Monday, July 12, 2021

Astros Draft Picks/Undrafted Free Agents on Social Media

First off, I'd like to apologize for falling off the face of the earth after two weeks of recaps. I really did need to adhere to my hiatus. But, I'm breaking it for this post to welcome the Class of 2021 to the Houston Astros organization. 

Some of you are probably familiar with this post, in which I track down the draft picks on social media and list their accounts here. If you are so inclined, you're welcome to follow them. Unless noted otherwise, these are their Twitter accounts.

Round 3, Pick 87: Tyler Whitaker, OF, Bishop Gorman High School, Las Vegas
Twitter: @twhitaker00 
Instagram: tylerrwhitaker 
College commitment: Arizona

Round 4, Pick 117: Alex Ulloa, SS, Calvary Christian Academy, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 
@_alexulloaa_ (his Instagram name is also the same)
College commitment: Oklahoma State

Round 4, Pick 132: Chayce McDermott, RHP, Ball State 
Twitter: @Chayce_mcd99 
Instagram: iam_chaycemcd (private account)

Round 5, Pick 148: Quincy Hamilton, OF, Wright State 
Twitter: @Q_Ham10
Instagram: qham_10

Round 6, Pick 178: Spencer Arrighetti, RHP, Louisiana-Lafayette
Twitter: @szane_24 
Instagram: szarrighetti

Round 7, Pick 208: Joey Loperfido, OF, Duke 
Twitter: @joeyloperfido (Twitter)
Instagram: joey_loperfido

Round 8, Pick 238: Colton Gordon, LHP, Central Florida 
Twitter: @ColtonZimGordon 
Instagram: coltongordon10

Round 9, Pick 268: Aaron Brown, RHP, Middle Tennessee State
Twitter: @AaronBrown15_
Instagram: aaron_brown_15 (private account)

Round 10, Pick 298: Michael Sandle, OF, South Alabama
Twitter: @MochaMike12
Instagram: mochamike12

Round 11, Pick 328: Chad Stevens, SS, Portland
Twitter: @chad_stevens2
Instagram: chad_stevens2 (private account)

Round 12, Pick 358: Rhett Kouba, RHP, Dallas Baptist
Twitter: @LilBabyKoubaJr
Instagram: rhettkouba 

Round 13, Pick 388: Kobe Kato, 2B, Arizona
Twitter: @kobebe10
Instagram: kobebe_

Round 14, Pick 418: Bryant Salgado, RHP, Oregon State
Instagram: bryantt_37

Round 15, Pick 448: Adrian Chaidez, RHP, UCLA
Instagram: adrian_chaidez28 (private account)

Round 16, Pick 478: Nic Swanson, RHP, Northeastern State
Twitter: @nicrswanson
Instagram: nicswanson_

Round 17, Pick 508: Justin Williams, 3B, Penn State
Twitter: @justwilliams5

Round 18, Pick 538: Will Wagner, 2B, Liberty
Twitter: @WillWags5; not active

Round 19, Pick 568: Hector Nieves, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, Puerto Rico
Instagram: hectornieves_11
College commitment: Northwest Florida State College

Round 20, Pick 618: Jackson Linn, OF, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Twitter: @JacksonLinn4; no tweets yet
Instagram: jacksonlinn27 (private account)
College commitment: Tulane


In the past, there were players that apparently signed undrafted free agent deals but never actually appeared in a game anywhere in the Houston Astros organization.

Walker Brockhouse, RHP, Memphis
Twitter: @walkerb_34
Instagram: waalker.b

Jacob DeLabio, RHP, Carthage College
Twitter: @JacobDeLabio
Instagram: delabio55; It looks like he hasn't touched it since he created it in high school.

Kasey Ford, RHP, Kansas State
Twitter: @kc_ford12
Instagram: kc_ford55 (private account)

Ray Gaither, RHP, Dallas Baptist
Twitter: @raygaither
Instagram: raygaither

Deylen Miley, RHP, Bellarmine
Twitter: @DEYMAN7
Instagram: deyman7

Bryan Perez, RHP, Glendale Community College

Marshall Hunt, RHP, Sacramento City College

Jaxon Hallmark, OF, Nebraska
Twitter: @HallmarkJaxon
Instagram: jaxon_lee

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Astros Minor League Recaps, Week 2: Sugar Land

Results for Week 2: May 13-18

The Sugar Land Skeeters, fresh off a 5-1 series win in Albuquerque, were in Round Rock for the second leg of their inaugural road trip as an affiliated Minor League Baseball club.

Sugar Land and Round Rock played two at Dell Diamond on Monday.

Again, as a reminder, I will not be doing recaps this week.

Game 1 (Thursday, May 13): Sugar Land 10, Round Rock 4

W- Seth Martinez (2-0)
L- Jason Bahr (0-1)

SL home runs: Jake Meyers (4, 2-run in 2nd), Jose Siri (3, grand slam in 2nd)

It was the Jose Siri Show on Thursday as he cleared the bases with a double in the 1st and then proceeded to clear them again in the 2nd, this time by hitting the ball over the fence. That is what we call a grand slam. Before Siri's slam, Jake Meyers whacked a two-run homer. Garrett Stubbs capped off the night with an RBI single in the 9th.

Seth Martinez was the first man out of the Sugar Land bullpen and he got the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, walking one and striking out four. Well, he did inherit a bases-loaded situation from Austin Hansen and one run ended up scoring. Ralph Garza Jr. was the third reliever to appear and he also threw 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out three.

Game 2 (Friday, May 14): Sugar Land 5, Round Rock 1

W- Brett Conine (2-0)
L- Drew Anderson (1-1)

SL home runs: C.J. Hinojosa (1, solo in 2nd), Miguelangel Sierra (1, solo in 2nd)

Another multi-hit night for Jose Siri, who also drove in two and stole two bases. C.J. Hinojosa and Miguelangel Sierra went deep in the 2nd. Siri, Ronnie Dawson, and Bryan De La Cruz all had two hits on the night.

Brett Conine allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out four over five shutout innings.

Game 3 (Saturday, May 15): Round Rock 6, Sugar Land 5

W- Spencer Patton (1-0)
L- Jojanse Torres (0-1)
S- Joe Barlow (2)

SL home runs: Alex De Goti (2, 2-run in 3rd)

The Express snatched this game from the Skeeters thanks to a four-run 8th inning that gave them the lead.

Alex De Goti whacked a two-run homer in the 3rd and lashed an RBI triple in the 6th inning. Garrett Stubbs went 3-4 with an RBI double in the 7th. Colin McKee worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out two.

Game 4 (Monday, May 17): Round Rock 6, Sugar Land 4

W- DeMarcus Evans (1-0)|
L- Framber Valdez (0-1)
S- Spencer Patton (1)

SL home runs: None.

Giving up five runs in the first inning... not ideal..

Framber Valdez made his first rehab start and gave up all five of those runs. Fortunately, I guess, only one of those runs was earned. Framber allowed seven hits and struck out three in three innings. Nivaldo Rodriguez also threw three innings and allowed an RBI single, walked two, and fanned four.

Bryan De La Cruz went 2-4 and scored twice.

Game 5 (Monday, May 17): Round Rock 5, Sugar Land 4

W- Luis Ortiz (1-0)
L- Shawn Dubin (1-1)

SL home runs: Jose Siri (4, grand slam in 6th)

Jose Siri put up all four Sugar Land runs with one swing of the bat and gave them the lead... and then the Express walked it off to sweep the twinbill. Okay, cool.

Game 6 (Tuesday, May 18): Round Rock 8, Sugar Land 5

W- James Jones (1-0)
L- Jake Odorizzi (0-1)
S- Joe Barlow (3)

SL home runs: Bryan De La Cruz 2 (2; solo in 1st, solo in 3rd)

De La Cruz led off the game with a homer and launched another solo shot in the 3rd inning. C.J. Hinojosa has a two-run double in the 6th.

Jake Odorizzi also made his first rehab start and like Framber, he had a couple of good innings and a rough one. He allowed four runs, all in the 2nd, on five hits (3-run homer), walked one, and struck out four in his three innings of work.

Well, on Thursday, weather permitting of course, the Skeeters will play their first home game as an affiliated minor league baseball team.

See you guys next week.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Astros Minor League Recaps, Week 2: Corpus, Asheville, Fayetteville

Results for Week 2: May 11-16

Let's play two in Frisco!

Just a heads-up, I will not be recapping Week 3's action. I forget that I'm supposed to be on hiatus, so I will take a week off from recaps once a month.

Corpus Christi @ Frisco

Game 1 (Wednesday, May 12): Frisco 3, Corpus Christi 1

W- Jake Latz (1-0)
L- J.P. France (1-1)
S- Noah Bremer (1)

CC home runs: None.

This was the first game of a doubleheader. The Hooks did not win this game.

Corey Julks led off the 6th with a double and he scored Corpus' only run of game one on Marty Costes' single. On the bright side, Enoli Paredes struck out two in a 1-2-3 6th. I think he's just about ready to return.

Game 2 (Wednesday, May 12): Frisco 2, Corpus Christi 1

W- Tyler Phillips (1-0)
L- Jonathan Bermudez (1-1)
S- Scott Engler (1)

CC home runs: J.J. Matijevic (1, solo in 1st)

Corpus got swept in the twinbill. 

J.J. Matijevic's solo shot in the 1st was their one run in this game. Jonathan Bermudez pitched well, but he could only take a loss. Bermudez allowed two runs on four hits and struck out a career-high ten batters. Brandon Lawson worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 6th.

Game 3 (Thursday, May 13): Corpus Christi 4, Frisco 0

W- Hunter Peck (1-0)
L- Alex Speas (0-1)

CC home runs: None.

There was only one half-inning where runs were scored and thankfully, it belonged to the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Frisco pitcher Alex Speas walked the bases loaded to lead off the 8th, and well, that usually doesn't end well. Pedro Leon scored the first run of the night when Corey Julks hit into a fielder's choice in which no outs were recorded. Grae Kessinger went down on the infield fly rule for the second out, but Scott Manea was able to come through with a bases-clearing double. David Hensley went 2-4 and was the only player on either side to finish with a multi-hit game.

Joe Record allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out four over five shutout innings. Enoli Paredes worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 6th, striking out one. Hunter Peck got two innings and he walked one and struck out four during his time on the mound. Nick Hernandez completed the shutout as he worked around a hit to strike out the side in the 9th.

Game 4 (Friday, May 14): Corpus Christi 6, Frisco 5 in 11 innings

W- Willy Collado (1-1)
L- Joe Gatto (0-1)

CC home runs: Pedro Leon (1, 2-run in 6th)

It's been a rough introduction to baseball in the United States for Pedro Leon, but he showed a glimpse of what he can do with the bat when he demolished a Sal Mendez offering for a two-run homer in the 6th inning. Corpus scored three times in the two extra frames and they finally took the lead for good on Ross Adolph's RBI single in the 11th. Marty Costes scored three runs.

Brett Daniels got the start and he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits, walked two, and struck out eight in 4.2 innings. Willy Collado got the victory; he got both of the extra innings and allowed a two-run homer in the 10th, one other hit, walked two, and fanned two.

Game 5 (Saturday, May 15): Frisco 8, Corpus Christi 2

W- Alex Speas (1-1)
L- Cesar Rosado (0-1)

CC home runs: Chandler Taylor (1, solo in 8th)

Corey Julks finished 3-4 with a triple and Chandler Taylor smacked his first homer of the season. Nick Hernandez struck out two over two hitless innings.

The series finale was postponed due to the rain that's hitting Texas. No makeup date has been set. Corpus Christi will welcome the Arkansas Travelers to Whataburger Field for six starting Tuesday.

Asheville @ Bowling Green

Game 1 (Tuesday, May 11): Bowling Green 5, Asheville 1

W- Evan McKendry (2-0)
L- Jose Bravo (0-1)

Asheville home runs: None.

The Tourists had a chance to get some runs in the 5th when they loaded the bases, but all they got was one run and that was when A.J. Lee grounded into a double play. The offense was rendered useless by former Astros farmhand Peyton Battenfield, who walked one and struck out nine over four scoreless.

Jose Bravo wasn't terrible in his four innings, but the non-existent run support meant that he could only take the loss. He allowed two hits, one of which was a two-run homer, walked one, and struck out five.

Game 2 (Wednesday, May 12): Bowling Green 8, Asheville 7

W- Jacob Lopez (1-0)
L- Devin Conn (0-1)
S- Michael Costanzo (1)

Asheville home runs: Korey Lee (1, solo in 1st), Alex Holderbach (1, 2-run in 5th)

The Tourists got the tying and go-ahead runs on base to lead off the 9th but couldn't get either of them in.

Korey Lee went 3-5 with a solo homer (1), an RBI double, and three runs scored. Scott Schrieber had a couple of doubles, and Alex McKenna and Luis Santana stole two bases apiece.

Felipe Tejada was the third pitcher to appear for Asheville and he was stellar in his 2.2 innings: he did not allow a hit, walked one, and struck out seven.

Game 3 (Thursday, May 13): Asheville 6, Bowling Green 5

W- Jimmy Endersby (1-0)
L- Ezequiel Zabaleta (1-1)
S- Kyle Serrano (1)

Asheville home runs: Luis Santana (3, 2-run in 8th)

Asheville got on the board in this series by staving off a late rally from the Hot Rods.

Jimmy Endersby was stellar in his five innings as he only allowed one hit. It was a two-run homer, but again, that was the only hit he gave up in his five innings. He also walked one and struck out seven. Kyle Serrano got a four-out save and all four outs he recorded came via the strikeout.

Alex McKenna finished 2-5 from the leadoff spot. Luis Guerrero ripped a two-run double in the 6th and Luis Santana clubbed a two-run homer in the 8th.

Game 4 (Friday, May 14): Bowling Green 1, Asheville 0

W- Carlos Garcia (2-0)
L- Tyler Brown (0-1)
S- Christopher Gau (1)

Asheville home runs: None.

The Tourists outhit the Hot Rods 6-3... but the game's only run did not belong to them.

Scott Schreiber went 3-4. R.J. Freure was dominant as he allowed a hit, walked one, and struck out six over five shutout innings. Tyler Brown allowed the lone run on a single, one of two hits he allowed in three innings. He walked two and fanned six.

Game 5 (Saturday, May 15): Bowling Green 7, Asheville 3 in 11 innings

W- Ezequiel Zabaleta (2-1)
L- Yeremi Ceballos (0-1)

Asheville home runs: None.

The Tourists surrendered a walk-off grand slam in the 11th.

Jose Alberto Rivera was the first man out of the Asheville bullpen and he was excellent in his 3.2 innings; he walked one, struck out seven, and did not allow a hit. Devin Conn followed and he also did not allow a hit in 2.2 innings, walking one and striking out five.

Game 6 (Sunday, May 16): Bowling Green 7,  Asheville 0

W- Peyton Battenfield (1-0)
L- Blair Henley (0-2)
S- Evan McKendry (1)

Asheville home runs: None.

A series to forget as the Tourists went 1-5.

The Tourists return home to start a series with the Greenville Drive on Tuesday.

Fayetteville vs. Kannapolis

Game 1 (Tuesday, May 11): Fayetteville 10, Kannapolis 1

W- Mark Moclair (1-0)
L- Jared Kelley (0-1)

Fayetteville home runs: Matt Barefoot (3, solo in 1st)

The Woodpeckers cruised to a win in their home opener. 

Matt Barefoot started off the evening with a solo blast and that sent Fayetteville on their way. After a single in the 3rd inning, Barefoot advanced to second on a wild pitch, then stole third and scored on an errant throw from the catcher. Not only did Barefoot open the scoring, he also finished it in the form of a two-run single in the 8th inning. Joe Perez finished 2-5 with a two-run double.

Alfredi Jimenez got the start and he allowed a hit, walked two, and struck out five over four scoreless. Mark Moclair was the third Fayetteville pitcher to appear and he got the win, although he battled his command throughout his 2.2 innings of work. Moclair allowed Kannapolis's only run when he hit a man with the bases loaded in the 8th; he also allowed a hit, walked five, and struck out five.

Game 2 (Wednesday, May 12): Fayetteville 9, Kannapolis 2

W- Christian Mejias (1-1)
L- Chase Solesky (0-1)

Fayetteville home runs: Zach Daniels (2, 2-run in 1st)

Fayetteville scored three runs in each of the first three innings as they strolled to another victory.

Whit Drennan and Christian Mejias combined to throw six scoreless innings of relief. Drennan was the first man out of the bullpen and he went two innings, walking two and fanning two. Mejias finished the game and he was electric, allowing just three hits and striking out a career-high ten in the final four innings.

Zach Daniels had a monster night as he finished 3-4 with a two-run homer in the 1st and a two-run single in the 3rd. Nerio Rodriguez opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st and walked in a run in the 3rd. Nerio went 2-4 and was one of four Fayetteville hitters to finish with two hits. J.C. Correa had a pair of doubles and scored three times, Joe Perez walked three times and scored twice, and Shay Whitcomb had an RBI single in the 2nd.

Game 3 (Thursday, May 13): Fayetteville 7, Kannapolis 6

W- Jaime Melendez (1-0)
L- Rigo Fernandez (0-1)

Fayetteville home runs: None.

The Woodpeckers fell behind 6-0 after the 1st inning. No matter, they found a way to come back and wound up walking off with the win.

The comeback began with a pair of RBI singles from Zach Daniels and Jose Alvarez in the 6th. Matt Barefoot hit a sac fly in the 7th, and it was on in the 9th.

J.C. Correa drew a bases-loaded walk and Justin Dirden followed with an RBI infield single. Daniels got plunked to bring Barefoot in, and Correa scored the winning run when Yeuris Ramirez hit into a fielder's choice that turned into an error. Alvarez had three hits in his season debut.

Peyton Plumlee and Jaime Melendez both threw three innings of shutout ball. Plumlee walked one and struck out four and Melendez fanned seven in a perfect outing.

Game 4 (Friday, May 14): Fayetteville 5, Kannapolis 0

W- Ernesto Jaquez (1-0)
L- Yoelvin Silven (0-1)
S- Angel Macuare (1)

Fayetteville home runs: Kenedy Corona (1, solo in 7th)

History was made in Fayetteville Friday night as Jayson Schroeder, Ernesto Jaquez, and Angel Macuare combined to throw the first no-hitter in Woodpeckers history.

Schroeder walked three and struck out four over the first four innings. Jaquez struck out two in a 1-2-3 5th to bridge the gap to Macuare, who finished by walking one and striking out seven over the final four innings.

The Woodpeckers got four in the 5th on a couple of RBI doubles from Kenedy Corona and Matt Barefoot, an RBI single by Zach Daniels, and a passed ball that allowed Barefoot to score. Corona, who finished 3-3, whacked a solo homer in the 7th.

Game 5 (Saturday, May 15): Kannapolis 1, Fayetteville 0

W- Jeremiah Burke (1-1)
L- Cesar Gomez (0-2)
S- Marcus Evey (1)

Fayetteville home runs: None.

The one run in this game did not belong to the Woodpeckers. 

Jose Alvarez and Matt Barefoot both finished 2-4. Cesar Gomez pitched well in his second start, but no run support condemned him to the loss. He allowed the one run on four hits, walked one, and struck out six.

Game 6 (Sunday, May 16): Fayetteville 12, Kannapolis 2

W- Jonathan Sprinkle (1-0)
L- Jared Kelley (0-2)

Fayetteville home runs: None.

Fayetteville opened the floodgates with five runs in the 2nd. 

J.C. Correa, Matt Barefoot, Ronaldo Urdaneta, and Zach Daniels all drove in two runs. Barefoot and Kenedy Corona both finished with three hits on the day. Corona also stole two bases; the Woodpeckers went 6-6 on stolen bases on Sunday.

Mark Moclair, who got the start, went four innings and allowed a run on two hits, walked one, and struck out six. Jonathan Sprinkle earned his first win as a pro; he allowed an unearned run on a wild pitch, a hit, walked three, and struck out four in two innings.

The Woodpeckers close out May with a road trip. Their first stop is Augusta for six with the GreenJackets starting Tuesday.

Week 2's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Corpus Christi

Jonathan Bermudez, LHP
Wednesday: L (1-1), 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, career-high 10 K in game 2 of doubleheader

Photo by Bryan Green
Joe Record, RHP
Thursday: 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K

This is his headshot on
Hunter Peck, LHP
Thursday: W (1-0), 2 IP, BB, 4 K


Felipe Tejada, RHP
Wednesday: 2.2 IP, BB, 7 K

Korey Lee, C
Wednesday: 3-5, 2B, solo HR (1), 3 R

This is his headshot on
Jimmy Endersby, RHP
Thursday: W (1-0), 5 IP, H (2-R HR), 2 ER, BB, 7 K

R.J. Freure, RHP
Friday: 5 IP, H, BB, 6 K

Jose Alberto Rivera, RHP
Sunday: 3.2 IP, BB, 7 K

Devin Conn, RHP
Sunday: 2.2 IP, BB, 5 K


All of these pictures, except for Jayson Schroeder's and Angel Macuare's, are their headshots on

Matt Barefoot, OF
Tuesday: 3-4, solo HR (3), 3 RBI, 2 R, SB
Sunday: 3-5, 2 RBI, R, SB

Alfredi Jimenez, RHP
Tuesday: 4 IP, H, 2 BB, 5 K

Zach Daniels, OF
Wednesday: 3-4, 2-R HR (2), 4 RBI

Christian Mejias, RHP
Wednesday: W (1-1), 4 IP, 3 H, career-high 10 K

Jaime Melendez, RHP
Thursday: W (1-0), 3 IP, 7 K

Kenedy Corona, OF
Friday: 3-3, 2B, solo HR (1), 2 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: 3-5, 3B, RBI, R, 2 SB

Friday's pitchers: No-hitter
Jayson Schroeder: 4 IP, 3 BB, 4 K
Ernesto Jaquez: W (1-0), IP, 2 K
Angel Macuare: Save (1), 4 IP, BB, 7 K

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Astros Minor League Recaps, Week 1: Sugar Land

Sugar Land gets its own post because AAA operates on a different schedule.

W- Ralph Garza Jr. (1-0)
L- Antonio Santos (0-1)

SL home runs: None.

The Sugar Land Skeeters' first game as an affiliated minor league baseball club ended in a victory. Albuquerque cut into a 5-0 lead with three runs in the 3rd, but the Skeeters hit back with three in the 6th to regain control. Six of the Skeeters' starting nine finished with multi-hit games.

Alex De Goti finished 3-5 with a pair of RBI singles. The one guy who didn't finish with a multi-hit game, C.J. Hinojosa, still drove in two with a double and a sac fly. Jose Siri had a couple of RBI singles and scored three runs. 

Shawn Dubin got the start and the three runs he allowed in his 4.1 innings of work came on homers. He allowed four other hits, walked two, and fanned five. Ralph Garza Jr. got the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, walking one and striking out four in the process.

W- Seth Martinez (1-0)
L- Brandon Gold (0-1)

SL home runs: Jose Siri (1, 3-run in 4th)

Sugar Land fell behind 3-0 early, but one swing of the bat completely flipped this game in their favor.

Siri launched a three-run homer in the 4th that tied the game and put the Skeeters on the board. It was all Sugar Land after that as Ronnie Dawson smacked a two-run double in the 4th, Garrett Stubbs drove in a run with a single and scored a sac fly, and finally, Siri ripped an RBI double and Hinojosa capped off the evening with a two-run double of his own in the 7th. Everyone in the lineup had a hit on Friday; Siri and Bryan de la Cruz both finished with three. Hinojosa, De Goti, Taylor Jones, and Lorenzo Quintana all had two hits, while Jake Meyers and Ronnie Dawson had one.

Tyler Ivey went 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits, walked three, and struck out seven. Seth Martinez and Riley Ferrell combined to shut the Isotopes out for the final 4.1 innings; Martinez walked one and fanned five in 2.1 scoreless, and Ferrell walked two and struck out two over the final two innings.

W- Brett Conine (1-0)
L- Ian Clarkin (0-1)
S- Austin Hansen (1)

SL home runs: Ronnie Dawson (1, 2-run in 2nd), Jake Meyers (1, solo in 3rd), Alex De Goti (1, 3-run in 3rd)

Everyone in the lineup scored a run, eight of the nine players in the lineup drove in a run, a good time was had by all.

The one run Brett Conine allowed in his 5.2 innings came on a solo homer hit by Jose Briceno in the 5th inning. He allowed four other hits, walked one, and fanned five. Austin Hansen carried the Skeeters to the finish line by allowing a hit, walking one, and striking out four over the final 3.1 innings.

W- Ryan Castellani (1-0)
L- Ryan Hartman (0-1)

SL home runs: Taylor Jones (1, 2-run in 3rd)

Well, Sugar Land's winning percentage as an affiliated club took a hit on Sunday.

Both Ryans pitched five innings, but the Isotopes' Ryan (Castellani), managed to allow just two runs. Colin McKee was the first man out of the Skeeters' bullpen and he allowed a hit, walked one, and struck out three in two scoreless innings of work.

Taylor Jones drove in all four Sugar Land runs in this game: he whacked a two-run homer in the 3rd and ripped a two-run double in the 9th as they tried to mount a comeback. Jones, Lorenzo Quintana, and Jose Siri all had two hits on the day.

W- Nivaldo Rodriguez (1-0)
L- Jose Mujica (0-1)
S- Hector Velazquez (1)

SL home runs: Jose Siri (2, 2-run in 3rd)

The Skeeters returned to their winning ways as they posted the only crooked number in this game.

Nivaldo Rodriguez had a nice outing as he only allowed a run on a solo homer, two other hits, walked one, and struck out five in five innings of work. Jojanse Torres was all over the place in his 2.2 innings, judging by his five walks and 32 balls (54 pitches). However, he only allowed two runs (one earned) and one hit. Hector Velazquez allowed a hit and struck out one in the final 1.1 innings to get the save.

C.J. Hinojosa scored Sugar Land's first run on a wild pitch in the 2nd. Taylor Jones put the Skeeters in front with a two-run single in the 3rd and one batter later, Jose Siri launched a two-run homer. They finished off the evening with RBI doubles from Mike Papierski in the 8th and Hinojosa in the 9th. Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit; Jones and Hinojosa both went 3-5, while Siri and Garrett Stubbs finished with two each.

W- Shawn Dubin (1-0)
L- Antonio Santos (0-2)
S- Peter Solomon (1)

SL home runs: Jake Meyers 2 (3; 2-run in 5th, solo in 7th), Taylor Jones (2, 2-run in 7th)

It was a successful inaugural series for the Sugar Land Skeeters as they took five in Albuquerque.

Jake Meyers and Taylor Jones drove in three runs apiece for the Skeeters in this one; they both did their damage in the 5th and the 7th. Meyers did so with his two homers and Jones had an RBI double in the 5th to go along with his two-run blast in the 7th.

Meyers went 3-5 from the leadoff spot, while Jones and Ronnie Dawson had two hits apiece.

Shawn Dubin allowed a run on three hits, walked three, and fanned six in five innings. Peter Solomon tagged in for the final four innings and he allowed three runs on six hits (2-run homer) while striking out six.

The second leg of the Skeeters' season-opening road trip takes them to Round Rock for six games starting Wednesday.

Week 1's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Taylor Jones,1B
12-20 (.600/.692/1.050), 2 HR, 10 RBI in series

Jake Meyers, OF
8-25 (.320/.346/.720), 3 HR, 7 RBI in series

This is his headshot on
Jose Siri, OF
11-25 (.440/.481/.840), 2 HR, 11 RBI in series

Ralph Garza Jr., RHP
Thursday: W (1-0), 2.1 IP, BB, 4 K

This is his headshot on
Seth Martinez, RHP
Friday: W (1-0), 2.1 IP, BB, 5 K

Brett Conine, RHP
Saturday: W (1-0), 5.2 IP, 5 H (solo HR allowed), ER, BB, 5 K

Austin Hansen, RHP, and Shawn Dubin, RHP
Hansen (Saturday): Save (1), 3.1 IP, H, BB, 4 K
Dubin (Tuesday): W (1-0), 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K

Nivaldo Rodriguez, RHP
Monday: W (1-0), 5 IP, 3 H (solo HR allowed), ER, BB, 5 K

Monday, May 10, 2021

Astros Minor League Recaps, Week 1: Corpus Christi, Asheville, Fayetteville

Results for Week 1: May 4-9

For the first time in two years... Happy Minor League Opening Day!

Obviously, with the sheer volume of games to cover, I'll try to keep it short and sweet for each individual game.

Corpus Christi vs. San Antonio

Game 1 (Tuesday, May 4): San Antonio 8, Corpus Christi 3

W- Reiss Knehr (1-0)
L- Nick Hernandez (0-1)

CC home runs: David Hensley (1, solo in 6th)

Rough night in the field for the Hooks as four errors condemned them to an opening-night defeat.

David Hensley went 2-4 with a solo homer to lead off the 6th inning. Marty Costes drove in Corpus Christi's first two runs of the season with a single in the 2nd. Tough night for Pedro Leon, who went 0-4 with three strikeouts and an error in his US pro debut.

Chad Donato got the start and allowed two unearned runs on two hits, walked one, and fanned four in three innings of work.

Game 2 (Wednesday, May 5): Corpus Christi 4, San Antonio 2

W- J.P. France (1-0)
L- Jerry Keel (0-1)
S- Hunter Peck (1)

CC home runs: Grae Kessinger (1, 2-run in 6th)

An Ole Miss Rebel picked up his old in-state SEC rival and saved him from a loss that would've marred an otherwise stellar start.

Former Mississippi State Bulldog J.P. France struck out a career-high 11 over six strong innings. However, the Missions got to him with a two-run single in the 5th to take the lead, and for a couple of innings, he was in danger of taking a loss. 

Grae Kessinger, however, whacked a two-run homer in the 6th to put Corpus back in front and Corey Julks ripped an RBI double in the 8th to bring in a crucial insurance run. Kessinger was one of four Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits to finish with two hits in this game; Scott Manea, Chandler Taylor, and J.J. Matijevic also had two knocks.

Enoli Paredes began his rehab assignment by working around a walk to throw a scoreless 7th, striking out one. Hunter Peck, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Gwinnett College, made his professional debut on his 24th birthday and he made it unforgettable by closing out a Corpus Christi victory, allowing one hit, walking one, and striking out five over the final two innings.

Game 3 (Thursday, May 6): Corpus Christi 6, San Antonio 1

W- Jonathan Bermudez (1-0)
L- Caleb Boushley (0-1)

CC home runs: David Hensley 2 (3; 2-run in 1st, 2-run in 3rd), Norel Gonzalez (1, solo in 2nd)

David Hensley went off as he carried Corpus to a Thursday victory.

After the Missions opened the scoring with a run in the top half of the 1st, Hensley responded in the bottom of the inning by launching his first two-run homer of the evening to put the Hooks on the board and in the lead. Norel Gonzalez, a Cuban who signed with the Astros in January, hit his first homer in the United States with two outs in the 2nd inning. Hensley, who went 3-5, clubbed his second two-run homer in the 3rd and he added an RBI single in the 6th for good measure.

Jonathan Bermudez shook off that run in the 1st to turn in a nice outing; he allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out eight in five innings of work. Joe Record, one of the Astros' two minor league Rule 5 selections, walked six and struck out four in three scoreless innings after coming on for Bermudez. Nick Hernandez worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out one.

Game 4 (Friday, May 7): San Antonio 5, Corpus Christi 4 in 11 innings

W- Sam Williams (1-0)
L- Brandon Lawson (0-1)

CC home runs: Grae Kessinger (2, solo in 2nd), Ross Adolph (1, 2-run in 5th)

Corpus Christi couldn't seal the deal in the 9th and the Missions wound up taking Friday's contest in extras.

Grae Kessinger opened the scoring with his solo blast in the 2nd inning and Ross Adolph launched a two-run homer in the 5th. C.J. Stubbs had an RBI single in the 8th.

Brett Daniels turned in six solid innings, allowing two runs on four hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Michael Horrell was the first man out of the Hooks' bullpen and he allowed a run on two hits, walked one, and struck out two in two innings. Nolan Riggs, making his organizational debut, got the 9th but was unable to close it out. He allowed the tying run on three hits and struck out one. Brandon Lawson, who was also making his organizational debut, pitched both extra frames and he allowed the go-ahead RBI single in the 11th. Lawson struck out one in two innings.

Game 5 (Saturday, May 8): San Antonio 6, Corpus Christi 0

W- Mason Fox (1-0)
L- Hunter Brown (0-1)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks fell behind early and their bats fell silent.

Hunter Brown struggled in his first start of the year as he allowed four runs on six hits, walked two, and struck out five in three innings of work. Enoli Paredes, Nick Hernandez, and Tommy DeJuneas finished out the game with two innings apiece. Enoli's rehab seems to be going fine as he struck out five of the six batters he faced. The lone hit that Hernandez allowed was a solo homer to Jack Suwinski; he walked one and struck out two. DeJuneas allowed an unearned run on two hits, walked two, and fanned two. Corey Julks finished 2-4; Corpus did not have an extra-base hit in this game.

Game 6 (Sunday, May 9): San Antonio 7, Corpus Christi 5

W- Jerry Keel (1-1)
L- Willy Collado (0-1)
S- Jose Quezada (1)

CC home runs: Scott Manea (1, grand slam in 4th)

The Hooks went off for five in the 4th to take a 5-1 lead... but some shambolic defense and the fact that they only scored in one inning sent them to a series loss. Grae Kessinger hit an RBI single to put Corpus on the board and one batter later, Scott Manea brought everyone home by launching a grand slam.

In his second start of the year, Chad Donato allowed a run on five hits and struck out five in four innings.

Corpus will hit the road for the first time this season and they'll start a six-game set in Frisco on Tuesday.

Asheville vs. Brooklyn

Game 1 (Tuesday, May 4): Brooklyn 8, Asheville 2

W- Josh Walker (1-0)
L- Blair Henley (0-1)

Asheville home runs: Scott Schreiber (1, solo in 7th), Colin Barber (1, solo in 8th)

The Tourists had a chance to make it interesting by loading the bases to lead off the bottom of the 9th, but they got zero runs out of that situation. They were also no-hit through five innings by Brooklyn starter Josh Walker.

Well, Scott Schreiber and Colin Barber went deep in an otherwise forgettable night for the Asheville bats.

Jose Bravo was the third pitcher for the Tourists and he walked one while striking out three over three scoreless. Layne Henderson was the fifth and final hurler to appear for Asheville and he got the final out of the 8th and went on to throw a scoreless 9th; he struck out three and kept the two men he inherited from Yeremi Ceballos from scoring.

Game 2 (Wednesday, May 5): Asheville 6, Brooklyn 1

W- Chandler Casey (1-0)
L- Jose Butto (0-1)

Asheville home runs: None.

Asheville entered the win column for the first time in 2021 behind a four-run 4th and some solid pitching by the bullpen after Cole McDonald, who started this game for the Tourists, left with an injury before the 2nd inning.

After McDonald left, Chandler Casey tagged in to throw four scoreless innings, allowing three hits, walking one, and striking out one to get the win. 

Scott Schreiber ripped an RBI triple in the 1st to open the scoring. The Tourists got their four runs in the fourth thanks to four walks, all of which resulted in runs. Wilyer Abreu and Freudis Nova walked to lead off the frame and they successfully pulled off a double steal. Abreu wound up scoring on an A.J. Lee groundout, and then Asheville would load the bases on a pair of walks by Ramiro Rodriguez and Alex McKenna. Enmanuel Valdez came through with a two-run single and McKenna also scored on the throw from the outfield. Rodriguez drove in the game's final run with a single in the 8th.

Game 3 (Thursday, May 6): Asheville 11, Brooklyn 4

W- Matt Ruppenthal (1-0)
L- Oscar Rojas (0-1)

Asheville home runs: Luis Santana 2 (2; 3-run in 1st, 2-run in 3rd)

The Tourists jumped out to an early 8-1 lead to cruise to the win.

Luis Santana went deep twice and unleashed a glorious bat flip after one of them. If you don't like it, that's tough. Trust me, I'm not the person you should be complaining to. Plus, Santana used to be a boxer, so opposing pitchers might think twice before retaliating.
Enmanuel Valdez opened the scoring with an RBI triple and two batters later, Santana clubbed a three-run homer. Santana's other homer was a two-run blast in the 3rd. He finished 3-5 on the night; Ramiro Rodriguez (2 RBI, R) and Alex Holderbach (2B, 2 R) both finished 2-4.

Matt Ruppenthal went five innings allowed two runs on three hits, one of which was a solo homer, walked two, and struck out five. Jimmy Endersby, in his pro debut, pitched the final four innings and allowed two runs on four hits, walked two, and fanned seven.

Game 4 (Friday, May 7): Asheville 13, Brooklyn 7

W- R.J. Freure (1-0)
L- Jaison Vilera (0-1)

Asheville home runs: Alex McKenna (1, solo in 2nd), Freudis Nova (1, 2-run in 3rd)

Asheville scored ten runs in the first four innings and were once again able to cruise to another victory. Brooklyn managed to score one in the 7th and three more in the 8th, but fortunately, the ten-run lead the Tourists built held up in the end.

Alex McKenna led off the bottom of the 1st with a double and scored Asheville's first run on a single from Enmanuel Valdez. The Tourists wound up loading the bases and Santana came through with a two-run single. McKenna smacked a solo homer in the 2nd inning, and Nova whacked a two-run shot in the 3rd. 

The top four of the Asheville order (McKenna, Valdez, Korey Lee, and Scott Schrieber) combined to score nine of the 13 runs. Schreiber didn't have a hit, but he still managed to score three runs.

Tyler Brown made his pro debut and allowed three runs on three hits (2-run homer), walked four, and struck out five in four innings of work. R.J. Freure was the first man out of the Asheville bullpen and he allowed a run on three hits, walked one, struck out six in 2.1 innings, and got credited with the win.

Game 5 (Saturday, May 8): Brooklyn 16, Asheville 12

W- Alec Kisena (1-0)
L- Juan Pablo Lopez (0-1)

Asheville home runs: Colin Barber (2, 2-run in 4th), Alex McKenna (2, grand slam in 8th)

The Cyclones had a field day with Tourists' pitching as McCormick Field lived up to its reputation as Lancaster East. Everyone in the Tourists lineup scored a run.

Felipe Tejada was the only Asheville pitcher who didn't have a run charged to his line, but he inherited a bases-loaded situation from Yeremi Ceballos in the 9th and two of those runners scored. He struck out two in the 9th.

For a time, Colin Barber's two-run shot in the 4th was Asheville's scoring play. Tyler Krabbe had an RBI single in the 7th. The Tourists went off for nine runs in the 8th to cut a 13-3 deficit to one run. 

Enmanuel Valdez doubled to lead off the 8th and came home on a Scott Schreiber single. Korey Lee, who followed up Valdez's double with a single, made his way home when Barber grounded into a force out. A.J. Lee reached on an error after a fielder's choice to load the bases, and another Brooklyn error following a fielder's choice allowed Krabbe to reach and Luis Santana to score. Ramiro Rodriguez walked in Barber and one batter later, Alex McKenna brought everyone in, including himself, with a grand slam. Lee ripped a double in his second plate appearance of the inning and came around to score after two wild pitches.

The sixth and final game of this series was canceled due to a non-COVID-related health concern.

The Tourists will hit the road for six in Bowling Green beginning Tuesday.

Fayetteville @ Carolina

Game 1 (Tuesday, May 4): Carolina 6, Fayetteville 5

W- Abner Uribe (1-0)
L- Misael Tamarez (0-1)
S- Cam Robinson (1)

Fayetteville home runs: Nerio Rodriguez (1, 2-run in 3rd), J.C. Correa (1, solo in 8th)

Fayetteville outhit Carolina 11-5 but lost in the column that matters most. The Woodpeckers were doomed because they went 0-10 with runners in scoring position... and they allowed the Mudcats to score two in the 6th and four in the 7th.

Nerio Rodriguez went 2-5 and hit the first home run of the Astros' minor league season when he went deep in the 3rd to extend Fayetteville's lead to 3-0. J.C. Correa had a nice pro debut as he finished 3-5 with a solo blast in the 8th, his first home run as a professional. Juan Paulino also had two hits on the night.

Cesar Gomez had a fine professional debut as he allowed just one hit while fanning four over five shutout frames. Unfortunately, he received a no-decision for his efforts. Jonathan Sprinkle was the third pitcher to appear for Fayetteville and he walked one while striking out five over 1.2 scoreless, but the two runners he inherited from Misael Tamarez also scored. 

Game 2 (Wednesday, May 5): Carolina 5, Fayetteville 3

W- Joey Matulovich (1-0)
L- Alfredi Jimenez (0-1)
S- Evan Reifert (1)

Fayetteville home runs: Ronaldo Urdaneta (1, solo in 8th)

Once again, a late Mudcats rally sent the Woodpeckers to another loss. 

Mark Moclair started things off by allowing two hits, walking two, and striking out seven in four scoreless innings. Ronaldo Urdaneta launched a solo homer in the 8th and Luke Berryhill ripped an RBI double in the 9th as Fayetteville tried to rally.

Game 3 (Thursday, May 6): Carolina 12, Fayetteville 2

W- T.J. Shook (1-0)
L- Christian Mejias (0-1)

Fayetteville home runs: None.

Matt Barefoot's two-run double in the 4th was Fayetteville's only scoring play in this game. Kevin Holcomb was the first man out of the Woodpeckers bullpen and he walked one while striking out four over two scoreless frames.

Game 4 (Friday, May 7): Fayetteville 8, Carolina 4

W- Whit Drennan (1-0)
L- Justin Bullock (0-1)

Fayetteville home runs: None.

The Woodpeckers doubled up the Mudcats on Friday to get off the schneid. Shay Whitcomb had a huge night as he went 4-5 with a couple of doubles and scored three runs. Justin Dirden ripped a couple of doubles of his own and drove in three. 

Jaime Melendez got the start and he allowed a hit while striking out six over four scoreless. Whit Drennan got the victory and he went three innings, allowing three runs on two hits (2-run homer), walking two, and striking out five. Fabricio Reina got the final two innings and the one hit he allowed was a solo homer to Zavier Warren. Reina struck out three.

Game 5 (Saturday, May 8): Carolina 6, Fayetteville 2

W- Juan Geraldo (1-0)
L- Angel Macuare (0-1)

Fayetteville home runs: Matt Barefoot (1, solo in 2nd), Luke Berryhill (1, solo in 6th)

Once again, timely hitting eluded the Woodpeckers as they went 0-11 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.

The two solo shots you see above represent Fayetteville's only scoring plays in this game. Luke Berryhill finished 2-4.

Angel Macuare got the start and he allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits, walked three, and struck out five in 3.2 innings.

Game 6 (Sunday, May 9): Carolina 8, Fayetteville 5

W- Evan Reifert (1-0)
L- Cesar Gomez (0-1)

Fayetteville home runs: Zach Daniels (1, solo in 3rd), Matt Barefoot (2, solo in 3rd), Yeuris Ramirez (1, solo in 6th)

A forgettable first series for the Woodpeckers, to say the least. Well, at least they got hits with runners in scoring position (2-12), but... neither of those hits resulted in runs and they left 11 more on base.

Three solo homers were Fayetteville's three scoring plays in this one. Joe Perez finished 2-4 from the leadoff spot.

The Woodpeckers will open the home portion of their schedule on Tuesday when they start a six-game series with the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers.

Week 1's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Corpus Christi

David Hensley, IF
Tuesday: 2-4, solo HR (1), 2 R
Thursday: 3-4, 2 HR (3), 5 RBI, 2 R

J.P. France, RHP
Wednesday: W (1-0), 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, career-high 11 K

This is his headshot on
Hunter Peck, LHP
Wednesday: Save (1), 2 IP, H, BB, 5 K in pro debut, which occurred on his birthday

Grae Kessinger, IF
Wednesday: 2-4, 2-R HR (1)

Chad Donato, RHP
Sunday: 4 IP, 5 H, ER, 5 K


Jose Bravo, RHP
Tuesday: 3 IP, BB, 3 K

This is his headshot on
Chandler Casey, RHP
Wednesday: W (1-0), 4 IP, 3 H, BB, K

Luis Santana, IF
Thursday: 3-5, 2B, 2 HR (2), 5 RBI, 3 R
Friday: 2-4, 3 RBI

Alex McKenna, OF
Friday: 2-5, 2B, solo HR (1), 2 R
Saturday: 2-5, Grand Slam (2)

This is his headshot on
Colin Barber, OF
Saturday: 1-3, 2-R HR (2), 3 RBI, 3 R

Enmanuel Valdez, IF
Friday: 3-5, RBI, 2 R


All of these pictures, except for Mark Moclair's, are their headshots on

Nerio Rodriguez, C
Tuesday: 2-5, 2-R HR (1)

J.C. Correa, IF
Tuesday: 3-5, solo HR (1)

Cesar Gomez, RHP
Tuesday: 5 IP, H, 4 K in pro debut

Mark Moclair, RHP
Wednesday: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Jaime Melendez, RHP
Friday: 4 IP, H, 6 K

Justin Dirden, OF
Friday: 2-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI, R

Shay Whitcomb, IF
Friday: 4-5, 2 2B, 3 R

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Meet the Fayetteville Woodpeckers

Wrapping up the Meet the Team series is the Fayetteville Woodpeckers!

Photo from Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.Net

Unfortunately, with the glut of minor league clubs in the Southeastern United States and the contraction of Minor League Baseball, some clubs in the region having to move down a level would be inevitable. The Fayetteville Woodpeckers, who entered MiLB as a Class A Advanced club, were one of the clubs to draw the short stick and dropped to Class A as a result. Fayetteville will begin its season on the road against the Carolina Mudcats Tuesday night.

The Woodpeckers will now compete in Low-A East, which consists of seven teams from the Carolina League and five from the South Atlantic League. It's a 12-team league split into three divisions of four. Fayetteville is in the Central division, which consists of the four North Carolina teams. Their division rivals are the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers), Down East Wood Ducks (Rangers), and the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (White Sox). The Cannon Ballers were known as the Intimidators until 2020.

The South division consists of the four teams located in South Carolina: the Charleston RiverDogs (Rays, formerly a Yankees affiliate), Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs), Columbia Fireflies (Royals, formerly a Mets affiliate), and the Augusta GreenJackets (Atlanta, formerly a Giants affiliate). Augusta, best known as the site of the Masters, is located in Georgia, but the GreenJackets' ballpark is located across the Savannah River in North Augusta, South Carolina.

The North has all the teams not located in the Carolinas: three Virginia teams and one club in Maryland. The Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles), Salem Red Sox (guess their parent club), Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland), and the Fredericksburg (formerly Potomac) Nationals (again, guess who their parent club is).

Opened in 2019, Segra Stadium serves as Fayetteville's home park. Segra also owns the naming rights to Columbia's ballpark, but their stadium is called Segra Park

Fayetteville is home to a major U.S. Army installation, Fort Bragg, and the Woodpeckers have drawn inspiration from the city's military history, as evidenced by their special "Black Ops" alternate uniforms. The city is located on the Cape Fear River, in North Carolina's coastal plain. 

In 1789, Fayetteville was the site of a state convention to ratify the United States Constitution; by a 194-77 decision, the Constitution was ratified and North Carolina became the 12th state in the Union.


Official website:
Twitter: @WoodpeckersNC


Manager: Ray Hernandez
Pitching Coach: Todd Naskedov
Hitting Coach: Sean Godfrey
Development Coach: Bryan Muniz
Athletic Trainer: Takeaki Ando
Strength Coach: Michael Hoffman

Former Astros farmhand Bryan Muniz will get his first coaching opportunity in the minors. Muniz, a 22nd-round pick out of Southeastern, an NAIA school in Lakeland, Florida, played in the Astros system from 2014-17, topping out at Corpus Christi.


Matt Barefoot, a 6th-round pick back in 2019, gets to play close to home. He's from Dunn, which is literally the next town after Fayetteville on Interstate 95 and played at Campbell University, which temporarily hosted the Buies Creek Astros before they moved to Fayetteville. 

Zach Daniels, a 4th-round pick in last year's draft, has explosive athleticism and the Astros are banking on his tools to translate to the professional level.

You may know J.C. Correa's older brother. I hear he's not bad at baseball. 

Jayson Schroeder had a rough 2019, which saw him get sent down to the complex-level Gulf Coast League. Now that he's gotten a chance to reset, he'll give Class A another try. The 2018 second-rounder from a high school in the Seattle area, Schroeder has plenty of talent, but this could be a pivotal year in his development. 

Ernesto Jaquez caught my attention in 2018 when he completely dominated the Dominican Summer League. Unfortunately, his encore would be delayed as he missed all of the 2019 season. Can he recapture that dominant form?

Joe Perez has shown some of the best power in the system, but has also had some injury issues since entering the Astros system. Fortunately, he made it through 2019 without any major health scares. It's now time for him to become a more complete hitter. He should form one half of a pretty potent left side of the infield with Shay Whitcomb, the final pick of the 2020 draft. Whitcomb was drafted for his bat and that should get him plenty of playing time all over the infield.

Nerio Rodriguez took a big step forward with his bat in 2019. Can he continue to make progress on offense?

Janos "Johnny" Meszaros is a minor league free agent signing with a very interesting back story. A native of Alaska, he was originally drafted in the 39th round by the Rays out of high school but did not sign. He went to junior college but his career ended up getting derailed by injuries. Meszaros, who still tried to keep his dream alive, got the attention that had long eluded him with one video of him throwing upper-90s heat and a wicked slider. He caught Brent Strom's eye and was signed basically on Strom's recommendation. Now, seven years later, at the age of 26, Meszaros is finally getting his chance to play professional baseball. 

Italics - player bats/throws left-handed
Bold - player is a switch-hitter

Brayan De Paula - Acquired via trade along with Adonis Giron from Marlins for future considerations, 2018; De Paula mainly played for the GCL Astros in 2019 and appeared in two games with Tri-City.
Whit Drennan - 29th round, 2019 draft (Rollins College); GCL Astros
Freylin Garcia - International free agent (Dominican Republic), 2016; last played in 2018 with the GCL Astros
Cesar Gomez - Undrafted free agent (UT-Arlington), 2020; making pro debut
Kevin Holcomb - 13th round, 2019 draft (Glendale CC), GCL Astros
Ernesto Jaquez - International free agent (Dominican Republic), 2017; last played in 2018 with DSL Astros, GCL Astros, and Tri-City
Alfredi Jimenez - International free agent (Dominican Republic), 2017; GCL Astros
Angel Macuare - International free agent (Venezuela), 2016; Tri-City
Christian Mejias - International free agent (Venezuela), 2016; Tri-City/GCL Astros
Johnny Meszaros - Minor league free agent signing, 2021; making pro debut
Cristofer Mezquita - International free agent (Dominican Republic); DSL Astros
Mark Moclair - 12th round, 2019 draft (Tampa); Quad Cities
Manny Ramirez - International free agent (Dominican Republic), 2017; Quad Cities/Tri-City
Jayson Schroeder - 2nd round, 2018 draft (Juanita HS, Kirkland, Washington); Quad Cities/Tri-City/GCL
Jonathan Sprinkle - Undrafted free agent (Central Missouri), 2020; making pro debut
Misael Tamarez - International free agent (Dominican Republic), 2019; GCL Astros/DSL Astros

Luke Berryhill - Acquired via trade from Reds for Cionel Perez, 2021; Greeneville (Reds)
Juan Paulino - 27th round, 2018 draft (Western Oklahoma State); Tri-City
Nerio Rodriguez - International free agent (Dominican Republic), 2016; GCL Astros

J.C. Correa - Undrafted free agent (Lamar), 2020; making pro debut
Joe Perez - 2nd round, 2017 draft (Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Florida); Tri-City
Yeuris Ramirez - International free agent (Dominican Republic), 2015; Tri-City/GCL
Ronaldo Urdaneta - International free agent (Venezuela), 2015; Tri-City/GCL
Shay Whitcomb - 5th round, 2020 draft (UC San Diego); making pro debut

Matthew Barefoot - 6th round, 2019 draft (Campbell); Tri-City
Kenedy Corona - Acquired via trade along with Blake Taylor from Mets for Jake Marisnick, 2019; Brooklyn/GCL Mets/DSL Mets 2
Zach Daniels - 4th round, 2020 draft (Tennessee); making pro debut
Justin Dirden - Undrafted free agent (Southeast Missouri State); making pro debut