Saturday, August 20, 2011

Happy Birthday (8/21)

J.D. Martinez (24)

I think you're all somewhat familiar with J.D. now that he is a Houston Astro. Originally from Miami, FL, J.D. was drafted in 2009 in the 20th Round out of Nova Southeastern University. In 317 AB's with CC this season, J.D. compiled a .338 BA. Although he hasn't been able to match that in Houston (yet), he does already have 6-2B, 5HR & 19RBI in only 74 AB's.

A Day Off

Since I've noticed that my readership falls significantly on the weekend, I'll be taking Sunday off to update my database so I can hit the ground running on Monday. Enjoy the usual Birthday nonsense, TOTD and Roster Moves posted below.

Tweet of the Day

@Astrosradio Brett Dolan
So in one homestand we have seen a Super Slam, a game winning slam down 3 runs, and a leadoff inside the park home run from Altuve.

Good night for the kids!!!

Roster Moves - 8/20

RHP Ross Wolf activated from the TI list

RHP Andrew Robinson activated from the DL
RHP Jake Buchanan placed on the 7-Day DL

Turn It Around

So who do we have in the organization that can switch hit? And how effective are they from each side of the plate?

Stats are for current team only and are through 8/19:

*Jean Batista (GRN) - .375BA/.000RH/.391LH (.262BA for season)
Yonathan Mejia (DSL) - .331BA/.235RH/.360LH
Anderson Hernandez (OKC) - .302BA/.291RH/.306LH
Luis Durango (OKC) - .290BA/.333RH/.282LH
Jimmy Paredes (CC) - .270BA/.292RH/.262LH
Jimmy Paredes (HOU) - .276BA/.333RH/.256LH
Luca Martone (GCL) - .268BA/.200RH/.283LH
Carlos Corporan (OKC) - .250BA/.296RH/.226LH
Carlos Corporan (HOU) - .198BA/.267RH/.174LH
Jonathan Villar (CC) - .227BA/.195RH/.240LH
Andru Sierra (DSL) - .222BA/.135RH/.263LH
Jose Vallejo (OKC) - .220BA/.194RH/.232LH
Federico Hernandez (LAN) - .178BA/.235RH/.161LH
Max Ayarza (GCL) - .130BA/.167RH/.118LH
*Ruben Sosa (LEX) - .111BA/.000RH/.167LH (.248BA for GRN)

*Limited AB's since recently changing teams.

The DH and Pitchers Who Can Hit

One thing that comes out of writing this blog is that I make myself learn things. I knew that the DH is used extensively in the minor leagues, but I didn't exactly know the rules for it. Now I do. The DH is used exclusively in A and rookie league ball. The DH is only used at AA and AAA if one or both of the teams is an American League team. So, pitchers get no game experience as hitters until AA, and then it is still somewhat limited. With that said, I wanted to see if we had any pitchers who can hit.

BA through 8/19 for top hitting pitchers:

.353 in 17 AB - Ross Seaton (CC) - see more below
.250 in 12 AB - Lucas Harrell (OKC)
.238 in 21 AB - Andy Van Hekken (OKC)

J.A. Happ is hitting .333 but that's only based on 3 AB. Lyles, before he was promoted, was hitting .300 in 10 AB.

Ross Seaton is a bit of a stud at the plate. In 17 AB's, he has 6H, 3R, 1-2B, 1HR, 5RBI and a SLG% of .588. If he keeps that up, he can certainly help himself whenever he starts.

Happy Birthday?

No birthdays down on the farm or up in the show in the Astros system today. So I looked to see if any former Astros had a birthday today and it turns out the only former Astro I could find who was born on 8/20 is Cory Sullivan. I had just managed to forget that whole unfortunate but typical Ed Wade free agent debacle and now Cory's .188 BA is etched in my brain. I'm sure he's a lovely person and I do wish him a happy birthday, but I wanted to find someone whose birthday I could really get behind.

Let's see ...
Al Roker - meh
Connie Chung - whatever
Todd Helton - at least it's baseball related but nah
Ron Paul - no politics allowed on this site
Dimebag Darrell - having trouble getting past the name
Robert Plant - hey, now we're getting somewhere

Ah, here we go. Happy Birthday to the late great Isaac Hayes. Shaft, can ya dig it?

Roster Moves - 8/19

In addition to the previously posted moves of Wesley Wright to Houston and Jeff Fulchino to OKC, the following moves were made:

RHP Jose Valdez activated from the DL (he's been on rehab assignment)
RHP Mickey Storey sent to the TI list

And based on the latest finger damage that Ryan Rowland-Smith incurred in his futile attempts at bunting (see the nasty pic over at Astros County), I would not be surprised to see him placed back on the DL.

OF Brandon Meredith activated from the DL

RHP Luis Ordosgoitti assigned to GRN from GCL

RHP Andrew Walter assigned to GCL from TCV

Tweet of the Day

GregRajan Greg Rajan
The @cchooks IF Jose Carlos Thompson is now going by JC. It might quicken his path to #Astros since they have a JA, JB and a JD, but no JC.

I think Greg may be on to something.

Tweet of the Day (Honorable Mention)

@austinwates Austin Wates
I tweet.. Therefore I am.. To communicate is human, to tweet is divine #proverbialtweets

replies ↓
AppyAstros Appy Astros
@austinwates is a deep thinker. One of the top Astros prospects I could enjoy a good conversation over dinner with.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Roster Moves - Prelim

RHP Fulchino down to OKC
LHP Wesley Wright up to HOU

It's been reported that this is as much to do with the upcoming line-ups, needing an additional lefty from the pen, as anything else.

I'll post any other roster moves in the a.m., but being Saturday, I will be sleeping in so don't look for updates early!

Totally Useless Fact

Out of those drafted over the last 4 years, how many are still in the Astros system?

2008 - 18 of 32
2009 - 21 of 36
2010 - 34 of 35
2011 - 35 of 35

And as I posted last week, there are 12 players still in the system that were drafted prior to 2008.

My Hero

@farmstros beat me to the punch on this, but I've got a little different take. Here are the Astros minor league system save leaders for the entire season through 8/18.

18 - Kirk Clark (LAN)
13 - Jorge De Leon (LEX)
8 - Ryan Cole (TCV)
7 - Blake Ford (GCL)

Keep in mind that Cole and Ford are playing short season ball and have had far fewer opportunities.

Since doesn't post save opportunities or blown saves as a stat, I had to go into individual boxscores to determine the save rate. I think these are all correct but I won't guarantee it.

80% - Ryan Cole (TCV)
78.3% - Kirk Clark (LAN)
76.5% - Jorge De Leon (LEX)
70% - Blake Ford (GCL)

Tweet of the Day

@BrandtSkywalker Brandt Walker
My rock bottom was when I stole detergent from the clubhouse so I could do laundry at the hotel.

replies ↓
hyphen18 Ryan Rowland-Smith
Been there! Wait until your tryin to strike out the side to get 'pass the hat' money for gas #calleague

Roster Moves 8/18/11

Released RHP Nelson Figueroa

Nelson was very well travelled, having played for Arizona, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, New York Mets, Toronto, Philadelphia again and then Houston, not to mention stints in the Mexican League and the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. He may be 37 years old, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him show up somewhere eventually. I wish him all good luck.

Happy Birthday - 8/19

LHP Ricardo Batista (20)
In 10 starts for Greeneville this season, Ricardo is 3-3 with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. He is having a strong finish to the season with an ERA of 2.30 in August. From the Dominican Republic, Ricardo was signed as an NDFA in 2008.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2008 Draft Where Are They Now? Hitters Edition

Stats are for full season through 8/17

2008 Draft Where Are They Now? Pitchers Edition

Stats are for full season through 8/17

Happy Birthday - 8/18

SS Juan Santana (17)
Santana was signed by the Astros as an NDFA from the Dominican Republic at the end of 2010 and is currently playing in the DSL. In 65 games, he has compiled a line of .272BA/.352OBP/.366SLG/.718OPS. He currently has 11-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 24RBI & 8SB, all before his 17th birthday. He will need to cut down on his 27 errors but it could be fun to watch his development.

Tweet of the Day

@blackdiamondd0 brandon meredith
You know your hotel is nice when u spend your first twenty minutes swatting and chasing flies out of your room.... #suitelife

Ah, the joys of minor league baseball!

Roster Moves - 8/17/11

CF Jordan Schafer assigned to OKC (Rehab)

OF Brandon Meredith is still listed as being on the 7-Day DL, but via twitter he expects to get a start within the next day or two.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Good, The Pretty Good & The Futile


Most Stolen Bases (full season through 8/14)

29 - Jonathan Villar (CC)
27 - Delino DeShields Jr (LEX)
24 - Luis Durango (OKC)*
23 - Jay Austin (LEX)
20 - Austin Wates (LAN)
18 - Grant Hogue (LAN)
18 - Jose Solano (DSL)
18 - Anderson Hernandez (OKC)
16 - Tyler Burnett (LEX)
16 - Neiko Johnson (TCV)
16 - Teoscar Hernandez (DSL)
16 - T.J. Steele (CC)

*Includes his time in the Padres organization


Highest SB success rate for a min. 12 SB's (full season through 8/14)

92% - Jon Gaston (CC)
89% - Tyler Burnett (LEX)
84% - Neiko Johnson (TCV)
80% - Teoscar Hernandez (DSL)
80% - Ruben Sosa (LEX)
77% - Austin Wates (LAN)
75% - Grant Hogue (LAN)
75% - Wladimir Sutil (CC)
73% - T.J. Steele (CC)
72% - Jose Solano (DSL)


They may not have stolen many, but these guys have a success rate of 100% (full season through 8/14)

8 - Andrew Simunic (LAN)
3 - J.R. Towles (OKC)
3 - Daniel Adamson (LAN)


As of 8/14, these guys have a 0% success rate in a minimum of 2 tries.

Federico Hernandez (LAN)
David Flores (CC)
Enrique Hernandez (LEX)
Matt Duffy (TCV)
Michael Medina (DSL)
Darwin Rivera (GRN)

Happy Birthday - 8/17

OF Emilio King (22)
Born in the Dominican Republic, King was acquired by the Astros as an NDFA prior to the 2006 season. For the season at Lexington, he is hitting .268. His production has tapered off this season, with a .346 BA before the All-Star break and a .204 BA after the break.

LHP Christopher Lee (19)
Drafted in the 4th Round in 2011 and originally from Tampa, FL, Lee is still trying to find his way for the Greeneville Astros. He is 1-3 with a 6.63 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in 10 starts.

It is also Brett Myer's 31st birthday today.

Tweet of the Day

keithlaw The Astros win on a walk-off grand slam ... by a guy who was drafted as a pitcher. @cantpredictball

Sam Miller @keithlaw @cantpredictball Off a guy who was signed as a catcher.

Roster Moves - 8/16/11

RHP Zachary Grimmett activated from the 7-Day DL.
RHP Andrew Robinson moved to the 7-Day DL (8/15)

1B Jhonny Medrano moved to the 7-Day DL (retroactive to 8/11)
OF Bryce Lane moved to the 7-Day DL (retroactive to 8/15)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not So Fast There, Buddy

A subject that is near and dear to my heart. Here are the caught stealing percentages for all catchers in the Astros minor league system. Stats are for the full season (if a player played for multiple clubs this year) and are through 8/14:

Wow, I just looked up J.R. Towles major league percentage. Out of 38 attempts, he caught 5 ... a whopping 13.2% caught stealing rate.

Soapbox, Draft Bonuses Edition

People write all kinds of silly things on twitter that are easy to ignore or discount, depending on their knowledge, intent, etc. But every once in a while, I'll read something on twitter that will really annoy me because the person writing it should know better. That was the case yesterday evening when I read, shortly before the signing deadline, that the Astros "refuse" to go over slot.

I will be the first to acknowledge that the Astros organization has made a lot of mistakes over the last few years, but let's just look at that statement:

First of all, the idea that the Astros refuse to go over slot was immediately refuted when Springer signed for around $700,000 over slot and Armstrong signed for $414,300 over slot.

Secondly, let's look at last year's draft. Adam Plutko, a 6th round pick, didn't accept an amount reported to be in excess of $1,000,000 to sign with the Astros. That's $1,000,000+ offered for a 6th round pick (183rd overall) when the slot value for our 3rd round pick (99th overall) this year was $335,700. Were the Astros reluctant to pay over slot in prior years? Maybe so; probably so. But does that mean that is still the case? It doesn't look like it to me.

Next, let's consider that baseball is still a business. If you make a regular habit of vastly overpaying for a product, it will become the new reality. You will always have to overpay because you will be seen as a weak negotiator who will cave when push comes to shove.

Finally, one needs to consider that there other factors involved in the decision for a player to sign, particularly a high school player. The player may just not be ready to embark on a professional career (and his parents may be dead-set against it). A player may simply have his heart set on going to a particular college or may actually place a premium on his education. I know this is hard to believe, but for many of us, there are more important things than money. In the case of a Gandy Stubbefield, the Astros probably knew that he was a long-shot to sign or they would have drafted him in an earlier round. But at least they tried.

So you can complain about everything from bad free agent signings to the cost of beer, but I think it's disingenuous to say that the Astros "refuse" to pay over slot anymore. And the fact remains that 35 players from the 2011 draft did sign and many of them have been playing for a couple of months now. And yesterday, the Astros farm system got just that much stronger with the signings of Springer and Armstrong, and the acquisition of Domingo Santana.

Soapbox --------> Exit Stage Right

Roster Moves - 8/15/11

LHP Dallas Keuchel activated from the TI list
RHP Ross Wolf placed on the TI list

RF Domingo Santana from the Lakewood BlueClaws to the Lexington Legends as the PTBNL in the Pence trade to the Phillies

Happy Birthday - 8/16

LHP Jeremiah Meiners (23)
Drafted in the 40th Round of the 2010 draft out of Francis Marion University (SC), Jeremiah is 1-3 in 15 appearances, including 1 save, for Greeneville. He has a 2.45 ERA, 0.939 WHIP and a 5.83 SO/BB ratio. He was born in Silver Springs, MD.

2B Delino DeShields Jr (19)
The Astro's 1st Round draft choice in 2010 has struggled some at the plate in his time at Lexington, but has improved his BA from .197 before the All-Star break to .259 after the break. The speedster from Norcross, GA has 14-2B, 2-3B, 6HR, 42RBI, 27SB, 41BB & 103SO for the season.

Tweet of the Day

Astros have signed 1st round pick OF George Springer and 3rd rounder RHP Jack Armstrong. Astros have signed top 13 picks and 35 of 50.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Workhorses III

Most appearances this season by a pitcher:

49 - Ross Wolf (OKC)
45 - Kirk Clark (LAN)
42 - Arcenio Leon (CC)
42 - Danny Meszaros (OKC/CC)
40 - Wander Alvino (LAN)
39 - Pat Urckfitz (OKC/CC/LAN)
37 - Jorge de Leon (LEX)
37 - Michael Ness (LAN)
37 - Wesley Wright (OKC)

Strike Three and Ball Four

SO/BB ratio for all Astros minor league players, current team only, through 8/12:

Happy Birthday - 8/15

Tons of birthdays this week - 5 pitchers (3 lefties), 3 IF and 1 OF

RHP Jorge de Leon (24)
In 37 appearances (47.2 IP) for the Lexington Legends this season, Jorge has 13 saves with a 3.40 ERA, 1.049 WHIP and a SO/BB ratio of 5.00. Born in the Dominican Republic, Jorge was picked up by the Astros as an NDFA in 2006 and is currently on the Astros 40-Man Roster.

SS Alex Todd (22)
Alex was selected in the 27th round of the 2011 draft out of Sonoma State (CA). He was just called up to Lancaster from Greeneville and currently has a .200 BA for LAN, .162 for the season. He is originally from San Jose, CA.

Tweet of the Day

If you're easily offended by slightly off-color humor, read no further (but personally I was laughing about this one all day long)

Tweet from the DH for the Tri-City Valley Cats:

@RafyVvv Rafael Valenzuela
If she wakes up in the morning and puts on Dora the Explorer #shestoyoungforubro

Roster Moves - 8/14/11

IF John Hinson placed on the 7-Day DL retroactive to 8/11/11

LHP Thomas Shirley assigned to TCV from GCL

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Side Note from Your Friendly Neighborhood Blogger

As you probably know, I am extremely new at this so I'm still trying to find my way. I really want my main focus to be a comparative look at the stats across all levels of the minors, but in order to be up to the minute, the amount of data entry into my database is simply unsustainable. With that said, I will probably update stats once a week and draw the majority of my info from that. I will make sure to tell you the effective date of the info and whether or not it is current team only or for the season. Thanks for your indulgence as I figure this out.

How Ya Doin' Slugger?

Slugging % for all Astros minor leaguers, current team only, through 8/12/11

Tweet of the Day

Vin Scully on air on Jose Altuve: "These are big guys. When you see a little fella play and play well, it shows you he has a lot of heart."

Roster Moves - 8/13/11

2B Ruben Sosa assigned to LEX from GRN

C Bubby Williams activated from the TI list

Wladimir Sutil is now shown as being on the 7-day DL