Since the season ended just over a week ago for the Frisco RoughRiders, we thought we’d take a look back at some performances and hand out our Frisco RoughRiders 2021 season awards.
First, we need to give a shout out to first-year manager Jared Goedert, who guided the team to their first winning season since 2014 with a record of 64-55, which was good for first place in the Double-A Central South.
The team saw a lot of success this season with a ton of the organization’s top prospects. Starting pitcher Cole Winn, Bubba Thompson, Josh Stowers and Josh Jung were all key contributors to their success this season.
**Editors note** I consulted with Jeff Hewitt and Marah Mason who are contributors to The Prospect Times. If a player is not listed, it is definitely not an indication that they were not worthy.
Starting pitcher of the year
No pun intended, but Cole Winn has to win this one, doesn’t he? In Frisco, he pitched 78 innings spread across 19 starts. Opposing line-ups only hit for an average of .114, struck out 97 times, and worked 26 walks against Winn.
He was also one of two Rangers pitching prospects named to the Futures All-Star game. Winn also spent some time on the Covid-19 contact tracing list with a small outbreak reported with the Frisco RoughRiders.
He came back and had three consecutive scoreless outings totaling eight scoreless innings, only issuing one walk and striking out nine.
Then he was promoted at Triple-A Round Rock at the end of the RoughRiders season.
Honorable mention: Starting pitcher
In his first season with Frisco, AJ Alexy had a 1.61 ERA and a 3-1 win-loss record in 13 games-7 starts. He also recorded 57 strikeouts to only 21 walks and a 1.013 WHIP in his 50.1 innings pitched in Frisco. He lowered his walk rate to almost half of what it was in 2019.
Relief pitcher of the year
Cole Uvila, 27, pitched 31 innings across 23 games for the RoughRiders. He had a 2-2 win-loss record with a 2.90 earned run average. He led the team in saves this season with 8 saves prior to his promotion to Triple-A Round Rock. He recorded 42 strikeouts and issued 14 walks. He was a big part of the success of the RoughRiders in the 1st half of the season.
Honorable mention: relief pitcher of the year
Chase Lee, 23, could have easily won reliever of the year, especially if we considered his college numbers.From August 15th to September 11th he had 8 consecutive scoreless appearances. He finished the season with an 0-1 win-loss record, 3 saves and a 3.71 earned run average in his 18 innings pitched. Batters seemed to have trouble picking up Lee’s side-arm delivery, striking out 27 times while Lee issued only 3 walks. He posted a 0.824 WHIP.
During his time at the University of Alabama, he had a 7-0 record and 7 saves with a 1.33 earned run average in 40.2 innings pitched across 22 games. He tallied 51 strikeouts and issued 14 walks.
Position player of the year
Josh Jung, 23, the Texas Rangers # 2 ranked prospect has not anything to slow expectations of fans. He’s excelled at Double-A and Triple-A. He played in 43 games with the RoughRiders and made an immediate impact, hitting .308/.366/.544/.910 with 10 home runs and 40 runs batted in. He worked 13 walks and even showed off some speed with two stolen bases. On July 15th, he hit one of the farthest home runs hit this year at Riders Field at 446 feet. During Jung’s time with the RoughRiders they saw a 24-19 overall record.
Honorable mention: position player of the year
Bubba Thompson, age 23, has been one of my favorite prospects for years and just had the kind of season he needed.
He was able to stay healthy and played the most games professionally (104) that he’s ever played. He hit a line of .275/.325/.483/.808 with 16 home runs and 52 runs batted in. He led the team with 25 stolen bases.
Bubba Thompson wins MVP for his solid season. The Texas Rangers will need to place Bubba on their 40-man roster this winter to protect him from being drafted in the rule-5 draft. He showed enough this season that I believe he’ll be added by them.
I also had to mention Josh Stowers had a good season too. He was the first RoughRider in team history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season. At the plate he hit a line of .220/.311/.466/.776 with 20 home runs, 57 runs batted in and 21 stolen bases.
All of these players played a key role in the RoughRiders first winning season since 2014. Their success is proof that the future for the Rangers is bright.
Who do you think we missed mentioning that deserves one of these awards?