The latest addition to the Texas Rangers organization, Justin Smoak, made his professional debut Monday night at Low-A Clinton.
Smoak, the Rangers’ first-round pick in this June’s First-Year Player Draft who signed the night of the signing deadline, went 1-for-3 with a walk in four trips to the plate. The walk came in his first professional plate appearance in the top of the second and he scored later in the inning.
After flying out his next two at-bats, Smoak doubled to right field for his first professional hit.
Coincidentally, Texas’ first-round pick from last year, Blake Beavan, was on the mound for the Lumberjacks.
In six innings, Beavan allowed just one run on three hits – including one home run – and two walks while he struck out five. The strong outing dwindled Beavan’s ERA with Clinton to 2.50.
Good night to be a RoughRider with two “L’s” in your last name
Derek Holland followed up his eight-innings of shutout ball in his Double-A Frisco debut with six innings of one-run ball Monday while picking up his second victory with the RoughRiders.
Holland’s one run allowed was earned as he surrendered just three hits and a walk and struck out seven. His ERA skyrocketed from 0.00 to 0.64 with just one run allowed in 14 Double-A innings.
On offense, Jose Vallejo went 3-for-3 with three singles and two runs scored.
Most importantly for the Rangers’ immediate future, Hank Blalock went 2-for-4 with two runs and completed the first of three rehab assignment games as he reconverts to first base before returning to the Rangers.
Former Kansas Jayhawks Kyle Murphy and Erik Morrison also had productive nights for their respective clubs.
Morrison went 1-for-4 with his second home run in 19 games with High-A Bakersfield. Morrison, who played the left side of the infield his entire Kansas career has made a position switch with the Blaze in his first professional season, moving to right field.
Murphy went 2-for-4 for Clinton with a run scored and was the one who drove Smoak home in the second inning. Murphy is in his first full professional season after being drafted out of Kansas in 2007.