Continuing our review of the players with the Rangers minor league affiliates roughly two months into the 2022 season, today we move on to the AA Frisco Roughriders.
Let’s check out the stats for the Frisco pitchers in 2022:
Jack Leiter...y’all all know about him. A year ago he was part of a Vanderbilt Commodores team that had just swept East Carolina in the Super Regionals — with Leiter getting the win in the 4-1 clincher — and was on its way to the College World Series. Now he’s in AA, facing a much higher level of competition in his first full season as a pro. He’s been outstanding at times, and has struggled with his command at times. He’s one of the younger players in the Texas League — Jonathan Ornelas, who is a month younger than Leiter, was the 10th youngest Texas Leaguer on Opening Day, so Leiter is presumably the 11th to 15th youngest — and is doing what he needs to do to succeed. Don’t sweat the ERA right now.
Cole Ragans and Chase Lee are no longer members of the Roughriders, having been promoted to AAA Round Rock earlier this week. Ragans and Lee both finished the 2021 season with the Roughriders, and both figured to not spend much time in Frisco before moving up. Both are guys with the sort of stories that make you really root for them, and I expect we’ll see them in the majors — if not in 2022, then in 2023.
Lucas Jacobsen. This was a guy on no one’s radar prior to the season. A lefty who turns 27 on July 1 — he shares a birthday with Nelson Cruz! — Jacobsen was a 27th round pick way back in 2016out of UC-Long Beach. Between injuries and COVID he had barely pitched as a pro coming into this season, logging just 23.2 innings in short-season ball in 2016-17 and 30 innings for Hickory in 2019. But he’s someone who has turned heads in Frisco with his stuff and quality work out of the bullpen. Don’t be surprised if he follows Ragans and Lee to Round Rock later this summer.