Right now, young prospects like Chi Chi Gonzalez are being given the opportunity to take the hill for the Rangers due to injuries in the starting rotation. But there’s one pitcher in Double-A Frisco that I’d like to see get a chance with the big league club at some point this season.
Conner Sadzeck put on a pitching clinic for the Roughriders Friday night, throwing six shutout innings against Northwest Arkansas. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound righty struck out seven batters, including striking out the side in the sixth inning, and gave up no walks. Clearly, there is a reason he’s on the Rangers 40-man roster.
Sadzeck is now 7-2 this season with Frisco with a 3.27 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 88 innings. Nine of those strikeouts came back in early May against San Antonio when he allowed only one run on two hits in seven innings. The numbers were good enough to earn a spot on the Texas League All-Star roster. Sadzeck struck out two in an inning of work in the game.
An 11th round pick by the Rangers in 2011, Sadzeck has a big arm that brings a high-velocity fastball that averages in the upper 90’s (97.2 mph during the Arizona Fall League). Command and development of pitches is still in the works.
However, Sadzeck missed all of the 2014 season and part of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery, so things may now start falling into place. Judging by Friday’s performance, you can make the argument it’s already started.
There were rumors that we might see Sadzeck finally get the call to the show last month after Yu Darvish was scratched due to shoulder discomfort. It didn’t happen then, but given the situation with the Rangers rotation at the moment, don’t be surprised if that debut does come soon.