Saturday, June 4, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, June 3, 2016

Albuquerque 3, Fresno 2

W- Jeff Hoffman (3-3)
L- Tommy Shirley (3-4)
S- Jason Gurka (3)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies had to settle for the split as they were blanked for the final 8 innings after scoring 2 in the 1st.

Those 2 runs came courtesy of a Danny Worth RBI groundout and a Matt Duffy RBI single. Andrew Aplin went 3-5 with a triple and a run scored, and Preston Tucker was 2-4 with a double, a triple, and scored a run.

Tommy Shirley had a bare minimum quality start, allowing 8 hits (2 solo homers), walking 2, and striking out 7. Josh Fields fanned 2 in 1.2 perfect innings, and Reymin Guduan got the final out of the 8th with a strikeout.

Brad Peacock will be on the mound as the Grizzlies return home to begin a 4-game series with El Paso. He'll face Carlos Pimentel at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 3, Northwest Arkansas 2

W- Eric Peterson (2-1, 3-1 season)
L- Evan Beal (2-1)
S- Brendan McCurry (11)

CC home runs: Roberto Peña (1, 2-run in 2nd), Teoscar Hernandez (4, solo in 8th)

Teoscar Hernandez's solo shot in the 8th was the difference in this one. All 3 Corpus runs came off of homers. Roberto Peña opened the scoring with a 2-run homer in the 2nd, his 1st home run of the year.

Teoscar, Alex Bregman, D.J. Fisher (BB, 2 SB [9]), and Nick Tanielu all had 2 hits in this game; Peña's homer was the other hit.

Francis Martes went 6.1 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits, walked 3, and struck out 6. Eric Peterson got the final 2 outs of the 7th, and Brendan McCurry allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1 to record a 2-inning save.

In game 2 of this series, Evan Grills will take on Jake Junis. First pitch is at 6:05.

Lancaster 8, Inland Empire 2

W- Josh James (4-2)
L- Jake Jewell (0-6)

Lancaster home runs: None.

After Inland Empire scored a run in the 4th to break a 1-1 tie, the JetHawks seized control with a 5-run 5th and tacked on a couple more runs in the 9th for good measure to complete the sweep.

Both teams scored in the 1st. Ramon Laureano hit a 2-out triple and scored the first run of the evening on a single from Bryan Muñiz. Lancaster fell behind briefly, but they responded with a huge 5th inning. Bobby Boyd legged out an RBI bunt single to tie the game at 2. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Muñiz drew a walk to put Lancaster in front. Boyd scored when Aaron Mizell grounded into a force out, and Drew Ferguson ripped a 2-run double. An error in the 9th following a single from Laureano allowed Luis Reynoso and Jason Martin to score the final 2 runs of the night. Laureano (3B, RBI, 2 R) and Ferguson (2-R 2B) had 2 hits apiece.

Josh James went 5.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 5, and struck out 6. Yeyfry Del Rosario was the first man out; he allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless, and Andrew Thome allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 over the final 1.1 innings.

The JetHawks will now begin a 4-game series with the Modesto Nuts. Matt Bower will start game 1, and he'll face Carlos Polanco at 6:05 Pacific.

Burlington 2, Quad Cities 1

W- Jaime Barria (5-3)
L- Chris Murphy (3-4)
S- Zach Hartman (6)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos dropped game 1 of the series as they couldn't muster up much offense in support of Chris Murphy.

Murphy allowed 2 runs on 8 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 7 innings of work. Solid start, but unfortunately, he had to take the L. Justin Ferrell allowed a hit and fanned 1 over the final 2 innings.

Kyle Tucker tripled in the 6th and scored the River Bandits' only run on a Dex McCall groundout. The two of them both finished 2-4; Tucker's other hit was a double.

Yoanys Quiala will start game 2 of this series. He'll face Jared Ruxer at 6.

Three Stars

3.

Chris Murphy, RHP, Quad Cities
L (3-4), 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K

2.

Francis Martes, RHP, Corpus Christi
6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 earned), 3 BB, 6 K

1.

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Corpus Christi
2-5, go-ahead solo HR (4) in 8th

Honorable Mentions

Andrew Aplin, OF, Fresno: 3-5, 3B, R
- Aplin had a 4-game hitting streak snapped, but it seems to have jump-started his bat.

Josh James, RHP, Lancaster: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 6 K
- Not his sharpest outing, but James was effective enough.

Yeyfry Del Rosario, RHP, Lancaster: 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K
- The ERA is unattractive at first glance, but 13 of the 16 runs that he's allowed came in two outings.

Ramon Laureano, OF, Lancaster: 2-4, 3B, RBI, 2 R
- Laureano has really been Lancaster's most consistent offensive threat.

Brendan McCurry, RHP, Corpus Christi: Save (11), 2 IP, H, BB, K
- McCurry continues to terrorize Texas League hitters.

Dominican Summer League Astros: A Primer

The Dominican Summer League kicks off later this morning. With the closure of the Venezuelan Summer League, this is the only foreign Rookie league in Minor League Baseball.

As the name implies, the league is located in the Dominican Republic, and all 30 Major League teams have bases set up throughout the country. The rosters of these teams primarily consist of international signings from Latin America and the Caribbean, and for many of these players, it is their first foray into professional baseball. They have spent countless hours preparing for this day, and today, they finally have an opportunity to showcase their skills. Although this is the lowest rung on the Minor League ladder, these kids are just like the guys in Corpus or Quad Cities: They're chasing their dreams of becoming Major League Baseball players.

For many of us, this is the first time that we have heard of guys like Renaigel Martis, or Jose Orta, or Samir Caraballo. It may not be the last time, either. From here, Minute Maid Park seems like it's a universe away, and many of these players may never advance past this league. On the other hand, some of these kids may emerge to become top prospects, and we will be able to talk about them in the same vein as Carlos Correa, A.J. Reed, Joe Musgrove, and Lance McCullers. Some may even become stars in the majors, whether it is with the Astros or another organization. You just never know who might emerge to become an impact player.

Plug time: Some of these players have already been mentioned in the 2016 Houston Farm System Handbook, and to celebrate DSL Opening Day, the book is now available on Amazon for the scant price of $6.04.

We at What the Heck, Bobby? would like to wish the Domincan Summer League Astros best of luck on the upcoming season. We hope to see some of you guys in Houston down the road, as well.

For the third year running, the Astros will field two teams in the DSL; they will be one of 11 teams that will have 2 DSL squads. Let's start off with the Blue team.

Asterisk: Player bats or pitches left-handed.
Bold italics: Player is making professional debut.
Hashtag: Player is a switch hitter.

All players are Dominican unless otherwise noted. If there is signing information available for the player, it will be listed as well. These are the rosters listed on MiLB.com.

DSL Astros Blue

The Blue team will play in the DSL Northwest division. The 8-team division will also include the Marlins, A's, Phillies, Royals, Rays 1, Red Sox 1, and Dodgers 2. They are the team that usually has the more advanced players.

Last year, the Blue team finished 43-29 and won the Boca Chica Northwest division. They fell to the Rangers 1 in the playoffs. They'll start their campaign against the Dodgers 2 at 10:30 A.M. Eastern.

Coaching Staff

Manager: Russ Steinhorn
Pitching Coach: Rick Aponte
Hitting Coaches: Omar Rosario and Danny Ortega
Coaches: Erik Acevedo and Melvi Ortega

Russ Steinhorn is now embarking on a new chapter of his baseball career, as this is his first opportunity to manage a team, and he's doing it in the Dominican Republic. He was previously the hitting coach at Tri-City (2013-15). Before joining the Astros organization, Steinhorn was an assistant coach at Delaware State and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Rick Aponte has been a member of the Houston Astros organization for nearly 40 years as a player, manager, and coach. He played in the Astros system from 1976-81, reaching Triple-A on three separate occations.

Pitchers

Johsson Arias (4/3/94); signed December 2015
Jesus Bernaez (Venezuela, 5/6/97); Astros' transaction page says he signed on March 1. The contract may have been formalized on that date; he most likely signed before March 1.
Ronel Blanco (8/31/93); oldest player on either DSL roster, signed April 2016
Jheyson Caraballo (Venezuela, 10/16/95); signed November 2015
Juan Corniel (1/2/96); signed October 2015
Robert Corniel (6/23/95); signed July 2012
Juan Cuevas (5/4/94); signed April 2014
Edwin Fidel (12/14/94); signed in September 2015
Harlen Florencio (9/24/95); signed in December 2014
Yulian Frontado (Venezuela, 12/29/97); signed March 2016
Jose Antonio Hernandez (Venezuela, 6/18/1999); youngest player on either DSL roster
Adoni Kery (2/18/96); signed April 2016
Juan Lopez (Mexico, 6/25/97); signed in March 2015
Ezequiel Madera (3/22/96); signed November 2013
Javier Navas* (Venezuela, 2/3/98); signed July 2014 for $175,000
Jose Orta* (Venezuela, 5/22/99); signed April 2016
Carlos Perdomo (4/25/98); signed November 2015
Leovanny Rodriguez (6/13/96); signed June 2015
Maikel Sepulveda* (12/31/96); signed February 2015
Felipe Tejada (2/27/98); signed sometime before 2015 season
Luidin Toribio (2/13/96); signed February 2015

Catchers

Carlos Canelon (Venezuela, 12/14/94); signed April 2014
Jose Carrillo (Venezuela, 1/24/98); signed sometime before 2015 season
#Gerry Castillo (10/3/97); signed May 2016
Orlando Marquez (Venezuela, 3/12/96); signed July 2014

Infielders

#Alfredo Angarita (Venezuela, 11/16/96); signed November 2015
#Samir Caraballo (Colombia, 9/12/98); signed November 2015
Eduardo Guzman (Venezuela, 12/6/94); Astros' transaction page says he signed on March 1. The contract may have been formalized on that date; he most likely signed before March 1.
Ronny Jimenez (9/19/94); signed sometime before 2015 season
Felix Lucas (3/27/97); signed July 2013 for $225,000
Nicolas Miranda (Panama, 6/12/96); signed February 2015
#Anardo Peralta (5/11/96); signed June 2014
Juan Piñeda (Panama, 1/31/98); signed July 2014 for $100,000
Ozziel Sanchez-Galan (Panama, 10/30/97); signed July 2014

Outfielders

Jose Benjamin (12/16/95); singed July 2014
Cesar Cortez (Panama, 4/1/99); signed July 2015 for $100,000
Angel De Leon (5/26/96); signed July 2014
Ronny Rafael (10/14/97); signed July 2014 for $1.5 million
Nestor Tejada* (Venezuela, 4/17/97); signed July 2013 for $300,000
Angel Tejeda* (1/22/97); signed sometime before 2015 season

DSL Astros Orange

The Orange team is the Astros' 2nd Dominican Summer League team and mostly consists of the rawer players. In 2015, they finished 28-44, which put them in 9th place in the 11-team Boca Chica North division. They will now be in the Northeast division, a 6-team division that also includes the Phillies 2, Rays 2, Mets 2, Rangers 2, and Red Sox 2.

Gilberto Celestino, who signed for $2.5 million last July, is the name to watch on this team. In addition, Yeuris Ramirez and Enmanuel Valdez are a couple of other kids who received sizeable bonuses on July 2.

The Orange team will open the 2016 season against the Rangers 2 at 10:30 A.M. Eastern.

Coaching Staff

Manager: Carlos Lugo
Pitching Coach: Gerardo Olivares
Hitting Coach: René Rojas
Coaches: Alejandro Martinez and Selin Aquino

Carlos Lugo is also a first-time manager. A catcher during his playing days, Lugo was signed by the Angels in 2007 and played in their minor league system until 2012, mostly in the lower levels. He played in one game at Inland Empire in the California League in 2012.

Gerardo Olivares was originally signed as a catcher by the Devil Rays in 2007. He played in the Rays system until 2011, reaching Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League. The Red Sox signed him in 2012 and converted him into a pitcher. Olivares played two seasons in the Red Sox system; in 2013, his final season as a player, he pitched at both of Boston's Class A affiliates, Greenville and Salem.

Alejandro Martinez played for the DSL Angels from 2006-08. He played all four infield positions, but was primarily a third baseman.

Pitchers

Gerardo Bojorquez (Mexico, 10/23/97); signed December 2015
Humberto Castellanos (Mexico, 4/3/98); signed July 2015
Luis Castro (5/11/95); signed February 2015
Carlos Espinoza* (Mexico, 8/16/94); signed May 2015
Diosward Gonzalez (7/7/95); signed sometime in 2015
Miguel Matos (9/29/96); signed December 2015
Cristofer Melendez (9/16/97); signed July 2014
Hansel Paulino (1/3/96); signed January 2014
Kilvio Peralta (3/6/97); Astros' transaction page says he signed on March 1. The contract may have been formalized on that date; he may have signed before March 1.
Gabriel Pirela (Venezuela, 5/1/94); signed December 2013
Yonatan Quintin (11/18/96); signed sometime before 2015 season
Jose Ramos (Panama, 8/4/96); signed December 2013
Michael Richez (5/15/97); signed March 2014
Cesar Rosado (6/22/96); signed December 2014
Jacques Sambo (Curaçao, 7/27/98); signed May 2015
Cosme Zapata (Venezuela, 10/23/96); signed July 2015

Catchers

Alvaro Alvarez (Venezuela, 11/23/97); signed January 2016
Bernardo Heras (Mexico,11/3/95); signed September 2015, played 27 games in the Mexican League in 2015
Vicente Mota (6/8/94); signed July 2015 for $7500

Infielders

Fredy Medina (9/26/97); signed July 2015
Kendy Moya (12/14/98); Astros' transaction page says he signed on Wednesday. He probably actually signed earlier.
Yeuris Ramirez (11/28/98); signed July 2015 for $500,000
Anthony Rodriguez (7/23/96); signed February 2015
#Ronaldo Urdaneta (Venezuela, 11/18/98); signed July 2015 for $60,000
Enmanuel Valdez* (12/28/98); signed July 2015 for $450,000

Outfielders

Gilberto Celestino (2/13/99); signed July 2015 for $2.5 million
Darlin Figueroa (9/9/95); signed July 2015
Jose Miguel Hernandez (3/12/96); signed February 2015
Juan Infante (Venezuela, 11/9/96); Astros' transaction page says he signed on March 1. The contract may have been formalized on that date; he may have signed before March 1.
Hector Martinez (7/6/98); signed July 2014 for $300,000
Renaigel Martis* (Curaçao, 11/26/97); signed November 2015
Ramiro Rodriguez* (Panama, 2/2/98); signed October 2015

Friday, June 3, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, June 2, 2016

Let's play two in Albuquerque!

Organizational sweep!



Game 1: Fresno 6, Albuquerque 2

W- Brady Rodgers (4-3)
L- Tyler Anderson (0-1)

Fresno home runs: A.J. Reed (7, 2-run in 1st)

The Grizz took the first game of the twinbill as Brady Rodgers dominated the Isotopes in game 1.

Rodgers allowed just one hit and struck out 8 over 6 shutout frames. Albuquerque spoiled the shutout by scoring 2 runs off Kevin Chapman in the 7th. Chapman allowed 2 hits and walked 1.

A.J. Reed put Fresno on the board first with a 2-run homer in the 1st. Colin Moran hit an RBI single in the 3rd and scored when Andrew Aplin grounded into a force out in the 6th inning. Later in the 6th, Andrew Aplin stole 2nd (10) and Preston Tucker scored on the errant throw down. Danny Worth drove in the Grizzlies' final run of game 1 with an RBI single. Aplin and Worth both finished 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Jon Singleton also went 2-4 and scored a run.

Game 2: Fresno 4, Albuquerque 3

W- Mike Hauschild (4-6)
L- Matt Flemer (3-2)
S- James Hoyt (11)

Fresno home runs: Preston Tucker (2, solo in 1st)

Fresno earned the doubleheader sweep as Jordan Jankowski and James Hoyt held off the Isotopes.

Mike Hauschild went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and struck out 7. Jankowski worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 6th, and Hoyt struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th to record his PCL-leading 11th save of the season.

Preston Tucker opened the scoring in game 2 with a solo homer in the 1st. The Grizz added 3 more in the 2nd with a Tyler Heineman RBI single and a 2-run single from Eury Perez. Tucker and Heineman both finished 3-3, while Matt Duffy finished 2-3 with a double and a run scored.

Tommy Shirley will start the final game of this series. He'll face Jeff Hoffman at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 4, Arkansas 0

W- David Paulino (2-2)
L- Jordan Kipper (5-3)
S- Kent Emanuel (1)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks got the sweep thanks to two outstanding performances on the mound from two Tommy John survivors.

David Paulino allowed 1 hit, walked 1, and struck out 7 over 5 shutout innings. Kent Emanuel finished off the 1-hitter by striking out 5 over 4 perfect innings.

Chase McDonald put Corpus on the board first with an RBI single in the 1st. The other 3 Hooks runs came in the 5th on a pair of RBI singles from D.J. Fisher and J.D. Davis. Alex Bregman also scored thanks to an errant throw down to 2nd as Fisher stole his 7th base of the season. Davis, James Ramsay (2B), and Teoscar Hernandez (R) all had 2 hits on the night; all 4 of Corpus Christi's runs in this game were scored by the top third of the order, which was Teoscar, Bregman, and Fisher.

Tonight, the Hooks are in Springdale, Arkansas to begin the second leg of their tour of Arkansas. Francis Martes will start the first of 3 against Northwest Arkansas. He'll go up against Matt Strahm at 7:05.

Lancaster 9, Inland Empire 1

W- Trent Thornton (2-2)
L- Jeremy Rhoades (1-6)
S- Ryan Thompson (2)

Lancaster home runs: Aaron Mizell (2, 4 season; 3-run in 2nd), Garrett Stubbs (6, 2-run in 3rd)

The JetHawks have dominated the 66ers in this series, outscoring them 15-2 in the first two games.

Trent Thornton went 6 innings and allowed a run on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Ryan Thompson finished it off by striking out 4 over 3 perfect innings.

Lancaster jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind two home runs. Aaron Mizell whacked a 3-run homer in the 2nd, and Garrett Stubbs smacked a 2-run blast in the 3rd. Johnny Sewald hit an RBI double in the 7th and came around to score on a Tony Nuñez single. Nuñez moved to 3rd on a Jamie Ritchie single and scored on a wild pitch. Brooks Marlow capped off the scoring with an RBI single. Mizell finished a triple shy of the cycle and was the only player on either side to record a multi-hit game.

Scott Weathersby will be on the mound for Lancaster as they look for the sweep. He will take on Jason Hoppe at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 4, Clinton 3

W- Elieser Hernandez (1-0, 2-4 season)
L- Jefferson Medina (0-2)
S- Ralph Garza Jr. (3)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos edged the LumberKings and avoided the series sweep by breaking a 3-3 tie in the 9th inning.

Connor Goedert opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Clinton scored 1 in the 3rd and 1 in the 4th to take the lead, but Quad Cities re-took the lead in the 6th on a pair of sac flies from Bobby Wernes and Osvaldo Duarte. Clinton scored another run after stretch time to tie the game at 3, and that's where it stood heading into the 9th.

Duarte doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt from Myles Straw. Kristian Trompiz came up and came through with what turned out to be the game-winning hit, an RBI single that gave Quad Cities a 4-3 lead. Trompiz (RBI, R) and Kyle Tucker (2B) both finished 3-5. They accounted for two-thirds of the River Bandits' hits in this game.

Jose Luis Hernandez and Elieser Hernandez (no relation; they are from different countries) both pitched 4 innings. Jose Luis allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and struck out 7. Elieser got the win, allowing a run on 5 hits, walking 2, and striking out 2. Ralph Garza Jr. pitched a 1-2-3 9th to get the save.

The River Bandits will begin their penultimate homestand of the first half this weekend. Tonight, they will welcome the Burlington Bees to Modern Woodmen Park for a 3-game series beginning at 7. Chris Murphy will start for Quad Cities, and his opponent will be Jaime Barria.

Too Many Stars

Since there are too many, these guys will be listed in no particular order.

Kristian Trompiz, IF, Quad Cities
3-5, go-ahead RBI single in 9th, R
Brady Rodgers, RHP, Fresno
W (4-3), 6 IP, H, 8 K in game 1 of doubleheader

David Paulino, RHP, and Kent Emanuel, LHP, Corpus Christi
Paulino: W (2-2), 5 IP, H, BB, 7 K
Emanuel: Save (1), 4 IP, 5 K

Aaron Mizell, UTIL, Lancaster
3-4, 2B, 3-R HR (2, 4 season), 2 R

Trent Thornton's photo from MiLB.com
Trent Thornton and Ryan Thompson, RHPs, Lancaster
Thornton: W (2-2), 6 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 5 K
Thompson: Save (2), 3 IP, 4 K

WTHB's May Astros MiLB Players of the Month

My Astros minor league May honors are a little tardy this month, but better late than never in honoring some terrific performances!

FRESNO

  • Starter: RHP Brady Rodgers (3-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 1.110 WHIP in 5 starts, including a complete game shutout; 6 walks to 33 strikeouts in 33.1IP)
  • Reliever: RHP James Hoyt (3-0 with 4 saves, a 1.32 ERA and 0.732 WHIP in 12 games; 3 walks to 23 strikeouts in 13.2IP)
  • Position Player: IF Danny Worth (.375/.505/.625 in 24 games with 8 doubles, 4 home runs and 18 RBI)

Brady Rodgers - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

April POTM: LHP Tommy Shirley, RHP James Hoyt and IF Danny Worth

CORPUS CHRISTI

  • Starter: LHP Evan Grills (1-0 with 1 save and a 0.90 ERA and 0.950 WHIP in 4 games/2 starts; Grills started the month of May in Lancaster, but his AA debut has been simply outstanding)
  • Reliever: RHP Brendan McCurry (1-1 with 9 saves and a 1.65 ERA and 0.796 WHIP in 12 games; 1 walk to 21 strikeouts in 16.1IP)
  • Position Player: OF Derek Fisher (.323/.383/.604 with 4 doubles, a triple, 7 home runs, 21 RBI, 17 runs scored and 4 stolen bases in 25 games)
Honorable mention goes to RHP David Paulino (2.35 ERA/1.130 WHIP in 5 games/3starts), RHP Keegan Yuhl (2.22 ERA/1.129 WHIP in 5 starts), RHP Aaron West (1.47 ERA/0.982 WHIP in 9 games), and OF Teoscar Hernandez (.327/.370/.469 in 25 games).

Brendan McCurry - April 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

April POTM: RHP Joe Musgrove, LHP Reymin Guduan and SS/3B Alex Bregman/IF Jack Mayfeild (tie)

LANCASTER
  • Starter: RHP Josh James (2-1 with a 1.90 ERA and 1.014 WHIP in 5 games/4 starts; held batters to a .198 average in 23.2IP)
  • Reliever: RHP Ryan Deemes (1-0 with 2 saves, a 0.96 ERA and a 0.750 WHIP in 6 appearances since his early May promotion to Lancaster)
  • Position Player: 1B Bryan Muniz (.345/.385/.571 with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs and 21 RBI in 22 games)
Honorable mention goes to OF Bobby Boyd (.329/.372/.557 in 19 games) and C Garrett Stubbs (.316/.409/.544 in 21 games). And special mention needs to be made of 3B Nick Tanielu's .435/.463/.613 line in his final 15 games prior to his AA promotion.

Bryan Muniz - August 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

April POTM: RHP Dean Deetz and RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (tie), RHP Riley Ferrell and RHP Nick Tanielu

QUAD CITIES
  • Starter: LHP Alex Winkelman (3-0 with a 1.86 ERA and a 0.931 WHIP in 4 games/2 starts prior to his late May promotion to Lancaster; held batters to a .149 average)
  • Reliever: LHP Zac Person (1-1 with a 0.54 ERA and a 1.260 WHIP in 8 appearances)
  • Position Player: OF Kyle Tucker (.316/.384/.408 with 7 doubles, a triple, 20 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 26 games)
Honorable mention goes to RHP Andrew Thome (1.96 ERA/0.818 WHIP in 8 appearances prior to his promotion to Lancaster), RHP Adam Whitt (2.08 ERA/0.846 WHIP in 7 games), and 1B Dexture McCall (.301/.373/.425 in 20 games). Also worth mentioning is the 8-game introduction to Quad Cities by IF Arturo Michelena (.464/.467/.500).

Zac Person - May 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

April POTM: RHP Rogelio Armenteros, RHP Ryan Deemes and C Anthony Hermelyn

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Let's play two in Clinton!

The Astros affiliates did battle with a couple of Angels affiliates. How did they fare?

Fresno and Albuquerque was postponed

Due to rain. A doubleheader is scheduled for today with game 1 starting at 4:35 Mountain. Brady Rodgers will go first; he'll face Tyler Anderson. Mike Hauschild will start the nightcap, and he'll go up against Jeff Hoffman.

Corpus Christi 10, Arkansas 2

W- Keegan Yuhl (4-1)
L- Troy Scribner (3-3)
S- Aaron West (5)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks walked their way to a 10-0 lead and also took advantage of some wild pitching from the Travs. On the pitching side, Keegan Yuhl and Aaron West shackled the Travelers offense.

Yuhl went 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 8 hits (7 singles and a double), walked 1, and struck out 6. West, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, gave himself a nice gift in the form of a 3-inning save. He allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3.

Teoscar Hernandez, Alex Bregman, and D.J. Fisher led off the game by walking to load the bases. J.D. Davis and Chase McDonald went down, which put the threat in jeopardy, but Conrad Gregor opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk. Alfredo Gonzalez followed with a 2-run single. McDonald atoned for his strikeout with the bases loaded by clubbing an RBI double in the 3rd. He later scored on a sac fly from Nick Tanielu.

Corpus tacked on 3 more in the 4th as Davis smacked a 2-run double. He wound up scoring himself on a wild pitch. Teoscar hit an RBI single in the 5th, advanced to 3rd on two wild pitches, and scored on a passed ball.

Teoscar finished 1-3 with 3 walks, 3 runs scored, and was the only player in the Hooks lineup to not strike out. McDonald (2 2B, RBI, R) and Alfredo (2-run single) both finished 2-5. Bregman (3 BB) and Fisher (2B, 2 BB) scored 2 runs apiece, while Gregor drew 4 walks.

The Hooks will look for the sweep as David Paulino takes the ball tonight. He'll face Jordan Kipper at 7:10.

Lancaster 6, Inland Empire 1

W- Rogelio Armenteros (3-1, 3-3 season)
L- Justin Anderson (1-6)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks stormed out of the gate with a 4-0 lead after the 1st and Rogelio Armenteros and company held the 66ers bats in check.

Armenteros allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6 in 5 innings of work. Dean Deetz tagged in for 2.2 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 2. Jacob Dorris pitched the final 1.1 innings, allowing a hit and striking out 2.

The first 4 batters of the game reached, and that's how Lancaster got out to a 4-0 lead in the 1st. Johnny Sewald doubled to lead off the game, and Garrett Stubbs drew a walk. Ramon Laureano opened the scoring with an RBI single, and Brooks Marlow followed with a 2-run triple. Marlow wound up scoring on a Bryan Muñiz groundout.

Jason Martin added an RBI single in the 8th, and Sewald scored the final run of the evening on a sac fly from Laureano. Sewald went 3-5 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored, while Marlow (3B, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Martin (RBI single) both went 2-4.

Josh James will start game 2 of this series. He'll face Jeremy Rhoades at 7:05 Pacific.

Game 1: Clinton 5, Quad Cities 4

W- Art Warren (6-0)
L- Albert Abreu (1-6)
S- Ronald Dominguez (1)

QC home runs: None.

The LumberKings took control of game 1 with a 4-run 3rd inning. The Banditos made it a 1-run game in the 7th, but they couldn't get over the hump.

Kyle Tucker put Quad Cities on the board first with an RBI groundout in the 1st. They added another run in the inning on a Connor Goedert sac fly. Myles Straw showcased his speed in the 2nd when he legged out an RBI infield single. He grounded into a force out that scored Pat Porter in the 7th, and the ensuing error allowed him to advance to 2nd. But alas, he was stranded there to end the game. Christian Correa finished 2-3.

Albert Abreu went 2.2 innings and allowed 5 runs on 3 hits (solo and 3-run homers), walked 5, and struck out 4. Zac Person allowed 2 hits and struck out 4 over 3.1 scoreless.

How did the Banditos fare in game 2?

Game 2: Clinton 6, Quad Cities 4

W- Zack Littell (3-4)
L- Makay Nelson (0-1)

QC home runs: Dex McCall (3, inside-the-park solo in 4th)

Once again, the 3rd inning spelled doom for the Banditos as they were condemned to the doubleheader sweep. They mounted a rally that fell short.

Makay Nelson went 2.2 innings and allowed 6 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Adam Whitt pitched the final 3.1 innings and allowed 2 hits while striking out 5.

Dex McCall put Quad Cities on the board with an inside-the-park homer to lead off the 4th inning. Osvaldo Duarte tripled to lead off the 6th and scored on a sac fly from Little Tuck. The Banditos got 2 in the 7th on an RBI double from Keach Ballard and an RBI triple from Myles Straw. Duarte and Straw both finished 2-4 at the top of the order, while Kristian Trompiz was 2-3 with a run scored in his return to Quad Cities.

The River Bandits will look to avoid the sweep as Jose Luis Hernandez gets the start. He'll take on Pablo Lopez at 6:30.

Four Stars (in three)

3.

Photo from MiLB.com
Rogelio Armenteros, RHP, Lancaster
W (3-1, 3-3 season), 5 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 6 K


2 (tie).

Zac Person, LHP, and Adam Whitt, RHP, Quad Cities
Person: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 4 K in game 1
Whitt: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 5 K in game 2


1.
Aaron West, RHP, Corpus Christi
Save (5), 3 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K on his birthday

Honorable Mentions

Keegan Yuhl, RHP, Corpus Christi: W (4-1), 6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K
- Yuhl might be the pitching version of Tyler White. He has provided some outstanding returns for the Astros since being picked in the 35th round in 2014.

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Corpus Christi: 1-3, RBI, 3 R, 3 BB
- The transformation of Teoscar's game has been impressive. He still has a track record of showing power, but his hitting has improved markedly because he hasn't sold out for the home run.

Dean Deetz, RHP, Lancaster: 2.2 IP, H, BB, 2 K
Jacob Dorris, RHP, Lancaster: 1.1 IP, H, 2 K
- Both of these guys have really fought and have performed well in the extreme environments of the California League.

Johnny Sewald, OF, Lancaster: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R
- Sewald is still finding his way following his promotion, but a couple of multi-hit games has ignited his bat.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Let's finish up one game that started two months ago and play another one in San Jose!

Albuquerque 5, Fresno 3

W- Harrison Musgrave (2-1)
L- Joe Musgrove (2-1, 4-2 season)
S- Jason Gurka (2)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies couldn't overcome a 5-0 deficit as they dropped the first of 4 to the Isotopes.

Joe Musgrove went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits (3-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 1. Chris Cotton was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen; he allowed a run on 3 hits in 2 innings. Jandel Gustave threw a 1-2-3 8th, getting a lineout, a flyout, and a groundout.

The Grizzlies scored their 3 runs in the 7th, and all of them came with 1 out in the inning. Danny Worth drew a walk and advanced to 3rd on an A.J. Reed double. Matt Duffy put the Grizz on the board with an RBI single, and Jon Singleton followed with a 2-run double. Singleton finished 2-5, while Andrew Aplin went 3-5 at the top of the lineup.

In game 2 of this series, Brady Rodgers will face Tyler Anderson. First pitch is at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 4, Arkansas 3

W- Eric Peterson (1-1, 2-1 season)
L- D.J. Johnson (0-3)
S- Brendan McCurry (10)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks started off their tour of Arkansas with a win that they snatched from the jaws of defeat. They scored 3 in the top of the 9th to erase a 3-1 deficit.

Teoscar Hernandez hit a 2-out double in the 6th and scored the Hooks' first run following an error that allowed Alex Bregman to reach base and advance to 2nd. That run tied the game at 1. The Travs broke the tie with 2 runs after stretch time, and that's where the game stood heading into the 9th.

Bregman drew a walk to lead off the inning, and D.J. Fisher followed with an infield single. J.D. Davis hit an RBI single to score Bregman. Fisher and Davis both advanced on a wild pitch, but James Ramsay went down on strikes for the first out. Chase McDonald, however, put the Hooks in front with a 2-run single that turned out to be the game-winner. Teoscar finished 3-4, while Fisher finished 2-3.

Cy Sneed allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3 in 4 innings. Michael Freeman was the first man out of the Corpus bullpen, and in 2.2 innings, he allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and walked 2. Eric Peterson struck out 2 over 1.1 perfect innings, and Brendan McCurry fanned 2 in a 1-2-3 9th to close it out.

Keegan Yuhl will be on the mound for Corpus in game 2 of this series. He'll face Troy Scribner at 7:10.

Lancaster 9, San Jose 4

W- Matt Bower (1-0, 2-1 season)
L- Sam Coonrod (5-2)

Lancaster home runs: Jason Martin (8, solo in 5th), Aaron Mizell (1, 3 season; solo in 6th)

This game began on April 8. Yes, this was originally supposed to be the 2nd game of the season, but rain washed out 3 of the 4 games, so the JetHawks and Giants made up 2 of the 3 rained-out games on Tuesday. This game resumed with Lancaster up 4-1 heading into the 5th.

After play resumed, Jason Martin added a solo homer to go with the double that he hit two months ago. In his California League debut, Aaron Mizell smacked a solo homer in the 6th. Tony Nuñez stole home in the 7th, and later in the inning, Ramon Laureano hit an RBI single. Bobby Boyd scored the final run of this game on a wild pitch in the 9th.

Laureano (3B, 2 RBI, R, SB [23]) and Boyd (3B, 2 R, 2 SB [25]) both finished 3-5. Nick Tanielu, who was promoted to Corpus two weeks ago, finished 2-2. Nuñez's steal of home gives him 3 stolen bases since joining Lancaster and 12 on the season.

Andrew Walter, who is currently on the DL, allowed just the solo homer to Jose Vizcaino Jr., walked 3, and struck out 6 in 3.2 innings. Eric Peterson, who is now with Corpus, got the final out of the 4th with a strikeout. Matt Bower came on after play resumed and went 4.2 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits (solo homer), walking 1, and striking out 8. Ryan Deemes got the final out of the game.

San Jose 4, Lancaster 1

W- D.J. Snelten (3-4)
L- Alex Winkelman (0-1, 5-2 season)

Lancaster home runs: None.

This game was originally scheduled to be played on April 9, but it was rained out.

The 4 runs that Alex Winkelman allowed in the 4th all came on a grand slam, and all of them were unearned. In his 4 innings, he allowed 5 other hits, walked 3, and struck out 1. Yeyfry Del Rosario pitched 2 perfect innings out of the bullpen.

Drew Ferguson went 2-3 and put Lancaster on the board first with an RBI double in the 3rd inning.

The JetHawks and Giants still have to play the last game of their season-opening series. They'll do that on July 14. In the meantime, Lancaster will begin June with a new series. Rogelio Armenteros will start the first of 3 against Inland Empire. He'll face Justin Anderson at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities and Clinton was postponed

Due to rain. A doubleheader is scheduled for today, with game 1 starting at 5. Albert Abreu will go first; he'll take on Art Warren. Makay Nelson will start game 2, and he'll go up against Zack Littell.

Six Stars (in four)

4.

Jon Singleton, 1B, Fresno
2-5, 2B, 2 RBI

3.

Eric Peterson and Brendan McCurry, RHPs, Corpus Christi
Peterson: W (1-1, 2-1 season), 1.1 IP, 2 K
McCurry: Save (10), IP, 2 K

2.

Chase McDonald, 1B, Corpus Christi
Go-ahead 2-RBI single in 9th

1. 

Bobby Boyd and Ramon Laureano, OFs, Lancaster
Both finished 3-5 in the game that was resumed.
Boyd: 3B, 2 R, 2 SB (25)
Laureano: 3B, 2 RBI, R, SB (23)

Honorable Mentions

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Corpus Christi: 3-4, 2B, R
- Teoscar traded off his power for a more contact-oriented approach, and it has really paid off for him. 

Yeyfry Del Rosario, RHP, Lancaster: 2 IP
- Del Rosario has had a couple of outings in which he's gotten shelled, but he's largely held his own in the California League.

Drew Ferguson, OF, Lancaster: 2-3, RBI in 7-inning game
- Ferguson has turned in a solid season for the JetHawks.

Jason Martin, OF, Lancaster: 2-5, 2B, solo HR (8)
- Martin has matched his home run total from 2015 in 64 fewer games.

Getting to Know Astros/JetHawks RHP Andrew Thome

When I talked with then Quad Cities RHP Andrew Thome last week pre-game in Cedar Rapids, the first thing I did was to ask him to critique my assessment of him from the 2016 Houston Farm System Handbook:
Andrew Thome was Baseball America's Top 500 highest ranked player coming out of North Dakota. As a matter of fact, he was the only player from North Dakota making the Top 500 list. The draft came and went without Thome's name being called, but the Astros soon remedied that and signed him as a non-drafted free agent. That turned out to be a very good move as Thome had an excellent freshman season with Greeneville, leading to his end of season promotion to Quad Cities.
Thome's repertoire consists of a fastball that hovers around 90 and touches 93 with good sink to it, a slider and a changeup. He's a strike-thrower who pitches to contact and generates a ton of groundball outs. His 2.42 GO/AO was one of the highest in the Astros system (in 2015). His command is impressive; he allowed only two walks in 35 innings. Thome has the polish to start his season with the Low A Quad Cities team.
Thome pronounced that narrative to be on the money except that my estimate of the upper reaches of his fastball might be a tad bit generous. Thome then elaborated for me, "I'm primarily a sinkerballer. That's kind of my bread and butter. The sinker and changeup play well off of each other so those are my two go-to pitches. The slider is not new; I've always thrown one, but it's a different version of the slider that I used to throw ... a little bit harder, a little tighter. It's been generating some contact. I'm trying to get more swings and misses with it, but I'll take soft contact all day long. On top of that, [Quad Cities Pitching Coach Chris] Holt also introduced a cutter to me." As Thome explained it, the cutter runs in on lefties and jams them up, giving him an extra weapon against lefty hitters.

Andrew Thome - May 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

In giving a scouting report on himself, Thome said, "I would say throwing strikes is something I've always prided myself on. Walk totals are usually typically low; I think that's the key to pitching well." He also prides himself on his even-keeled competitive nature on the mound. "There's no situation too big, too small, attacking every hitter in every outing with the same mentality and focus, whether things are going your way or not going your way." Thome also threw in an "OK frame" as an asset and thanked his parents for that.

As far as what Thome thinks he could improve on, he focused on that cutter. "I think throwing that cutter for strikes and with good velocity will help elevate my game just because I've always struggled against left-handed hitters. Usually when a righty gets in the box, I feel a lot more comfortable. Now if I can get that cutter working that way, it will be the same for both sides." Thome has had mostly good results with the cutter, but needs to find a little more consistency.

And that is the other thing that Thome is working on ... consistency. Thome said, "That's what they tell us is the difference between being a major leaguer and an A-baller or a AA guy is that consistency to bring that pitch or repertoire out every single day and throw repeatedly well."

And according to Quad Cities Pitching Coach Holt, Thome is well on his way to that goal of consistency, "He comes in and he's the same guy every time out. That's the number one thing. He'll come out ... he always seems to have really good stuff. He always pounds the zone. He is working on things developmentally right now to put his game together, but does it. (He) takes it right into the game and attacks with everything he's got. He's an aggressive guy with a strong mentality and work ethic that's second to none also," said Holt.

As Thome and I talked, we got a bit off on a tangent on something near and dear to my heart and something that Thome has done an excellent job with so far this season ... stranding inherited runners. Thome said, "That's another thing that I really do like to take pride in because I've never been a bullpen arm before. I was always a starter ... high school, college, even last year I started in Greeneville. So not being out of the bullpen, one thing that I always used to hate was when a guy comes in with bases loaded, guy on first and second, whatever, and (gives up) walk, sac fly, a passed ball or something and there are two of your runs that score, but (the reliever) doesn't have to worry about it. And so I try to focus twice as hard to make sure those runs are left on base." And Thome has done just that, of 13 runners inherited so far this season, only one has come across home plate.

With the success that Thome has had since signed by the Astros, I had to ask why he thought he wasn't drafted. His response was disarmingly candid, "I didn't pitch that good in college to be honest. I always thought I had the stuff to make it. I was always just a few outings away from taking that jump."

I had never looked at Thome's college stats so that self-assessment surprised me, particularly considering how well he's done since he came into the Astros organization. So I asked him what was different for him now. "North Dakota is kind of an odd place in that we don't get to train in the offseason really. We had just an indoor gym to throw in. I guess that (puts) you behind the 8-ball. On top of that, we played a lot of terrible weather games and we traveled (extensively). That's tough to come back from. There were a lot of games where we'd throw and throw. I'd get my pitch count up to 120, 130 range. And before you know it, there are guys on first and second ... give up a home run, a double in the gap and those runs come around to score. All of those things pieced together, along with being way up in North Dakota. You can slip through the cracks pretty easily," said Thome.

Thome continued, "I'm just fortunate to be here. I got that phone call from the area scout and (when he said), 'We've got a spot for you if you want to come,' I was like, 'I've been waiting for you!' If it lasts two weeks or it lasts 15 years, I'm doing it. I've got a chip on my shoulder a little bit too. When you go undrafted like that, you understand that they didn't want you. It's a little more motivation, not that you need any more."

One of my go-to questions when I interview pitchers (as you will all know if you've been reading my interviews for any time) is to ask who in the Astros system has a pitch that they would like to steal. I occasionally learn something new from the answers as was the case with Thome. In addition to picking (very understandably) Chris Devenski's wow-worthy changeup, Thome also cited a less well known Astros farmhand, "As far as a fastball goes, I don't know if you've had a chance to follow Guzman ... he's down in extended Spring Training right now ... but he just hit 104 the other day down in Spring Training. I think if I could steal one, that might be it. He's consistently (around) 99 to 101." I was too surprised by this to ask Thome for details, but I am assuming that Guzman would be Jorge Guzman, a 20-year old Dominican who pitched his first season with the Astros in 2015.

Thome's answer as to which Astros player he would least like to face in the batter's box was less surprising, "Nick Tanielu. I faced him a couple times in Spring Training. I'm throwing pitches that (I think are) for sure strikeout pitches and he'd foul it off and he'd foul it off and he'd foul it off, and then I'd throw a pitch and leave it kind of middle and he'd put it in the gap. I didn't get a chance to face [Alex] Bregman, [Jose] Altuve, [Carlos] Correa, those guys, but as far as guys I've faced, he was the hardest guy to throw to by far in Spring Training."

When it comes to Astros players he likes to have behind him in the field when he pitches, Thome cited SS Osvaldo Duarte for his ability to make a play in the hole and IF Antonio Nunez for his rocket of an arm. But one player really stands out for Thome, "When the ball gets in [3B] Bobby Wernes's hands, it's pretty much a sure thing that he's going to throw him out at first base. He's silky in everything that he does, has range. He's pretty good at calming us down too. He's a vocal leader in the infield. He's a mainstay. Never too high. Never too low. Always kind of consistent which is a great teammate trait. And he makes the plays." But in the end, Thome "would take any one of these guys just because they're all here for a reason."

As far as something most people might not know about him, he mentioned his musical ability. "I used to play music. Up until my senior year, I played trumpet and piano. I always played instruments growing up. My Mom and Dad were key on the musical aspect of child's growth. I got pretty good at piano. I played it like 14 years. I could probably still pick it up and play it. But I can't sing. Just play the piano and let somebody else sing."

Thome was enjoying playing in Cedar Rapids at a field the Minnesota native played at in travel tournaments back in the day. Plus the fact that the Kernels are a Twins affiliate was fun for him as well. And I enjoyed getting to know Thome a little bit better. He is smart, extremely well-spoken, confident and exemplifies the "Minnesota nice" meme.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to talk to him as only three days after our interview Thome was promoted to Lancaster. But the promotion was not a huge surprise. For the season so far, Thome is 3-1 with four saves, a 1.56 ERA, a 0.856 WHIP and has walked only five batters while striking out 23 in his 14 appearances (34.2 IP). And to think, 30 teams took a pass on him in the draft.

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

Thank you for your time, Andrew, and best of luck as the season continues. I'll see you again soon in California!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, May 30, 2016

How did the Astros system fare on Memorial Day?

Fresno 6, Colorado Springs 6 after 10 innings

Fresno home runs: Eury Perez (2, solo in 8th)

The Grizzlies withstood a 5-run 5th from the Sky Sox and fought back to force extra innings. However, this game was called after the 10th inning. Why, you ask?

Well, according to the Grizzlies' recap, the Sky Sox had a flight to catch in the evening, and it was decided prior to the game that no inning could start after 2:30 Pacific. Actually, both teams needed to get out of Fresno; the Grizzlies are starting a 4-game series in Albuquerque.

César Valdez allowed 5 runs on 11 hits (grand slam) and struck out 3 in 6 innings. Reymin Guduan and Josh Fields both pitched an inning; Guduan worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 7th, while Fields allowed a run on a single, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 8th. James Hoyt walked 1 and struck out 4 over 2 scoreless innings.

Fresno kicked things off with 3 in the 3rd coming off RBI singles from Andrew Aplin, A.J. Reed, and Jon Kemmer. In the 7th, Danny Worth scored on a wild pitch and Max Stassi added an RBI single. Eury Perez hit a solo homer in the 8th to tie the game at 6.

Reed finished 3-5 with a double. He's played 8 games since returning from the DL and has a hit in all but one of them. Aplin (3B, RBI, R), Worth (2 R, 2 BB), and Perez (2B, solo HR) all had 2-hit days.

Tonight, Fresno starts a 4-game series in Albuquerque. Joe Musgrove will get the start, and he'll take on Harrison Musgrave at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks will begin their tour of Arkansas tonight with the first of 3 against the Arkansas Travelers. Cy Sneed will face Victor Alcantara at 7:10.

Lancaster 8, High Desert 3

W- Andrew Thome (1-0, 3-1 season)
L- David Ledbetter (1-5)

Lancaster home runs: Bobby Boyd (4, 2-run in 6th), Johnny Sewald (1, 2 season; 2-run in 8th)

Ater being no-hit through the first 5 innings, the JetHawks came alive with a 6-run 6th to take this series from the Mavericks.

Johnny Sewald ignited the rally with a single and scored Lancaster's first run on a Kristian Trompiz double. Bobby Boyd followed with a 2-run homer that tied the game at 3. Garrett Stubbs, Ramon Laureano, and Brooks Marlow all drew walks to load the bases, and Stubbs scored the go-ahead run on a Bryan Muñiz groundout. Jason Martin got a free pass to 1st to re-load the bases, which brought up Tony Nuñez... who promptly poked a grounder into right field for a 2-run single. When the dust settled on the 6th inning, the JetHawks left with a 6-3 lead. Sewald tacked on two more in the 8th with a 2-run blast, his first California League homer.

Boyd (2B, 2-R HR, SB [23]), Nuñez (2-run single, R, SB [2, 11 season]), and Sewald (2-R HR, 2 R) all had 2 hits on the day. Boyd now leads the system with 23 stolen bases, while Ramon Laureano moved into a tie for 2nd with Kyle Tucker with 22 steals.

Brock Dykxhoorn went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 9 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Andrew Thome shut down the Mavericks for the final 4 innings as he allowed 2 hits while striking out 5.

When the schedule came out, I believe that the JetHawks were originally supposed to have today off. However, they're traveling to San Jose to make up 2 games from the first series of the season.

The first game is actually in progress; Lancaster was leading 4-1 in the middle of the 5th inning on April 8th before play was suspended. Lancaster and San Jose will also make up a game that was originally scheduled for April 9; this one will be a 7-inning game. Alex Winkelman will pick up where they left off on the 8th, while Matt Bower will start the 7-inning game.

Peoria 6, Quad Cities 5

W- Tyler Bray (1-2)
L- Ralph Garza Jr. (2-3)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos scored 2 in the 8th to take a 5-4 lead..... but they had to settle for the split as the Chiefs scored 2 in the top of the 9th to steal the win.

Christian Correa scored Quad Cities' first run in the 3rd inning on an error following a single from Myles Straw. Later in the inning, Keach Ballard hit an RBI single. Kyle Tucker hit an RBI single in the 7th, and in the 8th inning, Pat Porter scored on a wild pitch and Correa hit a sac fly to put the Bandits up 5-4.

Straw finished 3-5 and scored a run. Arturo Michelena and Dex McCall both went 2-4 with a run scored; Michelena has appeared in 8 games and has recorded a hit in 6 of them.

Franklin Perez went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. David Schmidt was the first man out; he went 2.1 innings and had an inherited runner charged to him. He allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Ralph Garza Jr. allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 2 in 1.2 innings.

The River Bandits are in Clinton tonight to start a 3-game series. Albert Abreu will start game 1; he'll face Art Warren at 6:30.

Three Stars

3.

James Hoyt, RHP, Fresno
2 IP, BB, 4 K


2.

Photo by Rich Guill
Johnny Sewald, OF, Lancaster
2-3, 2-R HR (1, 2 season), 2 R

1.

This is Andrew Thome's Twitter avatar. You can follow him on Twitter at Thome_Hawk.
Andrew Thome, RHP, Lancaster
W (1-0, 3-1 season), 4 IP, 2 H, 5 K

Honorable Mentions

A.J. Reed, 1B, Fresno: 3-5, 2B, RBI, R
- Reed was lagging a bit in the average department, but he's gotten hits in 7 of his last 8, which is a good sign. He might be starting to heat up.

Bobby Boyd, OF, Lancaster: 2-4, 2B, 2-R HR (4), SB (23)
- This stolen base battle in Class A between Boyd, Ramon Laureano, and Kyle Tucker is really getting interesting.

Astros Farm Report: 5-31

Checking in on how the Astros minor league teams stack up against their competition, but first things first ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

In addition to Cristopher Luciano who I had previously reported turning 20 today, we have the following birthdays coming up over the next few days.

6-1: RHP Aaron West (26)
6-2: RHP Diogenes Almengo (21)
6-2: 1B Chase McDonald (24)
6-4: LHP Kent Emanuel (24)
6-5: OF Carlos Machado (18)
6-5: 1B Bryan Muniz (23)

Aaron West - April 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TWEET OF THE DAY
TRANSACTIONS/ROSTER MOVES

5-31: 3B Colin Moran optioned to Fresno
5-29: RHP Brad Peacock activated from the Fresno 7-day DL
5-29: RHP Edison Frias activated from the Corpus Christi 7-day DL
5-27: RHP Kyle Smith placed on the Corpus Christi 7-day DL
5-27: LHP Kent Emanuel activated from the Corpus Christi DL (coming back from TJ surgery)

TEAM STATS

Let's look at how the Astros minor league teams stack up in their leagues in various categories.

FRESNO (AAA) through 49 games
Standings: 3rd in their division; 12th in the league (out of 16 teams)
Batting Average: 15th (.240)
On-Base Percentage: 10th (.327)
Slugging Percentage: 12th (.386)
Home Runs: 3rd (48)
Walks: 1st (205)
Strikeouts: 2nd (426)
ERA: 11th (4.45)
WHIP: 6th (1.36)
Walks Allowed: 12th (149)
Pitcher Strikeouts: 2nd (436)

CORPUS CHRISTI (AA) through 49 games
Standings: 2nd in their division; 2nd in the league (out of 8 teams)
Batting Average: 7th (.240)
On-Base Percentage: 4th (.320)
Slugging Percentage: Tied for 1st (.404)
Home Runs: 1st (61)
Walks: 1st (187)
Strikeouts: 6th (368)
ERA: 2nd (3.39)
WHIP: 6th (1.28)
Walks Allowed: Tied for 5th (135)
Pitcher Strikeouts: 1st (419)

LANCASTER (High A) through 49 games
Standings: 3rd in their division; 5th in the league (out of 10 teams)
Batting Average: 4th (.267)
On-Base Percentage: 1st (.353)
Slugging Percentage: 4th (.403)
Home Runs: 5th (35)
Stolen Bases: 1st (99)
Walks: 3rd (203)
Strikeouts: 10th (395)
ERA: 10th (5.03)
WHIP: 9th (1.45)
Walks Allowed: 8th (165)
Pitcher Strikeouts: 7th (420)

QUAD CITIES (Low A) through 50 games
Standings: 8th in their division; 15th in the league (out of 16 teams)
Batting Average: 11th (.238)
On-Base Percentage: 7th (.315)
Slugging Percentage: 10th (.336)
Home Runs: Tied for 13th (14)
Stolen Bases: 1st (68)
Walks: Tied for 6th (170)
Strikeouts: 5th (.423)
ERA: 15th (3.96)
WHIP: Tied for 13th (1.37)
Walks Allowed: Tied for 6th (169)
Pitcher Strikeouts: 14th (373)

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

Inspired by the news that the DSL teams start playing on Saturday, 6/4, I have temporarily lowered the price of my book to $6.04!!! Learn about the next wave of Latin American prospects headed our way!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29, 2016

Recapping the weekend that was in the Astros' minor league system.

Fresno

The Grizzlies split the weekend with Colorado Springs, winning 8-4 on Saturday and dropping a 7-5 decision on Sunday.

Saturday: Fresno 8, Colorado Springs 4

W- James Hoyt (3-2)
L- Jaye Chapman (3-1)

Fresno home runs: Matt Duffy (5, 2-run in 3rd), Danny Worth (7, walk-off grand slam)

6 of their 8 runs on Saturday came via the home run. Jon Kemmer scored the first run of the game on an error following a Jack Mayfield single in the 3rd. Later in the frame, Matt Duffy smacked a 2-run homer (5). A.J. Reed drew a bases-loaded walk in the 5th to give the Grizz a 4-2 lead at that point. Colorado Springs put up 1 in the 6th and 1 more in the 7th to tie the game at 4, and that's where it stood until the bottom of the 9th. This game was one out away from going to extra innings, but suddenly, Duffy smacked a double. Jon Singleton got a free pass to 1st, and then Preston Tucker drew an unintentional walk to load the bases for Danny Worth, who sent the Chukchansi Park crowd home in absolute ecstasy by whacking a walk-off grand slam. Duffy and Eury Perez both finished 2-5 in this game.

Tommy Shirley went 5.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 3. Jordan Jankowski allowed a run on a double in the 7th. He walked 1 and struck out 3 in 1.1 innings. Josh Fields worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th, and James Hoyt worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

Sunday: Colorado Springs 7, Fresno 5

W- Austin Ross (3-1)
L- Jandel Gustave (1-2)
S- Jacob Barnes (1)

Fresno home runs: Max Stassi (1, solo in 5th), Andrew Aplin (3, 2-run in 6th)

The Sky Sox scored 3 in the 8th on Sunday to snatch the win.

Worth scored the first Fresno run in the 4th on an error that allowed Jon Kemmer to reach. Max Stassi connected for his first homer of the year, a solo shot in the 5th. Stassi added an RBI double to his ledger in the 6th, and one batter later, Andrew Aplin clubbed a 2-run homer to put Fresno in front. Stassi, Worth, and A.J. Reed all had 2 hits on the day.

Brad Peacock allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Kevin Chapman was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen; he allowed a hit and struck out 1 over 2 scoreless. Jandel Gustave couldn't hold the lead, as he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 while only getting 2 outs in the 8th. Jordan Jankowski struck out 2 over 1.1 perfect frames.

The series concludes today as César Valdez takes on Jorge Lopez. First pitch is at 11:05 A.M. Pacific.

Corpus Christi

After taking game 1 of their series against Northwest Arkansas, the Naturals took the final 2 games of the series.

Saturday: Northwest Arkansas 6, Corpus Christi 5 in 12 innings

W- Kevin McCarthy (3-1)
L- Eric Peterson (0-1, 1-1 season)

CC home runs: J.D. Davis (9, 2-run in 3rd)

The Hooks scored 4 runs in the 3rd, but they could only push across 1 run the rest of the way.

Alex Bregman opened the scoring by ripping an RBI double in the 3rd. He scored on a single from D.J. Fisher, and then J.D. Davis clubbed a 2-run homer. Fisher hit another RBI single in the 7th inning. Carlos Gomez served as the DH in this one and went 3-6 with a run scored. Fisher (2 RBI singles, R) and Chase McDonald both finished 2-5.

Evan Grills pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Francis Martes tagged in for 3 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and fanning 3. Brendan McCurry fanned 4 over 2 perfect frames, and Eric Peterson allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 in 2 innings.

Sunday: Northwest Arkansas 4, Corpus Christi 1

W- Jake Junis (4-3)
L- Brian Holmes (3-2)
S- Kyle Bartsch (1)

CC home runs: D.J. Fisher (10, solo in 4th)

The Hooks' bats went silent as they dropped 2 of 3 to the Naturals.

Fisher went 2-4 on Sunday and his solo blast was the Hooks' only scoring play.

Brian Holmes turned in 6 solid innings, but the dearth of offense condemned him to the L. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and fanned 3. Edison Frias allowed a hit and walked 3 over 2 scoreless, and Angel Heredia allowed a 2-run homer to Jack Lopez in the 9th. He allowed one other hit, walked 1, and struck out 2 in the inning.

The Hooks have today off. Now, they'll embark on their first of 2 tours of Arkansas, beginning with 3 in Little Rock tomorrow night.

Lancaster

The JetHawks continued the California League iteration of the Lone Star Series.

Saturday: High Desert 5, Lancaster 3

W- Felix Carvallo (4-0)
L- Trent Thornton (1-2)
S- Ryan Ledbetter (2)

Lancaster home runs: Jason Martin (6, solo in 9th)

The Mavericks broke a 2-2 tie with 3 in the 8th. Lancaster managed to pull a run back, but they couldn't get a comeback going.

Lancaster got 2 in the 4th on a Drew Ferguson RBI groundout and a Jamie Ritchie RBI single. Jason Martin smacked a solo homer in the 9th, his 6th of the year. Garrett Stubbs finished 2-3 and was the only JetHawk with a multi-hit game on Saturday. Ramon Laureano and Bobby Boyd (and Kyle Tucker) are currently engaged in a spirited battle to see who can steal more bases. At the moment, Boyd and Little Tucker both have 22 steals, while Laureano is lurking behind with 21. Boyd and Laureano both stole a base in this game.

Josh James allowed 2 runs in his 5 innings; both of them came off solo homers. He allowed three other hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Trent Thornton allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out 1 in 3 innings, and Yeyfry Del Rosario struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Sunday: Lancaster 6, High Desert 4

W- Ryan Thompson (1-1)
L- Austin Pettibone (0-2)
S- Ryan Deemes (2, 3 season)

Lancaster home runs: Jason Martin (7, solo in 3rd)

After High Desert got 3 in the 8th to take control on Saturday, the JetHawks returned the favor by scoring 3 in the 8th to snatch a win on Sunday.

Jason Martin put the JetHawks on the board with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 3rd. Kristian Trompiz later tripled and scored on a single from Johnny Sewald. Sewald moved to 2nd when Drew Ferguson walked, stole 3rd, and scored on a sac fly from Ramon Laureano. Brooks Marlow put Lancaster in front in the 8th with a 2-run single, and Bryan Muñiz drove in another run with an RBI single.

After slumping badly to begin May, Martin has gotten himself back in the saddle with a big homestand. All 7 of his home runs have come in the past 2 weeks. He finished 2-4 and is currently on a 9-game hitting streak.

Scott Weathersby went 5.2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits (solo homer) and struck out 4. Ryan Thompson allowed 2 hits and fanned 4 over 2.1 scoreless, and Ryan Deemes worked around a hit to close it out.

Brock Dykxhoorn will be on the mound for the JetHawks as they wrap up their series with the Mavericks. First pitch is at 2:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities

The Banditos took on Peoria in the 2nd and 3rd games in a 4-game series.

Saturday: Peoria 9, Quad Cities 2

W- Derian Gonzalez (3-0)
L- Yoanys Quiala (0-2)
S- Harley Holt (1)

QC home runs: None.

Quad Cities got buried by their miscues; all 4 of their errors came in the final 3 innings and they snowballed into 7 runs for Peoria.

Osvaldo Duarte hit a sac fly in the 3rd, and Anthony Hermelyn scored on a double play in the 8th. Hermelyn and Connor Goedert both went 2-4.

Yoanys Quiala went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Chris Murphy pitched the final 4 innings, allowing 7 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits (2-run homer) and striking out 1.

Sunday: Quad Cities 7, Peoria 3

W- Kevin McCanna (2-2)
L- Sandy Alcantara (4-3)
S- Juan Carlos Santos (1)

QC home runs: Christian Correa (1, 2-run in 4th), Aaron Mizell (2, solo in 6th)

The Banditos used a 7-1 run from the 4th-6th innings to get the win.

Keach Ballard put Quad Cities on the board with an RBI double in the 4th. One batter later, Christian Correa connected for his first home run as a pro, a 2-run shot that gave the Banditos the lead. Anthony Hermelyn hit an RBI single in the 5th. In the 6th, Aaron Mizell swatted a solo homer and Kyle Tucker ripped a 2-run double.

Kevin McCanna turned in a bare minimum quality start, allowing 6 hits (2-run homer), walking 1, and striking out 4. Juan Carlos Santos allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3 over the final 3 frames to get the save.

The River Bandits and Chiefs will conclude their series tonight at 5:15 as Franklin Perez takes on Jake Woodford.