SS Jean Batista (21)
A non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic, Batista opened some eyes in his second year in the Astros organization. After playing in 51 games for Greeneville, he was promoted to Tri-City for the final 12 games of the season. Between the two venues, he hit .318/.336/.502 with 23 doubles, two triples and six home runs. Batista was one of two featured players in a documentary Ballplayer: Pelotero about the impact of the MLB in the Dominican Republic as the young Dominican players try to make their way. I just watched the film this past weekend and it is excellent, eye-opening and often disturbing.
Former Astros with birthdays today ~
LHP Randy Niemann (57)
A second round pick by the Yankees in 1975, Niemann came to Houston from New York in a June 1977 trade. In 48 appearances for the Astros in 1979 and 1980, he was 3-3 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.420 WHIP. In September 1981, he was sent to the Pirates as a PTBNL in the August 1981 Phil Garner trade. He was named pitching coach for the Red Sox in August 2012.
LHP Pedro Borbon (45)
Borbon came to Houston from Toronto in May of 2002 and pitched in 56 games for for the Astros that season with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.593 WHIP. I still cannot hear the name Pedro Borbon without thinking of this even though it referred to Borbon's father.