The coaching staff is here. The clubbie is stocking the club house. The players are getting settled in their lodging for the next few months. Let's learn a little bit about the guys who will wear the G star on their caps this season.
This preliminary roster that was released only shows 22 players. I would expect more drafted and non-drafted free agents (NDFA) to join this group as we approach the start of the season.
Alan Abreu (GCL) - This is a great story. Abreu was signed as a non drafted free agent out of Lander University by the Astros after a private workout in September of 2011 as a pitcher. They signed this guy who:
"never pitched in his two years at Lander. Nor did Abreu pitch for Eastern Kentucky University, where he played his freshman year. Abreu didn't even pitch in high school. Believe it or not, he never even pitched in little league ball."The right handed pitcher posses a 95 MPH fastball and is still learning to pitch. He was effective but not dominant in the GCL with just eight strike outs in 20 innings but still had a low 2.70 ERA.
Tyler Brunnemann (40th Rd 2013) - Brunnemann was the final draft pick of 2013 for the Astros. He is out of Hardin Simmons University in Texas. The righty throws in the low to mid 90's with a curve, a change and is developing a slider. Pitching in tough situations shouldn't bother him much since he has already faced having a non-malignant brain tumor removed when he was 11!
William "Austin" Chrismon - (26th Round 2013) - Chrismon spent his first two college seasons at East Carolina before transferring to Christopher Newport University. He is the first player from CNU to be drafted. In one outing this season, the right hander struck out 18 batters in eight innings.
Enderson Franco (GCL) - The 20 year old right handed pitcher from Venezuela comes to Greeneville after spending two years in the GCL. He has pitched mostly as a starter and really improved his control in 2012, cutting his walks from 3.3/9 innings to 1.4/9 innings.
Jandel Gustave (GCL) - A 20 year old from the Dominican Republic. Appears to have good stuff with 22 Ks in 28 innings but struggles with control with 27 walks. Let's hope the young righty learns to harness the stuff.
Krishawn Holley (GCL) - A 39th round pick in 2009 by the Astros. He made just one appearance in the GLC in 09 due to signing late. He has spent the last two years in the GCL with limited action. When he has pitched, his numbers are impressive. In 31 innings as a pro, he has an ERA of 1.45 with 24K and a WHIP of 0.968. An intriguing right handed pitcher that I am excited to see in person.
Sebastian Kessay (22nd Round - 2013) - A lefty from Scottsdale Community College, Kessay fanned 98 in 72 innings this season.
Chris Lee (Greeneville) - This will be the 2010 4th round pick's third time to be in Greeneville. He has struggled to stay healthy. The lefty threw just 8 2/3 innings in 2012. Here's hoping the third time is the charm.
Jordan Mills (28th round 2013) - Was surprised to hear his name called on draft day. The tall (6' 5") left handed pitcher throws a fastball (88-92), a slider and a change up.
J.D. Osborne (36th Round 2013) - Another left handed pitcher, Osborne was a fifth year senior with Wofford prior to being drafted. He made 27 relief appearances for the Terriers with 37 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings pitched.
Frederick Tiburcio (Greeneville) - The second of our returners this season. Tiburcio showed flashes of promise last season. He struck out 55 batters in 58 1/3 innings pitched. He is a 22 year old right handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic.
Ricky Gingras (Greeneville) - Gingras returns to Greeneville where he showed some pop hitting three HR in 29 games last season. He and Alfredo Gonzalez will split most of the catching duties.
Alfredo Gonzalez (GCL) - The 20 year old from Venezuela showed significant improvement in his second year in the GCL. He raised his average from .172 to .244 and cut his passed balls down from 15 to 9. He threw out 37% of base stealers in 2012.
Cristian Moronta (Greeneville) - The 23 year old from the Dominican Republic returns to Greeneville for his third season. It is likely he will likely see limited game action and will be the bullpen catcher. However, he brings some maturity and leadership to the team. He received the 2011 Oscar Pedron award for leadership.
Edwin Gomez (GCL) - Signed last season after being released from the Tigers system. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 draft and had made it as far as A ball before being released. He is a 21 year old from Puerto Rico who primarily played first for the GCL Astros but has history playing the corner outfield spots. That may come in handy with just three outfielders on the roster thus far.
Angel Ibanez (Greeneville) - Ibanez finished strong last season hitting .305 in 24 games in August. The 22 year old was drafted in the 28th round of the 2012 draft. He primarily plays third.
Jack Mayfield (NDFA 2013) A non drafted free agent signed out of the University of Oklahoma, Mayfield plays mostly 2nd base. He hit .254 in 2013 with seven HR in his senior season.
Darwin Rivera (GCL) - This is Rivera's second trip to Greeneville. He came here as an 19 year old and struggled in the field committing 30 errors. He spent last year in the GCL and hit well (.310) and made just 15 errors at 3rd.
Juan Santana (GCL) - He is a 19 year old out of the Dominican Republic who plays the middle infield positions. He hit .268 with 12 doubles for the GCL Astros last year.
Wallace Gonzalez (GCL) - Drafted in the 29th round of the 2011 draft, Gonzalez has spent two seasons in the GLC prior to coming to Greeneville. He showed more power in his second season raising his slugging percentage almost 100 points. Expect to see him manning the corner outfield spots.
Tanner Mathis (NDFA) - Mathis was drafted by the Astros in 2012 out of Ole Miss, but chose not to sign. After not getting drafted in 2012, he signed on with the Astros as a non drafted free agent.
Marc Wik (Greeneville) - Drafted in the 21st round of the 2012 draft, Wik played mostly left field in Greeneville last season, though he did play in right some and got a few games at 2nd. He started hot at the plate last year but faded as the year drug on.