Monday, February 5, 2018

Astros Farm Report: 2/5

Catching you up on the latest Astros MiLB offseason news ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

Alex Winkelman - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

2-6: RHP David Paulino (24)
2-7: RHP Ronaldo Marrero (22)
2-8: LHP Jervic Chavez (21)
2-8: OF Jonathan Lacroix (21)
2-8: LHP Alex Winkelman (24)
2-11: 3B Adrian Tovalin (22)

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

I've only seen one roster move since last week's post.

1-31: 3B Richard Slenker (GCL) released

Slenker was drafted in the 28th round in 2017 out of Yale and was a senior sign. He only played in 9 games in 2017, missing almost three weeks in July which normally signals an injury issue.

You can check the cumulative Astros offseason transaction list here to see if you've missed any of the posted moves this offseason.

NEWS AND LINKS

It's been a pretty quiet week as teams gear up for Spring Training. One of the most interesting developments was the announcement by former Astros prospect Mark Appel that he would be taking a break from baseball. If you haven't already, you can read the story here. Brian McTaggart also weighed in. And now I guess it's my turn to weigh in.

Mark Appel - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

I first met Appel in 2013 and interviewed him in 2014 on the very day that he later became ill and ended up in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Although the injuries he's suffered over the years since he was drafted and the pressure of being a number one pick are certainly factors that led him to this place in his life, I am firmly convinced that his highly analytical side also hampered him. I would really have liked to see him get out of his head and bash a few more walls (as outlined in the first story above). The times that I saw him simply enjoying himself in the years in which I observed him were few and far between.

I would love to see Appel come back to the game at some point. Perhaps he will flourish later in an environment in which expectations have been lowered substantially, but that will have to include his own expectations of himself. I think he's taking an important first step in letting life take him in a different direction. If he feels the pull to come back to the game, if he can reconnect with what he once loved about it, if he can once again learn how to have fun playing baseball, only then will he be ready to take the mound again. Appel is a wonderful young man and I'm happy to have had the opportunity to meet him and talk with him. I wish him nothing but the best and I really think, for now, he is making the right decision.

In case you missed it, I started a "Beyond the Top 30" series, looking at both those Astros players who are considered Top 30 prospects and others at each position who may not be top talents (or may grow to be), but will be interesting to watch nonetheless. So far we've looked at ...

Shortstops
Second Basemen
First Basemen
Third Basemen
Center Field - Coming this week (I lied last week, but it really is coming this week!)

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