Rangers announce August minor league award winners; Frisco advances to playoffs

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers today announced the organization’s minor league award winners for August:

Player of the Month – 3B Josh Jung

Starting Pitcher of the Month – RHP Emiliano Teodo

Reliever of the Month – RHP Chase Lee

Defender of the Month – INF Jonathan Ornelas / OF Marcus Smith

Jung, 24, batted .300/.364/.633/.997 (27-90) with 8 home runs and 27 RBI over 22 games in August with the Arizona League Rangers (Rookie) and Round Rock (AAA). Jung completed an injury rehab assignment at the Rookie level during the first week of August before being activated from Round Rock’s Injured List on August 9, and he proceeded to finish the month by reaching base in 16 of his 17 games at Triple-A. Jung, who earned his first Major League call-up on September 9, is the no. 1 rated Texas prospect and the 39th overall prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline.

Teodo, 21, went 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA (3 ER/17.2 IP) and 35 strikeouts over 4 starts with Down East (A) last month, holding opponents to a .069/.194/.155/.349 (4-58) slash line. He recorded the two highest strikeout totals of his career on August 4 vs. Fredericksburg (10) and August 25 at Fredericksburg (11).

The right-hander has spent the entire season with Down East, the Texas Rangers’ Low-A affiliate, going 3-6 with a 3.09 ERA (29 ER/84.1 IP) and 115 strikeouts (12.3 SO/9) over 22 games/17 starts.

The 24-year-old Lee went 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA (2 ER/11.0 IP) over 9 relief appearances in August, limiting Triple-A opponents to a .268/.286/.390/.676 slash line with one walk and 17 strikeouts. Lee whiffed 17 of 42 batters faced (40.5%) for the month. He produced a scoreless streak spanning 11 appearances and 13.0 innings from July 17-August 25 for Round Rock. Lee was promoted to Round Rock in mid-June for his first career Triple-A action, and he is in his second professional season after being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of the University of Alabama.

Ornelas, 22, made starts at shortstop (11), third base (10), and center field (2) for Frisco last month, committing just 3 errors in August for a .966 (3 E/89 TC) fielding percentage. This is his second time to be honored in 2022, as he was also named Defender of the Month for July. Ornelas has played primarily shortstop (.973 fielding pct. in 86 games/starts) and third base (.956 fielding pct. in 29 games/starts) this season at Frisco.  He was originally selected by Texas in the third round of the 2018 MLB Draft.

The 22-year-old Smith had just 2 errors in 13 games/starts in the outfield last month, posting a .951 (2 E/41 TC) fielding percentage with one outfield assist. He has committed just 4 errors in 77 games/76 starts in the outfield this season for a .977 fielding percentage (4 E/174 TC) with 4 outfield assists. Acquired as part of a trade with Oakland on September 18, 2020, Smith was originally selected by the A’s in the third round of the 2019 MLB Draft.

FRISCO ADVANCES TO POSTSEASON: The Double-A Frisco RoughRiders clinched the Texas League South Division second half championship with an 11-6 victory on Friday at Northwest Arkansas, marking the club’s first postseason berth since 2014. The RoughRiders finished the regular season with a 74-63 (.540) record, the second-best record in the Texas League behind Wichita (.569, 78-59). Frisco will face San Antonio (San Diego Padres AA) in a best-of-three divisional series with Game 1 on Tuesday at Riders Field at 6:35 p.m. CT. The winner of that series will advance to a best-of-three championship series from Sept. 25-28 against the North Division playoff series winner (Tulsa vs. Wichita).

From Texas Rangers PR staff reports