THE NEWBERG REPORT — May 6, 2008
With the amazing first month that
the Rangers farm system has had, led by scores of explosive hitting lines and
big starts by a number of starting pitchers, right-handed relievers Warner
Madrigal and Andrew Laughter haven’t gotten nearly enough mention.
To avoid the risk of burying it in
the next Newberg Report, I thought the news that the 24-year-old Madrigal and
23-year-old Laughter have apparently been promoted, to AAA and AA respectively
(according to the farm rosters posted on MILB.com), warranted its own
Madrigal, craftily pilfered from the
Angels this winter, put together a 1-0, 1.72 mark for Frisco, saving 10 games
while striking out 18 Texas Leaguers in 15.2 innings. The stocky converted
outfielder allowed 11 hits (one home run) and eight walks as the RoughRider
closer, with a groundout for every flyout.
Laughter, who pitched for Spokane last summer after Texas found him in the 10th round, leapfrogged
Clinton this spring and was assigned to Bakersfield. He gave up
no more earned runs for the Blaze than he did by never suiting up for the
LumberKings. In 16.1 innings, Laughter has scattered 13 hits and two walks,
fanning nine (after sporting a 32/4 K/BB ratio in 31 Spokane innings in 2007).
The one 2008 run that the big righty has allowed was unearned, and he induced
2.14 Cal League groundouts for every flyout. In 47.1 pro innings over his two
seasons, he has yet to be taken deep.
Madrigal and Laughter are
unquestionably on the radar, and coming fast.