Just a few weeks past the halfway mark of Texas League play, the Frisco RoughRiders are next-to-last in team batting average (.244), third in home runs (77), last in team earned run average (4.44) but second-best in strikeouts (743). This is indicative of a team in constant flux, as top players are promoted to Triple-A, with some already on the major league roster.
Regardless of league standings, the RoughRiders’ roster is packed with talent and here’s a look at some of the top contributors thus far.
On the mound
Although Andrew Faulkner and Jake Thompson are both having excellent seasons, it’s always good to take a look at some of the more unheralded prospects who are having a solid summer as well.
LHP Cody Ege—2-2, 0.95 ERA, 32 Ks
Cody Ege does need to hone his command to help reduce his bases on balls, but you can’t argue with the success he’s had thus far.
The former 2013 15th Round draft pick has exceeded expectations, and impressed over his last 10 games, producing a microscopic 0.75 ERA, as well as managing his walk rate.
RHP Jesus Pirela—0-2, 3.60 ERA, 46 Ks
Jesus Pirela, on the 7-Day disabled list, has been one of the steadier producers for the RoughRiders’ bullpen, holding the opposition to just a .257 batting average.
Pirela has leveraged his plus-stuff enabling him to strikeout 47 batters in just 39 innings.
RHP David Martinez—3.21 ERA, 12 Saves
The 27-year-old David Martinez, who pitched in the big leagues for the Houston Astros during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, has been a welcome surprise to the RoughRiders’ bullpen.
Although his stuff and strikeout numbers won’t enhance gravity’s pull on your jaw, Martinez has converted 12 of 14 save opportunities thus far.
RHP Jose LeClerc—4-4, 4.50 ERA, 75 Ks
The Dominican-born Jose LeClerc, who bears a striking resemblance to Jurickson Profar, was a blip on the prospect radar coming into the 2015 season.
Since then, however, he has shown excellent stuff that he has been able to translate into 75 strikeouts in just 74 innings pitched…excellent numbers for a 21-year-old in Double-A.
At the plate
Whereas there are some fresh names included in the pitching report, it is likely that you are quite familiar with the RoughRiders’ slugging stars…
INF Drew Robinson: .224/.371/.435, 15 HRs, 47 RBI
Robinson, the team’s leader in both home runs and RBI, was an under-the-radar sensation in the RoughRider’s first half of play.
His first half numbers were loud enough to prevent him from sneaking up on the opposition. Robinson has established himself as a premier power hitter capable of driving in runs from the heart of the order.
OF Nick Williams: .293/.353/.472, 12 HRs, 41 RBI
Much has been said of Nick Williams, a former second round draft choice of the Texas Rangers. Still, in just his first full-season of Double-A ball, Frisco fans are watching the five-tooled athlete fulfill his lofty promise as he begins to answer the questions that often come with being a top-flight prospect.
OF Nomar Mazara: .277/.353/.428, 10 HRs, 44 RBI
Like Williams, Nomar Mazara has matured in both plate discipline as well as overall knowledge of the game.
The sweet-swinging lefty might not end the season in Double-A, as he could receive a call-up to the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express.
OF Ryan Cordell: .253/.314/.327, 2 HRs, 8 RBI
The newest addition to the Frisco RoughRiders’ roster, Ryan Cordell has cooled at the plate after a scorching debut, fresh off his promotion from the High-A Dessert Mavericks.
In spite of his youth, Cordell has shown enough promise to warrant his name being penciled into the starting lineup on a regular basis. Look for him to become a permanent fixture for the ‘Riders, especially once more advanced prospects continue to ascend the minor league ranks.