The 2023 minor league season is fully back in action now with the Double-A and High- and Low-A teams starting on Thursday.
Jack Leiter, as you probably know by now, didn’t have the best start in the opener. Last night it was Owen White going for Frisco. Here’s a few brief notes from the RoughRiders’ 3-1 loss to the Amarillo SodPoodles:
- It’s been talked about already, but the Frisco roster is stacked. Leiter, White and Roby. Carter, Harris, Acuna and Saggese. Some teens-and-20s-tier prospects like Marc Church, Antoine Kelly and Trevor Hauver, some used-to-be-prospects-and-are-still-relatively-young guys like David Garcia, Ryan Garcia and Chris Seise. There’s a lot to watch out there.
- Also, cold baseball sucks, as the big league club was reminded yesterday.
- Owen White took the bump for the first time in 2023 and had a fairly breezy first start. He went three innings and threw 48 pitches, cruising through the Amarillo lineup and allowing only one hit, a bloop single on the first pitch of the ballgame.
- In a word, he looked businesslike. Doubt he broke a sweat and maybe wouldn’t have even if it wasn’t 55 degrees. Allowed some long ABs in the third inning that extended his pitch count a bit, but there was no way he was going more than 50 or 60 pitches anyway on a night like that, so a 10-pitch walk to Roby Enriquez and an 8-pitch groundout by Ryan Bliss probably only cost White another inning at the most.
- He faced off against No. 9 prospect in all of baseball Jordan Lawlar twice, and drew two ground outs. They were good ABs, though, with Lawlar taking some close pitches and working the count both times up.
- One sequence I liked: First pitch of White’s 2nd inning was a fastball that got away from him and ended up around the opposing hitter’s chin at 93 mph. Next three pitches were all inside breaking balls that started out up-and-in again before breaking inside. Third one was feebly foul-popped to the catcher.
- Final line: 3 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 K, 48 pitches, 31 strikes. Six groundouts. Fastball sat at 93 and hit 94 twice that I saw.
- White also flashed casual athleticism with a nice and easy play to field a bunt and throw out a speedy runner. Light work in his first outing, which is appreciated by all I’m sure.
- Speaking of dudes who are so casually good at baseball and who might be ready for greener pastures: Dustin Harris was back in left field for Frisco after playing 58 games there last season. He got the RoughRiders’ only hit of any significance, a triple on the first pitch of the 2nd inning that he laced into right-center. It was a double that the right fielder misplayed and Harris has the speed to kick on the burners and get an extra 90 feet out of it.
- He also looks solid in the outfield, moves smoothly, got good reads on the two balls I saw hit out to him (one he didn’t have a shot at anyway). Pretty confident in saying he’s gonna show over the next 3-6 weeks that there’s not much for him to prove at the Double-A level anymore.
- Leody Taveras looks...physically okay. Roped a liner into RF in one AB and ran down a ball nicely in center. But went ofer for a second straight night, wiffed on a pitch in the dirt for a strikeout and mishandled a ball at the right-center wall that allowed everyone to move up another 90 feet.
- Relatively uneventful night otherwise, nothing very noteworthy for the home team after White exited the game. Evan Carter went 1-4 and is fast. Luisangel Acuna got almost exclusively offspeed pitches and didn’t look great against them. Trevor Hauver hit a ball that off the bat I thought may have been the furthest home run hit in the history of baseball, but it died in center field for the final out of the game. Bummer.
- One Tekoah Roby takes the hill for Frisco today in his Double-A debut. His friends call him TK.