Texas Rangers pitching prospects Hans Crouse and Yerry Rodriguez are getting promotions, per Jeff Wilson on Twitter. Crouse is going from short-season-A Spokane to low-A Hickory, while Rodriguez is going from the AZL complex league to Spokane.
Crouse, 19, has made a case for being the Rangers top pitching prospect this season. The 2017 second round pick was seen as possibly destined to start the year at Hickory, though the Rangers, who have been more conservative with their pitchers lately, held him back and started him at Spokane. He’s been terrific there, putting up a 2.37 ERA in 38 innings over 8 starts, with 47 Ks against 11 walks. In his last four starts, he has fanned 32 batters in 24.2 IP against 4 walks, allowing opponents a .185/.219/.261 slash line in 96 plate appearances. Crouse also appeared in the Northwest League All Star Game last night, where he retired all 3 batters he faced, 2 via strikeout, while hitting 100 on the gun.
Rodriguez, 20, has come out of nowhere for the Rangers this year. He had pitched only in the Dominican League prior to this season, and missed almost all of the 2017 campaign due to an 80 game suspension levied for violating MLB’s performance enhancing drug policy. In the AZL this year he has had numbers that look like a typo — 55 Ks against just 3 walks in 38.1 IP over 8 games, though with a 3.52 ERA that ballooned after he gave up 5 runs in his last outing. Rodriguez is a tad on the old side for a complex league, but Eric Longenhagen has praised his stuff, which includes a low- to mid-90s fastball and an average changeup, and he’ll get a chance to show he can handle hitters who are a little more advanced.
We shall wait and see if any more promotions are in the offing, but with Crouse going to Hickory, it wouldn’t shock me if Tyler Phillips, who I wrote about this morning, moved up to high-A Down East.