Here’s a breakdown of every minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers to help you get ready to watch prospects this season.
2019 has already been dubbed a “development year” by the Texas Rangers. That’s code for rebuild, but either way, it means you’ll be doing a lot of prospect watching this season. You’ll be reading a lot of updates on young players in the Rangers’ minor league system, so it’ll help if you know where these prospects are and what that means.
With that in mind, here are the Rangers’ minor league affiliates. This article will focus on where the teams play and their recent success. In a future article, I’ll discuss where certain prospects are playing. That won’t be decided until after spring training, however.
The Sounds are a member of the Pacific Coast League, as strange as that sounds. This is their first season as the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The Rangers agreement with the Round Rock Express, near Austin, expired last season, and the Express signed up with the Houston Astros. This came as no surprise, as Nolan Ryan works for the Astros and is managing partner of the Express.
While not as close as Round Rock, Nashville is only about an hour flight from Arlington, making it convenient as an affiliate. Jason Wood will move from Round Rock to Nashville to continue managing the team. He’s been a coach with the Rangers since 2011. Former Ranger Eric Gagne will be the bullpen coach.
The Sounds play in First Tennessee Park, a 10,000 seat stadium with a large guitar-shaped scoreboard.
The Roughriders are a member of the Texas League and play in Frisco, Texas, just north of Dallas on the Dallas North Tollway. Founded in 2003, they are the Double-A affiliate of the Rangers. Joe Mikulik will be the manager for the 2019 season, which will be his fifth with the club.
The Roughriders play in Dr Pepper Ballpark, a 7,700 seat stadium near Stonebriar Mall. They regularly lead the Texas League in attendance. They also have a lazy river and water park in right field in case you want to watch baseball while floating.
You’ll see current Rangers make rehab starts with the Roughriders due to their proximity to the big club. If you haven’t made the trip out to Frisco to see the Teddy Roosevelt themed club, you should make it a priority this year.
Down East Wood Ducks
The Wood Ducks are the High-A affiliate of the Rangers and play in the Carolina league. This is their third year of affiliation with the Rangers. The Wood Ducks play in Grainger Stadium in Kinston, North Carolina. Grainger is a 4,100 seat stadium that has been hosting baseball games since 1949.
The Wood Ducks will be managed by Corey Ragsdale in 2019.
The Crawdads have been the Low-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers since 2009. They play in the South Atlantic League and call 4,000 seat L.P. Frans stadium their home. The Crawdads will be managed by Matt Hagen in 2019.
The Indians are the Texas Rangers’ Short Season A affiliate, usually known as rookie league. They’ve been affiliated with the Rangers since 2003. They play in Avista Stadium, a 9,000 seat stadium built in 1958. The Indians have played in the Northwest League since 1983.
They will be managed by Kenny Holmberg this season. The Northwest League teams only play 76 games, hence the short season moniker. It’s essentially a learning league to get rookies used to the rigors of playing baseball every day.
As mentioned above, once players are assigned to their respective teams, Nolan Writin’ will have an article of where they’ve been placed and what to watch for. Baseball season is almost here, so follow Nolan Writin’ to keep up with all the Rangers news you need to know.