The Texas Rangers today officially promoted reliever Alex Speas to Round Rock. It has been a move that fans have been calling for since Memorial Day. I wrote about how he should be promoted back on June 6th and now three weeks later Speas gets the call to Round Rock.
Alex Speas was a second round pick back in 2016. He was drafted out of high school and is from Powder Springs, Georgia. The 25-year old righty has a fastball that tops 100mph and that might be his second-best pitch. He has a wipeout slider that batters cannot lay off of or touch. He has been very impressive in short stints with Frisco. He has not allowed an earned run since May 11th. Control was once a huge issue for Speas, but this season he has 47 strikeouts to 13 walks. That includes 20 strikeouts to just 3 walks in the month of June.
Alex Speas from retirement to the Majors?
Speas is a comeback story that will be told all over baseball if he gets promoted and has success. In 2018 he had to undergo Tommy John surgery. He made two appearances in 2019 in Arizona and was throwing gas. His fastball had jumped from 94-98mph to 102mph. Player development staff were worried about stressing the ligament too much and decided to shut him down. In 2020 he was at the alternate site, but never got the call to come over to pitch in a major league game. In 2021 he was trying to balance the responsibilities that come with being a father with responsibilities that come with being a minor-league reliever. He struggled to the tune of an 11.25 ERA in 12 appearances for Frisco. Speas decided not to return for spring training in 2022.
Speas sat out the entire 2022 season. He coached high school baseball in North Carolina and took a break from the grind that is playing minor-league baseball. In February he decided to give pitching another go. His love for the game had returned and so did his 102 mph fastball. Speas has been pitching for Frisco the entire season and has been a shutdown reliever. He now heads to Round Rock to prove himself against Triple-A hitters. It will be his first experience at the Triple-A level.
If Speas can replicate his success from Frisco against Triple-A hitters expect the Rangers to give him a shot in the second half. For now the main job for Speas will be to do the best he can against Las Vegas this week. The majors probably seemed unreachable earlier this year and now Speas is just a step away from making it to the show.