Texas Rangers Farmhand Jerad Eickhoff Stifles Sky Sox

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On Friday night for the Round Rock Express, starter Jerad Eickhoff stifled the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers) over 8 1/3 innings in his first start with the team. Eickhoff was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2011, and has been making the steady climb through the system. In 2013 he received his first look with the Frisco RoughRiders in Double-A, spent all of 2014 with the team, and made his first two starts of 2015 with them, before making the jump to the Express after allowing three earned in ten innings for Frisco. Those ten innings included 14 strikeouts and just seven hits.

In his first start at the next level, the Rangers #21 prospect (according to MLB Pipeline) nearly went the distance with those 8 1/3 innings, having allowed just one walk as the ninth began. After retiring Ben Guez to lead off the ninth, Eickhoff allowed a walk to Donnie Murphy. Matt Long followed that up with a two-run homer, making the score 7-2 in favor of the Express, but chased Eickhoff from the game. The Texas Rangers should still be impressed by the final line: 8 1/3 IP, one hit, two runs, two walks and eleven strikeouts.

One thing to keep an eye out for in his future starts is his propensity for the long ball, if you can even call it that. In his three starts, he’s surrendered three blasts; two solo shots and tonight’s two-run dinger. That leaves just one run that he’s allowed that wasn’t put up via the long ball.

Offensively for the Express, first baseman Kyle Blanks (2-for-3, home run, double, rbi, two runs) and second baseman Thomas Field (3-for-4, home run, three rbi, double, two runs) both hit solo jacks for the Express, while designated hitter Ed Lucas added two rbi of his own on a 2-for-4 night. The trio was lined up Fields-Blanks-Lucas as the 5-6-7 hitters for the evening.

For a little more information on Jerad Eickhoff, here is what Pipeline has to say about him, “Strong and physical, Eickhoff has a 91-95 mph fastball that touches 97. He complements it with a hard curveball that gives him a second plus pitch at times, as well as a slider that can be a solid offering. He throws strikes and uses his 6-foot-4 frame to pitch on a downhill plane. If Eickhoff can improve his changeup and command, he could be a workhorse No. 3 starter. If not, he could be a late-inning reliever whose pitches should feature more power in shorter stints.” They list his ETA as 2016.

Next: Hamilton Returning to Texas Rangers

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