Rangers prospect Tanner Scheppers is toying with Double-A hitters

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Tanner Scheppers fell to the Rangers with the 44th pick in last June’s draft because of concerns about his injury status and bonus demands, but he’s healthy now and the top-10 talent is blowing away hitters at Double-A.
Scheppers struck out five batters in two perfect innings last night and has the following video game-like numbers in 10 innings overall this season: 0.90 ERA, .086 opponents’ batting average, 18/0 K/BB ratio. He’s struck out more than half the batters he’s faced.
Texas’ bullpen could certainly use some help and in addition to the insane numbers Scheppers works with a mid-90s fastball and big-breaking curveball that definitely have the potential to dominate big-league hitters. Pairing him with Neftali Feliz could be a scary late-inning combination, especially if Frank Francisco gets back on track at some point to make it a flame-throwing trio.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: