Rangers prospects making early impact for RoughRiders

by Dan M | Posted on Sunday, April 20th, 2014

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By: Cameron Varnau

The minor league season is just a few short weeks old, but several top prospects for the RoughRiders have already delivered big performances.
1) Rougned Odor finishes just shy of the cycle
After what appeared to be a slow start to the season for Rougned Odor, the 20-year-old Venezuelan prospect is quickly heating things up for the RoughRiders. Odor struggled in his first six games of the 2014 campaign by going 2-16, but silenced any doubters by finishing a triple shy of hitting for the cycle in a 15-2 victory over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on April 12. He finished his night going 4-6 with two home runs, four runs scored and three RBI. He hit three home runs in the first nine games of the season and looks to stay hot during the current eight-game home stand.

2) Ryan Rua impresses over weekend series sweep of Naturals
Twenty-four-year-old infielder Ryan Rua also had a series to remember against the Naturals. After getting off to a slow start at home by going 2-11 with two walks, all Rua needed was some time away from Dr Pepper Ballpark. The righty was efficient going 7-12 with two runs, two doubles and three RBIs. After hitting 32 home runs between Hickory and Frisco in 2013, it was only a matter of time until Rua found his groove again, and he hit his first longball of 2014 on April 10.

3) Alec Asher’s dominant five-hit outing
Alec Asher has settled into a nice rhythm since losing his first start of the season. The 6’ 4” righty rebounded nicely by answering that loss with a six-inning road outing in which he scattered five hits, only allowed two runs and struck out six hitters. This year’s RoughRiders rotation can be one that makes it difficult for opposing lineups no matter who you face night-in and night-out, and Asher is on his way to becoming a dangerous number three starter behind Luke Jackson and Nick Martinez.
4) Luis Sardinas’ defense and potential to wreck havoc
There’s a reason that 20-year-old Luis Sardinas is a top prospect in the minor league system of the Texas Rangers. Signing as a non-drafted free agent in 2009, Sardinas is showing that he deserves a starting spot in this year’s Frisco lineup with his stellar defense in the field and his ability to cause damage when running the bases. The infielder has shown smooth hands when making plays defensively and is someone who can be counted on to make the routine play. Frisco skipper Jason Wood has also placed trust in Sardinas by putting him at the top of the order, and can be a force to reckon with.

5) Nick Martinez’s Frisco debut
Following his impressive major league debut against the Tampa Bay Rays, Nick Martinez pitched well in his Frisco debut on April 11 in a start against Northwest Arkansas. The Florida native tossed five innings and gave up five hits and one run. Martinez pitched well when it mattered after loading the bases in the third inning by getting the Naturals to ground into a double-play to end the threat. Should he remain on the Frisco roster and not back in Arlington, the tall righty will be a key part of the RoughRiders rotation in 2014.

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