I received the confirmation of yesterday's cuts five minutes before I had to be out the door so a simple post was all I had time to do. Let's look at these cuts a little more closely.
LHP David Duncan - Duncan hadn't pitched since 2010 and had been rehabbing from surgery, I believe. I really don't know much about Duncan except that he was incredibly large (6'9" 230#) and was drafted in the 5th round in 2008.
RHP Brandt Walker - Walker also hadn't pitched since 2010 and was rehabbing from surgery. He was drafted in the 8th round in 2009 out of Stanford. He was also incredibly funny on twitter and had fantastic eyebrows ... seriously, click on the link for the picture. I'll wait ... See? Really great eyebrows.
THE LANCASTER EFFECT
OF Jonathan Gaston - Gaston was one of the victims of the Lancaster effect. The 2008 7th round draft pick could never recreate his fantastic numbers with Lancaster in 2009 (.598 SLG%), and there are a number of talented outfielders waiting in the wings.
RHP Robert Donovan - Donovan was drafted in the 23rd round in 2009 and was another victim of the Lancaster effect. I would have liked to see what he could do in a more normal pitching environment, but he did have a fairly high walk rate and that might have been his downfall.
THE 2007-WAS-THE-WORST-ASTROS-DRAFT-CLASS-EVER EFFECT
RHP Kyle Greenwalt - A 20th round pick in the totally snake-bit 2007 draft, Greenwalt just never got over that hump. His minor league career ERA was 5.15 and his WHIP was 1.484. His 2011 numbers at Corpus weren't that good. Read AppyAstros excellent post on that 2007 draft class for more.
OF Devon Torrence - My first impression was "Who?" And then Steve over at Appy Astros came to the rescue. Torrence, a two sport player, was another member of the ill-fated 2007 draft. He last played for the Astros in 2008 and, as Steve explained to me, his signing bonus was prorated in case he decided to play football in order to limit the liability to the team. He did go on to play football, and in all likelihood, this cut was simply a procedural cut. Steve also provided me with this interesting 2009 article from Jonathan Mayo regarding two-sport athletes and the draft. UPDATED TO ADD: According to Mike at Farmstros (see the comment below), Torrence was, indeed, back playing in the Astros organization so this was more than a procedural cut.
THERE MUST BE MORE TO THIS STORY
RHP Matison Smith - Smith was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010 and had very good numbers (2.12 ERA and 1.279 WHIP over 2 seasons, and 11.9 SO/9 in 2011). This one surprised me the most of all of the cuts.
LHP Adam Champion - A 2010 24th round draft pick, Champion had a nice season at Lexington with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.295 WHIP over 45.2 innings pitched. His strikeout rate wasn't very sexy at 6.1 SO/9, but I still found this one a tiny bit surprising.
RHP Justin Gill - Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011, Gill only pitched 21.2 innings in 20 appearances for the GCL Astros in 2011. He had decent numbers (3.32 ERA & 1.246 WHIP), but that's really all I know about him.
C Jacob Meskin - Another non-drafted free agent signing in 2011, Meskin didn't have a very good start to things in 2011 (as in 2 hits and 2 walks over 30 AB's).