In which it becomes evident that you, the readers, like Monty Python, catchers, and cheese.
Well, currently, the entire rotation in Frisco is made up of prospects, the bullpen has some nice pieces, the middle infield is reasonably interesting, catcher has some talent, and oh, yeah, there's some guy that plays some first and some third.
It's pretty fun, I have to admit.
@unlikelyfanatic worried that Nick Williams approach issues will prevent him from making adjustments needed to succeed in the majors?
Very. In fact, I'm worried that the approach (among other) issues will prevent him from succeeding in AA.
@unlikelyfanatic Does Tomas Telis have potential as a major league catcher?
I certainly believe he does, if just because his slash line between two levels this season is .312/.349/.407, and though he's not the best defensive catcher in the system, he's certainly not terrible enough to offset the offensive production (especially since he's a switch-hitter). If the Rangers don't re-sign him this winter, he could very easily show up on some other team's 40-man roster, if not their 25-man.
@unlikelyfanatic who gets a cup of coffee in September?
At this point, it's likely that Luke Jackson, Ryan Rua, and Corey Knebel all get some time, and I could easily see Tomas Telis getting a shot to catch in the majors with his performance in Triple A so far. They could bring up (or back up) some relievers, and get some looks at guys to start figuring out next season's 40-man roster.
@unlikelyfanatic What is your starting lineup and rotation for RR to start '15?
That really depends on how many of Texas' major leaguers come back from injury next season, and when. It's not likely that Martin Perez starts 2015 with the Rangers (possibly making rehab starts with Round Rock), so that's a spot to be filled. There's a combination of Nick Martinez, Nick Tepesch, Miles Mikolas et al to be considered, there's the question of Matt Harrison...and that's just the starting rotation.
Of course, also, Round Rock tends to rely more on off-season acquisitions than the other teams, since it is usually mostly MLB depth (i.e., Adam Rosales and Brent Lillibridge).
Your money would be correct, most likely. Leclerc's curveball has tightened into a true plus pitch this season, which, when paired with his velocity, makes him an extremely effective bullpen option. Knebel's curve has been described as a 'true hammer pitch,' and though I haven't personally seen it, I'd probably put it on a level with Leclerc's. Kela's breaker had been fairly inconsistent until a few weeks ago, but he's started throwing it with some tight curveball shape in a fairly consistent low-to-mid-80s range. However, it's still the weakest of the three.
@unlikelyfanatic minor leagueish, how do you see the 40 man roster being constructed this offseason with so many rule 5 eligible players?
I see it being a long and varied process, what with there currently being 50 players on the Rangers' 40-man, with 10 60-day DLs that will have to be added back on, plus the however many they need to protect from the Rule 5 draft.
As for who will be protected? Well, Scott Lucas' list gives you an idea of how many people are eligible. I'd expect Luke Jackson, Jorge Alfaro, and Ryan Rua to end up on the 40-man, at least, with the possibility of Jerad Eickhoff or any number of relievers joining them.
Possibly Jared Hoying, maybe Ryan Rua. It depends on how the organization values each of those players, and how well Rua can play the outfield. Michael Choice could also come back up, if needed.
@unlikelyfanatic Has anyone asked about a typical day for you at the ballpark? I think that would be an interesting read.
If game time is 7:05 p.m., I'm usually at the ballpark between 3:30 p.m. and anywhere from 10:30 p.m. and midnight, depending on how long the game goes. The 'Riders usually hit around 4:00 p.m., and I try to be on the field for that-you can pick up interesting tidbits, and watch the work these guys do to get better. If I'm interviewing someone, I'll talk to them after their batting practice, while the opposing team is either hitting or stretching. Then, it's usually back to the press box to catch up on Twitter or work on an article in progress. After that, it's down to the seats to watch the game (after an anthem of mostly questionable quality), and then back upstairs to either work on something post-game or just head out.
It's not particularly interesting, but it's a routine, though much less complicated than those at major league parks.
Will Alfaro start immediately in Frisco? Is the Gallo 1B experiment continuing? How does he look? RT @unlikelyfanatic: Minor League Mailbag!
I expect Alfaro to split catching time with Pat Cantwell fairly equally, with Alfaro perhaps taking a few more reps. With Alfaro now in Frisco, he and Trever Adams could also split first, with Gallo moving back over to third on a full-time basis.
Gallo has played first a few more times, and looks good there. His athleticism and height actually allow him to make some fairly rangy plays on the opposite corner of the diamond, and if for some reason first is his way to the majors, he's definitely not going to butcher it. I still like him at third, though.
Also, how many power-hitting third basemen can also beat a runner to second? It's hard to describe this play, which unfortunately doesn't seem to exist as a clip, but imagine with me for a minute: There's a runner on second, two outs. The ball is hit to the outfield, a single. The runner scores from second after an errant throw in from the outfield. The batter thinks to advance to second, but no! Joey Gallo has the ball, and beats the runner to second base, tagging him for the third out.
A very weird play, but a very heads-up one.
@unlikelyfanatic Was Alfaro truly ready for a promotion to Frisco?
Far be it from me to second-guess the minds behind the Rangers' player development system, but I would have been just fine with Alfaro spending a whole season in Myrtle Beach. He hit .261/.318/.440 with the Pelicans, with a K:BB of 100:23 in 100 games, numbers that to me don't exactly scream 'promotion,' but, again, I haven't seen him yet, and I'm just sitting here throwing words at a computer screen, far removed from the actual business of developing future major leaguers.
It'll be interesting to see him and Pat Cantwell splitting catching time in Frisco!
@unlikelyfanatic Is this the most talented Frisco team ever compiled, with the injection of Alfaro and Mazara?
Maybe, though those teams with Chris McGuiness, Jurickson Profar, Leury Garcia, and Mike Olt in the infield were pretty insanely talented, too.
@unlikelyfanatic Fill in the blanks: (Blank) will be successful at the major league level, but you've never heard of him because (blank).
Jon Edwards will be successful at the major league level (maybe) (because of his slider and reported 100 MPH fastball), but you've never heard of him because guys signed out of indy ball tend to be fairly under the radar.
@unlikelyfanatic what is the air-speed velocity of a unladen swallow?
African or European?
@unlikelyfanatic if the Rangers 2014 was a cheese, what kind of cheese would it be?
A young one, with some holes in it, maybe a little bit of unsightly mold growing on one corner, to be paired with a wine that's bitter, with a little bit of a sweet finish.