The Rangers announced their Minor League pitcher, player and defender award recipients for the month of August.
Double-A Frisco left-hander Derek Holland took home the pitching honors while Low-A Clinton first baseman Mitch Moreland and Frisco second baseman Jose Vallejo won player and defender honors, respectively.
Holland went 3-0 in August with a 2.03 ERA in five games, split between High-A Bakersfield and Frisco. All three victories came with Frisco, but in four Double-A starts, his ERA was a microscopic 0.69 in 26 innings. Holland’s August honors come a month after winning Texas’ July Minor League Pitcher of the Month.
Moreland hit .380 in the month of August with five home runs, eight doubles and 23 RBI in 108 at-bats over 28 games for Clinton. His OPS for the month was a robust 1.037 – not bad for a kid who wasn’t drafted until the 17th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
Forming half of Frisco’s keystone combo with Elvis Andrus, Jose Vallejo committed just one error at second base during the month of August.
Oklahoma drops game three against Iowa
Triple-A Oklahoma now trails Iowa two game to one in a best-of-five series after losing, 2-1, on Friday. The series continues tonight at 7:05 p.m. Central.
Frisco completes sweep of San Antonio
Michael Schlact allowed one run in six innings as Frisco won, 9-3, to finish off its sweep of San Antonio in the best-of-five series. Schlact scattered six hits and struck out four. Schlact’s effort came on the heels of two gems pitched by the aforementioned Holland and Neftali Feliz.
In Game 1, Holland went 7 1/3, allowing one run on two hits, including a home run, and a walk as he struck out five. The next night, Feliz hurled seven shutout innings, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits and two walks. The seven innings set a career high and the 11 strikeouts matched a career best.
Clinton was eliminated from the postseason with a 5-4 loss to Cedar Rapids in 11 innings. The LumberKings were swept, 2-0, in a best-of-three series.
Hogan walk-off in 10th inning lifts Spokane
Doug Hogan, Texas’ 18th round selection in last June’s First-Year Player Draft, hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday against Salem-Keizer to tie the Short-A Spokane’s best-of-five series with Salem-Keizer at a game apiece.
Aug. 28: Derek Holland lowered his ERA to 0.69 with Double-A Frisco, despite earning a no-decision. Holland shutout the Corpus Christi Hooks over six innings, allowing just four hits and two walks and striking out seven.
Aug. 29: The next night against the same Corpus Christi Hooks club, Neftali Feliz pitched nearly as well as Holland, but took a loss. Feliz allowed a solitary run in five innings on six hits and two walks while he struck out six as his Double-A ERA ducked back below 3.00 to 2.98.
Feliz’ regular season ends with 127.1 total innings pitched. With Frisco, Feliz went 4-3 with 47 strikeouts to 23 walks and opponents hit .217 against him.
The same night, Low-A Clinton right-hander Blake Beavan, Texas’ first-round pick from 2007, pitched four shoutout innings against Cedar Rapids, allowing just two hits and striking out three.
In 23 starts with Clinton this season, Beavan has gone 10-6 with a 2.37 ERA in 121.2 innings and 73 strikeouts to 20 walks.
Justin Smoak wrapped up his first calendar month of professional baseball with a .294 average, three home runs and six RBI in 13 games. He’s hitting .412 with a home run and two RBI.
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.