2015 HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS SEASON IN REVIEW
Inaugural Year as Texas Rangers Affiliate Brings Life to Team On Field
ADELANTO, Calif. — The High Desert Mavericks first season as the Advanced-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers brought a rejuvenation to the long-stood historical team in its 25th season of existence. From the loaded 2014 Myrtle Beach Pelicans squad with names such as Joey Gallo, number one Rangers prospect, and Rangers pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez, nine of the 25 active were brought to the High Desert to start the 2015 season with the Mavericks. Among them were top Rangers prospects Outfielders Lewis Brinson (4th) and Ryan Cordell (6th), Infielder Evan Van Hoosier (21st), and Left-Handed Pitcher Frank Lopez (24th).
The first half of the season got underway to an almost even first month, ending April with a 10-11 record. The month of May started rough after the loss of Lewis Brinson in the lineup on May 1 due to injury. He would miss all of May before starting back up. Though the team missed a key piece on the field, a vital addition of Rangers top prospect Ronald Guzman (23rd) on May 7 would help the team still finish at 16-12 (26-23 overall). Before the All-Star Break, the Mavericks won their final series, taking 3-of-4 against Modesto to lock in the second place spot of the South Division, four games back from first-half South Division winner Rancho Cucamonga, marking the best first half finish since 2012.
Three players were selected to the California League All-Star team – Pitcher Frank Lopez, who was promoted to Double-A Frisco on May 22 prior to selection after going 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA in High Desert, and Catcher Alex Burg and Outfielder Ryan Cordell, who were both promoted to Double-A Frisco shortly after the All-Star Game.
The second half of season started slowly to cap off June, after losing Evan Van Hoosier for a second time to the disabled list, but new additions to the team started to rise in July – Pitchers John Fasola and David Perez, Infielders Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Tripp Martin, and speedy Outfielder Chris Garia. Lewis Brinson made his return in early June and caught on fire fast, batting .304 with seven doubles, two triples, four home runs, and 12 RBI, eventually leading him to his selection as Texas Rangers Minor League “Player of the Month” in June and MiLB California League Player of the Month for July. Mavericks pitcher Ryne Slack was also honored as the organization’s “Reliever of the Month” in the month of June after going 1-1 with a 1.40 ERA, collecting 18 strikeouts in eight appearances and holding opposing California League batters to a .176 average. The Mavericks finished on top in July going 16-11 holding a second place spot before the new month.
The real turning point of the season began in August as playoff time was approaching. The Mavericks posted a staggering 20-12 record for the month (.625) going 13-for-16 in the last half of August. Pitching was strong-armed by righty Trey Lambert, who went 4-1 in six starts throughout the month. Meanwhile, Chris Garia, centerfielder, and Evan Van Hoosier, second baseman, led in the offensive category. Garia hit .335 collecting 35 hits, five doubles, two triples, 13 RBI, and 11 stolen bases. Van Hoosier, who was on the disabled list since June 2, made a notable comeback to help the team in their most crucial period, hitting .335 between August 11-30, collecting 33 hits, four doubles, five triples, 3 stolen bags, and collecting 17 RBI (including a 5 RBI game on August 21 against Inland Empire). These efforts along with a solid overall team performance led the Mavericks to its first South Division half win and finished the season with an overall record of 78-62 (tied for first with Rancho Cucamonga).
The 2015 Mavericks had their first playoff berth since 2012, overtaking the Lancaster JetHawks in the mini-series 2- 1. In the California League South Division Finals, the Mavericks took on the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, and lost a devastating Game 5 to a late ninth-inning rally by the Quakes to take the game 6-5 after being one strike away from moving forward into the California League Finals.
2015 was the best season in High Desert since their last Cal League Championship year in 1997. Five Mavericks players were named as California League “Players of the Week”: Alex Burg, Richelson Pena, Zach Cone, Lewis Brinson, and Tripp Martin. 11 players from the Mavericks were promoted in the 2015 season to Double-A Frisco Roughriders in Frisco, Texas and four of the original 2015 Mavericks starters made it by end of season to Triple-A Round Rock Express in Round Rock, Texas – Luis Marte, Lewis Brinson, Alex Burg, and Ryan Cordell. Four players were selected to play in the Arizona Fall League – Lewis Brinson, Ryne Slack, John Fasola, and Adam Parks, with Mavericks hitting coach Bobby Rose alongside as the AZL team’s hitting coach.
The 26th season of High Desert Mavericks baseball at Heritage Field and 75th Anniversary season of the California League opens on Thursday, April 7. A full 2016 schedule will be released in the coming week. Be sure to visit HDMavs.com and follow us on Twitter @hdmavs and at facebook.com/hdmavs for the most up-to-date team news and information during the off season. For questions or any other information, please call the office at (760) 246- 6287.
Notable Players & Highlights:
-Four Grand Slams were recorded in 2015: Luis Marte (May 4, Inland Empire); Tripp Martin (July 31, Lancaster & August 12, Rancho Cucamonga); Kellin Deglan (August 5, Rancho Cucamonga).
-Seven combination shutouts: April 14, May 16, May 23, July 23, July 25, August 15, and August 18 -Teams Highs (one game): 18 Hits, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 16 Runs, 16 RBI, 7 Home Runs
Lewis Brinson (#4 Texas Rangers Prospect):
Batted .337 in 258 At-Bats with 22 doubles, 7 triples, 13 home runs, 42 RBI, 13 stolen bases
MiLB California League Player of the Month (July)
Baseball America High Class-A All-Star (2015 High Desert)
California League Player of the Week 7/27/2015 after going 13-for-25 (.520) in seven games with 5 doubles, 1 triple, a home run, 5 RBI, and 3 stolen bases
Texas Rangers Minor League Player of the Month for the month of June
Ended season with Triple-A Round Rock
Ryan Cordell (#6 Texas Rangers Prospect):
Batted .270 in 507 At-Bats with 18 doubles, 8 triples, 18 home runs, 75 RBI, and 20 stolen bases California League Mid-Season All-Star
Ended season with Triple-A Round Rock
Alex Burg (C/OF):
Batted .302 in 199 At-Bats with 14 doubles, 15 home runs, and 43 RBI
California League Player of the Week 5/18/2015 after going 9-for-22 in six games with 4 doubles, 3 HR, and 11 RBI California League Mid-Season All-Star
Ended season with Triple-A Round Rock
Zach Cone (OF):
Batted .286 in 287 At-Bats with 16 doubles, 2 triples, 15 home runs, 51 RBI, and 6 stolen bases
California League Player of the Week 6/15/2015 after collecting five home runs and 12 RBI in five games
Ended season with Double-A Frisco
Richelson Pena (RHP):
10-8 (W-L), 4.76 ERA, 111.2 IP, 87 K, 23 BB, .266 OBA, 1.26 WHIP
California League Pitcher of the Week 5/25/2015 after taking a perfect game into the seventh inning against Bakersfield which was ended on an error, only giving up one lone hit in seven innings and striking out six batters His 10 wins tied for first in league in four-way tie
Tripp Martin (INF):
Batted .230 in 217 At-Bats with 10 doubles, 1 triple, 15 home runs, and 44 RBI
California League Player of the Week 8/17/2015 after in seven games posting a slash line of .375/.423/1.000, going 9-for-24 with a double, triple, four home runs including a grand slam
Trey Lambert (RHP):
9-3 W-L (2nd most in wins), 4.60 ERA in 20 starts and 101.2 innings pitched; collected 86 strikeouts (3rd best on staff)
Reed Garrett (RHP):
7-5 W-L (T-3rd in wins), 4.96 ERA in 18 starts and 103.1 innings pitch; collected 70 strikeouts and was the only Mavericks pitcher in the 2015 season to throw a complete game (2).