Hope Springs eternal! Before I officially pivot to video, lemme just say, in the words of an opposing scout, “The Rangers have gone from zero-to-sixty with regards to technology.” He wasn’t lyin’. You’ve heard all the reports this Spring and it ain’t a joke: there’s gadgets everywhere. There’s cameras and tri-pod mounted tablets behind the pitchers’ warmup mounds. There’s Trackman radars mounted high up on the backstops. There’s digital doohickeys on the ends of the hitters’ bats and there’s fancy data-delivering sleeves on the pitchers’ arms. There’s a wall with “X”s painted on it as targets for weighted balls. The data is so thick out here it’s turned into haze. And I think it’s gonna work. There’s too much data to fail. It’s gonna be a process- weeding out the data and devices that are helpful, then transferring the info to the coaches and eventually to the players. It ain’t gonna be easy, but the Rangers have assembled what feels like a small army to accomplish the task, and they’re off and running towards the goal.
The tech revolution isn’t the only visual standout this year. The lot us backfielders usually park in ain’t available this year. And probably won’t be next year either, cuz it’s a full blown construction site. Big metal fencing covered in canvas Rangers logos outlines the site of their new 3-story dorms/meeting room/general MiLB headquarters. To my knowledge they’re the only team out here that’s doing this. They’re gonna save a lot of money on hotels.
Let’s do this.
This kid, Cole Winn, is electric. the ball launches from his hand. he’s hella exciting.
My first look at this kid, Brock Burke was an eye-opener too. Much bigger and more muscular than I thought he’d be. He gets downhill and creates good angles. Smooth as silk and this was a very, very impressive session.
AJ Alexy is a dude for me. I think he pitches in the bigs in some capacity. Plenty of work to be done with command, though strides were made with control. The FB jumps and the CB bends. The CH is coming along.
Owen White and a good shot of the wall the kids pummel with the weighted Driveline balls.
Sherten Apostel is a very big kid with a ton of physical projection. Like, this kid could add another 20lbs of muscle across his upper body and be a legit beast.
Sherten has a ways to go at the hot corner, but he’s putting in the effort. The little fella next to him, Frainyer Chavez is interesting. He can run and he can really, really catch and throw. Middle infield UTIL profile, especially if he puts can swing it a bit.
Texas has a few kids shaped like Frainyer. Plucky little miniature greyhounds. Here’s Jayce Easley, another infielder who can catch and run and is twitchy and has good baseball instincts.
My main main Joe Palumbo pitched. Got through a bit of a tough inning, got pissed off, and came out for his 2nd inning and went K, K, K. All swinging. FB 92-94 CH 86 CB 77. It was fast and it was fierce. Here’s a BB from his first inning of work.
Bubba Thompson is a physical specimen. Still has some length to his swing that scares some scouts, but he’s so toolsy you could call him Craftsman. (but don’t do that please).
Yerry Rodriguez pitched. He throws hard and was sitting mid-90s, but it’s pretty straight and it ran into some bats in his outing. Loopy CB and at least one decent 86mph CH was dealt too.
Demarcus Evans had his inning “rolled”. Rolling an inning is what you do when a kid has reached his pitch limit without recording 3 outs. Basically, a coach just yells “ROLL IT!” from the dugout and both teams just pretend there are 3 outs. Whatever. There’ll be days like that. He’s a dude. (Side note: I told Demarcus I was going to start calling him “The Mississippi Mean”. Thankfully, the 6’5” 275 man-mountain did not object. I told his agent too. And told him I’ll collect a check someday. I was kidding about the check. I wasn’t kidding about The Mississippi Mean)
Wes Benjamin continues to look to me like a kid who will see the big leagues at some point. Had his shoulders back and leaned into everything with intent and looked really good.
Reid Anderson ran out a bunch of 95/6/7s and still looks like a potential sleeper to me. Not a sleepy person, just a person who many people are sleeping on. But not literally. I don’t think.
Anderson Tejeda has toned down his leg kick and is hitting from the right side against lefties for the first time in his life. I’m not sure when he’ll get to Frisco, it doesn’t sound like it will be in April, but I’ll be ready for him.
Peter Fairbanks is a name we need to know, apparently. I say apparently, because he’s fully repaired from Tommy John and took to the Driveline mojo like a fish to water. He sat 97-99 for his inning today and touched 100 a couple times. Definitely a kid to watch. Sup, Peter.
See you tomorrow.
As Always, Enjoy Baseball!