next scheduled start due to mild arm fatigue, which figures to be a short-term issue that should be resolved with rest over the next week. 

Through 13 games (48 2/3 innings) this season, Leiter has a 5.36 ERA and 60 strikeouts, but he has consistently struggled with his command, issuing 28 walks. Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels compared it to when Leiter skipped a start at Vanderbilt last season and came back arguably better. 

After skipping that start midseason at Vandy, Leiter responded with a 2.17 ERA and 73 strikeouts over his final seven starts through the end of the season and the College World Series. 

The training staff and Daniels emphasized that they do not believe skipping the start will be a serious issue for Leiter and the club feels it will actually do him good to take a breather. 

“Our level of concern is very low,” Daniels said. -- Kennedi Landry

Carter stuffs box score for Hickory (June 21)
Evan Carter was everywhere for High-A Hickory.

The ninth-ranked Rangers prospect tripled twice and belted a grand slam while driving in six runs in the Crawdads' 12-6 win over the Rome Braves. For context, the last Major Leaguer to post that stat line (two triples, a homer and at least six RBIs) was Ted Kluszewski in 1952.

After hitting three homers in a five-game span in mid-May, Carter hadn't left the yard in over a month before his slam. His three hits also tied a season high, which he last achieved on April 30. -- Jacob Resnick

Bradford punches out season-high 11 (June 17)
No. 19 Rangers prospect Cody Bradford had the strikeout pitch working for Double-A Frisco in the RoughRiders' 1-0 win over Midland.

The southpaw punched out 11 over 5 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, continuing a strong stretch of recent work. Bradford induced weak contact all night, scattering just four singles.

Over his last five starts, the 2019 sixth-round pick has posted an 0.90 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 20 innings. -- Jacob Resnick

White whiffs a season-best 11 for Crawdads (June 11)
Owen White was locked in for High-A Hickory as he allowed one run on a pair of hits and two walks while whiffing a season-best 11 in the Crawdads' 3-1 victory over Bowling Green.

The right-hander retired 11 batters in a row in a stretch than spanned the first to the fifth innings. After a walk, he settled back in to set down the final eight Hot Rods he faced. He exited after tossing 61 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

The eighth-ranked Rangers prospect has amassed 21 strikeouts over his past two starts (13 innings). -- Rob Terranova

Saggese crushes first slam in career day (June 5)
Thomas Saggese showed up in a big way.

The Rangers’ No. 26 prospect had belted 14 homers in his career coming into the game, but none of them had been a grand slam. While racking up a professional-best six RBIs, Saggese broke that trend on a 3-for-6 afternoon in High-A Hickory’s 21-6 win over Asheville.

The California native seemed to have a productive at-bat every time he was up. Saggese delivered an RBI single to center in the third, was hit by a pitch and stole a couple of bases in the fifth, reached on an infield error and stole another base in the sixth and singled to right for another run in the seventh. But he saved his best for last, drilling a grand slam to center in the eighth.

Saggese's fifth homer brought his RBI tally for the season to 27. -- Edwin Perez

Thomas Saggese belted a grand slam, plated six runs and stole three bases.Ken Inness/MiLB.com

Leiter fans career-high 8 in scoreless outing (June 1)
It was an unconventional start, but that didn’t stop Jack Leiter from setting a career high.

Completing a suspended game due to rain on May 31, MLB’s No. 15 prospect took the mound in the second inning of a scoreless contest and fanned a professional-best eight batters across 5 2/3 frames in Double-A Frisco’s 3-0 win over Wichita.

"It didn't really feel that much different," Leiter said of coming into the game in the second. "I was just trusting [catcher Matt Whatley] and trusting the guys behind me to make some good plays. Whatley called a really good game and I was kind of just going off him. We were on the same page the whole time, which makes it a lot easier." Full story »

Thompson collects four hits, homers twice and steals a base (May 27)
Have yourself a day, Bubba Thompson! The 28th-ranked Rangers prospect did it all in Triple-A Round Rock's 12-9 loss to Albuquerque on the road.

The 23-year-old hit a pair of moonshots to straightaway center field, found a hole through the right side of the infield for a base hit, legged out a bunt for a hit and successfully swiped his 25th base of the year.

Thompson finished with four RBIs and three runs scored, bringing his totals to 32 runs and 26 RBIs over 34 games this season. -- Rob Terranova

Winn strikes out season-high nine in Triple-A (May 25)
After a string of rough starts all month, No. 2 prospect Cole Winn settled down for a strong one-run outing, striking out a season-high nine while allowing three hits and four walks in Triple-A Round Rock’s 7-2 win over Albuquerque.

The 22-year-old earned his fourth win of the year with the six-inning outing, tossing 58 of his 95 pitches for strikes. He racked up five strikeouts in the first two innings while working around three walks to keep the Isotopes off the board. Winn didn’t allow a hit until a leadoff single in the fifth, and he surrendered a run on two more base knocks before getting an inning-ending double play and retiring his final three batters in the sixth. MLB’s No. 54 prospect has a 5.31 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Wendzel placed on Triple-A injured list (May 24)
Davis Wendzel, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Rangers' No. 17 prospect, was put on the IL for what is expected to be a short stint due to minor tightness in his right calf. Wendzel was replaced by a pinch-runner in the fourth inning of Round Rock's May 22 game. -- Sarah Wexler

Harris gets back on track with two homers (May 21)
Dustin Harris blasted two homers in his ninth multihit game of the season.

Texas' No. 6 prospect went 3-for-4 in Frisco's 8-2 win over Corpus Christi. 

The 22-year-old began his night with an RBI single in the first -- his first of six RBIs on the night. Harris rocketed a two-run homer to right field in the third, and his seventh homer of 2022 was a three-run jack in the seventh. 

Oakland selected Harris in the 11th round (344th pick) of the 2019 Draft, and the prospect has had an up and down season. He started May with a .300 average and watched it fall to .252 before his performance against the Hooks, but the breakout game could prove to be the start of his next hot streak. -- Ethan Sands

Pair of prospects homer for Hickory (May 18)
The Rangers’ ninth- and 10th-ranked prospects both launched a go-ahead homer in High-A Hickory’s 6-3 win over Greenville. Evan Carter smacked a two-run homer in extra innings, while Luisangel Acuña hit a solo jack.

Acuña’s drive came in the third inning with the game knotted at 1. He took a 1-0 pitch and parked it over the wall in right to put the Crawdads in front. He added a double, single, stolen base and run scored to his day, and the 20-year-old is batting .263/.349/.526 in 10 games after missing most of April with a hamstring strain.

With the game tied going into extras, Carter took advantage of the free runner and smacked a two-run dinger to lead off the 10th inning, his fourth blast of the year. The 50th overall pick of the 2020 Draft, the 19-year-old Carter is faring well in his sophomore season, slashing .296/.374/.513 with more RBIs (22) than strikeouts (20) in 28 games.
-- Stephanie Sheehan

Duran's scorching May continues (May 15)
Ezequiel Duran
was 4-for-4 with two homers, two doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored through his first four at-bats. His next two trips to the plate may have been his least exciting in the box score but the most exciting to his manager.

MLB’s No. 81 overall prospect reached base five times, drove in five runs and scored five and helped lead Double-A Frisco to an 18-4 rout of Tulsa to wrap up a six-game set.

Already working on one of his best games of a breakout season, Duran stayed locked in for his final two trips to the dish, earning a walk in the top of the eighth and cashed in Frisco’s final run with a sacrifice fly to center in the ninth.

Duran’s five RBIs were tied for the game high along with Frisco third baseman Trey Hair, who belted three home runs. Hair entered the day with one homer for the season and just two multihit games, both in April, before going 3-for-5 with long balls in the second, third and seventh innings. Full story »