Saturday, March 14, 2015

Reason #3 to Buy My Book: Portable and Searchable

Reason #3 in the Top 10 Reasons to buy the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook: Portable and Searchable

Since the handbook is an e-book, you can take it with you virtually anywhere if you have a tablet, smart phone or laptop. Suppose you're sitting in the stands at a minor league game and you're curious about who exactly this Troy Scribner guy is. You can do a search of the book on your phone and find all of the following information about him:

RHP Troy Scribner:
Basic biographical information
Basic pitching info (IP, ERA, WHIP, etc.)
FIP and BABIP
BB/9, SO/9, HR/9
SO% + number of strikeouts swinging vs. strikeouts looking
Batting line that he held hitters to in 2014
Information on his pitch repertoire
Twitter handle
Links to an interview and his Baseball-Reference Page

Plus you will find that Scribner was one of the system leaders in SO/9, WHIP, ERA, FIP and that he was in the top 10 in the system in strikeouts despite pitching far fewer innings than most of the other leaders.

Or you're following Jason Schwartz on twitter and you see that Chase McDonald hit another moonshot at The Hangar. Do a search on McDonald and you will find:

1B/DH Chase McDonald
Basic biographical information
Basic hitting stats
BB% and SO%
Splits vs. LHP and RHP
Batting line with RISP
Postseason stats
Twitter handle
Links to a batting practice video and his Baseball-Reference Page

Plus you will see that McDonald was one of the WRC+ leaders in the system in 2014, that he had the fifth highest XBH% for qualified players and that his defensive stats at first base stack up nicely among his peers.

Maybe you're just trying to remember who the Astros got in the Bud Norris trade. Type Norris in the search box and LHP Josh Hader's profile will pop up. In the "Acquisition" section of his profile, you will see that the Astros obtained Hader, OF L.J. Hoes and a competitive balance pick (which was used to draft OF Derek Fisher) in exchange for Norris.

Curious as to how many players in the system were born in Georgia or San Cristobal, Dominican Republic? How many players went to the University of North Carolina or Arizona State? Just enter those items in the search box and you can find out. You can also search for specific information like WHIP leaders, wOBA leaders, highest GO/AO, lowest FIP, etc. and pull up the tables giving you that information for the 2014 season.

The handbook is meant to be a resource for learning more about the players in the system, but it is also intended to be a reference work that can be used throughout the season.

Previous Posts:
Reason #10:Instant Hipster Cred!
Reason #9: 257+125+87+84+81=AWESOME!!!
Reason #8: You Can't Tell The Players Without A Program!
Reason #7: Humor and Fun Facts
Reason #6: Exclusive Content
Reason #5: 5-Star Reviews
Reason #4: Exclusive and Hard to Come By Stats

>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Please consider purchasing my new e-book, the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook. The book can be read immediately on your kindle, and can also be read on virtually any computer, tablet or smart phone by downloading the Free Kindle Reading App from Amazon or from the iTunes store. And if you have an Amazon account, no need to download anything ... just read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader at read.amazon.com.

Happy Birthday - 3/14

Happy Birthday to ~

SS Marwin Gonzalez (26)
Gonzalez was drafted from the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft in December 2011 by the Red Sox and then quickly traded to the Astros for Rule 5 pick RHP Marco Duarte. In 104 games for Houston in 2014, he hit .277/.327/.400.

Two former Astros celebrate birthdays today as well ~

3B/OF Ty (sometimes Tye) Waller (58)
A fourth round pick by the Cardinals in 1977, Waller came to Houston as a free agent in December 1983 and played in 11 games for the Astros in 1987 with uninspiring results. His best season in the majors was for the Chicago Cubs in 1981 when he hit .268/.303/.451 over 30 games. Waller is currently the first base coach for the Oakland A's.

2B Matt Kata (37)
Originally drafted by Arizona in the ninth round in 1999, Kata signed with Houston as a free agent in December 2008. In 40 games for the Astros (52 plate appearances) in 2009, he hit .200/.212/.220.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Birthday - 3/13

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Abdiel Saldana (19)
An international free agent out of Panama, Saldana spent his first professional season pitching for the Dominican Summer League Astros. In 5 games (four starts), he was 4-1 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.228 WHIP. He walked 15 and struck out 44 in 49.2 innings.

One former Astro celebrates the day as well ~

LHP Tom Funk (53)
Drafted by Houston in the 28th round in 1983, Funk pitched in eight games for the Astros in 1986 with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.920 WHIP. In six minor league seasons, he was 37-18 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.280 WHIP.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

An Interview with Astros RHP Keegan Yuhl

Drafted in the 35th Round in 2014 out of Concordia University in Irvine, California, Keegan Yuhl made short work of Rookie Level Greeneville. After only nine appearances at the lower level, he leapfrogged Short Season A and went directly to Low A Quad Cities for his final nine appearances, and he did equally well at the higher level, ending his season with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.083 WHIP.

Yuhl walked only eight batters all season (36.1 innings) and increased his strikeout rate to 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings when he got to Quad Cities. With his polished approach, good command and high groundball rate (1.92 GO/AO ratio), I can see Yuhl getting the opportunity to prove himself in the tough environs of the California League at some point in 2015.

I caught up with Yuhl recently by phone and learned more about Yuhl, his pitch repertoire, his first professional season and what he's been working on in the offseason.

As is usually the case, I asked about Yuhl's pitch repertoire. He features a 2-seam and a 4-seam fastball, a split change and a slider. His fastball velocity was generally around 88 to 93 mph in his first season and around 90 to 93 in his final year of college. Yuhl generally works off his fastball, but considers his split change to be his best offspeed pitch. "I use my fastball a lot. I think it's just the fact that I can generally put it in the area where I want it that I trust it. I'm not afraid to throw 90 to 93 in a good spot. I'm not trying to be sweet with it and try and be tricky. I'm just going to try and pitch my game and get the outs the best way I know how to get outs," said Yuhl.

Yuhl has been working hard on his breaking pitch this offseason, among other things. He has dropped about 20 to 25 pounds over the offseason and it has helped him with all of his pitches. According to Yuhl, "My breaking ball in college wasn't as good as it has become and what it is now."  His breaking ball has been sharper, his changeup has a little more action to it and he expects to add a notch or two to his fastball this season. The loss of weight and the rest have helped him immensely, "I let my arm rest which is a huge help because after four years of college, you don't really get a rest. You throw summer ball, you throw in the fall, you throw in the season. So having a couple of months off without having to pick up a baseball was really nice. Let my arm kind of regenerate."

Even though Yuhl thinks that his velocity will be up this season, he admits that pitch velocity isn't really central to his game. He said, "As long as I'm throwing the ball, I'm not too (worried about) velocity. I want to put the ball where I want to put the ball and I want good life and good action on my pitches. I'm just trying to get outs, keep the ball down and I'm not going for strikeouts. I've never been that kind of guy, but I'll take them when they give them to me. Make your pitches is really all you can do."

I had the opportunity to meet Yuhl when I was in Greeneville last summer, but I didn't get the opportunity to see him pitch. I asked him what I could expect when I do see him on the mound. "When I'm on the mound, I'm pretty composed. I do my best to not show emotion. I don't want to give the hitter any satisfaction or give the team any satisfaction that I'm defeated because the way I pitch, I go after hitters. I'm not going to cheat, trying to paint a little extra off the corner, afraid to get hit. I'm definitely not afraid to get hit. I'm an aggressive pitcher. I'm going to throw in the zone as long as I make my good pitches, which I have had good success doing. I'm just going to continue to do that. I'm not afraid of anybody. I'll go up against anybody. If you hit it out of the yard, good for you. I made a bad pitch or you made a great swing. That's baseball."

Asked what he felt that he'd accomplished in his first professional season, Yuhl responded, "I kind of proved myself a little bit, surpassing the expectations of a 35th round senior sign. I think I definitely showed Houston that I take this very seriously and I'm going to work my butt off and really try and continue to prove to Houston that I'm ready. I'm going to keep working. I'm going to give them everything I've got. I'm really grateful for the opportunity they've given me which a lot of teams wouldn't have given me and I accept that and I just want to keep proving to everybody that I can do it. I believe in myself."

As to what he will need to do to get to the next level developmentally, Yuhl said, "Consistency of my breaking ball. That's going to be a big thing. I feel pretty confident in my fastball command and my changeup command; I think my breaking ball, if I keep throwing it the way I have this offseason, I'm going to have better success with it."

The weight that Yuhl lost during the offseason was only the tip of the iceberg. He estimated that he lost around 70 pounds total over the last 2 to 3 years but emphasized, "I'm not really looking for a number. I'm looking for a body for me that works ... that I'm agile, that I'm quicker off the mound, I'm stronger. I feel much stronger, healthier than I ever have in my life so I'm excited to see what happens this upcoming year."

When asked who he had seen last season that had a pitch he would like to steal, Yuhl gave me two he'd like to have in his arsenal. "I'd have to go with either Jandel Gustave's fastball that's like 100 or more or Troy Scribner's curveball. That thing is ridiculous! Pretty disgusting pitch." As to what hitter he'd least like to face, Yuhl did not hesitate, "Brett Phillips. He's ridiculous. I only saw him play for (something) like 4 games, but it was ridiculous." Who made him laugh? "Marc Wik. Me and him became really really close and he's like a brother to me. He's hysterical. Some people don't find his humor funny. I find it hilarious." Yuhl went on to say of Wik, "I think if he continues to work hard, he's going to be something special. He's a freak athlete."

The biggest surprise for Yuhl in his first professional season, other than the size of the crowds in the Midwest League, was his call-up to Quad Cities. "Honestly, being such a late round pick, I didn't really expect anything. When they called me in, I figured we were just going to talk about an outing or something. [2014 Greeneville Manager Josh] Bonifay tortured me a little bit and made it seem like I was in trouble or something and then said, 'You're going to Quad Cities.' And I was (shocked). It was a lot of adrenaline pumping and quite the experience the first time being called up and no clue, no experience in pro ball. I knew that I was pitching well. I just wanted to keep doing that and let the chips fall where they may. I was a little surprised, definitely."

If he couldn't play baseball, what would he do? "I'd finish school. That would be the first priority. I'd want to finish my degree (in Communications). I'm pretty close to it. I think realistically what my ultimate goal is if I'm absolutely out of baseball, I'd want to stay in baseball whether it's scouting, coaching collegiately or professionally. I love this game with everything I've got. So definitely something I would want to do is coach or scout or work in the front office or do something to do with baseball."

Aside from Yuhl's good command, solid developing pitch arsenal and commitment to making himself a better pitcher, there is one other thing that one should recognize about Yuhl. As a 35th round draft pick, he has a big chip on his shoulder and he is determined to prove that he has what it takes. He does not take the opportunity for granted. Yuhl said, "The Astros gave me the opportunity and I'm beyond grateful to them. I told my scout the day I was drafted that it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me and I'm forever appreciative of it." And Yuhl is determined not to waste that opportunity.

Thank you for your time, Keegan, and the best of luck in the rapidly approaching season.

>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Please consider purchasing my new e-book, the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook. The book can be read immediately on your kindle, and can also be read on virtually any computer, tablet or smart phone by downloading the Free Kindle Reading App from Amazon or from the iTunes store. And if you have an Amazon account, no need to download anything ... just read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader at read.amazon.com.


Reason #4 to Buy My Book: Exclusive and Hard to Come By Stats

Reason #4 in the Top 10 Reasons to buy the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook: Exclusive and Hard to Come By Stats

Although more minor league stats are available than ever before, the actual amount of that information is nowhere close to that available for major league players and is often incomplete or incorrect. Much of the statistical information that was included in the handbook came directly from the actual boxscores for each game and was literally triple-checked for accuracy. Some of the harder to find information included in the handbook includes:

Pitchers
Swinging Strikeouts
Strikeouts Looking
Inherited Runners Scored
Bequeathed Runners Scored
Lowest Stolen Base Percentage Allowed
Most Double Plays induced
Pickoff Leaders
Highest and Lowest GO/AO Ratios
Lowest FIP

Position Players
Walk Percentage
Strikeout Percentage
Extra Base Hit Percentage Leaders
Pickoffs
Errors Quantified by Type of Error
Successful Stolen Base Percentages
Outfield Assist Leaders
wOBA Leaders
WRC+ Leaders

Also, all players who played more than a handful of games at a given position were put in a side-by-side fielding comparison at that position with their peers from either short season or full season teams.

Some of this information may be available elsewhere, but you won't find all of it in one place along with the leaderboard information that comes to you in the handbook.

Previous Posts:
Reason #10:Instant Hipster Cred!
Reason #9: 257+125+87+84+81=AWESOME!!!
Reason #8: You Can't Tell The Players Without A Program!
Reason #7: Humor and Fun Facts
Reason #6: Exclusive Content
Reason #5: 5-Star Reviews


>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Please consider purchasing my new e-book, the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook. The book can be read immediately on your kindle, and can also be read on virtually any computer, tablet or smart phone by downloading the Free Kindle Reading App from Amazon or from the iTunes store. And if you have an Amazon account, no need to download anything ... just read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader at read.amazon.com.

Happy Birthday - 3/12

Happy Birthday to ~

C Orlando Marquez (19)
An international free agent from Venezuela, Marquez spent his first professional season playing in the Dominican Summer League. In 28 games, he hit .296/.381/.429 and in 15 games behind the dish he had a 37% caught stealing rate.

These former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

OF Jim "The Toy Cannon" Wynn (73)
Drafted from the Reds in the 1962 first year draft, Wynn played 11 seasons for the Colt .45's and Houston Astros from 1963 to 1973. Nicknamed The Toy Cannon for his diminutive stature and powerful stroke, Wynn's numbers were skewed by playing in the cavernous confines of the Astrodome. A three-time All-Star, he was second in home runs in 1967 behind Hank Aaron and led the National League in walks in 1969 and 1976. Not only did Wynn hit a home run into the upper deck of the Astrodome, Wynn launched this moonshot out of Crosley Field and on to the freeway in 1967. His number 24 was retired by the Astros in 2005. His autobiography Toy Cannon: The Autobiography of Baseball's Jimmy Wynn came out in October 2010. [UPDATED: Reader Brian West found this moonshot from Wynn at Forbes Field.]

CF Steve Finley (50)
A 13th round pick by the Orioles in 1987, Finley came to Houston, along with Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling, in a trade with Baltimore for Glenn Davis in 1991. Finley played four seasons (1991-1994) for the Astros, hitting .281/.331/.406 before departing Houston in this trade:
December 28, 1994: Traded by the Houston Astros with a player to be named later, Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Roberto Petagine and Brian Williams to the San Diego Padres for Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier and Craig Shipley. The Houston Astros sent Sean Fesh (minors) (May 1, 1995) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
In 19 seasons for eight clubs, Finley won five Gold Gloves to go with two All-Star nods and, according to Baseball-Reference, he became only the second player in major league history, behind Willie Mays, to hit 300 home runs, 425 doubles and 100 triples, and to steal 300 bases.

RHP Bob Watkins (67)
A 22nd round draft pick by Houston in 1966, Watkins pitched 15.2 innings over five games in 1969 with a 5.17 ERA and a 1.660 WHIP.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reason #5 To Buy My Book: 5-Star Reviews

Reason #5 in the Top 10 Reasons to buy the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook: 5-Star Reviews

So far I've gotten 5 reviews from verified purchasers and all of them are 5-star reviews! And none of them are from my relatives!

A few excerpts:
I've been following Jayne's blog for years and I have enjoyed every minute. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for the Houston Astros minor league teams is simply unrivaled. Her passion for each of the players flows freely in this quintessential book for any Astros fan. So much information has been compiled about the Astros minor league teams in this book...ballpark information, size of the fields, coaching staff, player information, player reports, even twitter handles...do yourself a favor and buy this book. - Nick Cassone -
So excited about this book. The BA Prospect Handbook is great, but it only covers about 30 prospects (and these are all guys any semi-serious fan already knows about). But stats, info, and insight about 257 Astros prospects?! Wow. I think this book is a must have for any true diehard Astros fan. I've just started to dig into this, but already impressed by the stats and insight this book provides. Oh, and did I mention it has photos, videos, and links to even MORE info? For the price of a hot dog and coke at a ball game (maybe less) you can have this awesome resource at your fingertips. - Bradford Thomas Rine -
There is no better source for the Houston Astros Farm System. This is extremely thorough, yet still entertaining. Well done, Jayne Hansen! I hope this is the first of many books from you! - Brittany Burgess -
Previous Posts:
Reason #10:Instant Hipster Cred!
Reason #9: 257+125+87+84+81=AWESOME!!!
Reason #8: You Can't Tell The Players Without A Program!
Reason #7: Humor and Fun Facts
Reason #6: Exclusive Content
>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Please consider purchasing my new e-book, the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook. The book can be read immediately on your kindle, and can also be read on virtually any computer, tablet or smart phone by downloading the Free Kindle Reading App from Amazon or from the iTunes store. And if you have an Amazon account, no need to download anything ... just read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader at read.amazon.com.

Happy Birthday - 3/11

No future Astros with birthdays today, but several former Astros celebrate the day ~

2B/OF Chris Burke (35)
A first round draft pick for the Astros in 2001, Burke hit .249/.319/.377 in 359 games for Houston from 2004 to 2007. At AAA in 2004, he hit .315/.396/.507 but was being blocked at 2B by both Jeff Kent and Craig Biggio. In December of 2007, he was included in a trade to Arizona for Jose Valverde. Chris Burke will always be remembered by Astros fans for this moment in the 2005 NLDS Game 4 18-inning marathon. "It's gone! It's gone! It's gone!"

CF Cesar Geronimo (67)
Obtained by the Astros from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft in 1968, Geronimo spent three seasons with Houston from 1969 to 1971, hitting .228/.272/.307 before being included in the Joe Morgan trade to the Reds in November of 1971. He went on to earn four Gold Gloves for Cincinnati. His best year at the plate was 1976 when he hit .307 in the regular season and .308 in the World Series for the Reds.

RF Bobby Abreu (41)
Abreu played in 79 games for Houston at the start of his career before being drafted by Tampa Bay in the expansion draft and quickly flipped to the Phillies. He maintained a .303 batting average for Philadelphia over nine seasons while collecting a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger and two All-Star nods. He led the National League in triples in 1999 and in doubles in 2002 before moving to the American League, playing first for the Yankees and then the Angels for several seasons. Abreu came back to the National League in 2012, playing for the Dodgers. After sitting out the 2013 season, he played for the Mets in 2014.

RF Larry Ray (57)
A fourth round pick by the Astros in 1979, Ray got one hit and one RBI in his cup of coffee with Houston in 1982.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Reason #6 to Buy My Book: Exclusive Content

Reason #6 in the Top 10 Reasons to buy the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook: Exclusive Content

Occasionally you will see a blog promoting an "exclusive" interview with a top prospect and it turns out that there have actually been five other interviews with that same player over the last couple of months. That's not the kind of exclusive I'm talking about. The Handbook certainly covers the top prospects in the organization, but it also contains information on those players who will be among the next wave of top prospects in the organization.

Over the last several years, I have cultivated a solid network of contacts within the farm system, from coaches and managers to the players themselves. Through this network, I was able to obtain a good amount of information on players for whom there is virtually no information readily available. In particular, I was able to pull together information on several of the more polished players in the Dominican Summer League as well as information on several of the lower round 2014 draft picks over the offseason. Add that to the numerous conversations that I had with coaches and managers throughout the 2014 season regarding their thoughts on various players and the result is a large amount of content on both the top prospects in the organization and those players who are not necessarily top prospects ... yet.

Previous Posts:
Reason #10:Instant Hipster Cred!
Reason #9: 257+125+87+84+81=AWESOME!!!
Reason #8: You Can't Tell The Players Without A Program!
Reason #7: Humor and Fun Facts


>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Please consider purchasing my new e-book, the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook. The book can be read immediately on your kindle, and can also be read on virtually any computer, tablet or smart phone by downloading the Free Kindle Reading App from Amazon or from the iTunes store. And if you have an Amazon account, no need to download anything ... just read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader at read.amazon.com.

Playing Pepper 2015: Houston Astros

In what has become an annual tradition, Cardinal's blogger and Baseball Bloggers of America founder Daniel Shoptaw (aka Cardinal70) is reaching out to bloggers of other teams to weigh in with their thoughts about their team's offseason moves, a projection of the team's record and other questions. Monday was my turn.

In addition to offseason moves and the projected record, I opined (at length) about General Manager Jeff Luhnow's tenure to date, as well as which player I think will make the greatest strides this season and what I like about being an Astros fan. Click on the link above to see what I had to say.

Happy Birthday - 3/10

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Blaine Sims (26)
Sims was drafted from Atlanta in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft in December 2013. Sims made five appearances with Tri-City before receiving his promotion to Quad Cities. The knuckleballer ended the season with a 5-4 record, 3.31 ERA and 1.677 WHIP in 17 games (12 starts).

SS Mott Hyde (23)
Drafted by Houston in the 26th round in 2014, Hyde played his first professional season for the Tri-City team. In 70 games, he hit .254/.331/.389 with 18 doubles, three triples and three home runs.

A few former Astros celebrate birthdays today as well ~

A fourth round pick by the White Sox in 1982, Cangelosi signed as a free agent with Houston in March 1995 after playing a total of eight seasons for the White Sox, Pirates, Rangers and Mets. In 198 games for Houston in 1995 and 1996, Cangelosi hit .287/.413/.367 before heading to the Marlins in 1997 where he hit .333 in World Series play. He also pitched a total of 4 innings for three different teams (including Houston) and finished his pitching career with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.750 WHIP.

After coming to Houston from the White Sox in a trade in December 1965, Heath hit .301/.353/.350/.703 over 55 games in the 1966 season. He only played in a handful of games for the Astros in 1967 before being picked up by Detroit. Heath earned his MBA from the University of Houston in 1981 and became a very successful financial adviser after retiring from baseball.

A native of Canada and a Yale graduate, MacKenzie pitched in 21 games for Houston after being purchased from the Giants in October 1964 and went 0-3 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.405 WHIP.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Reason #7 to Buy My Book: Humor and Fun Facts

Reason #7 in the Top 10 Reasons to buy the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook: Humor and Fun Facts

You may not understand my sense of humor. You may not appreciate my sense of humor. But I have injected my somewhat offbeat whimsy into the handbook at times since 257 player profiles could get awfully dry and boring without it. I even made up a couple of statistical categories, the "Wild Thing Index" and the "Home Run Heartburn Ratio" as a humorous way to make my points.

I also included some fun facts about the players. Unless you read the book, you may not know which player could have a second career in the rodeo, which player's cousin is former San Francisco All-Star Will Smith, which player had a brain tumor removed when he was 11 years old and which player has the same name as his father and his brother.

Previous Posts:
Reason #10:Instant Hipster Cred!
Reason #9: 257+125+87+84+81=AWESOME!!!
Reason #8: You Can't Tell The Players Without A Program!


>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Please consider purchasing my new e-book, the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook. The book can be read immediately on your kindle, and can also be read on virtually any computer, tablet or smart phone by downloading the Free Kindle Reading App from Amazon or from the iTunes store. And if you have an Amazon account, no need to download anything ... just read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader at read.amazon.com.

Spring Training Starts for Astros Minor Leaguers

It's only the first day of camp for the vast majority of Astros minor leaguers, but a few have already gotten some time playing on the major league squad. After the first five games, here are the best starts* by those in the system who have not yet made their major league debut:

RHP James Hoyt, obtained this offseason along with Evan Gattis in a trade with Atlanta, has made two appearances for a total of three innings and has allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out one. RHP Michael Feliz (2IP H BB SO), RHP Asher Wojciechowski (2IP H BB) and RHP Tyson Perez (1IP BB SO) have also not allowed any runs.

At the plate, 3B Colin Moran (3x6 R SO R CS) and SS Carlos Correa (3x7 R RBI 2SO) have seen the most game action. Andrew Aplin (1x4 2R BB SB) has the distinction of collecting the only stolen base thus far. Tyler Heineman's (1x2) lone hit was a double and Matt Duffy's (1x3) lone hit was a solo home run. Brett Phillips (1x2) and Nolan Fontana (1x4) each collected an RBI in their limited action and Joe Sclafani (1x2) has already scored two runs in his short time.

*itty-bitty teeny-tiny sample size

Happy Birthday - 3/9

No future Astros with birthdays today, but these former Astros celebrate the day ~

CF Jim Landis (81)
Obtained in a trade with the Indians in January 1967, Landis spent just that one season in an Astros uniform, hitting .252 in 50 games before being traded to Detroit.  A five time Gold Glove winner and one time All-Star, Landis' best season at the plate was 1961 when he hit .283/.362/.470/.832 for the White Sox.

LHP C.J. Nitkowski (42)
Originally drafted by the Reds in the first round in 1994, Nitkowski came to Houston in a December 1996 trade with with Detroit. Nitkowski pitched only one season for the Astros in 1998 before being traded back to Detroit in January of 1999. While with Houston, he was 3-3 with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.207 WHIP in 43 appearances.

LHP Gary Wayne Franklin (41)
A 36th round pick by the Dodgers in 1996, Franklin came to Houston as a Rule 5 pick from Los Angeles. In two seasons for the Astros in 2000 and 2001, he had a 5.94 ERA and a 1.860 WHIP in 36 games before being traded to Milwaukee for Mark Loretta. He managed the independent league Pittsburg (CA) Mettle team in 2014.

1B/3B Aaron Boone (42)
Drafted by the Reds in the third round in 1994, Boone signed with Houston as a free agent in December 2008 and appeared in only 10 games for the Astros at the end of 2009 after recovery from open heart surgery in March of that year. Boone retired in February 2010 and became a baseball analyst for ESPN. He is probably best remembered for hitting a walk-off home run in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the ALCS in 2003, thus sending the Yankees to the World Series.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Reason #8 to Buy My Book: You Can't Tell the Players Without a Program!

Reason #8 in the Top 10 Reasons to buy the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook: You can't tell the players without a program!

Let's face it. Trying to keep 257 players straight can tax even the most knowledgeable minor league fan. But this handbook will help you instantly identify which player is which!

  • Albert Abreu vs. Bryan Abreu
  • Jamaine Cotton vs. Chris Cotton
  • Eleiser Hernandez vs. Juan Hernandez
  • Erasmo Pinales vs. Joselo Pinales
  • Alfredo Gonzalez vs. Richard Gonzalez
  • Connor MacDonald vs. Chase McDonald
  • Andy Pineda vs. Juan Pineda
  • Dylan James vs. Joshua James
  • David Paulino vs. Hansel Paulino
  • Hector Martinez vs. Jorge Martinez

Impress your friends and fellow Astros minor league fans by being able to immediately and accurately identify them all!

Or you may be wandering the backfields during Spring Training and you see a player who impresses you, but with whom you aren't familiar. Pull up the handbook on your smart phone and instantly identify the player and see how his career has unfolded to date.

Or maybe you attend minor league games regularly and you're wondering who that player is who just got promoted to the team. You will have the information at your fingertips!

Previous Posts:
Reason #10:Instant Hipster Cred!
Reason #9: 257+125+87+84+81+AWESOME!!!


>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Please consider purchasing my new e-book, the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook. The book can be read immediately on your kindle, and can also be read on virtually any computer, tablet or smart phone by downloading the Free Kindle Reading App from Amazon or from the iTunes store. And if you have an Amazon account, no need to download anything ... just read it on the Kindle Cloud Reader at read.amazon.com.