The Texas Rangers have promoted Emmanuel Clase to AA Frisco from high-A Down East, it was announced today.
Clase is a 21 year old righthanded relief pitcher who, a year ago, was in the Padres extended spring training and on a list of players the Rangers could choose from in selecting a player to be named later in the Brett Nicholas deal. Clase was picked by the Rangers and went to Spokane when the Northwest League started, where he put up a 0.64 ERA in 28 IP, striking out 27 while walking 6.
Clase has been in Down East this year, and hasn’t allowed a run in 7 innings over 6 outings, walking 1 and allowing 4 hits while striking out 11. He’s hitting 100-101 on his fastball, and he throws it for strikes. Carolina League hitters appear to be overmatched by Clase, so he is getting a shot at the Texas League.
I continue to marvel at what Clase is doing, considering where he came from...the Nicholas deal was criticized by a number of Rangers fans, as it was perceived as giving a decent catcher away for nothing. When Clase put up good numbers early for Spokane, I ignored it at first, on the basis that there was no way A.J. Preller gave up a legit pitching prospect for Nicholas, who had cleared waivers roughly a week before the trade.
But the reports from Spokane were glowing, and Clase got great reviews this spring. He’s now going to be doing his thing for Frisco, so if you ever wanted to see what 100 mph looks like in person, go check him out.