Saturday, June 6, 2015

Bonus Tweet of the Day

Happy Birthday - 6/6

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

SS/2B Nolan Fontana (24)
Fontana was born June 6, 1991 in Winter Garden, Florida, and was drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round in 2012 out of the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is currently playing for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies.

Nolan Fontana - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen


Tweet of the Day

Friday, June 5, 2015

Astros Minor League Transactions, June 3-5

A few moves to report over the last couple of days. The most significant move in this time period was Kevin Comer's promotion to Lancaster.

CORPUS CHRISTI

6/4 - C Luis Flores released.

Flores was selected from the Cubs in the minor league phase of last December's Rule 5 draft. He played 14 games with Fresno and was sent to Corpus on May 21, but he did not make any appearances with the Hooks.

LANCASTER

6/3 - RHP Kevin Comer assigned to Lancaster from Quad Cities.
6/4 - RHP Zach Morton released.

Morton was the Astros' 32nd-round pick out of Northwestern in 2013.

Getting to Know Astros/JetHawks LHP Albert Minnis

LHP Albert Minnis got off to a good start this season. In six bullpen appearances for Quad Cities, he had a 0.00 ERA and a 0.522 WHIP, leading to his early May promotion to High A Lancaster. For the season he now has a 2.78 ERA and a 1.015 WHIP in 17 appearances.

And, although Minnis has been used mostly as a late inning reliever, he has shown himself to have the flexibility to handle middle relief and long relief (most notably pitching 3.1 innings in a recent extra inning game and getting the win) as well. He has held lefties to a very stingy .156 batting average so far this season, but has also held right-handed bats to a very respectable .212 average, demonstrating that there is no need to pigeonhole him as a LOOGY. He has also largely avoided the long ball in his career, allowing only two home runs in 84 innings of work, none so far this season.

When I spoke with Lancaster Pitching Coach Don Alexander recently, he told me what he likes about Minnis, "He's got a nice mix of pitches. He's aggressive. He shows no fear on the mound. He's going to come after you and we're going to play baseball. I love (those) guys, especially relievers, like that. They come in and they're not afraid to challenge you and work in the strike zone. I think he's got a chance to be pretty good too. He's got a chance to be pretty nasty."

Albert Minnis - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Minnis was drafted by the Astros in the 25th round in 2013 out of Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. We spoke late last month for the first time ...

As is usually the case with a pitcher I haven't talked to before, my first question relates to the player's pitch arsenal. Minnis told me that he throws a 2-seam sinker, 4-seam fastball, changeup and slider. "I'm working on all of them, though," said Minnis. "I think my 2-seam fastball is my best pitch. I've been throwing it longer." As to velocity and movement on that pitch, he said, "I think it ranges right around 90, somewhere around there. Just sinks and tails. Hopefully get ground balls with it is my main goal."

As to what Minnis has accomplished so far this season, he said, "Just kind of maturing as a pitcher, not getting too high, not getting too low throughout the season. Just knowing what a full season is like after having my first one last year. Just going out there, pitching and giving your team the best chance to win. If you do that, everything evens out over the season."

In order to get to the next level of his development, Minnis said, "Definitely just be more consistent day in and day out, just try to be the same guy every time you go out there. Just try to be the same guy day in and day out so the manager knows who they're going to get when you go out there."

For any one who has never seen Minnis pitch before, what can they expect to see? According to Minnis, "They're going to see me compete. I go out there and I try to go after guys. That's what baseball is, going after the other guy and hopefully you can beat him. So I think the one thing you would see is just me competing out there. That's the one thing you can control is how you approach the game. Everything else is out of your control."

Who in the Astros system has a pitch he would like to steal? "I would probably have to say, in honor of his big league debut, Lance McCullers' breaking ball. It's getting a lot of publicity right now so I'd probably say that pitch." As to what Astros hitter he would least like to face, Minnis said, "I'd probably have to go with George Springer. I'm working on getting right-handers out and he's probably the most prolific right-handed guy we've got in the organization."

If Minnis wasn't playing baseball, he told me what his top priorities would be, "I'd definitely go back to the Midwest and I'd get a dog right away. Being on the road all the time, you can't have a dog. So I'd definitely get a dog would be the first thing, and then I have about a year and a half of school left so I'd go back to school. Once I get my degree (in Sports Management), I'd get a job and try to live life to the fullest in the Midwest."

When asked to tell me a random, little known fact about himself, Minnis talked of his two younger sisters, telling me, "My youngest sister, Adrienne, we share the same birthday (and) we're right at seven years apart so I got to spend my seventh birthday in the hospital."

A well known fact (for anyone who follows Minnis on twitter) is his extreme fandom for the Kansas City Chiefs. When I asked him how his team was going to do this year, Minnis became very animated, "I'm going with an AFC West title. I'm going out on a limb here. I think that the Chiefs are going to be sleepers, kind of like what the Royals did last year. I'm calling the same thing in football for Kansas City this year!"

Thank you for your time, Albert. It was a pleasure getting to know you just a little bit better. Best of luck as the season continues.

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

Other recent interviews:
1B Jon Singleton
LHP Bryan Radziewski
1B A.J. Reed
RHP Joe Musgrove
3B J.D. Davis

You can find more on virtually every player in the Astros minor league system in the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook available on Amazon for download to your kindle, iPad, laptop, desktop or smart phone.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pretty rough night on the farm.

Colorado Springs 7, Fresno 3

W- Josh Roenicke (3-2)
L- Dan Straily (4-4)

Fresno home runs: Max Stassi (6, solo in 5th)

The Grizz were undone by a 5-run 5th inning after Stassi tied the game at 1 with his homer.

Dan Straily went 4.1 innings and allowed 5 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 11 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Richard Rodriguez got the final 2 outs of the 5th and allowed a run of his own. He gave up 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Jonas Dufek walked 2 in a scoreless 6th. Jordan Jankowski allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 2 in the 7th, and Murilo Gouvea threw a 1-2-3 8th inning.

Stassi's homer was the first Fresno run, and it came in the 5th inning, as you can see above. Domingo Santana finished 2-4 with an RBI double in the 6th, and Jon Singleton ripped an RBI double. Alex Presley, who finished 2-4, scored on both RBI doubles.

In the series finale, Alex White takes on Drew Gagnon. First pitch is at 7:05 Mountain.

Northwest Arkansas 3, Corpus Christi 1

W- Daniel Stumpf (3-1)
L- Michael Feliz (0-1, 1-2 season)

CC home runs: None.

This game played out sort of like the Astros game. The Hooks had plenty of opportunities to put up runs, like a bases-loaded situation in the 6th with 1 out, but they scored zero runs. Then, the Naturals got a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th to get ahead. The Hooks threatened again in the bottom of the 9th as they had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs after a wild pitch. However, no runs resulted from that situation either.

That's just an annoying way to lose a game. Seriously.

Chris Devenski went 5 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Michael Feliz pitched the final 4 innings, and unfortunately, Lane Adams took him deep in the 9th. Those were the only 2 runs that Feliz allowed. He gave up 3 other hits and struck out 3.

Corpus Christi's only run came all the way back in the 1st as Teoscar Hernandez scored on an Andrew Aplin groundout. Teoscar also stole his 11th base of the year. Tony Kemp had a double in 3 trips to the plate, walked twice, and stole his 14th bag of the campaign. Colin Moran finished 2-4.

The Hooks will now begin a series with the other Arkansas team, the Travelers. In game 1 of this series, Josh Hader will take on Albert Suarez at 7:05.

Rancho Cucamonga 8, Lancaster 5

W- Ramon Benjamin (3-2)
L- Evan Grills (3-5)

Lancaster home runs: A.J. Reed (15, solo in 4th), Marc Wik (2, solo in 5th), Brett Phillips (9, solo in 8th)

The JetHawks just didn't have the guns to stick with the Quakes in the series opener.

A.J. Reed's 15 homers lead the California League. That blast led off the 4th inning. Reed also had an RBI double in the 1st inning. One batter later, he came home thanks to a Jack Mayfield double. The last 2 Lancaster runs were Wik's homer and Phillip's homer. Reed and Wik finished with 2 hits apiece.

Evan Grills went 5 innings and allowed 6 runs on 8 hits (2-run homer), walked 3, and struck out 4. Tyler Brunnemann was the first man out of the JetHawks bullpen; he went 2 innings and allowed a 2-run homer to Tyler Ogle in the 7th, the only 2 runs scored off of him. Bruno allowed 2 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Frederick Tiburcio struck out 2 over 2 perfect innings.

In game 2 of this series, Troy Scribner gets the start. He'll face Jharel Cotton at 6:30 Pacific.

West Michigan 3, Quad Cities 2

W- Gage Smith (1-1)
L- Eric Peterson (2-1)
S- Joe Jimenez (4)

QC home runs: None.

The Whitecaps got a pair of homers as they managed to slip by the Banditos.

Jake Nottingham went 2-4 and scored both Quad Cities runs. Kristian Trompiz brought him home with a single in the 2nd, and Sean McMullen hit a sac fly that allowed him to score in the 4th. Nick Tanielu and Bobby Boyd also had 2-hit nights.

Brock Dykxhoorn was strong through 5 innings, but West Michigan finally broke through for 2 runs off of him in the 6th, which tied the game. He allowed 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 6 in 5.1 innings. Eric Peterson got the final 2 outs of the 6th, but Zach Shepherd put the Whitecaps in front with a homer to begin the 7th inning. Peterson allowed one other hit and struck out 2 in 1.2 innings. Ryan Thompson struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Josh James will start the series finale. He'll face Spenser Watkins at 7 Eastern.

DSL Astros Blue 9, DSL Royals 5

W- Michel Martinez (1-0)
L- Samuel Adames (that is really his name) (1-1)

Blue home runs: None.

Better late than never... the Blue team scored 8 in the 8th to seize control of this game. As a result, the were the only winners in the system on Thursday.

4 pitchers appeared for the Astros Blue, and none of them issued a walk or hit a batter or threw a wild pitch. Edwin Villarroel allowed 4 runs on 6 hits and struck out 4 over 5 innings. Michel Martinez was the first man out of the pen; he allowed a run on a fielder's choice, a double (both occurred in the 7th), and struck out 3. Cristofer Melendez struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 8th, and Dariel Aquino struck out the side in order in the 9th to finish off the comeback win.

Reiny Beltre hit a single to lead off the 7th, advanced to 3rd on a double from Angel De Leon, and scored on an error that also saw Cristopher Luciano reach base. The floodgates opened in the 8th.

Orlando Marquez opened up the scoring in the inning with a 2-run single. De Leon followed with an RBI single. They both scored when Ronny Jimenez ripped a 2-run double that also saw Luciano advance to 3rd. Jimenez and Luciano scored on a 2-run single from Juan Piñeda. Piñeda advanced to 2nd on the throw to the plate and to 3rd on an error. He capped off the scoring as Wilson Amador grounded into a force out. Amador went 0-5, but he stole 2 bases (3). Juan Piñeda, Marquez, and De Leon finished with 2 hits apiece.

DSL Rangers1 11, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Pedro Brito (1-0)
L- Gabriel Valdez (0-1)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team's quest for their first win continues...

Anardo Peralta tripled in the 5th inning and scored on a groundout from Angel Tejeda. Carlos Machado finished 2-4.

Gabriel Valdez and Josue Uribe were both shelled as they allowed 5 runs apiece. Uribe inherited a runner from Valdez that scored. I'll leave it at that. Michael Richez allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 2 innings of work. Ezequiel Madera allowed 2 hits in a scoreless 9th.

Happy Birthday - 6/5

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

1B Bryan Muniz (22)
Muniz was born June 5, 1993 in Hialeah, Florida, and was drafted by Houston in the 22nd round in 2014 out of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. He played a handful of games for Quad Cities earlier this season, but is likely bound for a short season team soon.


Tweet of the Day

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Getting to Know Astros/JetHawks 3B J.D. Davis

My first impression of 3B J.D. Davis was that he is on the quiet side, but his bat isn't. The first day I watched him take BP, he made some noise with the bat. When he connects, the sound can be quite impressive. Lancaster Manager Omar Lopez sees Davis as the whole package, citing his power, good arm and defense.

Davis is relatively new to third base [Davis played mostly first base (and pitched) for Cal State Fullerton prior to being drafted in the third round in 2014], but Lopez is impressed with how hard Davis works every day to improve at the position. Similarly, Pitching Coach Darryl Robinson sees Davis's work ethic show in the cage, "He's a guy that gets in the cage and he locks in. When he's working, he locks in."

J.D. Davis - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

My first question to Davis when I met him last month was regarding the upcoming draft. As a high round pick himself, what advice would he give to players who will be going through the draft process next week? "Don't take the draft too seriously. It doesn't matter. I was told that I was going to go in the first or second round [he went in the third], but the draft can go in any direction. It really can. Just keep it at an even keel and enjoy it. If they call your name, just be happy for the opportunity. The opportunity, no matter what the round, no matter what pick you are ... the opportunity to play is a blessing," said Davis.

When asked to give a scouting report on himself, Davis played along, "Probably the best thing about me is my work ethic and (being) a good teammate. I work hard no matter what. Even if I fail, the very next day I'll come out and be the first one here and I'm always ready to learn. I'm always open to share my advice or my wisdom with other players just the way other people have shared what they've learned with me. I've been blessed with good people around me to do that. So I just want to be that good teammate to help them with what I've learned, to help the team win. And probably the bad part would be, obviously, I'm pretty slow around the bases."

Of his accomplishments so far this season and what he's working on, Davis said, "I wanted to work a little bit more on (my) patience at the plate. I know this league is very offensive-friendly so my goal is to at least draw a few more walks than usual or just work the counts more and not really chase. Obviously, the main goal is to get my defense a little bit better. I think I (scuffled) at the beginning of the year just getting used to the field and just learning new things, but I've settled in and I'm a lot more comfortable over there, working with Ramon [Infield Coach Ramon Vazquez] and Omar [Manager Omar Lopez] there ... just getting tips here and there every day, just putting in the play."

Pitching Coach Darryl Robinson has been working with Davis on making adjustments at the plate, "He started out really, really hot. They started pitching him a little different so now he's trying to figure it out. We're trying to get him to lay off that inside pitch and lay off the pitcher's pitch and get a better pitch to hit."

One pitcher that Davis would prefer not to face is Astros RHP Lance McCullers. Of McCullers, Davis said, "He has some high heat, some nasty sliders. I've seen the kid pitch and he's pretty nasty. He's very confident on the mound."

If Davis couldn't play baseball, he would still want to stay around the business of baseball, "I don't think I would every get away from (baseball) too much. Maybe coach, scout, just something to do with baseball. I can't get away from the game."

When asked if he could tell me something about himself that most people didn't know, Davis's answer somewhat surprised me, "I like to sing on my own, just around the guys, just bring up a song randomly and start singing. Some guys are probably used to it, but, yeah, just a random song is going through my mind and I just start yelling it out or singing in the clubhouse or on the field or even during the game at third." And what kind of music does he like? "Any music that gets me going. Some days it's rock music; some days it's electronic; some days country. It just all depends upon the mood I'm in."

Okay, so my first impression of Davis may not have been entirely accurate. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, it appears that Davis sings loudly and carries a big stick.



Thank you for your time, J.D. It was a pleasure getting to know you just a little bit better. Best of luck as the season continues.

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

Other recent interviews:
1B Jon Singleton
LHP Bryan Radziewski
1B A.J. Reed
RHP Joe Musgrove

You can find more on virtually every player in the Astros minor league system in the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook available on Amazon for download to your kindle, iPad, laptop, desktop or smart phone.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The early bird gets the worm. The River Bandits got plenty.

What on earth did I just write.

Fresno 4, Colorado Springs 1

W- Brady Rodgers (3-3)
L- Jed Bradley (2-4)
S- Kevin Chapman (5)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Sky Sox took an early lead, but the Grizzlies scored the game's final 4 runs.

Brady Rodgers was excellent on the mound as he looks to put his early-season struggles in the rearview mirror. He allowed a run on 5 hits and struck out 2 over 7 innings of work. Mitch Lambson got 1 out in the 8th and allowed a hit. Jason Stoffel got the final 2 outs of the inning (1 via strikeout) without incident. Kevin Chapman allowed a hit and issued a walk in the 9th, but he was able to seal the deal, striking out 2.

Matt Duffy smacked a triple in the 4th and scored Fresno's first run of the game on a Jon Singleton single. Carlos Correa ripped an RBI double in the 7th to put the Grizz in the lead, and scored when Duffy grounded into a force out. In the 8th, L.J. Hoes singled, stole 2nd (8), advanced to 3rd on a double play, and scored on a wild pitch.

In game 3 of this series, Tommy Shirley takes on Josh Roenicke. First pitch is at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 3, Northwest Arkansas 2

W- Kyle Westwood (3-2)
L- Sam Selman (1-1)
S- Jandel Gustave (6)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks scored some timely insurance runs and Mark Appel was stellar on the mound.

Appel went 5 innings and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 3. That fine outing was much-needed, to say the least. Hope he's turning a corner. Kyle Westwood tagged in to throw 3 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 2. Jandel Gustave allowed a run in the 9th to make it a 1-run game, but he pulled himself together and finished it off. That run was unearned; Gustave also allowed 2 hits and struck out 1.

Colin Moran, who was in the lineup for just the 2nd time since coming off the DL, opened up the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st. That would be the Hooks' only run until the 8th inning, when Conrad Gregor put them in front by drawing a bases-loaded walk. Tyler White scored another run when Jio Mier grounded into a force out. Teoscar Hernandez finished 2-4 and scored 2 of the 3 Hooks runs. Andrew Aplin went 2-3.

The Hooks look to sweep the Naturals out of Corpus Christi as they send Chris Devenski to the mound. He'll face Luke Farrell, son of Red Sox manager John Farrell. First pitch is at 7:05.

Lancaster was off

The JetHawks will begin a 4-game series with Rancho Cucamonga tonight at 6:30 Pacific. Game 1 will feature a pair of Canadians on the mound. Two Ontarians, to be exact. The JetHawks will send out Evan Grills of Whitby to take on old friend Érik Bédard, a native of Navan.

Quad Cities 8, West Michigan 1

W- Jorge Perez (1-0)
L- Trent Szkutnik (3-1)
S- Austin Chrismon (2)

QC home runs: Alex Hernandez (1, 2-run in 2nd), Ramon Laureano (2, solo in 2nd), Jason Martin (2, solo in 9th)

In a game that started at 11 in the morning, the Banditos' bats were up early for this one...

Especially Jake Nottingham's. He finished 3-4, and all 3 of his hits were doubles. The first double opened up the scoring in the 1st inning. Hernandez (2-run) and Laureano (solo) hit back-to-back homers in the 2nd inning. Nottingham doubled to lead off the 6th, and he eventually scored on a Kristian Trompiz sac fly. After Jamie Ritchie doubled to begin the 8th, Nottingham hit his 3rd double of the day to bring him in. Again, Trompiz brought him home, this time with a double. Jason Martin capped off the day with his 2nd homer of the year. Trompiz finished 2-3.

After fading a bit towards the end of May, Kristian Trompiz rebounded to finish up the month and is now on a 6-game hitting streak. Despite being the youngest player in the River Bandits' lineup, he has really held his own in the Midwest League.

This was Jorge Perez's first start in pro ball. The last time he started a game was in his draft year, 2013. On this day, he threw 5 shutout innings, allowing 6 hits, walking 3, and striking out 5. Austin Chrismon came in to finish it off; he allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 3 over the final 4 innings.

Brock Dykxhoorn gets the start in game 2 of this series. He'll take on Fernando Perez at 7 Eastern.

DSL Astros Blue 2, DSL Indians 1 in 12 innings

W- Luidin Toribio (1-0)
L- Jhon Ventura (0-1)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team held the Indians hitless through 10 innings. There were 22 zeroes put up on the scoreboard before business picked up. Both teams did their scoring in the 12th... the Astros Blue did a slightly better job, and as a result, they came out on top.

Their 2 runs in the 12th came on a pair of RBI singles from Wilson Amador and Andy Piñeda. Amador opened the scoring, and an error allowed him to advance to 3rd. Piñeda finished 2-5 with a double and a stolen base (6). Cristopher Luciano went 2-4 with a double. Oscar Campos had an excellent day behind the plate; the Indians tried to steal on him 4 times and were caught each time.

Hector Perez made his debut and all he did was throw 5 perfect innings and strike out 5. Jorge Alcala was the first man out of the bullpen; he walked 4 and struck out 1 over 3 innings. Luis Castro threw 2 scoreless and walked 1. Luidin Toribio finished it off; he allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2 in 2 innings of work.

The Blue team is currently playing a game at the Royals complex.

DSL Angels 3, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Cesar Melendez (1-0)
L- Bryan Abreu (0-1)
S- Jorge Tavarez (1)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team is still searching for that first win.

Juan Fuente went 2-4 with a steal (1) and an RBI single in the 9th for their only run.

Bryan Abreu went 4.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (2-run homer), walked 3, and struck out 3. Cesar Rosado tagged in for 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4. Yonatan Quintin worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

Right now, the Orange team is playing the Rangers 1.

Happy Birthday - 6/4

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

LHP Kent Emanuel (23)
Emanuel was born June 4, 1992 in Woodstock, Georgia, and was drafted by Houston in the 3rd round in 2013 out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Emanuel started the season with AA Corpus Christi before going on the DL in April. He just underwent Tommy John surgery this week and expects to be back mid-2016. We wish him the best of luck.


OF Sean McMullen (23)
McMullen was born June 4, 1992 in Metarie, Louisiana, and was drafted by the Astros in the 30th round in 2014 out of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is currently patrolling the outfield for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits.

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Vince Velasquez virtuoso!

Fresno 5, Colorado Springs 1

W- Luis Cruz (2-2)
L- Taylor Jungmann (2-3)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizz kicked off their series in the Rockies on a winning note.

Luis Cruz was strong in his 6 innings as he allowed a run on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. The three relievers that came in after him threw 1 inning apiece. Tyson Perez was first; he allowed a hit and struck out 2 in the 7th. Richard Rodriguez threw a 1-2-3 8th, fanning 2, and Jordan Jankowski struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Matt Duffy kicked things off with an RBI single in the 1st. Carlos Correa later added another run when he scored on a double play. Alex Presley finishd 2-4 with 2 doubles; his 2nd drove in 2 runs in the 6th inning. Robbie Grossman hit a single in the 7th, and an error on the play allowed Nolan Fontana to score.

Brady Rodgers gets the start in game 2 of this series. He'll face Tyler Thornnburg at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 6, Northwest Arkansas 1

W- Vince Velasquez (3-0)
L- Miguel Almonte (4-3)

CC home runs: None.

Vince Velasquez delivered a masterful performance on the mound as the Hooks took the first of 3 games from the Naturals. The players who were in the lineup and recorded a hit actually all finished with 2 hits: Tony Kemp, Jio Mier, Andrew Aplin, Tyler White, Danry Vásquez, and Roberto Peña.

Velasquez took a no-hitter into the 7th before Jorge Bonifacio ruined everything by taking him deep with 1 out in the 7th. That homer was the only hit Vince allowed in his 7 innings; he walked 2 and struck out 9. Travis Ballew allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless innings.

Tyler White opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st inning. One batter later, Conrad Gregor added a sac fly. Tony Kemp hit an RBI single in the 2nd, and Jio Mier hit an RBI double in the 4th. Gregor hit his 2nd sac fly of the game in the 5th inning. He grounded into a force out in the 7th, and on the ensuing error, Jio scored.

In game 2 of this series, Mark Appel will take on J.C. Sulbaran. First pitch is at 7:05.

High Desert 9, Lancaster 8

W- Juan Grullon (3-0)
L- Reymin Guduan (0-2, 3-2 season)

Lancaster home runs: A.J. Reed (14, 3-run in 2nd), Marc Wik (1, solo in 3rd)

Well, that stunk. The JetHawks' miscues came back to bite them as an early 7-0 lead eroded and transformed into a walkoff loss, snapping their 5-game winning streak and foiling their bid to sweep the series.

A.J. Reed had a solid night, going 3-5. He kicked things off with an RBI single in the 1st, then whacked a 3-run homer in the 2nd. Before Reed's blast, the JetHawks got RBI singles from Brett Phillips and J.D. Davis.

Marc Wik entered this game with 2 extra-base hits all season. He exceeded that total as he hit for the cycle. He singled in the 2nd, homered in the 3rd, tripled in the 6th, and doubled in the 8th. Wik also scored 3 runs. Phillips brought him home after his triple with a groundout. Alfredo Gonzalez finished 2-4.

Bryan Radziewski allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 4, and struck out a career-high 8 over 6 innings. Unfortunately, he had to settle for a no-decision. Albert Minnis was the first man out of the bullpen; he went 1.2 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Frederick Tiburcio got the final out of the 8th and came out for the 9th, but he served up a 2-run homer to Alex Burg. He allowed a single before the homer. Reymin Guduan came on to try to extract the JetHawks from a real quagmire, and he quickly got 2 outs. He issued a walk to Kellin Deglan.

Sadly, that's when the wheels fell off for him. An error on a play that should have ended the game breathed new life into the Mavericks. One batter later, Luis Marte tied the game with a single. Defensive indifference opened up 1st base, so Guduan issued an intentional walk to load them up, setting up a force at any base. It never got to that point because Guduan uncorked a wild pitch, sending the winning run home. That really stunk.

The JetHawks are off today. Tomorrow, they'll begin a 4-game set with Rancho Cucamonga, the team directly above them in the standings.

Quad Cities was off

The River Bandits will begin a 3-game set in Grand Rapids, where the West Michigan Whitecaps await. Jorge Perez will start game 1 for the Banditos; he'll take on Trent Szkutnik. This game is just beginning.

DSL Indians 4, DSL Astros Blue 0

W- Felix Tati (1-0)
L- Jose Rosario (0-1)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team suffered their first loss as they were held off the scoreboard. Reiny Beltre had 3 of their 5 hits, one of which was a double.

Jose Rosario went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Felipe Tejada tagged in for 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 7. Saul Martinez walked 2 in a scoreless 8th, and Framber Valdez struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

These two teams are currently in a game at the Indians complex.

DSL Angels 6, DSL Astros Orange 5

W- Raymundo Gonzalez (1-0)
L- Maikel Sepulveda (0-1)

Orange home runs: None.

Unfortunately, this loss condemned the Orange team to the cellar in their division. However, there's still plenty of season remaining, so hopefully they can shake off this slow start.

They got a pair in the 1st as Anthony Rodriguez hit an RBI single and scored on a wild pitch. Rodriguez scored again in the 3rd on a single from Carlos Canelon. They took the lead with 2 runs in the 8th as Ronny Rafael hit an RBI single, and Juan Fuente (he dropped the S from his last name) scored on a wild pitch. Rodriguez, Rafael, and Miguelangel Sierra both finished with 2 hits.

Juan Robles went 3 innings and allowed 2 unearned runs, a double, and walked 4, and struck out 2. Juan Cuevas allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 in 2.1 innings. Harlen Florencio faced 2 batters in the 6th, but he walked them both. Maikel Sepulveda got the Orange team out of that bases-loaded jam in the 6th. He went 2.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him), 2 hits, and walked 1. Luis Vasquez got 2 outs in the 9th, but the 2nd out was a sac fly that brought home the winning run. He issued an intentional walk.

The Orange team is looking to get off the schneid at home. They're playing the Angels again.

Tweet of the Day

Happy Birthday - 6/3

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

RHP Lachlan Madden (19)
Madden was born June 3, 1996 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and signed with the Astros as an international free agent in February 2014. He pitched his first season in 2014 with the Dominican Summer League, and is currently (presumably) awaiting his assignment to one of the domestic short season teams which will start play later this month.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, May 31, 2015, and Monday, June 1, 2015

DSL Doubleheader!

Sunday: Oklahoma City 4, Fresno 1

W- Scott Baker (4-3)
L- Alex White (1-4)

Fresno home runs: None.

Unfortunately, the Grizz offense couldn't supply any support for Alex White, who had a decent outing on Sunday afternoon.

White had a bare minimum quality start, allowing 6 hits, walking 2, and fanning 3. Murilo Gouvea allowed a run on a double, hit a batter, and struck out 1 in the 7th. Mitch Lambson threw a 1-2-3 8th.

L.J. Hoes hit an RBI groundout in the 9th for the only Fresno run. Domingo Santana finished 2-3 and scored that run.

Monday: Fresno 14, Oklahoma City 1

W- Asher Wojciechowski (4-0)
L- Eric Surkamp (0-2)

Fresno home runs: Nolan Fontana (2, grand slam in 4th), Alex Presley (1, 3-run in 6th)

Well, have yourself a day, Alex Presley. He finished 6-7 and in addition to his homer, added 2 RBI doubles. The first occurred in the 2nd, and the other was the first run-scoring hit in what turned out to be a 9-run 4th inning that pretty much turned the tide in the Grizzlies' favor.

Everyone in the lineup scored a run except for L.J. Hoes, who hit an RBI groundout in the 1st. Everyone in the lineup drew a walk except for Presley; they walked 12 times, compared to 6 strikeouts.

In that 4th inning, the Grizz got an RBI double from Presley and a couple of 2-run doubles from Matt Duffy and Jon Singleton. Nolan Fontana delivered the crushing blow in the form of a grand slam. Presley's 3-run shot in the 6th brought in the final runs of the game. Fontana finished 3-4, walked twice, and scored 4 runs. Presley scored 3 runs and hit 3 doubles. Duffy, Singleton, Robbie Grossman, and Joe Sclafani all had 2-hit games.

Asher Wojciechowski was the beneficiary of this generous run support and he was stellar himself. He went 8 innings and allowed an unearned run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Jonas Dufek threw a 1-2-3 9th.

The Grizzlies are in Colorado Springs to begin a 4-game set with the Sky Sox. Luis Cruz will start game 1; he'll take on Taylor Jungmann at 7:05 Mountain.

Sunday: Corpus Christi 4, Arkansas 2

W- Mike Hauschild (4-1)
L- Austin Adams (0-1)
S- Josh Hader (1)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks finished their tour of Arkansas 4-2, taking 2 of 3 from the Naturals and Travs. They trailed 2-1 heading into the 5th, but they tied the game in that inning and took the lead with a pair in the 6th.

Chan-Jong Moon led off the game with a double and scored the first run of the afternoon on an Andrew Aplin groundout. Aplin went 0-4, but he drove in 2 on the day; he drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 2 in the 5th. Leo Heras ripped an RBI double to put Corpus ahead, and one batter later, Roberto Peña brought him home with a single. Heras finished 2-4, while Moon led the way in the hits department, going 3-5.

Mike Hauschild allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 1 over 6 innings of work. Josh Hader, whose last outing was the combined no-hitter, allowed a hit and fanned 3 over 3 scoreless to get the save.

Now, the Arkansas teams will head to Whataburger Field. The Hooks will begin a 3-game set with Northwest Arkansas tonight at 7:05. Vince Velasquez gets the start in game 1; he'll face Miguel Almonte.

Sunday: Lancaster 21, High Desert 6

W- Joe Musgrove (3-0, 7-1 season)
L- Luis Parra (1-4)

Lancaster home runs: James Ramsay (4, solo in 2nd), A.J. Reed (13, 2-run in 4th), Alfredo Gonzalez 2 (2; 2 solo homers in 6th), Chase McDonald 2 (9; 2-run in 4th, 3-run in 6th) D.J. Fisher (4, 10 season; 3-run in 6th), Jack Mayfield (4, solo in 8th)

The JetHawks busted out the heavy artillery on Sunday as they whacked 8 home runs. This game got out of control (in a good way, for obvious reasons) when the JetHawks put up 10 in the 6th. The box score from this game is pretty nuts. Brett Phillips missing out on the party was a bit of a bummer, though. James Ramsay extended his hitting streak to 19 games.



Edison Frias got the start and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits (2 solo homers), walked 1, and struck out 5 in 4 innings. Zach Morton worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 5th. Joe Musgrove tagged in for the final 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits (solo homer) and struck out 5. 

Monday: Lancaster 12, High Desert 10

W- Tyler Brunnemann (3-0)
L- Jefri Hernandez (0-1)
S- Reymin Guduan (1)

Lancaster home runs: J.D. Davis (6, 2-run in 8th)

The JetHawks trailed 8-3 after the 3rd inning, but they finished this game on a 9-2 run and picked up their 5th consecutive victory. 7 of those 9 runs were scored in the final 3 innings. High Desert managed to tie the game at 10 in the 8th, but extra innings would not be required as the JetHawks retook the lead with a pair in the 9th.

The JetHawks have outscored the Mavericks 49-19 through the first 3 games of this series. Yes. They've scored 49 runs in 3 games.

Everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Brian Holberton, who drew 2 walks and scored a run. Everyone in the lineup scored a run except for James Ramsay, who went 3-5 with 3 RBI, which extended his hitting streak to 20 games.

Jose Fernandez hit a 2-run single in the 2nd to put Lancaster on the board. Chase McDonald added an RBI single in the 3rd, and in the 4th, the JetHawks got a pair of RBI singles from D.J. Fisher and A.J. Reed. Ramsay hit another RBI single in the 7th.

Business picked up in the 8th as the JetHawks put up 4 in the inning to take a 10-9 lead. After Fisher tripled, J.D. Davis clubbed a 2-run homer. Ramsay added a 2-run single with the bases loaded. Davis added an RBI single to his ledger in the 9th, and Reed brought him home with a double for the final run of the night. Fisher, Reed, Davis, Jack Mayfield, and Fernandez all finished with 2 hits.

Dan Mengden allowed 8 runs on 10 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 5 over 4.1 innings. The bullpen was able to restore order to this game, and their efforts bought the offense some time so they could get themselves going, too. Keegan Yuhl went 2.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Tyler Brunnemann technically threw a 1-2-3 8th. However, the first out was a sac fly that allowed one of the 2 runners he inherited from Yuhl to score. Reymin Guduan shut the door on a topsy-turvy affair by striking out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th.

The JetHawks will look for the sweep as Bryan Radziewski takes the mound. He'll face David Ledbetter at 7:05 Pacific.

Sunday: Burlington 3, Quad Cities 1

W- Mike Bolaski (3-4)
L- Brandon McNitt (0-2)
S- Garrett Nuss (1)

QC home runs: Ramon Laureano (1, solo in 8th)

The Bees got 3 off of Brandon McNitt in the 3rd and it turned out to be all they needed.

McNitt went 5 innings and allowed 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Aaron Greenwood allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 2 in 2 scoreless, and Angel Heredia threw a 1-2-3 8th.

Ramon Laureano's first hit of the season was a solo homer that spoiled the shutout for the Bees in the 8th inning. Jason Martin finished 2-4 from the top of the order.

Monday: Quad Cities 4, Burlington 2

W- Akeem Bostick (2-1)
L- Keynan Middleton (2-3)
S- Jordan Mills (1)

QC home runs: Kristian Trompiz (4, solo in 4th)

The Banditos earned the split behind a solid outing from Akeem Bostick, who allowed a run on 9 hits (8 singles and a double) and struck out 3. Christian Powell was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen; he went 2.2 innings and allowed a solo homer to Fran Whitten in the 7th. Powell allowed one other hit and struck out 5. Jordan Mills got a strikeout to end the game.

Jason Martin opened up the scoring in the 3rd when he scored on a double play. Kristian Trompiz went 2-4, and his solo homer came with 1 out in the 4th. One batter later, Bobby Boyd struck out, but he managed to reach 1st base safely. He made his way around the bases via a single and a passed ball and scored on a sac fly from Martin, who finished 3-4 and added an RBI single to his ledger in the 6th. Jamie Ritchie went 3-5, while Jake Nottingham and Trompiz both finished with 2 hits apiece.

After a day off, the River Bandits will begin a roadtrip. First stop, West Michigan.

Monday: DSL Astros Blue 6, DSL Athletics 2

W- Hansel Paulino (1-0)
L- Jean Ruiz (0-1)

Blue home runs: Angel De Leon (1, solo in 1st), Orlando Marquez (1, 2-run in 3rd)

The Blue team opened up their season by sweeping the A's.

Reiny Beltre opened up the scoring with an RBI groundout in the 1st. One batter later, Angel De Leon went deep. The A's tied the game in the 2nd, but Orlando Marquez un-tied it with a 2-run homer in the 3rd. Beltre added an RBI single in the 5th, Wilson Amador drove in the final run of the morning in the 8th when he ripped an RBI triple. Andy Piñeda went 3-3 with a triple, 3 runs scored, and 2 steals (5).

Enrique Chavez went 3 innings and allowed 2 unearned runs in the 2nd, 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. The bullpen threw 6 scoreless; 4 of them came from Hansel Paulino, who allowed 2 hits and struck out 2. Dariel Aquino worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th, and Michel Martinez allowed 2 hits and struck out 1 in a scoreless 9th.

The Blue team is currently hosting the Indians.

Monday Game 1: DSL Nationals 7, DSL Astros Orange 4

W- Francys Peguero (1-0)
L- Jorge Guzman (0-1)

Orange home runs: Anthony Rodriguez (1, 2-run in 3rd)

Anthony Rodriguez had a nice professional debut as he ended up serving as the Orange team's offense, but it wasn't enough. They were behind the 8-ball early, trailing 4-0 after the 2nd.

Rodriguez cut that deficit in half with his first home run as a pro. He struck again in the 5th with a 2-run single.

Jorge Guzman went 2.2 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 4 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. Ezequiel Madera went 1.1 innings, walked 3, and had 2 inherited runners charged to him after an error allowed them to score. Both of those runs were unearned. Gabriel Pirela allowed a hit over 2 scoreless.

Would game 2 have a better result in store for the Orange team?

Monday Game 2: DSL Nationals 6, DSL Astros Orange 5 in 9 innings


W- Nector Ramirez (1-0)
L- Josue Uribe (0-1)
S- Angel Guillen (1)

Orange home runs: None.

Josue Uribe served up the go-ahead solo homer in the 9th inning, condemning the Orange team to their 2nd loss of the day.

Jose Ramos got the start and went 3.1 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits and striking out 2. Gabriel Valdez was the first man out and allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 4 over 2.2 innings. That homer was the only run Uribe allowed in his 3 innings. He allowed 2 other hits.

After the Nats put up 3 in the top of the 2nd, the Orange team responded with 4 in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. Ronny Rafael drew a bases-loaded walk, and Marcos Almonte cleared the bases with a double. Their other run came on an Oliver Toribio RBI single in the 6th. Almonte and Toribio both went 2-4, and Randy Vasquez finished 3-3 with 2 doubles.

The Orange team will look to rebound as they're currently at the Angels complex.

Getting to Know Astros/JetHawks RHP Joe Musgrove

RHP Joe Musgrove was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round in 2011 and came in to the Houston system as a part of a July 2012 10-player trade with that team. 2014 was a breakthrough season for him as he compiled a 2.81 ERA and a 0.961 WHIP in 15 games (13 starts). After starting the 2015 season with Low A Quad Cities, Musgrove received an early May promotion to High A Lancaster, and has built on that great 2014 season by going 7-1 with a 1.81 ERA and a 1.007 WHIP in his 10 games (6 starts) so far this season. In 49.2 innings pitched, he has struck out 59 batters while issuing only ONE WALK.

Musgrove speaks with Gonzalez pre-game
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Lancaster Pitching Coach Don Alexander said of Musgrove, "I'm real excited about what I've seen with him. His stuff is good. I love how he competes. He's a gamer, very aggressive when he's on the mound. He's got a chance to have three above average to well above average pitches. I think he's the real deal and he's very exciting for me right now."

I spoke with Musgrove recently about his season so far, working with Catcher Alfredo Gonzalez, his workout regimen and more ...






Thank you for your time, Joe, and best of luck as the season continues.

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

Other recent interviews:
1B Jon Singleton
LHP Bryan Radziewski
1B A.J. Reed

You can find more on virtually every player in the Astros minor league system in the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook available on Amazon for download to your kindle, iPad, laptop, desktop or smart phone.

Bonus Tweets of the Day


Happy Birthday - 6/2

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

1B Chase McDonald (23)
McDonald was born June 2, 1992 in Greenville, North Carolina, and was drafted by Houston in the 12th round in 2013 out of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He is currently playing for the High A Lancaster JetHawks team.

Chase McDonald - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

RHP Diogenes Almengo (20)
Almengo was born June 2, 1995 in Santiago, Dominican Republic and was signed by the Astros in June 2014. He is currently playing in the Dominican Summer League on the Astros Orange team.

Tweet of the Day

Monday, June 1, 2015

Getting to Know Astros/JetHawks 1B A.J. Reed

I recently had the opportunity to meet and talk with the Astros 2014 second round pick and current Lancaster JetHawks first baseman A.J. Reed. Reed had a slow start to his season, but he hit a robust .327/.417/.664 in May, including eight doubles, 10 home runs and 29 RBI.

I spoke with Lancaster Manager Omar Lopez and Hitting Coach Darryl Robinson about Reed. Robinson worked with Reed, who he described as a "pull/pull guy," on going the other way and staying up the middle and saw that work paying off. Lopez agreed, "He kind of struggled at the beginning of the season a little bit. I think it was a big jump for him, but he proved in college, he proved last year that he has a good approach at the plate and I think he's showing up right now."

And Robinson is not only pleased with Reed's progress, but he is expecting more from him. "I think he's doing well right now, not as well as he's going to do. I think he's even going to get a little better; I really do. There's room for improvement there. There's still more there. And he understands ... we have this conversation every day. He's one of the guys that's working every day and we have this conversation about the previous day every day and what we're trying to accomplish.

"I think his ceiling's pretty high. He listens. He understands. And that's a real big part of it, being able to retain the information that you get and being able to carry it out. I love what he's doing now. Where he started and what he's doing now ... there were a few rough days there. And I just told him, 'You've got to stick with it, stay with what you're doing. I see you getting better every day. You may not see it, but I see it. So just keep pushing.'"

It was my first time meeting Reed and I was immediately struck by his outgoing, effervescent personality. Lopez praised Reed for being able to put any negative thoughts from early in the season behind him and said, "A.J., what I like from him, he's happy every day. He's joking around every single day. He's got a great mindset every single day."

A.J. Reed - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen


My first request of Reed was to give me a scouting report on himself regarding his strengths and weaknesses. He said, "I would say strength would be power. As of late, my strike zone discipline has been real good. And I barrel up the ball a lot so I think those are some things that (scouts) would like.

Maybe some things they don't like ... speed. I'm not fast. I won't say I am. I need to take the ball the other way a little more so I think those are two big things to improve on."

Regarding his accomplishments so far during the 2015 season, Reed said, "I think it's been good. I started off really slow and I kind of got down. It's just understanding it's a long season and I've started to pick it up. The last (few weeks) have been pretty good and I feel good at the plate. I think it's been a pretty good season so far. You've just got to keep riding it out and understand that you're going to have ups and downs. But overall I think it's been good."

As a high round draft pick, does Reed have any advice for the players about to be drafted next week? "Something that I had to learn was to not put added pressure on myself. I tried to come out and do too much too early instead of just sticking with what I knew how to do. Last year I did the same thing. I struggled at the beginning and played well at the end. It's just about going out there and not trying to do too much and just playing hard and playing your game," said Reed.

Between the draft, being awarded the Golden Spikes award for the top amateur baseball player in the country (among numerous other awards) and starting his professional career, 2014 was a whirlwind year for Reed. Of the experience, he said, "It all happened so fast. It all started in the fall before that year. I talked with the coaches at school and we wanted to do something great and I wanted to be a great player. Fortunately for us, it lasted all season. It put me in a good position to succeed.

"Going to all the different award ceremonies and everything was really cool, just to get to travel a bit and meet all these new people. I got to meet big leaguers and former big leaguers and hall of famers. It's kind of humbling because you get put in a category with all these great players and you've really got to come down to earth. You're considered in the same class as these guys. It's humbling and I'm grateful for all of it. I'm glad that the people who were with me got to experience that as well, the coaches and my teammates at school. It was just a lot of fun."

On what he thinks of the Astros system, Reed told me, "We have a lot of talent in the system and I think that's good because it makes people compete for spots. You've really got to compete to move up, and it just kind of shows you where you stand. And I think, personally, it was one of the better things for me to come to the Astros. We really work well together. The way I play and the way they want us to play really works well together."

Which pitcher in the Astros system would Reed least like to face? "I've never faced Hader, but I heard he's pretty tough against lefties so I feel like that would be a pretty good challenge."

When asked to name something about himself that most people don't know, Reed responded, "I'm really good at ping pong. My teammates will know that, but other people wouldn't know that. I would consider myself one of the best ping pong players I know."

If he couldn't play baseball, Reed would love to teach. "I always wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a math teacher. I think that would be good, being able to help people out. Obviously, I'd try to coach too, just to stay in the game. That's what I wanted to do when I was in high school and going in to college was be a math teacher."

Based on what I saw and the glowing reports from his hitting coach, I think that Reed can put off that teaching career for a nice long time.

Thank you for your time, A.J., and best of luck as the season continues to unfold.



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

Other recent interviews:
1B Jon Singleton
LHP Bryan Radziewski

You can find more on virtually every player in the Astros minor league system in the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook available on Amazon for download to your kindle, iPad, laptop, desktop or smart phone.

WTHB May 2015 Astros MiLB Players of the Month

With no further ado, I present you with WTHB's May Players of the Month ...

Derek Fisher

PLAYER OF THE MONTH

OF Derek Fisher (Quad Cities/Lancaster)
I could have gone many, many different directions with this award, but not only did Fisher have a fantastic month, he ended it by breaking a California League record in the penultimate game of the month by collecting 12 RBI in one game. Yes, in Fisher's first game with Lancaster following his promotion, he was 4-for-6 with three home runs (two of them grand slams), a double and 12 RBI and he followed up with another home run and three RBI in his second game on Sunday. In May, he hit .313/.389/.554 with 10 doubles, one triple, 5 home runs, 28 RBI and he stole 5 bases.

There were certainly many other worthy contenders and, arguably, any and all of the following players were deserving. Honorable mentions go to OF Domingo Santana (Fresno), Jon Singleton (Fresno), Tony Kemp (Corpus Christi), OF Danry Vasquez (Lancaster/Corpus Christi), OF Brett Phillips (Lancaster), 1B A.J. Reed (Lancaster), 3B Nick Tanielu (Quad Cities) and OF Sean McMullen (Quad Cities).

PITCHER OF THE MONTH

RHP Chris Devenski (Corpus Christi)
You may remember that Devenski was my Pitcher of the Month in May after allowing ZERO earned runs in four appearances last month. Well, Devenski couldn't quite pull that off forever and he has now allowed three whole runs in nine games (46IP). In May, Devenski was 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA and a 1.050 WHIP in 5 games (4 starts), and he has a 0.59 ERA and a 0.870 WHIP for the season. This past Friday, Devenski pitched the first five innings of a rain-shortened 5.1 inning no-hitter (with Josh Hader contributing the extra out), the first no-hitter in Hooks history.

Honorable mentions go to RHP Vince Velasquez (Corpus Christi), RHP Mike Hauschild (Corpus Christi), LHP Brian Holmes (Lancaster/Corpus Christi), RHP Daniel Mengden (Quad Cities/Lancaster) and RHP Akeem Bostick (Quad Cities).


Chris Devenski

RELIEF PITCHER OF THE MONTH

I am particularly happy to hand out this award. Ballew's 2014 season did not go as planned, but so far in 2015, he is showing definite signs of his former dominance. In May, Ballew made 12 appearances out of the bullpen (13.2 innings) and compiled a 0.00 ERA and a 0.805 WHIP, walking two batters while striking out 11. For the season, he now has a 1.13 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP.

Honorable mention goes to RHP Tyson Perez (Fresno), RHP Richard Rodriguez (Fresno) and LHP Mitch Lambston (Fresno).



Travis Ballew

CATCHER OF THE MONTH

Jacob Nottingham (Quad Cities)
Nottingham took it to another level in May, hitting .355/.406/.591 in 23 games (17 of those behind the dish). He collected eight doubles, one triple, four home runs and 20 RBI. For the season, he has a 57% caught stealing rate.

Honorable mention goes to Tyler Heineman (Corpus Christi/Fresno).


Jacob Notthingham


April Players of the Month:
SS Carlos Correa
RHP Chris Devenski
RHP Ryan Thompson
C Tyler Heineman

Happy Birthday - 6/1

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

RHP Aaron West (25)
West was born June 1, 1990 in Everett, Washington, and was drafted in the 17th Round in 2012 out of the University of Washington in Seattle. He is currently pitching for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks team.

Tweets of the Day

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, May 30, 2015

Welcome to the California League, D.J. Fisher!

Also, Happy Dominican Summer League Opening Day!

Fresno 2, Oklahoma City 1

W- Dan Straily (4-3)
L- Deck McGuire (1-1)
S- Kevin Chapman (4)

Fresno home runs: Matt Duffy (5, 2-run in 3rd)

The Grizzlies took game 2 of the Redhawks Reunion behind a stellar mound performance.

Dan Straily looks like he's rounding into form as he spun his best start of the season. He allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 10 over 6 innings. Jason Stoffel and Kevin Chapman locked it down and secured the win for him. Stoffel walked 1 and struck out 1 over 2 scoreless, and Chapman worked around a hit to get the save, striking out 2.

Matt Duffy put the Grizz in the lead with a 2-run homer in the 3rd, his 5th blast of the year. That home run turned out to be the game-winning hit. Jon Singleton finished 2-4 with a double.

Alex White gets the start in game 3 of this series. He'll face Scott Baker at 2:05.

Arkansas 4, Corpus Christi 1

W- Albert Suarez (5-3)
L- Brian Holmes (1-1, 3-2 season)
S- Danny Reynolds (2)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks dropped a rather uneventful game and lost their starting 2B after a takeout slide. Tony Kemp had to be carried off the field in the 6th after Travelers 1B Wade Hinkle slid high into 2nd base and took him out. That incident cleared the bases, as the Hooks took great umbrage to that play. No word on Kemp's condition. Hope we don't have to hear about a serious injury.

Roberto Peña singled in the 8th and on the ensuing error, Leo Heras scored. Teoscar Hernandez went 1-3 with 2 steals (10).

Brian Holmes went 4.2 innings and allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Chris Cotton was the first man out; he allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Juan Minaya allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1 in the 7th, and Jandel Gustave allowed a run on a sac fly, a single, and walked 2 in the 8th.

Mike Hauschild takes on Mike Brady in the series finale. First pitch is at 2:10.

Lancaster 16, High Desert 3

W- Adrian Houser (1-2)
L- Richelson Peña (2-4)

Lancaster home runs: D.J. Fisher 3 (3, 9 season; solo in 1st, grand slam in 2nd, grand slam in 3rd)

Wow.

In his first game in the California League, D.J. Fisher made history. He homered in his first 3 at-bats, the last two were grand slams. He cleared the bases with a double in the 7th and broke the league's single-game record for RBI, which stood for 61 years. Those were his 4 hits on the night.

J.D. Davis finished 2-6 with a 2-run single in the 5th. Brett Phillips went 3-5 with a double, 3 runs scored, and drew a bases-loaded walk in the 2nd. One batter later, Fisher hit his first slam. Later in the inning, Jack Mayfield added an RBI double. Mayfield finished 3-5 as well. Marc Wik was 1-2 with 3 walks and 4 runs scored, and James Ramsay extended his hitting streak to 18 games as he went 4-5 with 3 runs scored. The top three (Phillips, Fisher, and Davis) and the bottom three (Alfredo Gonzalez, Ramsay, and Wik) in the order scored all 16 JetHawks runs; Davis (3rd) scored 1, and Alfredo Gonzalez (7th) scored twice.

Adrian Houser was perfect through 5.2 innings. He ultimately allowed 2 runs (on a double) on 4 hits and struck out 7. Keegan Yuhl allowed an unearned run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 1.1 innings. Albert Minnis finished with 1.2 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1.

Edison Frias will take on Luis Parra in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 1:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 1, Burlington 0

W- Kevin Comer (5-1)
L- Justin Anderson (3-3)
S- Francis Martes (1)

QC home runs: None.

Kevin Comer and Francis Martes were both fantastic and 1 run turned out to be enough to get them the win.

Bobby Boyd's RBI single in the 6th turned out to be the only run of the game. Kristian Trompiz and Jason Martin had 2 hits apiece.

Comer allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 over 5 shutout innings. Martes tagged in and struck out 2 over 4 perfect innings to finish it off.

In game 3 of this series, Brandon McNitt will take on Mike Bolaski. First pitch is at 2.

DSL Astros Blue 7, DSL Athletics 3

W- Joel Belboder (1-0)
L- David Montilla (0-1)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team only had 4 hits, but they all drove in runs. The A's committed 6 errors, but only one

Orlando Marquez drew a 2-out walk in the 6th, stole 2nd, and scored the Blue team's first run of the season on an error. Cristopher Luciano, who reached on the error, made it to 2nd, and a wild pitch allowed him to advance to 3rd.

They put up 5 in the 7th with their 4 hits. Jose Benjamin drew a walk to lead off the inning, advanced to 2nd on a sac bunt, and to 3rd on an error that allowed Wilson Amador to reach. Andy Piñeda drove him in with a single. Reiny Beltre put the Blue team in front with a 2-run double, and Angel De Leon brought him home with a triple. Marquez followed with an RBI single. Ozziel Sanchez-Galan walked to lead off the 8th, advanced to 2nd when Amador drew a walk, moved over to 3rd on a force out, and finally, he scored when the pickoff throw to 3rd went astray. In addition to his RBI single, Andy Piñeda stole 3 bases.

Diogenes Almengo pitched 4.2 innings and allowed 2 unearned runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Joel Belboder, who drew a walk-off walk (for real) last season with the Orange team, pitched 3.1 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Edwin Villarroel walked 1 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 9th.

Sunday is an off day in the complex leagues. The Blue team and the A's will play again at the Astros complex on Monday.

DSL Astros Orange and DSL Nationals was postponed

Due to rain. These two teams will play again on Monday, so they'll most likely have a doubleheader then.

Happy Birthday - 5/31

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

1B Cristopher Luciano (19)
Luciano was born May 31, 1996 in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and signed with the Astros prior to the 2014 season. He is currently playing with the DSL Astros on their Blue Team.

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