Old and new.
On August 17, 1985, the day Eric Hurley was born, Jamie Moyer was pitching for AA Pittsfield in the Cubs system, in what was his first full pro season.
On March 17, 1986, the day Chris Davis was born, Moyer was making enough noise in Cubs camp that, three months later, he would be in the major leagues.
Today, teeing it up against Moyer and one of baseball’s best offenses, Hurley and Davis came up big in a 5-1 win that gave the Rangers a series victory over the Phillies. Hurley owned the inside third with tremendous fastball command and flashed a really good breaking ball over five and two-thirds, earning his first big league win, and Davis took Moyer out of the park in straightaway center, helping hand Moyer his 184th loss as he became the first player in Rangers history to homer in his first two big league starts.
This is how the first batter of the inning has fared against Hurley in his four big league starts: 1 for 19 with five walks.
This can be found on page 243 of your 2008 Bound Edition:
The Rangers once drafted a 6’3″, 220 masher out of college, developed him as a third baseman, and moved him to first base once he arrived in the big leagues, which was after just one full season on the farm.
Mark Teixeira hit 153 home runs as a Ranger, one short of the most any player drafted by Texas has ever hit for the team. But Dean Palmer’s 154 came in eight seasons, while Teixeira was here for only five.
Another Scott Boras client, Chris Davis, is also 6’3″, 220, also drafted out of college, and is playing third base for Frisco right now, though there’s a good chance he’ll move across the diamond and play first base as a major leaguer, just as Teixeira did.
Teixeira was drafted fifth overall in 2001, three years after Boston failed to sign him as a high school pick. Davis was drafted in the fifth round in 2006, two years after the Yankees failed to sign him as a high school pick.
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Don’t assume that the Rangers have found their next Mark Teixeira. Or even their next Dean Palmer.
But you can bet they’ve found their next pure power hitter in the 21-year-old from Longview.
I don’t know if you saw today’s Davis bomb, particularly the replay from the third base, field level camera, and this photo doesn’t tell the whole story . . .
. . . but I was stunned by how much Davis’s follow-through with his lower half, the way he seemingly bounces with both feet from his pass at the ball into running position, looked like Teixeira’s from the left side. It’s freaky.
Jamey Wright, Eddie Guardado, and C.J. Wilson, just like you draw it up: 3.1 innings, no hits, no walks, four strikeouts, two-thirds strikes.
Shane Victorino has 20 stolen bases this year, ninth best in baseball, failing in only four attempts. The catchers who have thrown him out: veteran Brian Schneider, veteran Gregg Zaun, veteran Brian McCann, and Max Ramirez.
Hurley and Davis were high school juniors and Ramirez was about to play his first pro game, as an 18-year-old in the Dominican Summer League, when Mike Hindman began covering the Rangers’ farm system for the Newberg Report in 2003. Nobody has written more (or more insightfully) about Rangers prospects over the last five-plus years than Mike, and I’m thrilled to be able to report that we are all about to benefit from a new phase in his baseball-writing odyssey, as the Dallas Morning News has added him to its “Seamheads” roster, where he’ll blog on the club along with Evan Grant, Richard Durrett, and Tim McMahon.
Mike’s own words: “I’ll be posting on matters spanning the width and breadth of the Rangers organization, not just the minors. I’ll do some live blogging from Arlington and Frisco and contribute two Farm Fresh Goodness (FFG) reports every week. My first post should go up around noon tomorrow.”
He’s hitting the big time right along Hurley and Davis and Ramirez, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that first post of his involves one or more of those guys, and hits home with an observation or two that nobody else made before him.