Saturday, August 13, 2011

Workhorses Part Deux

Most games played by Astros minor leaguers this season:

113 - 1B Kody Hinze (LAN/CC)
113 - 2B Anderson Hernandez (OKC)
111 - LF Jacob Goebbert (LAN/CC/OKC)
111 - 1B Koby Clemens (OKC)
110 - 3B Jonathan Meyer (LAN)
110 - RF Adam Bailey (GCL/LEX/LAN)
109 - OF Austin Wates (LAN)
108 - 3B Mike Kvasnicka (LEX)
107 - SS Jonathan Villar (LAN/CC)

Workhorses Part the First

Most innings pitched by Astros minor leaguers this season:

144 IP - RHP Jack Buchanan (LAN)
133 IP - LHP Dallas Keuchel (CC/OKC)
130.2 IP - RHP Carlos Quevedo (LEX)
124.2 IP - RHP Ross Seaton (CC)
122.1 IP - LHP Xavier Cedeno (CC/OKC)
122.1 IP - RHP Mike Foltynewicz (LEX)

For comparative purposes, Jordan Lyles has pitched 138.1 innings between OKC and HOU.

Tweet of the Day

Ah crap. The Astros won't finish over .500?!

Roster Moves - 8/12/11

IF Jose Vallejo assigned to OKC from CC

OF Adam Bailey assigned to CC from LAN
IF Jose Carlos Thompson assigned to CC from LAN

In addition, Greg Rajan of the CC Caller Times is reporting that IF Wladimir Sutil will be going on the DL, but that hasn't been reported in the official transactions yet.

SS Alex Todd assigned to LAN from GRN
OF Daniel Adamson assigned from LEX to LAN

SS Jean Batista assigned to GRN from GCL

Friday, August 12, 2011

And Then There Were Twelve

There were only 13 players left in the Astros organization who were drafted by Houston prior to the 2008 season. Tommy Manzella was one of them, having been drafted in the 3rd round in 2005. Who remains from the PBH (pre-Bobby Heck) era and how are they faring?

C J.R. TOWLES (27)
Drafted out of community college in the 20th Round in 2004

Minor Leagues Overall: .297BA/.394OBP/.862OPS
This Season at OKC: .292/.453/.869 with 3-2B 2HR 2SB 13BB 7SO
Major League Overall: .186/.270/.588

Drafted out of community college in the 29th Round in 2004

Brad was out with a shoulder injury in 2010 and the first part of 2011.

Minor Leagues Overall: 4.09 ERA 1.419 WHIP
This Season at TCV/CC: 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA 2.000 WHIP in 9 games

Drafted out of college in the 1st Round in 2005 (as a pitcher)
Bats L

Brian is a special case in that he has 7 seasons in the minor leagues, but only 4 as a position player since he was converted from pitcher.

Minor Leagues Overall: .280BA/.363OBP/.770OPS
This Season at OKC: .261/.361/.761 with 11-2B 5-3B 3HR 20SB 30BB 49SO
This Season at HOU: .273/.365/.747

Drafted out of community college in the 6th Round in 2005

Minor Leagues Overall: .249BA/.311OBP/.740OPS
This Season at OKC/CC: .227/.303/.721 with 18-2B 5-3B 12HR 10SB 35BB 89SO

His season numbers are skewed by bad numbers at OKC.
In 29 games in CC - .292BA/.325OBP/.777OPS

Drafted out of high school in the 8th Round in 2005

Minor Leagues Overall: .265BA/.358OBP/.817OPS
This Season at OKC: .234/.329/.752 with 18-2B 1-3B 16HR 4SB 46BB 106SO

This is his first season at AAA.

Drafted out of college in the 2nd Round in 2006

Minor Leagues Overall: 38-40 4.18 ERA 1.509 WHIP
This Season in OKC: 5-9 4.25 ERA 16.09 WHIP 110IP 14HR 48BB 71SO

Drafted out of college in the 4th Round in 2006

Minor Leagues Overall: .277BA/.317OBP/.748OPS
This Season at OKC: .281/.410/.942 over 8 games
Major Leagues Overall: .271/.306/.722
This Season at HOU: .245/.286/.659

Drafted out of college in the 6th Round in 2006

Major Leagues Overall: 20-21 with a 4.38 ERA 1.428 WHIP
This Season in HOU: 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.336 WHIP

Drafted out of college in the 8th Round of the 2006 Draft

Minor Leagues Overall: .277BA/.344OBP/.766OPS
This Season at CC: .308/.384/.866 with 21-2B 2-3B 11HR 3SB 42BB 48SO

Drafted out of community college in the 5th Round in 2007
Bats L

Minor Leagues Overall: .256BA/.319OBP/.787OPS
This Season in OKC: .273/.327/.781 with 15-2B 3-3B 7HR 9SB 14BB 66SO

Drafted out of high school in the 20th Round in 2007

Minor Leagues Overall: 5.20 ERA 1.492 WHIP
This Season in CC/LAN: 6.93 ERA 1.513 WHIP

Kyle has a save and hasn't given up a run in 4 appearances since being sent to LAN.

Drafted out of high school in the 41st Round in 2007

Minor Leagues Overall: 4.80 ERA 1.568 WHIP
This Season in LAN: 6.39 ERA 1.500 WHIP (3.21 ERA against lefties)

Rooting for the Good Ones to Succeed

I was at an Astros game last season and, prior to the start of the game, I was watching the players do their stretching and running and tossing and general loosening up. A group of elementary kids were coming in from right field to get into position to sing the national anthem. Tommy Manzella started messing around with the kids; teasing them by feigning running right over them and then peeling off at the last second; acting like he was going to throw a missile to one of them and then playing a game of toss. The kids were giggling and I think he was too.

Seeing that display and knowing a little of Tommy's history (having lost his mom to cancer a while back and having his family home devastated by Katrina) made me really want him to succeed. It makes me a little sad that he was never able to pull it all together for the Astros organization. I hope that he is able to do great things for the Diamondbacks (as long as he's not playing against any of the Astros teams).

With that said, part of the fun of watching baseball, for me anyway, is rooting for the good guys. Euris Quezada may be a terrific individual. He may come from a background where the pressure to succeed is enormous. He may have never used any PED's. He may have never intended to use that syringe. He may have just made a mistake. But it's not going to be easy for him to convince me that he deserves my support in the same way that Tommy Manzella did. But I'm willing to try if he is.

Soapbox ----> Exit stage right

Roster Moves - 8/11/11

SS Tommy Manzella claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks and assigned to the Reno Aces

2B Jose Vallejo sent to CC from LAN

C Jordan Comadena activated from the TI list

RHP Euris Quezeda placed on the restricted list
According to reporting by Zachary Levine, Quezada was found to be in possession of an unauthorized syringe resulting in a 25-game suspension, which will effectively end his season.

1B Chase Davidson promoted to TCV from GRN
As I had posted earlier this week, Davidson has one of the highest OBP's in the Astros minors; however, he also has an abysmal SO rate that he will really need to work on in order to be successful long-term.

OF Kellen Kiilsgaard was sent to GRN from TCV

Tweet of the Day

@zacharylevine And my problem as general manager is I can't think of another place to play. RT @brianmctaggart Astros 19-40 at home and 19-40 on the road.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Excuses, excuses

I had planned something else for today, but between a particularly bad dental appointment and the fact that my brakes went out in the middle of traffic on Richmond Avenue on my way home from said appointment, I am planning on curling up in a fetal position for the rest of the evening.

Check out for all the latest and greatest information on changes and moves today. They are doing their usual excellent work over there.

The Good, The Bad and The Downright Painful


Highest OBP based on 250 min. AB for full season, 115 min. AB for short-season and rookie leagues

.439 - Kody Hinze (LAN/CC)
.431 - Neiko Johnson (TCV)
.426 - Chase Davidson (GRN)
.422 - Chris Epps (GCL/TCV)
.401 - Mario Gonzalez (DSL)
.391 - Brandon Wikoff (CC)
.391 - Ben Orloff (LEX)
.386 - Robinson Cancel (OKC)
.384 - James Van Ostrand (CC)
.379 - Brandon Meredith (TCV)
.377 - Teoscar Hernandez (DSL)
.376 - Austin Wates (LAN)
.375 - Jordan Scott (LEX/GRN)

I can't believe a guy that's 35 years old and built like an ottoman (Cancel) has a higher OBP than some of our young studs. Step it up!


Lowest OBP (same parameters)

.232 - T.J. Steele (CC)
.268 - Jean Batista (GCL)
.283 - Joshua Magee (GRN)
.284 - Yoel Silfa (DSL)
.290 - Mesac Laguna (DSL)
.296 - Darwin Rivera (DSL/GRN)
.298 - Jonathan Gaston (CC)

Now I see why everyone over at breaks into hysterical laughter every time Steele is referred to as a 5-tool player by the front office.


I'm indulging in a bit of schadenfreude (my dental appointment didn't go well) by looking at the Astros minor league leaders in hitting batters.

10 - Sergio Perez (OKC)
9 - Ruben Alaniz (LEX)
9 - Rodney Quintero (GRN)
7 - Mike Foltynewicz (LEX)
7 - Jose Cisnero (LAN)
8 - Eight players are tied.

The thing that stands out to me on this list is that Rodney Quintero has only pitched 25 innings and he has 9 HBP. The dude is playing whack-a-mole out there!

More to Come ...

I have a couple of posts in the planning stages, but due to impending dental work in the very near future, it may be late afternoon or early evening before I get those finished. Check back later or give me a follow on twitter at @whattheheck57 and I'll tweet you when the blog is updated.

No Birthdays Today But ...

Let's look at where the players in our system were born.*

157 - United States (broken down below)
68 - Dominican Republic
21 - Venezuela
11 - Puerto Rico
8 - Panama
5 - Columbia
5 - Nicaragua
3 - Canada (2 from BC, 1 from ONT)
1 - Australia
1 - Brazil
1 - Cuba
1 - El Salvador
1 - Italy
1 - South Korea
1 - Swaziland (see my earlier post)
1 - Taiwan
1 - Virgin Islands


26 - Texas
21 - California
14 - Florida
11 - Georgia
9 - Illinois
7 - New York
6 - Oklahoma
6 - Pennsylvania
5 - Alabama
5 - Arizona
5 - South Carolina
4 - Massachusetts
3 - Colorado
3 - Indiana
3 - Ohio
3 - North Carolina
3 - Washington
2 - Connecticut
2 - Minnesota
2 - Missouri
2 - Nebraska
2 - New Jersey
2 - Tennessee
1 - Delaware
1 - Kansas
1 - Kentucky
1 - Louisiana
1 - Maryland
1 - Michigan
1 - Mississippi
1 - Oregon
1 - Utah
1 - Virginia
1 - West Virginia

*This includes major league players as well as minor-leaguers. I may be missing a couple that I'm not 100% sure where they were born.

Roster Moves - 8/10/11

The following roster moves took place on 8/10:

In addition to the previously reported call-up of RHP Henry Sosa to Houston and the corresponding move of LHP Wesley Wright to OKC, Tommy Manzella was removed from the 40-Man Roster (to make room for Sosa) and designated for assignment. It may be a few days before we know exactly where Tommy will land.

C Chris Wallace was put on the 7-day DL, retroactive to 8/8. According to Greg Rajan of the CC Caller-Times, Chris has a wrist injury.

C Joe Witkowski was activated from the DL

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why I'm really rooting for Steve Martin to get to the bigs

Why am I really, really, really hoping that RHP Steve Martin makes it to the major leagues in an Astros uniform one day?

Is it because of the name? All those "wild and crazy guy" jokes and arrows through the head? Well, maybe a little.

Is it because he was picked in the 37th round of the 2011 draft and I always root for the underdog? Yeah, kind of.

Is it because he had a fantastic July for the Greeneville Astros with a 1.38 ERA? And a very respectable .189 BA against? Doesn't hurt.

Is it because he went to Texas A&M? Any roots in Texas are definitely a plus.

But none of that is really, really the reason that I really, really want Steve Martin to go all the way. The real reason is that I want the Houston Astros to have the first player born in Swaziland playing for them. As far as I can tell, no one born in Swaziland has ever played in the MLB. According to Baseball Almanac, the closest country alphabetically is Switzerland and the closest country geographically appears to be Saudi Arabia (although there are 38 listed as unknown and one poor fellow who appears to have been born in the Atlantic Ocean).

Now I don't know the circumstances behind Steve Martin's birth in Mbabne, Swaziland. Heck, I don't even know how to pronounce Mbabne and I had to look on "the google" to see where Swaziland was. And it appears that he probably grew up in Brenham. But none of that matters. The fact remains that he was, indeed, born in Swaziland and that's enough for me.

Totally Useless Fact

On June 6, 1995, Nelson Figueroa was signed by the New York Mets after being drafted in the 30th round.

On June 6, 1995, Frederick Serrano, the youngest player in the Astros minor league system, had been on this earth for a total of 281 days.

How Old Are They?

More than you ever wanted to know about the average age of your Astros (note that these figures don't reflect any of yesterday's roster moves)

Average age of all players in the system, including MLB and those on the disabled list - 22 years, 306 days

Average - 27 years, 261 days (doesn't factor in Henry Sosa)
Oldest - 35 years, 51 days (Carlos Lee)
Youngest - 20 years, 295 days (Jordan Lyles)

Average - 27 years, 164 days
Oldest - 37 years, 84 days (Nelson Figueroa)
Youngest - 23 years, 221 days (Dallas Keuchel)

Average - 24 years, 297 days
Oldest - 32 years, 167 days (Brian Esposito)
Youngest - 20 years, 100 days (Jonathan Villar)

Average - 23 years, 83 days
Oldest - 26 years, 3 days (Andrew Simunic)
Youngest - 19 years, 326 days (Jonathan Singleton)

Average - 22 years, 22 days
Oldest - 25 years, 135 days (Chia-Jen Lo)*
Youngest - 18 years, 359 days (Delino DeShields Jr)

*Since Lo is on the DL, I'll give you the second oldest
Ben Orloff is 24 years, 106 days

Average - 22 years, 282 days
Oldest - 25 years, 62 days (Garrett Bullock)
Youngest - 20 years, 296 days (Andrew Walter)

Average - 20 years, 309 days
Oldest - 23 years, 100 days (Steve Martin)
Youngest - 17 years, 329 days (Ariel Ovando)

Average - 20 years, 160 days
Oldest - 23 years, 90 days (Kevin Gonzalez)
Youngest - 17 years, 316 days (Michael Feliz)

Average - 18 years, 314 days
Oldest - 21 years, 107 days (Kelvin Santana)
Youngest - 16 years, 346 days (Frederick Serrano)

Happy Birthday

Colton Pitkin (22)
A RHP for Lancaster, Pitkin has had an uneven season. His first half ERA was a respectable 3.84 but he has compiled an 11.83 ERA in the second half. Originally from Baytown, TX, he was signed by the Astros in the 41st round of the 2007 draft.

Jay Austin (21)
Jay is a left-handed hitting CF from Atlanta, GA who has split his time between Lancaster and Lexington this year. A .250 hitter for the season, he has used his speed to compile 24 doubles, 4 triples and 23 steals so far this year. Jay was a second round draft pick in 2008.

It is also Brandon Lyon's 32nd birthday.

Roster Moves - 8/9/11

RHP Henry Sosa has been called up to Houston (effective 8/10/11) from OKC. I now see that Wesley Wright will be sent back to OKC in the corresponding roster move.

LF Luis Durango outrighted to OKC

RHP Juan Mojica sent to the Greeneville Astros from the GCL Astros

RHP Francis Ramirez sent to the Greeneville Astros from the GCL Astros

RHP Luis Ordosgiotti sent to the GCL Astros from the Greeneville Astros

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


SO% for players with a minimum of 250 PA's (140 PA's for Short Season A & Rookie Leagues) that fall below the ML Average of 18.9%

6.3% - Ben Orloff/LEX
7.9% - Juan Santan/DSL
7.9% - Brandon Wikoff/CC
9.4% - Wladimir Sutil/CC & OKC combined
11.3% - Yoel Silfa/DSL
11.6% - Rene Garcia/LAN
11.9% - Franny Polanco/DSL
12.2% - Neiko Johnson/TCV
12.3% - Mesac Laguna/DSL
12.6% - Jimmy Van Ostrand/CC
12.7% - Mario Gonzalez/DSL
13% - Jordan Scott/GRN & LEX combined
13.1% - Oswaldo Navarro/OKC
13.6% - Zachary Johnson/TCV
13.8% - John Hinson/TCV
14% - Austin Wates/LAN
14.8% - Jacob Goebbert/OKC & CC combined
14.8% - Anderson Hernandez/OKC
14.9% - Justin Gominsky/TCV
15.1% - David Flores/CC & LAN combined
15.5% - Jose Solano/DSL
15.8% - Grant Hogue/LAN
16.4% - Robinson Cancel/OKC
16.6% - Adam Bailey/LAN & LEX combined
16.9% - Jean Batista/GCL
16.9% - Ruben Sosa/GRN
17.1% - Drew Locke/OKC
17.4% - Tyler Burnett/LEX
17.4% - Matt Duffy/TCV
17.8% - Teoscar Hernandez/DSL
18.2% - Miles Hamblin/TCV
18.7% - Jose Thompson/LAN


SO% for players with same minimum PA's that are above the ML Average of 18.9%

28.7% - Justin Shults/GCL
27.8% - Chase Davidson/GRN
27.8% - Tommy Manzella/OKC
26.8% - Jonathan Villar/CC & LAN combined
26.4% - Chris Epps/TCV & GCL combined
26.4% - T.J. Steele/CC
25.5% - Koby Clemens/CC
25.2% - Andrew Simunic/LAN, CC & OKC combined
24.6% - Jonathan Gaston/CC
24.5% - Darwin Rivera/GRN & DSL combined
24.4% - Jiovanni Mier/LAN & LEX combined
24.2% - Jonathan Meyer/LAN
23.3% - Brandon Barnes/CC & OKC combined
23.2% - Chris Wallace/CC & LEX combined
22.6% - Delino DeShields Jr/LEX
21.7% - Emilio King/LEX
21.1% - Jay Austin/LAN & LEX combined
20.9% - Drew Muren/TCV
20.4% - Javaris Reynolds/GCL
20.2% - Mike Kvasnika/LEX
19.9% - Brandon Meredith/TCV
19.5% - Kody Hinze/CC & LAN combined


HR/9 allowed - minimum of 50IP (25IP for short season and rookie leagues)

1.7 - Erick Abreu/CC
1.6 - Jonathan Aristil/CC
1.5 - Nelson Figueroa/OKC
1.5 - Luis Cruz/LEX
1.5 - Tyson Perez/GRN
1.5 - Francis Ramirez/GCL
1.5 - Andrew Robinson/LAN

The good news is that as a team, the DSL Astros are only allowing 0.3 HR/9 IP, followed closely by the GCL Astros and the Tri-City Valley Cats at 0.5 HR/9 IP. Not surprisingly, Lancaster gives up the most as a team at 1.3 HR/9 IP.

Happy Birthday

RHP Erick Abreu (28)
Erick is 5-4 with a 3.98 ERA for CC this season. In 97.1 IP, he has issued only 20 BB while striking out 87. Born in the Dominican Republic, Abreu was first signed by the Yankees as a NDFA in 2003. The Astros signed him as a free agent in 2008.

1B Ronald Sanchez (20)
Originally from Puerto Rico and drafted by the Astros out of high school in the 16th round in 2009, this lefty hitting 1B is struggling with a .190 BA in 42 AB for the Greeneville Astros.

Roster Moves - 8/8/11

The following moves took place on 8/8:

RHP Sergio Perez was placed on the 7-day DL

RHP Zachary Grimmett was placed on the 7-day DL
RHP Robert Donovan was activated from the 7-Day DL

RHP Nathan Pettus was assigned to the GCL Astros. A 27th Round Draft pick in 2008, Pettus (22) hasn't pitched since 2010 (for GCL & LEX).

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

THE GOOD - Highest SO/9 with a minimum of 20 IP

Dayan Diaz/TCV - 13.1
Blake King/CC - 12.1
Reymin Guduan/DSL - 11.5
Matison Smith/GRN - 11.3
Murillo Gouvea/LEX - 11.0
Danny Meszaros/CC - 11.0

THE BAD - Highest BB/9 with a minimum of 20 IP

Luis Abad/DSL - 9.2
Reymin Guduan/DSL - 9.0
Andres Feliz/DSL - 8.6
Blake King/CC - 7.2
Geronimo Franzua/DSL - 7.0


Mike Kvasnika/LEX - 14
Tommy Manzella/OKC - 13
Rene Garcia/LAN - 10
Roberto Pena/LEX - 9
Matt Duffy/TCV - 9

As a side note, it was nice to see that the high for GIDP for the GCL was only 3.

Happy Birthday

3B Hector Rodriguez (22)
In 2 games with the Lexington Legends, Hector has a .500 BA, slightly higher than the .176 BA he sported for the Tri-City Valley Cats. From the Dominican Republic, he started his career with the DSL Astros in 2008.

RHP Juri Perez (21)
In 10 starts with the Tri-City Valley Cats, Juri is 1-3 with an ERA of 4.04. His last start was a very effective outing: 6IP, 5H, 1R/ER, 1HR, 1BB and 5 SO. He is originally from Venezuela and started with the VSL Astros in 2007.

Roster Moves - 8/7/11

The following moves took place on 8/7:

RHP Sergio Perez activated from the TI list
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith activated from the 7-day DL

RHP Andrew Walter assigned to TCV from GCL
C Bubby Williams to the TI list
RHP Euris Quezeda to the 7-day DL
RHP Jamaine Cotton from GRN to TCV (I assume that this is correct. lists him as going to the T-C Dust Devils instead of the Valley Cats, which is most likely an error.)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Highest OPS thru 8/6/11 - 75 AB minimum

This is based on players with their current teams only. Others who would qualify with their prior team are:

Adam Bailey - .823 OPS in 312 AB for Lexington
Kody Hinze - 1.083 OPS in 285 AB for Lancaster
Chris Epps - .918 OPS in 112 AB for GCL
Jacob Goebbert - .823 OPS in 272 AB for CC
Chris Wallace - .865 combined OPS for total of 98 AB at Lexington & CC

Lowest WHIP 20 IP minimum as of 8/6/11

These are based on players with their current teams only. Others who would qualify with prior teams:

Chris Hicks - 0.97 WHIP for 24.2 IP with Lancaster
Dallas Keuchel - 1.12 WHIP for 127.2 IP with CC

How Did They Get Here

Draft Info As Of 8/7/11

Yet another Astros blog? Why?

Well, the truth is that this blog is more for my entertainment than for anything else.  Because of the current, ahem, “difficulties” of the Astros team, I have found myself increasingly interested in the Astros farm system.  But I am a big picture kind of person.  I like to see how all the pieces fit together.  So over the last month or so, I put together a huge database on all the players currently in the Astros system, from the Tri-City Valley Cats to the Lancaster Jethawks to the DSL Astros, including all stops in between.  I can sort and filter and make all kinds of meaningless connections of all the data to my heart’s content.  If anyone else likes to look at this minutiae, so be it.

I feel certain that I have made mistakes along the way.  Please contact me via twitter @whattheheck57 for corrections.  Give me a follow on twitter and I’ll let you know when I update the blog.

August Birthdays