Sam Huff, the Texas Rangers catcher who has been destroying Sally League pitching this season, is being promoted from low-A Hickory to high-A Down East, it has been announced. He is replacing Melvin Novoa, who has been catching for Down East, and who is moving back to Hickory.
Huff, 21, was a subject of our minor league post last night, which noted that he had homered for the 15th time and had boosted his OPS to 1164. He was at Hickory last season, and has a lot of swing and miss in his game (his K rate this year is 32.5%, against a 5.3% walk rate), which means that the enthusiasm for his start has to be tempered to a certain degree, but he’s now going to get the chance to show he can do damage against more advanced pitchers in the Carolina League.
Daniel Victor did a write-up on Huff from his observations of him you can check out here.
In addition, righthanded reliever Peter Fairbanks is being promoted to AA Frisco from Down East. Fairbanks, 25, was a 9th round pick out of the University of Missouri in 2015, and missed most of 2017 and all of 2018 after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. He’s been throwing in the upper-90s this year out of the pen for Down East, with 15 Ks and 4 walks in 12.1 innings, and given his age and stuff, it makes sense for the Rangers to promote him relatively aggressively.
UPDATE — Jake Lemoine has been promoted to AAA Nashville from AA Frisco. The righthander, a 4th round pick of the Rangers in 2015, had an 0.52 ERA in 17 IP in Frisco, with 16 Ks and 6 walks. The 25 year old didn’t pitch as a pro until 2017, but has had success working out of the bullpen, and will now get a shot at the PCL.