Thursday, January 31, 2013

Astros Minor League Depth - Right Fielders

As Spring Training approaches, I've been looking at the Astros minor league depth, position by position. Today, we look at the right fielders in the organization who had the best seasons in 2012.

The embedded chart shows right fielders in the organization ranked from high to low in terms of OPS. I have noted their current age, the last level at which they played and, if they spent significant time at multiple positions, that information is included as well. I included Jimmy Paredes in right field simply because that's where he played most of his games for Houston after his September call-up. He played mostly in left field during his time in winter ball, though.

Domingo Santana only turned 20 in August, but he more than held his own on the Hi-A Lancaster team. He is still learning the position and he needs to cut down on the strikeouts, but I was impressed with his maturity and approach when I saw him in August. I am eager to see him again this season to see how he has progressed.

There are two other young players on this list that bear watching. Ariel Ovando improved dramatically over his first season at Greeneville, and Teoscar Hernandez is someone I've had my eye on since his 2011 season in the DSL. He made a solid transition to playing ball in the States in his time with the GCL Astros. In a late call-up to Lexington to fill a vacancy at the end of the season, he made the most of the opportunity.

Preston Tucker, the Astros 2012 seventh round pick, had a great freshman season with Tri-City. He struck out only 16 times in 42 games while walking 18 times.

There are a few players I can see having breakout seasons in 2013. Michael Burgess, a former first round draft pick by the Nationals, was picked up in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft this winter. Adam Bailey had an uneven season in 2012, but still put up solid overall numbers. [As a side note, Bailey actually played more left field than right field in 2012, but was used more in right field after his call up to Corpus, plus, as a former college pitcher, he has a great arm for right field.] Also, I included Mike Kvasnicka on this list even though his numbers may not look that great. Kvasnicka had a really dreadful start to the season that skewed his overall numbers as he transitioned back to catcher, a transition which was apparently abandoned as Kvasnicka found a home in right field for the bulk of the season. He was coming on nicely when his season was derailed early due to injury.

Jake Goebbert received an invitation to big league camp for Spring Training as the Astros look for left-handed outfield options.

Jimmy Paredes, of course, played most of the season at second base and is still a work in progress in his transition to the outfield. His winter ball season was cut short after he was involved in a car accident that reportedly banged up his left arm (details from the Dominican Republic were very sketchy). He only played in one game after the accident.

I will also be keeping my eye on Justin Gominsky, an outstanding defensive player who will need to make progress with the bat in 2013. Also Brauly Mejia showed me enough in his first year with the DSL Astros at the age of 17 that I'll be watching him as well to see how he progresses.

I think this is one of the stronger positions in the system in terms of talent and potential at all levels and ages. I can see a number of these players eventually contributing on a big league club.

Tuesday: Left Fielders
Wednesday: Center Fielders


  1. Bailey and Burgess seem very similar in there numbers, age, handedness, and level of play. That should be an interesting competition come spring training.

  2. Saw Gominsky play last year, he's a stud. Game I went to he went 3-4 with 2 2B and threw a guy out at the plate. His arm is strong and accurate. In my opinion, he's way under-rated in this Astros system. Defense wins you championships. WTHB, have you heard from any of the Astros personnel what they think about Gominsky? He's one ill follow for the rest of his career, especially when he makes the big leagues. ( a side note would be, he was the last one out of the stadium after the game signing balls for the kids. What some of the regular legends fans were saying is that he does that whether he goes 4-4 or 0-4. Pretty cool to see someone like that with the Astros with a ton of ability).

    1. No, I haven't ever really talked to any of the coaches, etc. about Gominsky, but I have heard nothing but good about him from the fans who have seen him play. I missed him when I was at Lexington last year because he was out for a couple of games with a minor injury. I'm looking forward to catching up with him this year.