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2017 Round Rock Express: Scouting the roster


For more on the 2017 Express, click on these links:

Season preview: Will more experience bring more wins?

Express excited to be opening at home

Headliners: Who’s coming to Dell Diamond

—-

MEET THE ROUND ROCK EXPRESS

INFIELDERS

Ronald Guzman, 21: The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Dominican is the lone blue-chip prospect on the team. He’s ranked No. 4 in the organization, according to MLB.com, and No. 7 by Baseball America. Hit 15 home runs in 375 at-bats at Frisco.

Doug Bernier, 36: The middle infielder and his wife, Sarah, run a website,ProBaseballInsider.com,that offers tips to young players from current and former big-leaguers. Hit .275 for the Express in 2016.

Luis Marte, 23: The defensive specialist, primarily a shortstop, batted .264 for Frisco but was out two months with a broken finger.

Jason Martinson, 28: The versatile Texas State product from the Metroplex has played seven positions and will probably be the opening night shortstop. Spent the past seven years in the Washington system.

Will Middlebrooks, 28: The former Boston Red Sox third baseman has a World Series ring from the 2013 championship squad. Launched 17 homers in 348 at-bats that year. The native Texan from Greenville spent time with the Padres and Brewers in 2015-16.

CATCHERS

Brett Hayes, 33: The one-time Nevada Wolf Pack standout signed with Texas over the winter. Had 17 homers in his career year of 2012 at Omaha.

A.J. Jimenez, 26: The Puerto Rican spent the past nine years in the Toronto organization, mostly in a platoon role.

OUTFIELDERS

Preston Beck, 25: The Dallas Bishop Lynch and UT-Arlington alum was chosen in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. Hit .277 with eight homers and 42 RBIs during a 2016 season split between Frisco and Round Rock.

Jared Hoying, 27: Mr. Express is back for a fifth season. Has 65 homers, 204 RBIs and 58 steals over the past three years and, frankly, has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. Needs a little love from the Rangers … or a change of scenery.

Cesar Puello, 26: The Dominican is trying to revive his prospect status after once being ranked as the best athlete in the Mets’ system. His career year was 2013, with 73 RBIs and 24 steals in Double-A.

Travis Snider, 29: The 2006 first-round draft choice of the Blue Jays was the No. 5 overall prospect in the game entering 2009, according to Baseball Prospectus. Played in the majors for parts of eight seasons, posting 212 RBIs and a .244 average.

STARTING PITCHERS

Anthony Bass, 29: Returns to the Rangers’ organization after spending a year overseas. Helped the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters to the Japan Series title in 2016 with an 8-8 record and a 3.65 ERA.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx, 31: Signed from the independent Atlantic League last year, he started 13 games for Round Rock, going 3-2 with a 4.34 ERA.

Eddie Gamboa, 32: A knuckleballer who first started throwing the pitch after watching the Dodgers’ Tom Candiotti on TV. Looked good for the Rays’ Triple-A team in 2016 with a 2.68 ERA in a dozen starts.

Dillon Gee, 30: The Cleburne native has extensive major league service with a 48-46 record and 4.13 ERA over 804 innings. Was 8-9 with a 4.68 ERA for the Royals last year and had 12- and 13-win seasons for the Mets.

Nick Martinez, 26: No stranger to Express or Rangers fans. His 45 starts over 2014-15 for the Rangers were the second most to Colby Lewis. Spent most of 2016 in Round Rock, going 7-6 with a 3.91 ERA.

Tyler Wagner, 26: A lefty who’s the opening night starter, he missed most of 2016 with an injury while in the Arizona system. Was a high school teammate of Joey Gallo’s at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. Is the all-time saves leader for the Utah Utes.

Allen Webster, 27: Returning to the States after a year in Korea, where he was 4-4 with a 5.70 ERA for Samsung. Once the No. 4 prospect in the Red Sox organization.

RELIEF PITCHERS

R.J. Alvarez, 25: Split last year between the A’s and Cubs organizations, his season shortened by elbow surgery. Throwing well this spring, the lefty could land a late-inning role.

Jaye Chapman, 29: Split 2016 between the Milwaukee and Tampa Bay organizations, going 9-3 with a 4.02 ERA.

Brady Dragmire, 24: Have suitcase, will travel. The Californian was placed on waivers four times this offseason, twice by the Rangers.

Keone Kela, 23: The youngest pitcher on the team will be the closer. A hard thrower with good sinking action and a fearless attitude. An important member of the Rangers’ 2015 bullpen with a 7-5 record and 2.39 ERA.

Jimmy Reyes, 27: A versatile lefty returning for his fifth season in Round Rock. Hoping for the 2015 version (2.31 ERA) over the ’16 version (4.14).

Tanner Scheppers, 30: A supplemental first-round pick in 2009, the hard-throwing Californian’s career has been sideswiped by injuries, and he’s dealing with a lower body issue now.

Jose Valdespina, 24: The 6-6, 248-pounder’s first exposure to Triple-A was encouraging, as evidenced by a 2.45 ERA in 14 2/3 innings.

Wesley Wright, 32: Taking you way back on the memory train, this veteran worked for the Express back in 2009-10 when they were the Astros’ Triple-A team. Has logged 372 MLB appearances.



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