The window of opportunity to catch the Texas Rangers’ next great prospects is a fast-closing one. That is, if you want to watch them live in your own backyard at Frisco’s Dr. Pepper Ballpark.
Spotlight on: INF Rougned Odor and P Keone Kela
Last week, future closer Matt West was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A, leaving Frisco for Round Rock, just one step away from The Show. But one of the great things about the Texas Rangers’ organization is its seemingly limitless supply of upper-tier prospects. Thanks in part to West’s departure, the RoughRiders welcome yet another flame-throwing future big league bullpen piece in Keone Kela.
Kela started the season at High-A Myrtle Beach, where he led the team in saves with five, and struck out 11.3 batters per nine innings.
After making his Double-A debut last week, it appears as though Kela is ready to dominate in the Texas League as well. The 6’ 1” Everett Community College product has yet to surrender an earned run over two appearances, and has struck out 11.2 batters per innings pitched at Frisco.
Keone Kela may be a new name new to RoughRiders fans, Rougned Odor is certainly one that has be bandied about for quite some time. Odor has been one of Frisco’s leading hitters in most offensive categories since earning his promotion to Double-A late last summer.
2014 has brought more of the same from the man affectionately dubbed “Roogie”. Odor was tied for the team lead with Ryan Rua in homers (6) and was also hitting .279 with 17 RBI. The 5’ 11’ Venezuelan had been impressing the right people, as he earned a promotion to the Texas Rangers last Thursday.
Although his stay in Arlington may be brief, Odor can be confident that his minor league pedigree has successfully segued him to the game’s highest level.
Jerad Eickhoff Named Pither of the Week
In what has become a regular occurrence, a member of the Frisco RoughRiders has earned the prestigious Texas League Player of the Week Award. Past winners include RHP Luke Jackson, and this week it’s another right-hander, Jerad Eickhoff.
The 6’ 4” Evansville, Indiana product is 2-2 with a 4.13 ERA on the year with Double-A Frisco. He sports an impressive 31:13 strikeout to walk ratio, and provided the RoughRiders with a dominant outing over the reigning Texas League Champion San Antonio Missions.
During that start, Eickhoff went 7 1/3 innings pitched, striking out seven while walking just one. He allowed only two hits. Eickhoff was picked by the Texas Rangers in the 15th round of the 2011 June Amateur Draft out of Olney Central College.