Round Rock Express 2021 Full-Season Game Notes
WELCOME BACK, BASEBALL!
After 601 days without Round Rock Express baseball due to the cancelled 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the E-Train returned to the field on May 6, 2021 to begin the club's 21st season of professional baseball in Central Texas. The Express matched the franchise record for best start to a season, jumping out to a 4-0 record to begin the 2021 campaign.
Round Rock never fell below third place in the Triple-A West League's East Division, jockeying with the Sugar Land Skeeters and Oklahoma City Dodgers for divisional supremacy. After winning 25 of the last 38 games of the regular season, the E-Train finished with a 67-62 overall record, good for a second- place tie in the Division with the Dodgers.
With a 67-62 overall record in 2021, combined with an 84-56 finish to the 2019 season, the Round Rock Express posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the 2005-2006 campaigns, the franchise's first two at the Triple-A level. The winning season also marked the first time that a Texas Rangers Triple-A affiliate finished above .500 since the 2015 Express posted a 78-66 record.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES?
The Round Rock Express fared better on the road than at home in nearly every hitting and pitching category in 2021. The E-Train finished with a .587 winning percentage on the road as compared to a .461 mark at Dell Diamond.
Home Totals Road Totals
Batting Average: .240 (507-2116)
Batting Average: .273 (611-2240)
Runs per Game: 4.71
Runs per Game: 5.92
Home Runs: 86
Home Runs: 95
ERA: 4.79 (309 ER/581.0 IP)
ERA: 4.44 (265 ER/536.2 IP)
Home Runs Allowed: 89
Home Runs Allowed: 64
A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME
The 2021 campaign marked a season of change for the Round Rock Express and Minor League Baseball. As part of Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball, the Express entered the season as a member of the newly created Triple-A West League. Round Rock was joined in the East Division by the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies affiliate), El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres affiliate), Oklahoma City Dodgers (Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate) and Sugar Land Skeeters (Houston Astros affiliate). The West Division was comprised of the Las Vegas Aviators (Oakland Athletics affiliate), Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate), Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants affiliate), Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels affiliate) and Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners affiliate). The Express also opened the start of a new 10-year affiliation agreement with the Texas Rangers after spending 2019 and 2020 as a member of the Houston Astros organization. The Express were the Rangers' top affiliate from 2011 and 2018 with Texas Triple-A baseball set to remain in Round Rock at least through the 2030 season.
EXPRESS IN THE STANDINGS
The Express spent the following days alone or tied at each position in the Triple-A West League East Division standings: FIRST: 22; SECOND: 58; THIRD: 69; FOURTH: 0, FIFTH: 0.
The Express finished 11-8-3 in series play this season... Game 1: 13-9; Game 2: 13-9; Game 3: 10-12; Game 4: 12-10; Game 5: 11-11; Game 6: 8-11... Sweep Wins: 1... Sweep Losses: 0.
IT JUST MEANS MORE
The Round Rock Express fared quite well against their three primary rivals in 2021. Round Rock captured a 19-16 series victory over the Sugar Land Skeeters in the inaugural Triple-A version of the Silver Boot Series. The Oklahoma City Dodgers bested the E-Train 16-13 in the annual Red Dirt Rumble. Finally, division foes once again, Round Rock topped El Paso 13-11 in the season series.
STEADY AS SHE GOES
The Round Rock Express posted 192 total transactions involving 77 different players in 2021, marking the third straight season that the team's number of roster moves has decreased as compared to the year before. Round Rock processed 217 transactions in 2019 and 218 in 2018 after setting a new franchise record with 254 in 2017. The club saw the number of transactions increase year-to-year in five consecutive seasons from 2013-2017.
Six players spent the duration of the season on Round Rock's active roster: RHP Jason Bahr, OF Carl Chester, INF Charles Leblanc, RHP Jake Lemoine, RHP Luis Ortiz and RHP Collin Wiles.
ROAD TO THE SHOW
In total, 42 of the 77 players that suited up for the Round Rock Express also logged service time in Major League Baseball in 2021, including 33 players that spent time on the Texas Rangers roster. RHP A.J.
Alexy, RHP Drew Anderson, RHP Joe Barlow, LHP Wes Benjamin, RHP Jharel Cotton, INF Ryan Dorow, RHP Demarcus Evans, RHP Jimmy Herget, INF Yonny Hernandez, C John Hicks, LHP Jake Latz, OF Jason Martin, RHP Glenn Otto, RHP Spencer Patton, C Yohel Pozo, RHP Dennis Santana, RHP Nick Snyder, OF Leody Taveras, INF Curtis Terry and RHP Hunter Wood were all promoted to Texas from Round Rock throughout the season while INF Andy IbÃ¡ñez, INF Nick Solak, INF Anderson Tejeda, OF Eli White and LHP Hyeon-Jong Yang logged time with the Rangers before joining the Express. Additionally, Rangers RHP Kohei Arihara, RHP Matt Bush, OF Willie Calhoun, OF David Dahl, OF Khris Davis, INF Brock Holt, RHP Spencer Howard and LHP John King all posted rehab assignments with the E-Train. Before joining Round Rock's roster, RHP Chase Anderson spent time with the Philadelphia Phillies, RHP Shaun Anderson was a member of the Minnesota Twins, RHP Buck Farmer took the mound for the Detroit Tigers, C Jack Kruger manned the backstop for the Los Angeles Angels, RHP Wade LeBlanc was with the Baltimore Orioles, INF Domingo Leyba suited up for both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Baltimore Orioles and RHP Dennis Santana pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After appearing with the Express, RHP Shaun Anderson logged time with the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres, C Drew Butera caught for the Los Angeles Angels, OF Khris Davis returned to the Oakland Athletics, OF Delino DeShields suited up for the Cincinnati Reds, RHP Jimmy Herget took the mound for the Los Angeles Angels, RHP Wade LeBlanc joined the St. Louis Cardinals and RHP Nick Vincent became a member of the Minnesota Twins.
WELCOME TO THE BIGS
A total of 13 different players made their major league debuts straight from Round Rock this season. OF Ronnie Dawson, OF Alex De Goti, RHP Kent Emanuel and OF Chas McCormick all made their debuts for the Houston Astros after last suiting up for Round Rock at the conclusion of the 2019 season. In addition, RHP A.J. Alexy, RHP Joe Barlow, INF Ryan Dorow, INF Yonny Hernandez, LHP Jake Latz, RHP Glenn Otto, C Yohel Pozo, RHP Nick Snyder and INF Curtis Terry were all promoted to the Texas Rangers straight from Round Rock throughout the 2021 season.
ONE STEP CLOSER
A franchise record thirty eight members of the Round Rock Express made their Triple-A debuts during the 2021 campaign: RHP A.J. Alexy, INF Sherten Apostel, RHP Kohei Arihara, RHP Jason Bahr, RHP Blake Bass, INF Jax Biggers, OF Carl Chester, INF Ryan Dorow, RHP Scott Engler, RHP Demarcus Evans, C Jose Felix, RHP Joe Gatto, C Blake Grant-Parks, INF Yonny Hernandez, INF Jake Hoover, C Sam Huff, INF Josh Jung, LHP John King, C Jack Kruger, RHP David Kubiak, LHP Jake Latz, INF Charles Leblanc, LHP Sal Mendez, RHP Tyler Phillips, C Yohel Pozo, RHP Yerry Rodriguez, RHP Ryder Ryan, RHP Nick Snyder, OF Leody Taveras, INF Anderson Tejeda, INF Curtis Terry, LHP Tyler Thomas, RHP Cole Uvila, OF Steele Walker, INF Davis Wendzel, RHP Collin Wiles, RHP Cole Winn and LHP Hyeon-Jong Yang. Interestingly enough, Apostel, Evans, Huff, King, Taveras and Tejeda all saw action with the Texas Rangers during the shortened 2020 season despite no experience at the Triple-A level. C Jack Kruger also suited up for the Los Angeles Angels while RHP Kohei Arihara and LHP Hyeon-Jong Yang pitched for the Rangers in 2021 before making their Triple-A debuts.
STATING THE FACTS
American-born players that appeared on Round Rock's roster hailed from 25 different states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. California was the most represented state with 14 total players while Texas was second with 10. The native Texans on the squad included RHP Chase Anderson (Wichita Falls), RHP Justin Anderson (Houston), RHP Blake Bass (Lubbock), INF Jax Biggers (Missouri City), INF Brock Holt (Fort Worth), INF Josh Jung (San Antonio), RHP John King (Missouri City), RHP Jake Lemoine (Houston), RHP Glenn Otto (Spring) and RHP Steele Walker (Prosper).
AROUND THE WORLD
Nine nations were represented on the Express roster in 2021. In addition to the 62 players from the United States, INF Charles Leblanc was Canadian, INF Andy IbÃ¡ñez hailed from Cuba, INF Sherten Apostel was born in Curacao, C Jose Felix, OF Elier Hernandez, INF Domingo Leyba, RHP Yerry Rodriguez, RHP Dennis Santana, OF Leody Taveras and INF Anderson Tejeda were all from the Dominican Republic, RHP Kohei Arihara was Japanese, LHP Hyeon-Jong Yang was a native of South Korea, RHP Jharel Cotton hailed from the U.S. Virgin Islands and INF Yonny Hernandez and C Yohel Pozo were both Venezuelan.
WE'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER TROPHY SHELF
Several Round Rock Express players earned individual honors throughout the season. A complete list is below: Triple-A West League Honors
Texas Rangers Honors
Drew Anderson, Pitcher of the Week (7/19-7/25) Cole Winn, Minor League Pitcher of the Year
Glenn Otto, Pitcher of the Week (8/9-8/15)
Nick Snyder, Minor League Reliever of the Year
Collin Wiles, Pitcher of the Week (8/16-8/22)
Charles Leblanc, Player of the Week (9/27-10/3)
BALLIN' ON THE BIGGEST STAGE
A pair of Round Rock Express players received the opportunity to compete internationally for their home countries this summer. INF Yonny Hernandez joined Team Venezuela for the World Baseball Softball Confederation's Americas Qualifier in June with a spot at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on the line. Hernandez finished 1-7 with an RBI double and a pair of walks in two games as Venezuela narrowly missed qualifying for the Olympics. Just over a month later, fellow Round Rock RHP Ryder Ryan joined Team USA in Tokyo for the Olympic Games. Ryan helped the Americans to a silver medal, finishing 1-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA after holding his international foes to just two hits and a walk while striking out five in 5.0 shutout innings across four games. Ryan was one of six players with ties to the Round Rock Express that competed for gold at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Team USA also included three other Round Rock alumni: 2016 pitcher Anthony Carter, 2016 infielder Patrick Kivlehan and pitcher Nick Martinez, who suited up for the Express from 2015-2017. Pitcher Dario Alvarez, a member of the 2016 and 2017 Round Rock squads, represented the Dominican Republic while Jose Cardona, who appeared with the E-Train in 2017 and 2018, manned the outfield for the Mexican National Team.
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Triple-A West League Stories from October 19, 2021
- Round Rock Express 2021 Full-Season Game Notes - Round Rock Express
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