Top five Black players in RoughRiders History
In celebration of Black History Month, throughout February, teams across minor league baseball are taking a look back at five of the best Black players to suit up for their club. While some of these standout performers went on to long and illustrious major league careers, others simply had great
In celebration of Black History Month, throughout February, teams across minor league baseball are taking a look back at five of the best Black players to suit up for their club.
While some of these standout performers went on to long and illustrious major league careers, others simply had great minor league careers or, in some cases, just one incredible season that went down as "a year for the ages". In order to honor those who made their way through the Rangers system, this list does not include players who rehabbed in Frisco.
Here is a look at five Black players that stood out in RoughRiders franchise history (in no particular order):
A native of St. Louis, Boggs was drafted out of Georgia Tech by the Rangers in the fourth round of the 2004 draft and picked his way through the Texas system to the big leagues. In 2007, he made his stop in Frisco, hitting .266/.385/.508 over 104 games with 19 home runs and 55 RBIs. Boggs touched down in Texas the following season, playing in 101 games with the Rangers while accumulating a .733 OPS with eight home runs. Over four big league seasons, Boggs hit .209/.315/.380 with the Rangers and Brewers from 2008 to 2011.
Bourgeois was a member of the inaugural 2003 RoughRiders team and played in Frisco in 2004 as well. A second-round selection of the Rangers in 2000 out of Forest Brook High School in Houston, Texas, the outfielder hit .254/.309/.342 over 193 games in a Riders uniform while totaling 33 steals, 24 doubles and six home runs. After making his debut with the Chicago White Sox in 2008, Bourgeois went on to play for Milwaukee, Houston, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati over an eight-year major league career.
Evans came to the RoughRiders in 2019 and immediately made an impact, going 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA over 30 outings while striking out 60 in 37.2 innings. For his efforts, Evans was named the Texas Rangers Minor League Reliever of the Year for the second-straight season as well as the 2019 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America. The Petal, Mississippi native was selected out of Petal High School by the Rangers in 2015 and made his major league debut in 2020 with Texas. While playing in Arlington over the last two seasons, Evans has made 29 outings, owning a 4.75 ERA with 37 strikeouts to 16 walks in his 30.1 innings.
Hearn came to the Rangers organization from Pittsburgh in a trade for Keone Kela in 2018. Following the trade, Hearn went 1-2 with a 5.04 ERA in five starts with the RoughRiders that season, whiffing 33 in 25.0 innings while walking nine. The next year, the Royse City, Texas native made his first appearance in the big leagues with the Rangers and has complied 57 outings, 12 starts, in his last three seasons in Texas. In 2021, Hearn excelled as a reliever, going 2-2 with a 3.54 ERA over 31 games out of the bullpen.
John Mayberry Jr.
The 19th-overall selection in the 2005 draft by the Rangers, Mayberry played for the RoughRiders in 2007 and 2008. Over those two seasons, he hit .248/.311/.468 with 18 home runs and 51 RBIs over 90 games. Going on to make his MLB debut with the Phillies in 2009, the former Stanford Cardinal played seven seasons in the majors, hitting .235/.299/.421 between Philadelphia, New York (N.L.) and Toronto. His best season came in 2011, when Mayberry hit .273/.341/.513 with 15 long balls and 49 knocked in over 104 games, totaling a 1.6 WAR.