Round Rock Express 2023 Full-Season Game Notes
The Round Rock Express played 149 games during the franchise's 23rd season of baseball as they saw 75 contests on the road and 74 at Dell Diamond. With an overall regular-season record of 89-60, the E-Train posted a franchise-high fourth straight winning season. A record 14-game winning streak helped Round Rock to the Pacific Coast League Second Half title, which was clinched on the final day of the season, as the Express finished with a second-half record of 45-30. The team's 89 total wins were the most regular-season wins in franchise history and is good for Round Rock's seventh 80-win campaign. The team spent all but five days of the season at or above second place in the league's East Division and finished second overall behind Oklahoma City. The two teams met in the PCL Championship series at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, where the Dodgers claimed the title two games to none. This season marked the first time since 2019, and ninth time in club history, that the Express have played in the postseason.
TAKING HOME THE TOP HONOR
OF Elier Hernandez was named the 2023 Round Rock Express Most Valuable Player for his performance through 137 games with the Express during the season. Hernandez finished the season leading the club in games played, doubles (36), RBI (99), runs scored (98) and hits (165) while tallying a team- high 47 multi-hit games and 25 multi-RBI games. The righty posted a 26-game hitting streak from May 31-June 25, which is now the longest hitting streak in club history. Hernandez also set the franchise's single-season record for hits since becoming a Triple-A club in 2005. He slashed .298/.359/.478/.837 and led the Pacific Coast League in both hits and doubles.
THE DELL DIAMOND EFFECT
Numbers favored the Round Rock Express when playing at Dell Diamond during the 2023 season. Overall, the E-Train finished with an impressive .662 winning percentage at home and a .533 mark on the road.
CHANGING THINGS UP
The 2023 Triple-A postseason format included a first-half and second-half winner in both the PCL and International League. The first-half winner hosted each league's best-of-three Championship Series, with the league winners meeting for one ultimate Triple-A Championship Game held in Las Vegas.
The Oklahoma City Dodgers represented the PCL after defeating Round Rock for the PCL title, while the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles affiliate) took the IL title after besting the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays affiliate). The Tides defeated the Dodgers 7-6 in the Championship Game.
EXPRESS IN THE STANDINGS
The Express spent the following days alone or tied at each position in the Pacific Coast League East Division standings: FIRST: 7; SECOND: 168; THIRD: 3; FOURTH: 0, FIFTH: 2.
The Express finished 14-5-8 in series play this season... Game 1: 13-12; Game 2: 11-12; Game 3: 15-10; Game 4: 13-9; Game 5: 16-6; Game 6: 17-8; Game 7: 1-0... Sweep Wins: 3... Sweep Losses: 2.
JUST KEPT MAKING MOVES
The Round Rock Express posted 253 total transactions involving 79 different players during the 2023 season, increasing from 220 transactions involving 82 players during 2022. The 253 total is the second-highest mark in franchise history, just one behind 254 transactions in 2017. Of the 79 total players that donned an Express jersey this season, 47 were pitchers, eight were catchers, 12 were infielders and 12 were outfielders. The 47 pitchers used in Round Rock were the most pitchers to appear in a single season in franchise history. The previous high of 45 pitchers used was reached in 2016, 2021 and 2022. By the end of the 2023 Triple-A season, 23 of the 79 players that spent time with the Express were no longer active within the Texas Rangers organization and seven were free agents.
Four players spent the duration of the season on Round Rock's active roster: RHP Robert Dugger, INF Blaine Crim, OF Sandro Fabian and OF Elier Hernandez. Eight other players did not spend time on another team's active roster, but were placed on the Express Temporary Inactive List, Development List or Injured List as some point throughout the season: RHP Kyle Cody, LHP Lucas Jacobsen, RHP Zak Kent, RHP Chase Lee, RHP Cole Winn, C Matt Whatley, INF Justin Foscue and INF Davis Wendzel.
THE JOURNEY TO THE BIGS
In total, 33 of the 79 players that suited up for the Round Rock Express also logged service time in Major League Baseball in 2023, including 26 players that spent time on the Texas Rangers roster. RHP Grant Anderson, LHP Cody Bradford, RHP Matt Bush, OF Evan Carter, C Sam Huff, LHP John King, LHP Jake Latz, C Sandy León, OF J.P. Martinez, INF Jonathan Ornelas and RHP Yerry Rodriguez, RHP Alex Speas were all promoted to Texas from Round Rock throughout the season while RHP Joe Barlow, LHP Taylor Hearn, RHP Jonathan HernÃ¡ndez, RHP Spencer Howard, RHP Ian Kennedy, LHP Cole Ragans, RHP Josh Sborz and OF Bubba Thompson logged time with the Rangers before joining the Express. Additionally, Rangers RHP Joe Barlow, RHP Spencer Howard, RHP Glenn Otto, RHP Josh Sborz, C Mitch Garver, OF Travis Jankowski, INF Brad Miller and OF Leody Taveras all posted rehab assignments with the E-Train. Before joining Round Rock's roster, INF Josh Harrison took the field for the Philadelphia Phillies. After appearing with the Express, RHP Jacob Barnes and LHP John King logged time with the St. Louis Cardinals, OF Clint Frazier appeared for the Chicago White Sox, LHP Taylor Hearn appeared for the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals, RHP Dominic Leone appeared on the mound for the Seattle Mariners, RHP Zack Littell pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays, OF Rafael Ortega played for the New York Mets, LHP Cole Ragans pitched for Kansas City and RHP Ryan Tepera played for the Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis.
STRAIGHT TO THE SHOW
A total of six different players made their Major League debuts straight from Round Rock this season. RHP Grant Anderson, LHP Cody Bradford, OF Evan Carter, OF J.P. Martinez, INF Jonathan Ornelas and RHP Alex Speas were all promoted to the Texas Rangers straight from Round Rock throughout the 2023 season while RHP Owen White was promoted from Double-A Frisco before being optioned to the Express.
ONE STEP CLOSER
Eighteen players made their Triple-A debut with Round Rock during the 2023 season. INF Justin Foscue, and SS Jonathan Ornelas played their first game at the Triple-A level on Opening Day, March 31. Others who made their Triple-A debuts this year are OF Zion Bannister, LHP Cody Bradford, OF Evan Carter, RHP Marc Church, OF Dustin Harris, LHP Antoine Kelly, RHP Nick Krauth, OF Wyatt Langford, RHP Jack Leiter, LHP Juan Mejia, LHP Triston Polley, C Jordan Procyshen, LHP Eury Rosado, RHP Justin Slaten, RHP Alex Speas, RHP Owen White.
FROM COAST TO COAST
American-born players that appeared on Round Rock's roster hail from 23 different states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin while one was from Washington D.C. California and Texas were the most represented states with 10 total players from each state. The native Texans on the squad included RHP Aidan Anderson (Port Arthur), Grant Anderson (Port Arthur), INF Jax Biggers (Missouri City), LHP Cody Bradford (Aledo), RHP Robert Dugger (Tomball), LHP Taylor Hearn (Royse City), LHP John King (Laredo), RHP Glenn Otto (Spring), RHP Justin Slaten (Longview) and RHP Ryan Tepera (Houston).
AROUND THE WORLD
Round Rock's roster features a distinct international flair with eight different nations represented. In addition to the 62 players from the United States, Bannister was born in the Bahamas, Procyshen is Canadian, Fabian, Hernandez, Ozuna, Rodriguez and Rosado all call the Dominican Republic home while Arias and Martinez hail from Cuba. Ojeda is from Mexico, Tsutsugo is a native of Japan while Colina, León and Ortega are Venezuelan.
WE'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER TROPHY SHELF
Several Round Rock Express players earned individual honors from both the Pacific Coast League and Texas Rangers throughout and after the season. A complete list is below:
Pacific Coast League Honors
Texas Rangers Minor League Honors
Cody Bradford, Pitcher of the Year
Blaine Crim, True Ranger Award
Robert Dugger, All-Star Team
Davis Wendzel, Player of the Month (May)
Sam Huff, All-Star Team
Blaine Crim, Player of the Month (July)
Cody Bradford, Pitcher of the Month (April)
Chase Lee, Pitcher of the Week (5/15-5/21)
Davis Wendzel, Player of the Week (5/22-5/28)
Elier Hernandez, Player of the Week (6/5-6/11)
Cole Winn, Pitcher of the Week (6/19-6/25)
Cole Winn, Pitcher of the Week (7/17-7/23)
UPDATING THE HISTORY BOOKS
The Round Rock Express set or tied 18 team and individual franchise records during the 2023 campaign,.
The 2023 season marked just the second year in club history the franchise was scheduled to play 150 games.
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