After taking home honors as the
The right-handed pitching prospect, who entered last season as a top-100 prospect (No. 87) by MLB.com, lasted just eight outings (seven starts) and was even demoted from Double-A Frisco to the Arizona Rookie League. Buckel was 0-6 with a 21.09 ERA and 4.22 WHIP. He totaled just 10 2/3 innings and walked 29.5 batters per nine innings. Ouch.
Yet, despite his awful 2013 season, the Rangers are confident Buckel can regain his form as a top pitching prospect.
"Last year was a lost year in a lot of respects, but he never stopped working," general manager Jon Daniels told The Dallas Morning News.
Buckel stepped away from the game in August before returning to work in December by spending about three weeks at the pitching-oriented Texas Baseball Ranch in Montgomery. He's now expected to report to the team's minor-league facility in Arizona to resume workouts Friday.
"Cody is doing really well," minor-league pitching coordinator Danny Clark said. "His mindset is good. There are a lot of positives from Cody. I feel like Cody is back on track."
After a brief -- and apparently failed -- attempt in the bullpen at Double-A Frisco, the
Buckel appeared in one game out of the bullpen and surrendered three runs and three walks while registering just one out. The right-hander struck out just nine batters while walking 28 over 9 1/3 innings with Frisco before the drop to extended spring.
On the heels of another poor performance with Double-A Frisco last week, the
The right-hander dazzled members of the organization last year with his strong strikeout rate -- 159 in 144 2/3 innings over 26 games in Class A and Double-A -- but has flopped this season. Buckel has walked a staggering 25 batters and struck out just nine while permitting 24 runs (18 earned) in just nine innings. He has reached three innings only once and is carrying an 18.00 ERA.
Buckel was pulled after facing just six batters without recording an out. He allowed one single, three walks, and hit two batters and only nine of his 29 pitches were strikes.
Buckel is now 0-4 with a 18.00 ERA in five starts with Frisco. He has 25 walks compared to just nine strikeouts over 25 innings.
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