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  • Jacob Lemoine this season: 6.1 IP, 2H, 2BB, 9 SO, 0R, 0 ER

    Jake Lemoine is a name some folks have asked me about. I saw him the first outing at Greensboro. At first, he had a little struggle finding a feel, but then had a strong second inning. Coming off the shoulder troubles, whatís sort of things are ahead for him?

    Jaimes: He dealt with a lot of bumps the last few years. He last pitched two years ago. Iím actually pretty impressed, especially with his last outing in Columbia where he pounded the zone. Heís a guy that has a feel for the baseball. He controls his fastball and has pretty good control with his secondary pitches. So, I think heís going to be a big part of the team. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and let the talent play. A great guy.

    Is he going to be getting bite-size outings?

    Jaimes: For right now, weíre going to try to keep it to three innings, just because of what happened the last two years with him. Heís going to be a guy thatís going to pitch every two or three days.

    Let me ask you about Kyle Cody. Like everybody else, had a rough first outing, then pitched in and out of trouble the last start.

    Jaimes: The two outings have been almost the same, Kind of erratic the first two or three innings, but then once he gets it going he gets a lot better. Last night, we saw that. The fourth and fifth innings, he did a really good job of mixing his pitches. His fastball command was a lot better. That was his main issue the first three innings: a lot of deep counts, a lot of 2-1 counts and guys were able to put the barrel to the baseball. A 6-7 guy thatís a really good talent and Iím pretty excited for him. Heís one of our main guys this year, so hopefully heíll stay healthy. I think once he gets it going, heís going to keep getting better.

    Somebody Iím looking forward to seeing, based simply on the stats from the Dominican Ė this is his first stateside assignment Ė is Edgar Arredondo. He had a 56 Ks and 4 walks last year. Like everyone else the first week, he had that wrinkle, but Iím looking forward to seeing what he has to offer based on the stats sheet.

    Jaimes: Heís a strike thrower. Heís a guy thatís going to feel through it some. Heís going to attack here. It was the first time he was pitching in front of fans and lights. So, I was kind of expecting that, but I after that I saw his first inning, I was really excited. He pounded the first inning 1-2-3. I think he got a little upset when he gave up the first hit on an 0-2 count and then he lost his concentration and couldnít get it back. Again, heís a guy thatís going to throw strikes. That was not the Arredondo that I know. I donít even worry about him. He had a really good bullpen session yesterday. Heís a guy that commands his pitches: fastball and a really good changeup and a really good curve.

    Best fastball on the staff right now.

    Jaimes: Kyle Cody.

    Best secondary stuff right now:

    Jaimes: Sal Mendez.

    Best Breaking ball:

    Jaimes: Emerson Martinez and Tyler Davis.
    Last edited by mingjungtc; 04-18-2017, 07:15 PM.


    • Ti'Quan Forbes is leading the Rangers minor league system in 20 hits (tie
      Ronald Guzman), HR 5, TB 36, SLG 0.692 and OPS 1.131

      0.385/ 0.439 /0.692 /1.131


      • Red-hot bats headline Prospect Team of the Week

        OF: Yanio Perez, Hickory Crawdads (Class A)
        (Rangers No. 15 prospect)
        7 G, .609/.654/1.304, 7 R, 1 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 K

        Perez's monstrous week in the South Atlantic League saw the 21-year-old Cuban outfielder -- who also can play both corner-infield positions -- pace all qualified Top 30 Prospects in OPS (1.958), hits (14), home runs, RBIs and total bases (30). He put up most of those numbers during Hickory's four-game weekend series against Columbia, going 10-for-14 with four homers and 12 RBIs.

        The Rangers' No. 15 prospect led all of baseball with a 1.304 slugging percentage and 1.958 OPS over six games from April 24-30 to win South Atlantic League Offensive Player of the Week honors and highlight the latest group of Minor League winners. He tied among leaders in both the Majors and Minors with 14 hits, five homers and 30 total bases in 23 at-bats over that span.

        Perez was especially good over the final three days of the week, going 8-for-10 with four homers, nine RBIs, two walks and only one strikeout against Columbia. The 21-year-old right-handed slugger notched his first career multi-homer game with two blasts Saturday in a 9-8, 10-inning win over the Fireflies.

        "He's been solid for us from the beginning, but obviously nothing like that Columbia series," Crawdads manager Spike Owen said Monday. "He had some competitive at-bats, but this week something clicked. He's hitting like a guy with a lot of confidence, and that always helps. But it's not just the hits and the home runs. Everything he's hitting, he's hitting really hard."

        Owen added that Perez's results have come from his work with hitting coach Kenny Hook, who's been helping him take some effort out of swing by lowering his leg kick and keeping the load more on his back side. According to the manager, the tweaks have helped Perez pick up balls better as they enter the zone as well as aided his ability to pick up breaking balls.

        The Rangers signed the Cuba native to a $1.1 million bonus last September after he had defected in the summer of 2015. Before that, he played in the Cuban Nacional Series in 2014 as an 18-year-old, hitting .265/.333/.347 with two homers over 80 games. However, he showed above-average power and run tools in his workouts in front of scouts, leading to his spot at No. 14 in's international prospect rankings and his eventual seven-digit signing.

        Those skills translated quickly in Perez's first taste of stateside pro ball last month. His .453 on-base percentage and 1.095 OPS through 23 games were both tops among Sally League hitters in April, while his .642 slugging percentage and six homers placed second.

        "He knows he can play professional baseball here now, that's for sure," Owen said. "With the level of success he's had, he should feel great about himself. His attitude is certainly great, and he comes to the park every day with a smile. With the club we have and the players who are around him, they've helped make the transition easier. He's one of the guys, and we're all really happy he's here."

        In a way, Perez's full-season start is reminiscent of No. 12 Rangers prospect Andy Ibanez last season. Ibanez, another Cuban signing, hit .402/.479/.659 in April and jumped straight to Double-A Frisco in June. Some questions remain about Perez before discussion of such a promotion can begin, particularly on defense. Perez has split time between right field, left, first base and third in his first month. (Ibanez played exclusively at second base before making the jump.) Owen, however, said moving Perez around the field speaks to his versatility rather than his inability to stick in any one spot, and as a manager, he enjoys getting the chance to keep the slugger's bat in the lineup, however he can.

        "We see some good pitching here -- guys who throw hard, some who can really spin it," Owen said. "The more at-bats he gets, the more he'll see all of that. He's certainly being challenged here right now, though. But I hope he stays this hot all year for us. He's certainly shown us what he's capable of."

        Since leaving Cuba, though, some of Perezís tools have increased considerably. In Cuba, Perez was a 45 runner on the 20-80 scale going home to first and never was a stolen base threat in Serie Nacional. Yet when Perez showcased in Mexico, multiple scouts confirmed that Perez ran the 60-yard dash in a tick under 6.5 seconds, a time that indicates closer to 70 speed underway. Some scouts who watched him in Mexico also gave him above-average raw power. His infield defense was erratic in Cuba, though he could improve with professional instruction to stick at third base, otherwise he would likely go to the outfield.


        • Mattuela pitched 2 3/4 of an inning last night. he did not pitch great but nothing bad happened. Ferguson also pitched. His ERA is slowly coming down from an early season blow up.


          • 19. Yanio Perez, of/1b, Rangers (21)
            Low Class A Hickory (South Atlantic)

            The Rangers signed Perez for $1.1 million last September after he left Cuba. He has had no trouble adjusting to low Class A competitionóhe ranks among the SAL leaders with a .337 average and .587 slugging. Perez has above-average raw power and blasted four home runs this week. As was the case with Andy Ibanez last year, the true test for Perez will come when the Rangers promote him to a higher level.
            AVG OBP SLG XBH
            BB SB
            .476 .500 1.095 5 2 0


            It was Yanio Perezís week, we all just lived in it.

            Hickory Crawdads OF Yanio Perez had a huge week during the just-concluded homestand and the baseball world took notice.

            Perez was named by the South Atlantic League as its hitter of the week. Also, named Perez to its Prospect Team of the Week.

            The Rangers No. 15 prospect, according to, posted a slash line of .609/.654/1.304 with a double, five homers, three walks, seven runs scored and 13 RBI. Much of that came against the Columbia Fireflies during the weekendís four-games series. A native of Cuba, the 21-year-old went 10-for-14 against the Fireflies with four homers and 12 RBI.

            Perez is the first Crawdads hitter to receive the Sally Leagueís hitter of the week award since Eduard Pinto got the honor from July 4-10, 2016.

            For the season, Perez is at .358/.453/.642 with five doubles, six homers and 11 walks. He is currently tops the SAL in OPS (1.095), second in total bases and slugging, tied for second in homers, tied for third in RBI, fifth in batting avg.
            Yanio Perez - proffitt

            Yanio Perez in a 2017 game vs. Kannapolis (photo courtesy of Tracy Proffitt)

            What are we seeing?:

            Like his countryman Andy Ibanez in 2016, Perez got his U.S. pro league debut with Hickory this season, but he is 28 months younger the Ibanez.

            When I went to Columbia to catch the Tim Tebow fever and to see the Crawdads in action there, I saw Perez up close for the first time. Listed at 6-2, 205, I canít help think that the weight is a bit low. Perezís build is like a linebacker that would take Tebow down. Solid, solid build.

            Perez is in one of those zones right now where everything looks like a beach ball. After serving fastballs over the fence earlier in the Fireflies series, Perez started seeing more and more breaking balls on Saturday and Sunday. After smacking his first homer on Saturday, Columbia came back with a slider that stayed over the plate and went over the fence.

            He worked a walk late in the game Saturday Ė all curveballs Ė and then on Sunday, one of the few mistakes Jordan Humphreys made in his start against Hickory was a hanging curve. It went far. In fact, all the homers were no-doubters to left center. It was like watching a replay.

            The final AB for Perez against Humphreys in the seventh was an 11-pitch AB. With a 10-2 lead, Humphrey went back to fastballs only, but carefully placed them around the plate. Perez fell behind 0-2, then fouled off pitch after pitch before a mound visit with a catcher after the tenth pitch. Finally, the 11th pitch seemed like a Ēletís move onto the next hitterĒ pitch low and away.

            What Perez is working on?:

            Until this past week, Perez seemed to become uncertain on hitterís count (2-1 or 3-0). Several check swings or weak contact on fastballs turned in outs, often in key situations. Thatís not been a problem this past week. Fastballs are murdered. What will be interesting is to see how he handles the onslaught of offspeed pitches that are likely to increase.

            Though Hickory is second in the SAL in homers, most are of the solo version. Perez, for now, gives the Crawdads a threat in the lineup that can spring the team for a big inning.

            Like Ibanez last year at second, there seems like there is work to be done defensively. Strong arm at third, but the game at that position seems a little fast yet. In the outfield, he had a scary moment with Leody Taveras when Perez didnít give ground on a drive to the gap, as the two bumped.


            Jacob Lemoine

            11.1 IP, 6 H, 14 SO, 3 BB, 2 R, 2 ER, ERA 1.59 0

            vs Left: 20 ab, 1 HB, 3 BB, 0 H.


            • Thanks Ming, for the updates!


              • Jonathan Hernandez 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO
                Tyler Ferguson 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

                Alex Kowalczyk last 4 games: 10 for 15, 2 2B, 1HR, 7R, 7 RBI,


                • After his last outing (2.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K), Kyle Cody was in charge from the start. Many of his Ks came on the slider to right-handed hitters and he was able to paint the arm-side corner with his fastball for punch outs. I talked with pitching coach Jose Jaimes about Codyís start and to the differences from last week to today.

                  ďIím pretty excited about Kyle. Last time was not him. Today, he came out and had the right attitude. The main thing today was that he was able to throw that slider for a strike early in the count and put guys away with it, and then also locating his fastball, for the most part.Ē

                  Codyís work in the seventh was especially impressive given the odd circumstances the bases were loaded. Colby Lusignan struck out to start the inning, but reached on a wild pitch. The second hit of the inning happened with first base wasnít covered on a bouncer to second. Jaimes said the ability for Cody to keep his composure was a big step.

                  ďThe last inning, he had the strikeout, but we couldnít make the out at first. I do know that the main thing is that he stayed focused. Even with two outs when something behind him happened, he didnít lose command of his pitches.Ē

                  About Yanio:

                  Iím starting to get asked about Yanio Perez and if he is going to be promoted soon. At .354/.430/.600 over 37 games, he is certainly making a loud statement that he is ready for a challenge. However, as with his Cuban countryman last year Andy Ibanez, there are other parts of his game to work on, namely defense.

                  I made that response to a tweet question this afternoon and soon after a couple of plays showed up that made me look like a prophet. With two outs in the seventh, Mason Davis bounced a ball to the right side of the infield. Perez made two quick steps to the ball, then let it go to Blaine Prescott at second. Looked like a routine play, except Perez didnít retreat to the bag at first. Davis reached without a throw.

                  In the ninth, a throw by Perez to start a routine 3-6 force play (I donít think it wouldíve been a double play) sailed into left center.

                  However, like Ibanez last year, and possibly even more so with Perez, who is two years younger than Ibanez, the Rangers could be content to just let him get used to the country and the American way of playing the game and just letting him be for a bit and having him dominate.



                  • Mark Parker @CrawdadsBeat
                    Haven't heard or seen why, but Yanio Perez to DL. Carlos Garay from Down East.

                    While I haven't been able to see Perez, the Rangers' No. 15 prospect, in person, it's been hard not to notice the start to his official pro career. Texas gave him seven figures to sign last September, so the Rangers clearly believed in his offensive ability. So far, Perez has proven them right.

                    Perez's biggest tool is his power, and he has eight home runs and eight doubles for a .600 SLG, which is good for third in the South Atlantic League. There were some who worried a bit about the hit tool, but his short stroke has worked just fine. Perez is second in the South Atlantic League in average and has drawn plenty of walks while playing both outfield and both infield corners. He's 21, so I wouldn't say he's old for his league, especially when you consider the lack of experience and not just his age. Perez will be more legit if he keeps doing this as he moves up, but it's a very encouraging start.



                    • Michael Matuella 3.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 SO


                      • Prospects to watch- Hickory:

                        CF Leody Taveras (No. 1 and Baseball America, No. 43 Baseball America top-100 prospects, No. 51 top-100): Signed as international free agent 2015 out of Tenares, Dominican Republic. After 4 straight games without a hit, Taveras has hits in eight of the last nine games, including the last five, during which he has not struck out. He is 11-for-34 in that stretch with a double and a triple.

                        SS Anderson Tejeda (No. 7, No. 16 Baseball America). Signed as an international free agent in 2015 out of Bani, D.R. After a .204/.257/.347 May at the plate and 9 errors in the field, he is ready to turn the page of the calendar. Though he remains fourth in the SAL in Ks (62), the rate he is striking out has decreased. After whiffing at a 40% rate in April, that dropped to 29% in May.

                        LF Miguel Aparicio (No. 14 Baseball America, No. 29 Signed as an international free agent in 2015 out of San Carlos, Venezuela. Is 4-for-25 (.160) over the last 8 games and is at .186/.278/.271 in 21 games. However, he has making adequate contact with a 20% K rate to go with seven walks in 79 plate appearances.

                        OF Yanio Perez (No. 15, 27 Baseball America): Signed as an international free agent out of Havana, Cuba. Back after missing over a week with a finger injury, Perez looks to pick up where he left off. He leads the SAL in slugging (.621) and OPS (1.050) and is second in batting avg. (.357) and on-base pct. (.429).

                        2B Yeyson Yrizarri (No. 17 Signed as an international free agent in 2013 out of the D.R. Missed five days from a hamstring injury. Went 0-for-5 in his return on Wednesday. Posted a .321/.357/.385 slash in May.

                        RF Jose Almonte (No. 28 Signed as an international free agent in 2013 out of Santo Domingo, D.R. Has a hit in each of his last four games and poked two of his three homers during the homestand.



                        • Looks like Yanio Perez is up to the Down East Wood Ducks. Hit pretty darn good in his first appearance. 2 for 5.


                          • He has been in DE for 4 games, and is hitting .400 (6 for 15)

                            Perez had a quick start to the season, then slow dropped to a .245/.365/.377 slash by April 20. At that time, the whole club had struggled, some of it due to very little field time because of an unusually rainy period. But for Perez adjustments had to make. He had become jumpy in hitters counts, swinging through fastballs that seemed off the plate.

                            ďFor him, I think itís just his mind set as a hitter,Ē said Crawdads hitting coach Kenny Hook at the time. ďHeís so good at kind of being able to hit breaking balls and offspeed pitches up the middle and the other way to where, he was seeing a lot of them and he was just giving up on fastballs and looking to drive the breaking stuff the other way and get his hits that way.Ē

                            Finally, Perez figured out how pitchers were trying to get him out and he had a homestand to remember at the end of April. Over the final eight games of the month, he went 16-for-28 with five homers, a double, four walks, eight runs scored and 15 RBI. He ended the month at .358/.453/.642. Perez was named the South Atlantic Leagueís hitter of the week and the Texas Rangers tabbed him as their minor league player of the month.

                            As well as heís played, there is a certain sadness that Perez acknowledges: he misses his family. While Perez was able to leave Cuba to come and play baseball in the states, his family is still on the island. He talks to his parents daily, but the 21-year-old hasnít seen them in two years. He wants to succeed in order to help his family, but behind his infectious smile, the pain from separation is real.

                            Are you accomplishing this year what you had hoped to?

                            Perez: I didnít have as my goal to make the all-star team. My goals were, number one, try to help the team as much as I can. I would like to hit .300 for the year, which I am doing and Iím happy with what Iíve done so far.

                            You signed with the Rangers last October. Has it been a whirlwind getting to the states and then to play ball?

                            It has been a hurricane to adjust to everything Iíve gone through over the last year Ė leaving my family, coming here, going to Arizona. So, Iím still going through the process of transition.

                            Whatís been the biggest adjustment personally coming to the states?

                            Perez: The biggest challenge for me is the language and being away from my family. I have my wife with me right now, but everybody else is away. That has been the biggest challenge, the language and the family.



                            • Kyle Cody: 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1BB, 8 SO


                              • Host family program provides comfort for Crawdads players, different view for fans

                                Kennedy established three requirements for families when she started the program: bring a dish to the monthly potluck dinner where players could get away from the game for a few hours, provide individually packaged snacks for road trips and show support at as many home games as possible.

                                She wanted to keep things simple so that any interested family could be a part of the program. But those participating have to be in it for the right reasons. There are no free tickets or merchandise or autographs.


                                Itís been one year since Bassett and Patrick Henry Community College graduate Jonah McReynolds was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

                                McReynolds and his teammates live with host families in the Spokane area, though he said they rarely actually see those families due to being on the road or at the ballpark so many hours of the day. The Indians start the season playing 28 games in 27 straight days. While the season lasts just under three months total, the team has just four off-days built into the schedule. They travel to all of the away games by bus, and go as far as Vancouver, Canada, sometimes up to eight hours each way.

                                ďOn the field, you have to play pitch-by-pitch,Ē he said. ďThis game is very detailed and weíll probably see like 120 pitches a game which is a lot of pitches so weíve got to stay locked in for 120 pitches and anticipate whatís going to happen next. Especially in the batterís box, itís a battle between you and the pitcher so if he throws you a ball that you kind of miss youíve got to make an adjustment and ride with that but itís all about the pitch-by-pitch adjustments and staying locked in. Thatís the hard part, especially with the long days of practice and not a lot of sleep, drinking Red Bulls to keep you up and stuff throughout the day. Thatís pretty hard.Ē