Sunday, January 31, 2016

Astros Farm Report: 1/31

The best lefty tweeter since Kenny Long, looking for a ring Down Under, five Astros minor leaguers make the Top 100 and some sad news, but first things first ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

1-31: IF Juan Pineda (18)
2-1: RHP Kevin McCanna (22)
2-2: RHP Brad Peacock (28)
2-3: LHP Javier Navas (18)
2-4: RHP Doug Fister (32)
2-4: C Trent Woodward (24)
2-6: 3B/1B Matt Duffy (27)
2-6: RHP David Paulino (22)
2-6: Josue Uribe (21)

TWEETS OF THE WEEK

Another lefty pitcher in the mold of former Astros farm hand Kenny Long. What is it about lefties?

FALL/WINTER LEAGUE STATS

Here is how the Astros players participating in fall and winter leagues have fared to date (through Saturday, the 30th, unless otherwise noted):

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE - FALL LEAGUE ENDED 11/21
3B J.D. Davis - .279/.329/.456 in 17 games
OF Derek Fisher - .254/.397/.424 in 17 games
IF Chan-Jong Moon - .093/.241/.116 in 13 games
1B A.J. Reed - .231/.326/.385 in 11 games
LHP Chris Cotton - 1.17 ERA/0.783 WHIP in 8 games (7.2IP)
LHP Brian Holmes - 1.13 ERA/1.250 WHIP in 6 games (16.0IP)
LHP Albert Minnis - 2.31 ERA/1.200 WHIP in 9 games (11.2IP)
RHP Keegan Yuhl - 7.88 ERA/1.625 WHIP in 8 games (8.0IP)

New Astro Brendan McCurry, obtained in the Jed Lowrie trade, went 0-1 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.125 WHIP in 11 games (13.1 IP) in the Arizona Fall League.

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE - REGULAR SEASON ENDED 12/21
OF Andrew Aplin - .278/.325/.444 in 10 games
C Tyler Heineman - .190/.288/.224 in 19 games
OF Teoscar Hernandez - .275/.295/.375 in 17 games
OF Eury Perez - .236/.250/.273 in 16 games
1B/DH Tyler White - .297/.421/.494 in 44 games
RHP Jake Buchanan - 2.01 ERA/0.830 WHIP in 7 games (31.1IP)
LHP Edwar Cabrera - 2.33 ERA/1.034 WHIP in 9 games (38.2IP)
LHP Reymin Guduan - 4.22 ERA/1.875 WHIP in 13 games (10.2IP)
RHP Jandel Gustave - 2.87 ERA/1.277 WHIP in 14 games (15.2IP)
RHP Angel Heredia - 13.50 ERA/2.500 WHIP in 2 games (2.0IP)
RHP Jordan Jankowski - 16.20 ERA and 2.400 WHIP in 2 games (1.2IP) - moved to LBPRC
RHP Juan Minaya - 12.79 ERA/2.842 WHIP in 6 games (6.1IP)
LHP Wandy Rodriguez - 2.61 ERA/1.354 WHIP in 3 games (10.1IP)
RHP Cesar Valdez - 2.52 ERA/0.960 WHIP in 5 games (25.0IP)

Escogido emerged the Finals victor in the best-of-nine series winning five games to one over Licey. Eury Perez was 3-for-5 and scored two runs in the final game of the series on Tuesday.

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE - REGULAR SEASON ENDED 12/30
IF Arturo Michelena - .083/.083/.083 in 8 games (only 12 at-bats)
IF Kristian Trompiz - 2 games as pinch runner; no at-bats
OF Danry Vasquez - .276/.338/.392 in 57 games
RHP Chris Devenski - 5.21 ERA/1.579 in 5 games (19.0IP)
RHP James Hoyt - 1.86 ERA/1.035 WHIP in 19 games (19.1IP)

The Tigres de Aragua bested the Navegantes del Magallanes 4-2 in a best-of-seven series ending Thursday. No current Astros appeared in the Championship series.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE - REGULAR SEASON ENDED 12/29
OF Leo Heras - .301/.410/.493 in 44 games
RHP Octavio Acosta - 1.98 ERA and 1.463 WHIP in 8 games (13.2IP)
RHP Enrique Chavez - 9.00 ERA/3.000 WHIP in 1 game (1.0IP)
RHP Jose Hernandez - 1.39 ERA/1.021 WHIP in 8 games (32.1IP)
RHP Juan Robles - 4.02 ERA/1.277 WHIP in 10 games (15.2IP)
RHP Gonzalo Sanudo - 3.60 ERA/1.200 WHIP in 17 games (15.0IP)

The Venados de Mazatlan claimed the Championship on Monday, winning out four games to one against the Aguilas de Mexicali. No current Astros played in the finals.

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE - REGULAR SEASON ENDED 1/24
C Jake Bowey - .091/.167/.091 in 17 games
1B Connor MacDonald - .156/.264/.267 in 19 games
IF/OF Marc Wik - .324/.468/.459 in 53 games
RHP Kevin Comer - 16.88 ERA/4.499 WHIP in 4 games (2.2IP)

Marc Wik will be looking for his Championship next weekend. His Adelaide Bite team won the preliminaries two games to one over the Canberra Cavalry and are headed to Brisbane for the Championship finals starting next Friday. In the prelims, Wik went 2-for-11 with one walk, an RBI and four strikeouts.

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE - REGULAR SEASON ENDED 12/30
C Ruben Castro - 1.000/.1.000/.1.000 in 1 game (1AB)
OF Edwin Medina - .281/.342/.313 in 26 games (32AB)
OF Alexander Melendez - .250/.333/.375 in 8 games (8AB)
OF Nestor Muriel - .000/.000/.000 in 1 game (3AB)
C Roberto Pena - .159/.205/.203 in 24 games
C Max Stassi - .280/.333/.520 in 8 games
RHP Travis Ballew - 2.19 ERA/1.338 WHIP in 20 games (24.2IP)
RHP Jordan Jankowski - 1.80 ERA/1.000 WHIP in 6 games (5.0IP)
RHP Juan Santos - 12.00 ERA/4.000 WHIP in 3 games (3.0IP)

Roberto Pena's Cangrejeros de Santurce claimed their League Championship on Friday, winning out over the Indios de Mayaguez four games to two. Pena was 3-for-14 with two walks and two runs scored in his final four games last week. Edwin Medina appeared twice for Mayaguez, but only as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.

NEWS AND LINKS

The Caribbean Series is slated to start on Monday and several Astros are on the preliminary rosters. LHP Edwar Cabrera, RHP Cesar Valdez and OF Eury Perez will represent the Dominican Republic. C Roberto Pena is slated to be on the Puerto Rican team.

The MLB Pipeline Top 100 Prospect List came out last week with five Astros on the list as well as three former Astros. SS Alex Bregman was the highest ranking Astro at #22, followed by 1B A.J. Reed (40), RHP Francis Martes (41), OF Kyle Tucker (74) and OF Daz Cameron (75). Former Astros OF Brett Phillips (32), LHP Josh Hader (61) and RHP Mark Appel (70) also made the cut. Brian McTaggart has the story here. After naming A.J. Reed the top 1B prospect a couple of weeks ago, MLB Pipeline went on to pronounce Bregman to be the #7 shortstop prospect and Tony Kemp the #8 second base prospect last week.

In addition to making the Wandy Rodriguez free agent signing official, there were a couple of additional signings that the Astros announced last week: 2B Danny Worth and LHP Edwar Cabrera. All three of these players were signed to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. And, of course, the big news from Thursday was the signing of RHP Doug Fister to a one-year deal. There were also three minor league player releases that were announced by Baseball America last week: IF Jared Cruz, RHP Adonis Pena and LHP Edwin Villarroel. The updated Off-season Master Transaction List can be found here.

Friend of the blog, Jarah Wright, posted this piece about Edwar Cabrera and his road back from injury in 2014.

We will be ending today on a somber note. RHP Jose Rosario was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident last Sunday. Although I hadn't ever met Rosario or seen him play, he was on my radar as a player of interest. Here is what I had written about him in my soon-to-be-published farm system handbook ...
I was intrigued by this 6’6” right-hander after last season and I am even more so now. After a great start to his season in the Dominican Summer League, Rosario earned a late June promotion to the Gulf Coast League where he struggled at times.
There are two facts that stick out about Mr. Rosario (aside from his height). After the promotion, he gave up 53 hits in 40 innings, a rate of 11.9 per nine innings. Also for the season, 50 of his 51 strikeouts were swinging strikeouts. What this tells me, in all likelihood, is that Rosario had a few issues with fastball command, leading to a high number of hits when his fastball location went awry. And it also tells me that he must have one heckuva out pitch to get that many swinging strikeouts.
Again, I am intrigued and I will continue to keep an eye on Rosario to see if he can find a little fastball command to go with an out pitch that appears to fool hitters with great regularity.
 It is always a sad occurrence to see someone so young taken before their time. We are all left to wonder what could have been.