Have you ever visited your favorite restaurant, but in a different city? The food is consistently great, but you don’t recognize any of the wait staff. This is akin to going to a Frisco RoughRiders game this summer. The team keeps on winning, but they do so with a steady influx of new talent, as player after player continue to get promoted.
Joey Gallo: Future at First?
It was recently announced that Joey Gallo, he of the prodigious power equaled only by the buzz surrounding his Double-A promotion, has been shifted across the diamond—from his native hot corner to first base. Penciled in to start Wednesday’s game against the Corpus Christi Hooks, this will be Gallo’s first professional tour-of-duty at first base.
Joey Gallo has been the very definition of top-flight prospect thus far in 2014, as he has moved quickly up the rungs of the minor league ladder. After starting the season at High-A Myrtle Beach, Gallo was promoted to the Frisco RoughRiders a few weeks ago and the 6’5” native of Las Vegas hasn’t missed a beat.
In his first game at Double-A, he hit a towering home run for a walk-off win. With the Texas Rangers’ struggles, especially at first base, you have to wonder if Joey Gallo may see action with the parent club in September. Strangers things have happened, and it would be fun to get a glimpse of the Rangers’ future.
Jake Smolinski: Rapid Riser
Joey Gallo is certainly making a name for himself every step of the way via his near-legendary ascent through the bush leagues. However, he may have to play second fiddle to former teammate Jake Smolinski when it comes to quick promotion.
Smolinkski, a 25-year-old native of Rockford, Illinois, was promoted from Double-A Frisco last week, and played all of eight games at Triple-A Round Rock before receiving the call all players dream—the one that says pack your bags, you’re headed to The Show.
It’s no secret that the Texas Rangers have been decimated by injuries this season. Mired in a current skid that has seen them lose 17 games in 20 chances, there is no better time to call up prospects than now. However, there are no free passes, and Smolinski certainly earned the promotion as he put together a triple-slash line of .267/.349/.459 with 10 HRs and 41 RBI during his time at Frisco and Round Rock.
During just the second game of his big league career, Smolinski picked up his first two major league knocks, with a double and an RBI single. Turns out he was just heating up. During last night’s 8-4 loss to the Houston Astros, Smolinski went 3-for-4 to raise his big league batting average to a blistering .500. Not too shabby…
Upcoming RoughRiders Games
The Frisco RoughRiders are at home at Dr. Pepper Ballpark for a four-game stand against the Corpus Christi Hooks starting tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM and you can purchase your tickets here.