With the latest crew of standout RoughRiders solidifying their presence as they dream of taking that big league leap–just as fellow contemporaries Joey Gallo and Chi Chi Gonzalez have done–we will focus on the next group of players that have been promoted from High-A to Double-A Frisco as well as those that could make their Texas League debuts sometime this summer.
The Newest RoughRiders
INF/OF Ryan Cordell
Ryan Cordell was a late-round (11th) selection by the Texas Rangers out of Liberty University in the 2013 MLB Draft. A career .295/.364/.480 hitter during his three professional seasons, Cordell really hit his stride this season while at High-A High Dessert of the California League.
Over his 319 plate appearances with the Mavericks, Cordell led the team in RBI (57) as well as stolen bases (10).
A versatile defender, he saw time both in the outfield and the infield, but started the majority of his games up the middle, manning centerfield.
Just 23 years old, look for Cordell’s already impressive power numbers (13 HRs) to steadily increase as he continues to fill-out his 6’4” frame.
C Alex Burg
One unseen benefit to a player’s injury is that it creates an opportunity for another player to put his skills on display.
Catcher Alex Burg was promoted from High-A Dessert High on the heels of last week’s season-ending injury to the Texas Rangers top-prospect, Jorge Alfaro.
However, it was not just an injury that led to Burg’s shot at a Double-A promotion—he was having an excellent season on his own.
Over his 246 PAs with the Mavericks, he put together a very impressive triple-slash line of: .302/.419/.598 with 15 home runs, good for a first place tie on the team.
Burg, who will turn 28 in August, isn’t technically a “prospect,” but the 6’ 190-pound backstop brings a wealth of experience to the RoughRiders, as the former 24th round draft pick (2009, San Francisco Giants) is a minor league veteran with six seasons and just shy of 2,000 PAs under his belt.
Frisco bound in 2015?
OF Zack Cone
Cone, one of two former first round draft picks on today’s list, is having his best season to date.
Drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft (34) out of the University of Georgia, Cone .289/.342/.524 slash line and 15 home runs are on pace to eclipse his former high of 17 during the summer of 2012 while at Single-A Hickory.
Just as Nick Williams and Nomar Mazara are blocked from a promotion to the big leagues due to a bevvy of outfield prospects (and high-priced veterans), Cone’s calling to Double-A Frisco is largely dependent on if Mazara and/or Williams are promoted to Triple-A Round Rock. Regardless, Cone likely won’t join the RoughRiders until 2016.
OF Lewis Brinson
Like Cone the year before, Brinson was drafted with the Texas Rangers’ top pick (29) during the 2012 MLB Draft.
Just 21 years old, Brinson’s ceiling certainly soars higher than the aforementioned Cone. That being said, Brinson does need some additional time to refine his talents and hone his plate discipline.
Drafted well ahead of Nick Williams, Brinson has taken a bit longer than initially thought to round out his ample skill-set.
But the Rangers are still quite high on the 21-year-old, and he is off to a fine start this season with High-A High Desert, as he has put together a .292/.375/.503 line with six home runs and 19 RBI over 184 plate appearances.
Look for Brinson to get a call up to Double-A Frisco either late this summer—or perhaps during the 2016 season.