As we kick off 2023, it seems like a good time to review the Frisco RoughRiders 2022 season.
It was a Championship season.
The RoughRiders finished the regular season with a 74-63 record. It was their first winning season since 2014 when they finished with a 80-59 record. They would lose in the Division Series that year.
But in 2022, this Frisco RoughRiders, that had high expectations, brought the Texas League Championship trophy home for the first time since 2004.
This was perhaps the most talented roster the RoughRiders have fielded. The roster featured 13 players ranked in the Texas Rangers top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline.
- (2) RHP Jack Leiter
- (3) OF Evan Carter
- (4) RHP Owen White
- (5) INF Justin Foscue
- (7) INF Luisangel Acuña
- (9) OF Dustin Harris
- (11) OF Aaron Zavala
- (14) LHP Antoine Kelly
- (17) RHP Ricky Vanasco
- (20) INF Thomas Saggese
- (22) INF Jonathan Ornelas
- (24) LHP Avery Weems
- (30) RHP Marc Church
The lineup scored 783 runs and surrendered 703 for a differential of +80.
Let’s take a look at some of their highlights during their stellar 2022 campaign.
We begin with Opening Day on April 8th
Opening Day saw 6,022 fans fill the seats at Riders Field against the Arkansas Travelers. The RoughRiders won 5-4 in a close contest in which the home team came back from a one-run deficit by scoring two-runs in the 8th inning to win it.
Fernery Ozuna earned the win by throwing one shutout inning in which he walked two but struck out the side. Chase Lee pitched the ninth inning and struck out two and earned his first save of the season.
Two Players Named to Futures Game
Jack Leiter and Dustin Harris represented the Texas Rangers organization in the 2022 Futures game for the American League.
Leiter threw one no-hit inning in relief and Dustin Harris went 2-for-3 with a walk and stolen base.
RoughRiders players tie franchise records
Blaine Crim, the most under-rated prospect in the Rangers system, tied the RoughRiders franchise record by hitting a home run in five consecutive games. He also tied the franchise record for the most hits (5) in a game.
All this happened while in Amarillo, where the ball is known to fly. In that five game home run stretch, he slashed a line of .542/.577/1.375/1.952 with 6 HR and 15 RBI.
Trey Hair tied a franchise record on May 15th when he had a 3 home-run game against the Tulsa Drillers. He became just the 2nd player in RoughRiders history to have a three home run game.
He also had the record of five-straight games with a home run, in June of 2022, also in Amarillo. In that five game stretch he slashed a line of .389/.476/1.278/1.754 with 5 HR and 10 RBI.
RoughRiders set new Franchise records for runs in a game, margin of victory and most runs in an inning
On September 2nd, at Hodgetown in Amarillo, the RoughRiders set and tied multiple franchise records, including most runs in a game (21), the largest margin of victory (19 runs), most home runs in a game (tied with eight) and most runs in a single inning (11).
Did I mention, the ball tends to fly out of the park in Amarillo?
Left-hander Cody Bradford leads the way with 10 wins
Among starters, Cody Bradford led the RoughRiders and the Texas Rangers farm system with 10 wins. He was fire down the stretch. In his last seven games he had a 4-1 Win-Loss record with a 2.63 earned run average, 48 strikeouts and 6 walks in 41 innings. Opposing batters had a .170 batting average and a .205 on-base percentage.
Between High-A Hickory and Double-A Frisco, left-hander Triston Polley had 11 wins out of the pen with five while in Frisco.
The RoughRiders swept their way to the Texas League Championship
RoughRiders won game one (7-3) against the San Antonio Missions with Jack Leiter pitching 3.1 innings.
Cody Bradford started game two in San Antonio, pitching 6 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and striking out 9. The RoughRiders would go on to win 5-2 and face the red-hot Wichita Wind Surge for the Championship.
Mason Englert took the mound for the RoughRiders in game one of the championship series. He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing only 1 run on 3 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. He had shut down the hottest hitting team.
Of course, I’ve got to mention Scott Kapers. He went 2-for-5 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI.
Evan Carter and Thomas Saggese also played a big part in the RoughRiders Championship. Carter went 0-for-1 but walked 4 times. Saggese went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a walk.
The RoughRiders went on to win game one 11-3.
Game two was played in Wichita and it went into extra innings thanks to a game-tying single by Thomas Saggese. The RoughRiders put up 4 runs in the top of the 10th, with Evan Carter driving in the final two runs on a single.
The RoughRiders won by a final of 7-5 and are the 2022 Texas League Champions.
14 current and former RoughRiders made their Major League Debuts in 2022
A total of 188 former RoughRiders have made their Major League Debuts with the Rangers or another team. 14 of them made it to the majors in 2022.
The Frisco RoughRiders will defend the Texas League Championship in 2023
This season is already shaping up to be as exciting as 2022 was. We’ll likely see a rotation featuring Owen White, Jack Leiter, and Kumar Rocker. We’ll see a good chunk of at bats from Evan Carter, Thomas Saggese and Aaron Zavala once he returns. For the first time since the 2005 season, they’ll be defending their Texas League Championship. You won’t want to miss a minute of it.
Stay tuned here and we’ll keep you up to date.