Sunday, November 22, 2015

Astros Farm Report: 11/22

A few thoughts on which players were protected and which were left exposed to December's Rule 5 Draft, but first things first ...


11-24: RHP Francis Martes (20)
11-25: RHP Erasmo Pinales (21)
11-27: LHP Luis Ramirez (20)
11-28: RHP Derick Velazquez (22)


Here is how the Astros players participating in fall and winter leagues have fared to date (through Saturday, the 21st, unless otherwise noted):

3B J.D. Davis - .279/.329/.456 in 17 games
OF Derek Fisher - .254/.397/.424 in 17 games
IF Chan-Jong Moon - .093/.241/.116 in 13 games
1B A.J. Reed - .231/.326/.385 in 11 games
LHP Chris Cotton - 1.17 ERA/0.783 WHIP in 8 games (7.2IP)
LHP Brian Holmes - 1.13 ERA/1.250 WHIP in 6 games (16.0IP)
LHP Albert Minnis - 2.31 ERA/1.200 WHIP in 9 games (11.2IP)
RHP Keegan Yuhl - 7.88 ERA/1.625 WHIP in 8 games (8.0IP)

Derek Fisher ended the season nicely, going 4-for-8 with a double and two RBI in his final two games. Holmes and Minnis also did well in their final appearances and all are now really able to start their offseasons at long last.

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (stats thru Friday only)
C Tyler Heineman - .190/.288/.224 in 19 games
1B/DH Tyler White - .274/.410/.484 in 26 games
RHP Jake Buchanan - 2.01 ERA/0.830 WHIP in 7 games (31.1IP)
LHP Reymin Guduan - 3.12 ERA/1.731 WHIP in 10 games (8.2IP)
RHP Jandel Gustave - 2.77 ERA/1.385 WHIP in 11 games (13.0IP)
RHP Angel Heredia - 13.50 ERA/2.500 WHIP in 2 games (2.0IP) - Not playing at this time
RHP Juan Minaya - 12.79 ERA/2.842 WHIP in 6 games (6.1IP)

Jake Buchanan continues to impress, getting his third win on Wednesday in only seven outings. He has walked four batters while striking out 28. Guduan, Gustave and Minaya were all roughed up a bit in relief outings over the week while White's bat cooled off.

IF Arturo Michelena - .100/.100/.100 in 7 games (only 10 at-bats)
IF Kristian Trompiz - 2 games as pinch runner; no at-bats (has been playing in the Liga Paralela)
OF Danry Vasquez - .283/.331/.425 in 32 games
*RHP Ruben "R.J." Alaniz - 2.89 ERA/1.149 WHIP in 4 games (15.2IP)
RHP Chris Devenski - 6.43 ERA/1.857 in 4 games (14.0IP)
RHP James Hoyt - 2.12 ERA/1.000 WHIP in 17 games (17.0IP)

*Free agent

Vasquez had a mixed week, starting strong and then going cold. Alaniz had a great five-inning two-hit appearance on Tuesday. Hoyt had one tough outing, but otherwise has continued to impress, and Devenski has yet to really get in a groove.

OF Leo Heras - .268/.394/.463 in 26 games
RHP Enrique Chavez - 9.00 ERA/3.000 WHIP in 1 game (1.0IP) - not currently playing
RHP Jose Hernandez - 1.61 ERA/1.164 WHIP in 6 games (22.1IP)
RHP Juan Robles - 4.40 ERA/1.186 WHIP in 9 games (14.1IP)
RHP Gonzalo Sanudo - 2.08 ERA/0.923 WHIP in 4 games (4.1IP)

Heras had a very nice week, hitting .313 and driving in three runs. Hernandez had one start and allowed five hits and two unearned runs over four innings while Robles barely got any work and Sanudo provided three very strong outings in relief.

C Jake Bowey - .067/.152/.067 in 9 games
IF Jared Cruz - .091/.091/.091 in 7 games - not currently playing
1B Connor MacDonald - .184/.304/.316 in 15 games
IF/OF Marc Wik - .276/.400/.379 in 17 games
RHP Kevin Comer - 16.88 ERA/4.499 WHIP in 4 games (2.2IP) - not currently playing

No one stood out as Wik's bat went cold for the week.

OF Edwin Medina - .286/.333/.429 in 5 games
OF Alexander Melendez - .000/.000/.000 in 2 games (1AB) - DNP last week
C Roberto Pena - .129/.229/.161 in 11 games
C Max Stassi - .280/.333/.520 in 8 games - DNP last week
RHP Travis Ballew - 5.40 ERA/1.440 WHIP in 6 games (8.1IP)

Ballew had a nice week, particularly his two perfect outings on Friday and Saturday.


Obviously the biggest news of the week was Friday's deadline to protect players in advance of December's Rule 5 draft. The Astros made a few additional moves in order to free up seven roster spots and ultimately decided to protect the following players:

OF Andrew Aplin
IF Nolan Fontana
C Alfredo Gonzalez
RHP Jandel Gustave
RHP Juan Minaya
RHP Joe Musgrove
RHP David Paulino

I would have put money on the Astros protecting Joe Musgrove and Jandel Gustave, and I felt reasonably certain that Paulino would be protected as well. Beyond that, I honestly had no clue how the Astros would proceed, but I will say that I was most surprised by their choice to protect Gonzalez and Minaya. Neither player is on any top prospect list and I question whether either would have been chosen in the Rule 5 draft if they had been left protected.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Gonzalez, but I'm not sure that he's ready for the majors and I'm somewhat doubtful that he would have been drafted this year, much less stuck. Minaya had a very good year and may be ready for the majors, but I see him as an MLB average middle relief guy and don't really see him as having more long-term value for the Astros than a number of starting pitchers who I also see as MLB ready, such as Brady Rodgers, Mike Hauschild and Chris Devenski. I may very well be wrong and Minaya may end up being the second coming of Mariano Rivera, but I somehow doubt it. And even if there isn't room on your roster for some of the starting pitchers mentioned, they do still have trade value and I hate to see getting nothing in return in the event they are lost.

With that said, there are quite a few Astros players who will be receiving consideration from other teams as they approach the Rule 5 Draft on December 10th. As already mentioned, Rodgers, Hauschild and Devenski will be attractive starting pitching targets; Brian Holmes and Edison Frias will likely get some attention as well. Jordan Jankowski, Travis Ballew, Aaron West and Gonzalo Sanudo will likely garner some interest as relievers. Reymin Guduan is almost 100% certain to be drafted, but has a low likelihood of sticking due to his control/command issues. Tommy Shirley and Tyson Perez are not likely to be taken because of injury concerns; I believe that Perez recently had Tommy John surgery and Shirley missed the bulk of the season due to injury. However, Astros top 30 prospect Kyle Smith who will be coming back from TJ surgery this year could be a Rule 5 target.

Teoscar Hernandez and Danry Vasquez didn't exactly wow at AA Corpus Christi last season, but then neither did Delino DeShields the previous year. I will not be surprised if another team takes a chance on either of those players. Roberto Pena is a top notch defensive catcher, but his bat has held him back. Pena and switch-hitter Tyler Heineman are both exposed to the Rule 5, but it is worth considering that only seven catchers have been drafted from 2006 forward and only three of those stuck. Of the exposed players at AA and AAA, that leaves only Joe Sclafani, a switch-hitting utility player. The only player below AA that I can see garnering serious interest would be Kevin Comer who has had mixed results in his career, but who still has good upside potential.

All of this depends, of course, on need and roster availability. In the end, there will be only so many roster spots available. 2014 was an unusual year in that 11 of the 14 Rule 5 picks were able to stick. In 2013, only three of the nine drafted players stuck. Everything will play out soon enough on December 10th, but I think the Astros will have a similar outcome to 2014, losing two players to the Rule 5 draft and having one returned.

Here is detailed information from Baseball America on all the players who were protected.


You might enjoy this blog post from Hannah Sneed, the wife of newest Astro Cy Sneed, about life as a Baseball Bride.

And, in case you missed it, here is the updated off-season transaction list with all of the Astros major and minor transactions to date and my look back at the Astros 2010 draft class.

No comments:

Post a Comment