Texas Red Bulls: An Overdue Update

I knew I was a little behind on giving a Red Bulls update, but I didn’t realize the last one was April 17th! My sincere apologies for that. Anyway, let’s just get right into it, there’s a lot to cover.

2023-2024

In the last update, it was mid-August and we were 65-54, just 4.5 games back of the division leader and holding the second wildcard. We went 13-30 and from that point on in a total meltdown to finish 78-84!!! It was rough. This was the first year moving from Rookie to Stone level so it’s a tougher pool, but that’s still so brutal to have that kind of finish.

The 2024 season wasn’t too bad for our second go at Stone. It was up and down, but we could never fully get rolling in the right way. An 87-75 record netted a third-place finish in division. Ruben Sierra, Carlos Correa, and Victor Martinez were our three All-Star selections. I can’t access their stats heading into the break, but here are their full season numbers: Sierra (.262/.310/.577, 49 HR, 111 RBI, 100 R, 136 wRC+, 3.5 WAR), Correa (.274/.345/.448, 23 HR, 67 RBI, 85 R, 116 wRC+, 3.0 WAR), and VMart (.278/.334/.448, 17 HR, 77 RBI, 53 R, 112 wRC+, 3.3 WAR).

The team has been evolving across these seasons and 2025 (which I’ll get to in a moment), but I’m just going to cover all of it during the 2026 update since I didn’t keep a timeline of all the moves made.

2025

OK, I was getting a bit frustrated with the club as we entered our third season in Stone. It was time to at least make the playoffs and get promoted into Iron. There were several new players (again, I’ll get into that soon) on the team by this team and I was really hoping things would coalesce into a nice season.

Well, it did!

We ran away with not only the division but the entire league in the regular season. Our 103-59 record was 18.5 games clear of the second-place team in division (they played a game 163, hence the .5), 9 games clear of the #2 seed in the conference, and 6 clear of the #1 seed in the other conference. We got three All-Star selections again, including a pair of newcomers: Satchel Paige, Ray Durham, and an original Red Bull Jerry Mumphrey notching his second AS bid.

Paige joined the squad late in 2024 and kinda underwhelmed in his 17.7 innings of work, but I am very familiar with this card so I wasn’t worried about it. In 2025, he went off with a 2.48 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 161 ERA+, and 112 strikeouts in 112.3 innings. He also notched 7 wins and 14 saves in a fireman role (which is called Stopper in OOTP). His Win Probability Added (WPA) was 3.0, tied for 4th in the league, but best among relievers.

Remember in the last update how I wanted to upgrade second base and move on from Frank White? White was an elite defender which was actually sustaining some solid WAR totals, but his bat was regularly below average. After 22 brutal games in 2025 (some at 3B as I’d picked up Durham a bit before making the move), we officially moved on and made the change to Durham. He made the All-Star game and put up an incredible season: .289/.378/.496, 22 HR, 101 RBI, 102 R, 19 SB, 137 wRC+, and 6.0 WAR in 649 PA over 146 games.

Even with a rough 2023 season, Mumphrey has been a force for the Red Bulls in the four full seasons. In 2025, he hit .303/.358/.423 with 16 HR, 75 RBI, 108 R, 116 wRC+, and 5.0 WAR in 698 PA. It was his second straight 5.0 season. Premium defense in centerfield supports his plus bat. He still managed 1.2 WAR in that 2023 season despite just an 86 wRC+.

Here is how the entire offense did in 2025:

And here’s the pitching:

Our league leaders were Sierra 3rd in RBIs (120) and 4th in ISO (.244), Mumphrey 2nd in Hits (194), 3rd in Runs (108), and 4th in HBP (17), Durham 5th in Runs (102), Emil Yde tied for 1st in Wins (19) and Complete Games (7), Alex Fernandez 3rd in Win% (.789), Paige 2nd in Games (79), and Jack Flaherty 5th in both Hits per 9 (7.5) and OppAVG (.224).

Now, onto the playoffs.

In the division series, the wildcard winning Carolina Southpaws took us to the hilt but we won the series 3-2. It was the only division series to go 5 as there were two sweeps and a 3-1 in the other three.

In the LCS, the Down River Side Hustle got the best of us in a 4-2 series win. The #1 overall seed goes down!

Overall, it was a good season as we got promoted to Iron Level and made a good bundle of points ot upgrade the team, but it was a real bummer to not even make the World Series.

THE 2026 TEAM

We literally just hit the All-Star break as I’m writing this and so far our Iron debut hasn’t gone as planned as we sit 43-53 and in last place of our division. However, we are 19th in the most recent Power Rankings which came out just before the All-Star game. Newcomer Hubie Brooks was our lone All-Star (15 HR, 131 wRC+, 1.6 WAR in 304 PA). He’s one of six new players in comparison to our last update (I’ll put the year the card is based on for new players):

CATCHER – Then: Victor Martinez | Now: Victor Martinez

FIRST BASE – Then: Frank Torres | Now: Derrek Lee (2005)

SECOND BASE – Then: Frank White | Now: Ray Durham (2011)

SHORTSTOP – Then: Carlos Correa | Now: Joe Sewell (1926)

THIRD BASE – Then: Matt Williams | Now: Hubie Brooks (1986)

LEFTFIELD – Then: Ruben Sierra | Now: Ruben Sierra

CENTEFIELD – Then: Jerry Mumphrey | Now: Jerry Mumphrey

RIGHTFIELD – Then: Max Kepler | Now: Jackie Jensen (1959)

DESIGNATED HITTER – Then: Candy Maldonado | Now: Melvin Mora (2004)

There are a good number of pitching changes, too:

ROTATION Then Noah Syndergaard, Emil Yde, Jack Flaherty, Ian Snell, Murry Dickson (with an opener)

ROTATION Now – Noah Syndergaard, Emil Yde, Jack Flaherty, Alex Fernandez (1995), and Adam Wainwright (2013)

BULLPEN ThenScott Oberg, Craig Stammen, Steven Matz, Hugh Casey, Doug Bird, Alex Colomé, Alex Reyes, Robert Gsellman

BULLPEN Now Willie Hernandez (1984), Satchel Paige (1948), Damaso Marte (2003), Mike Maddux (1992), Mike Stanton (2000), Hugh Casey, Ian Snell, Scott Oberg

I was so excited to get that Hernandez just before the season started, but he’s been underwhelming so far with a 5.47 ERA and 1.68 WHIP through 49.3 innings. His 3.53 FIP keeps me confident, though, as he has a 24% K rate and 8% BB rate with just 0.9 HR/9 allowed. I’m expecting a big second half.

So that’s where we are right now. It looks bleak with the 10-game deficit in division and 8.5 in the wildcard, but this team can make a run. Our +12-run differential gives us a Pythag record of 49-47. If we continue to play like that, we’ll turn it around. In fact, we entered the break on a 6-1 run and the loss was a 1-0 game. The team is going to run as-is for now and hopefully chase down a wildcard start. Next update will be early next (and not in three weeks this time).

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Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Paul, this is the best feature on this site. Maybe we should just call it OOTPGraphs.