It was announced today that there is a ten year agreement in place for the Round Rock Express to be the AAA affiliate for the Texas Rangers.
That’s a long time.
More interesting, to me at least, is that in a Zoom call discussing the affiliation, it was apparently indicated that Josh Jung would start the season at Round Rock if he doesn’t make the major league roster. (Note that he’s not expected to make the major league roster, so don’t get hung up on that second part.)
Normally you would expect that Jung, who was drafted in 2019 and who spent time at the Alternative Training Site in 2020, but who has very few professional at bats, none of them above low-A, would start the year at AA Frisco. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the AA and A ball seasons will be delayed by at least a month, and only AAA and the majors are slated to start on time.
Due to the change in starting dates, only major league and AAA rosters will be at spring training when it officially kicks off in the coming days, and then after major league spring training is over, the AA and lower players will have spring training. Jung is a non-roster invitee to the major league camp, and it would appear that in order to get him that exposure and maximize the number of at bats he gets, he will start the year in AAA rather than stay back for even more spring training.
Similarly, I would guess that Anderson Tejeda, Sam Huff, and Sherten Apostel, as well as Leody Taveras and Eli White (if they don’t make the major league roster), would start the season in AAA Round Rock. In a normal season, Tejeda, Huff and Apostel might start the year with Frisco, but needs must, and so I’m guessing the logistics will result in those guys being members of the Express to start the season.