Welcome to "Chatter from the Pressbox", the website dedicated to the Pressbox of the Frisco RoughRiders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

Today's Matchups Around the Ranger's System

Today's (5/20) Match-Ups Around the Ranger's System

Round Rock: Martin Perez (3-3 5.27) vs. Fresno Grizzlies: Andrew Kown (3-1 2.61) @ 1:00 PM CT

Myrtle Beach: Kyle Hendricks (1-4 2.91) @ Wilmington Blue Rocks: Sugar Ray Marimon (3-0 2.65) @ 12:30 PM CT

Hickory : Santo Perez (2-2 6.19) @ Asheville Tourists: Daniel Winkler (4-2 6.06) @ 1:05 PM CT

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Texas League Best of the Best: Third Base

Team Rankings

1. San Antonio Missions

Statistics: .315/.405/.522/.927 65 Extra Base Hits 103 RBI 108 Runs 81 BB-99 K

Without a doubt the strongest team from the third base position, the San Antonio Missions received outstanding production from James Darnell for the first half of the 2011 season and then received good production from Jedd Gyorko for most of the second half of the 2011 season. Darnell hit .342/.441/.615/1.056 with 40 extra base hits and 57 RBI in 313 plate appearances en route to a promotion to AAA Tuscon. Gyorko replaced Darnell as best as he could hitting .298/.368/.444/.812 with 19 extra base hits and 39 RBI over 253 plate appearances following a monster first half in high-A Lake Elsinore where the then 22 year old hit .365/.429/.638/1.067 with 55 extra base hits and 74 RBI in 81 games (382 plate appearances).

2. Midland Rockhounds

Statistics: .282/.371/.418/.789 47 Extra Base Hits 81 RBI 87 Runs 73 BB-114 K

Stephen Parker spent the majority of the 2011 season as the Midland Rockhound's primary third baseman and the patient hitter gave no reason for him not to be. Over 118 games, Parker hit .293/.383/.427/.810 as he had 38 extra base hits, 68 RBI, and walked 64 times over 514 plate appearances. Adam Heether, Jason Christian, and Mitch Canham combined to appear in 24 games at the position as well. At third base, Midland finished 2nd in the league in walks, 4th in RBI, 2nd in runs scored, Tied for 4th in extra base hits, 4th in OPS, and 3rd in batting average.

3. Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Statistics: .281/.355/.446/.801 47 Extra Base Hits 71 RBI 80 Runs 46 BB-103 K

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals had 3 players appear in at least 27 games at third base during the season. Mario Lisson led the group with 78 games and 300 plate appearances. The 27 year old hit .302/.386/.547/.933 with 35 extra base hits, 42 RBI, 55 runs, and stole 13 bases in 14 attempts as a third baseman. Rey Navarro and Kurt Mertins filled in with the other playing time, but both had an OPS below .700 at the position and combined for just 12 extra base hits over 235 plate appearances.

4. Frisco RoughRiders

Statistics: .271/.327/.472/.798 58 Extra Base Hits 92 RBI 81 Runs 38 BB-169 K

You would have a hard time finding a player that had a better comeback year in the Texas Ranger's system than Frisco RoughRider's third baseman Tommy Mendonca. After struggling in the hitter friendly California League in 2010 to a tune of (.248/.331/.391/.722 with just 10 homeruns), Mendonca broke out with a .278/.335/.492/.827 25 homerun campaign in 2011). As a third baseman, Mendonca hit .276/.335/.492/.826 with the 25 homeruns and 87 RBI, both of which were the most by a third baseman in the Texas League. The interesting thing, which I haven't mentioned on here though, is that the Rangers will be trying Tommy Mendonca out at catcher in 2012. You can read more about it here.

5. Arkansas Travelers 

Statistics: .285/.332/.433/.765 52 Extra Base Hits 88 RBI 61 Runs 30 BB-98 K

The Arkansas Travelers got good production out of Luis Jimenez, but struggled to get a lot out of the rest of the other 5 players that appeared in games at third base. Over 101 games (440 plate appearances), Jimenez hit .290/.342/.455/.797 with 44 extra base hits and 69 RBI. The 23 year old in 2011 hit especially well in the first half of the season when he was hitting .297/.341/.521/.862 at the Texas League all-star break en route to a Texas League all-star appearance. Jon Townsend, Gabe Jacobo, Adam Younger, Jay Brossman, and Jesus Campos combined for 43 games played at the position.

6. Springfield Cardinals

Statistics: .274/.343/.421/.764 47 Extra Base Hits 72 RBI 75 Runs 47 BB-104 K

Zack Cox, a first round pick in 2010, spent his first season in minor league baseball split between high-A Palm Beach and AA Springfield. Cox started slow (had as low as a .565 OPS a month into his time in Springfield), but he adjusted to AA and finished strong. As a third baseman, Cox batted .294/.357/.429/.786 with 27 extra base hits and 43 RBI in 367 plate appearances. Niko Vasquez also appeared in 38 games at third base for Springfield, but hit just .221 with a .291 OBP and .404 SLG%. Jermaine Curtis, Eric Duncan, Nick Derba, and Donovan Solano combined for 25 games played at third as well. Of those, Curtis hit the best with a .933 OPS over 19 of the games.

7. Corpus Christi Hooks

Statistics: .240/.299/.343/.642 32 Extra Base Hits 52 RBI 72 Runs 45 BB-94 K

No third baseman was as unproductive (minimum of 200 PA) in the Texas League as David Flores of the Corpus Christi Hooks. Flores spent 2011 as a 24 year old and batted just .199/.259/.280/.538 over 205 plate appearances. He had 9 extra base hits and 16 RBI in the time as well. Jimmy Paredes also received 194 plate appearances at third over 43 games and hit .269/.298/.434/.732 with 15 extra base hits, 22 RBI, 33 runs, and 9 steals in 17 attempts. As mentioned in the second base part, Paredes spent time in 2011 with the big league club, the Houston Astros and figures to be a part of their starting lineup in 2012. Brandon Wikoff appeared in 24 games at third for Corpus Christi as well and hit .278 with a .663 OPS. Andrew Simunic, Jose Altuve, Wladimir Sutil, Jose Thompson, Jose Vallejo, and Jimmy Van Ostrand all received sporadic playing time at third, combining for 29 games played.

8. Tulsa Drillers

Statistics: .240/.308/.319/.627 31 Extra Base Hits 57 RBI 53 Runs 47 BB-102 K

The Tulsa Drillers used 6 different players at third base and none of them shined too well. Darin Holcomb received the most playing time as he appeared in 60 games and had 261 plate appearances. Holcomb batted .272/.337/.384/.721 and had 19 extra base hits, 28 RBI, and 30 runs. Erik Wetzel, however, was more unproductive as he hit just .210 with a .524 OPS over 162 plate appearances (45 games). Warren Schaeffer was even worse, however, as he hit just .141 with a .403 OPS over 96 plate appearances (29 games). James Cesario, Jeffrey Squier, and Ben Paulsen combined for 15 games played as well.

Previous Positions:
First Base
Second Base
Third Base
Left Field
Center Field
Right Field
Designated Hitter
Starting Pitcher

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