Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Birthday - 1/1

LHP Dallas Keuchel (24)
Drafted by Houston in the 7th round in 2009 out of the University of Arkansas, this Oklahoma native split the 2011 season between Corpus Christi (9-7 in 20 starts with an ERA of 3.17, WHIP of 1.120) and Oklahoma City (1-1 in 7 starts with an ERA of 7.50, WHIP of 1.777).  In the Arizona Fall League, Keuchel was 3-2 in 7 appearances (6 starts) with an ERA of 5.08 and a WHIP of 1.306.  Most impressive was his ratio of 1BB:22SO.  In the regular season, he had 5.00 SO/9 which increased to 6.99 SO/9 in the Arizona Fall League.

Since the Arizona Fall League finished, Dallas has been spending his off-season in Tulsa.  I asked him a little about his 2011 season and his time in the Arizona Fall League.  Here is what he had to say.

On what he took away from his experience in the Arizona Fall League:

“In my time in Arizona, I had a blast. My personal goal I set for myself there was to just attack every hitter and see what they can do with it. As I got the first couple starts under my belt I began to redirect my thought process and aimed more at not walking anyone. It’s tough to do but I was close and am now more confident than ever in my ability to command the zone no matter who is hitting. Overall I think the command and location of all 5 of my pitches got a whole lot better and I couldn’t be happier. My time with the Rafters was more than I could’ve ever asked for.  All the guys were awesome and it was cool to see other pitchers mindsets for attacking hitters and what their thought process was going into each game. Not to mention there was some pretty damn good talent there. It’s nice to compete against the best minor league players because more than 75% of them will probably make the big leagues sometime.”

On how the fall league experience differed from his time at Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City:

“The Arizona experience was different in the way of confidence.  My confidence was at an all time high in Corpus where I just went out relaxed and threw the ball like I knew I could.  In OKC it was a little different.  I started out slow and was immediately frustrated that I wasn’t making pitches like I was earlier in the year. I feel though I started getting back into my comfort zone the last couple starts and I think it showed in the box scores.  I wasn’t just playing the game; I was pressing in OKC and that’s not who I am. When I got out to Arizona it was just straight forward mindset and let the good times roll. I knew I was there because they wanted to see what I could do against the best prospects in minor league baseball.  I didn’t think of it that way though; I thought of it more as a chance to better myself and get myself to where I was back in the middle of the season and to work on some things that I wouldn’t necessarily be doing in the offseason.”

And on his goals for the New Year:

“As for my New Year’s goals, it’s simple....come out to spring training and compete to the best of my ability and win a spot somewhere, whether it's OKC or Houston.  Everything will fall into place sooner or later and I want to be ready when that time comes.”

RHP Justin Gill (23)
Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011, Gill spent 2011 with the GCL Astros.  In 20 appearances in relief, he compiled a 3.32 ERA and a 1.246 WHIP, with 7.59 SO/9.

RHP Johan Arias (20)
Since being signed by the Astros as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, Arias has spent two seasons pitching for the DSL Astros.  In 17 games in relief, he had a 7.98 ERA and a 1.739 WHIP.  His ERA with bases empty was 0.00.

One former Astro with a birthday today

IF Joe Pittman (58)
Played in 67 games for Houston in 1981 and 1982 with a .276 BA

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