Monday, May 16, 2016

Astros Farm Report: 5/16

A lot of star performances over the past week, but first things first ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

5-16: RHP Robert Kahana (23)
5-17: RHP Jordan Jankowski (27)
5-18: C Christian Correa (23)
5-18: RHP Angelo Serrano (24)
5-20: IF Jose Fernandez (23)

Tomorrow's Birthday Boy Jordan Jankowski
Photo by Jayne Hansen


TRANSACTIONS/ROSTER MOVES

In addition to the moves I posted on Friday, there have been a few more to report over the last few days.

5-16: OF Preston Tucker optioned to Fresno from Houston
5-15: RHP Edison Frias placed on the Corpus Christi 7-day DL
5-15: 1B Conrad Gregor activated from the temporary inactive list

Gregor was away from the team for a couple days for good reason ...
5-14: C Roberto Pena assigned from Fresno to Corpus Christi
5-13: C Richard Gonzalez assigned to Lancaster from extended Spring Training
5-13: IF/OF Marc Wik placed on the restricted list after testing positive a second time for a drug of abuse

STANDINGS

Fresno has slipped to third place in their division, going 2-4 since my last standings post and are now 5.5 games behind the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) and one game behind the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks). The Hooks, however, are on a 6-game win streak and have climbed from eight games behind Frisco (Rangers) to only three games behind the the first place team thanks in large part to the Hooks sweep of the RoughRiders over their last four games. The Hooks are now tied with Midland (Oakland) for second. Lancaster has been mostly treading water (3-3 over their last six) and remains in 4th place with Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers) and High Desert (Rangers) tied for first, 9.5 games ahead of the JetHawks. Quad Cities has gained a half a game on league leaders Clinton (Mariners), but otherwise remains mostly unchanged in the standings over the past few days.

AAA Fresno 3rd 15-21 .417 5.5GB L2

AA Corpus Christi T2nd 20-15 .571 3.0GB W6

A+ Lancaster 4th 14-20 .412 9.5GB L1

A- Quad Cities 7th 15-20 .429 5.5GB W1

NEWS AND LINKS

Since I first saw man mountain Chase McDonald in Greeneville in 2013, the year he was drafted in the 12th round out of East Carolina University, I have been intrigued. With his massive frame, the first baseman has always shown a great aptitude for power, but there's always been a question (for me) as to whether or not he would be able to control the strikeouts. As with most power hitters, strikeouts will be a part of the trade-off, but finding a good balance makes that power hitter so much more valuable to a team.

With that said, McDonald seems to be figuring out that balance. Through his first 29 games last season, McDonald hit .248/.306/.450 with seven doubles and five home runs, walking 10 times and striking out 40 times. In 29 games this season, he is hitting .232/.350/.505 with three doubles and eight home runs, and has drawn 18 walks while striking out only 28 times. Prior to the season, I had said that a good season from McDonald would land him on Baseball America's Top 30 prospect list next year. That prediction is looking better and better.

Chase McDonald - April 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen


Derek Fisher, another top prospect, likes to go yard.

On the pitching side of things, there have been some stellar performances of late ...



Chris Murphy tossed his first career shutout for the River Bandits.

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