Monday, April 9, 2018

Astros Farm Report: 4/9

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


Jamie Ritchie - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

4/9: OF Juan Ramírez (19)
4/9: C Jamie Ritchie (25)
4/14: SS Junior Marté (18)



4/7: RHP James Hoyt (Houston) optioned to Fresno
4/7: C Eduardo de Oleo (Fresno) placed on the 7-day DL
4/5: RHP David Paulino (Fresno) placed on the 7-day DL
4/5: RHP Ryan Thompson assigned to Fresno (starting the season on the 7-day DL)
4/5: C Eduardo de Oleo assigned to Fresno
4/5: RHP James Hoyt (Houston) assigned to Fresno for a rehab assignment
4/5: 1B Yuli Gurriel (Houston) assigned to Corpus Christi for a rehab assignment
4/5: DH Randy Vasquez (Quad Cities) placed on the 7-day DL
4/5: RHP Edgardo Sandoval (Quad Cities) placed on the 7-day DL
4/5: RHP Matt Ruppenthal assigned to Quad Cities (starting the season on the 7-day DL)

Also, Baseball America is showing the release of two players over the last week:
  • RHP Ronaldo Marrero - originally signed by the Phillies in 2013 as an infielder; picked up by the Astros as a MiLB free agent in January 2017 and converted to pitching
  • LHP Noel Pinto - Drafted in the 34th round in 2017 out of Connors State College (OK)

FRESNO (Pacific Coast League)
T2nd 2-2 .500 0.5GB W2

T3rd 2-2 .500 1.0GB L1

BUIES CREEK (Carolina League)
T3rd 1-3 .250 2.0GB L1

QUAD CITIES (Midwest League)
8th 0-2 .000 2.0 GB L2


I'll keep this brief this week since the teams are only a handful of games into the season.

OF Myles Straw (Corpus Christi) has hit the ground running (literally) in the 2018 season, collecting five stolen bases in his first four games. He is currently batting .417/.667/.417 with one RBI and eight walks to three strikeouts. Straw only appeared in 13 games with AA Corpus Christi in 2017.

IF "Super" Jack Mayfield is also getting off to a really nice start in Fresno. In his first four games, he is hitting .375/.389/.875 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI. One of those home runs was a grand slam.

RHP Brandon Bailey, one of our newest Astros, went 5.1 innings in his first start, allowing one run and one walk while striking out seven. His Buies Creek teammate RHP Hector Perez, also allowed one run and one walk, but struck out 10 in his first five-inning appearance.

RHP Carson LaRue (Buies Creek) and RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (Corpus Christi) each allowed no runs and no walks in their first outings, striking out three and five, respectively.


I plan to feature one player each week (we'll see how long this lasts when I get super busy with travel and interviews this season) who bears watching. Today's player is RHP Yohan Ramírez.

Yohan Ramírez - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Ramírez isn't currently on any Astros Top Prospect list ... yet. With a good season in 2018, that could very well change. Ramírez jumped from the Gulf Coast League in his first season to Low A Quad Cities in his second in 2017, but not before making three very successful spot starts at High A Buies Creek and AA Corpus Christi first (which tells me that the Astros like him very much!). Ramírez started off the season very well; in his first 11 appearances, he had a 2.47 ERA and a 1.237 WHIP in 43.2 innings, holding batters to a .201 average. But in his last nine regular season appearances, that ballooned to a 7.67 ERA and 1.863 WHIP (.303 BA) in 31.2 innings. His season may have been uneven, but with electric stuff that he can crank up to 98 or 99, you will be well served to keep an eye on him. 2017 Quad Cities Manager Russ Steinhorn said that Ramírez reminds him of Jandel Gustave -- the same kind of build with a quick arm, throwing hard with a good slider. I think Ramírez may open some eyes in 2018, but may ultimately land in a bullpen role. He will be 23 in May.

Ramírez is scheduled to pitch the home opener for Quad Cities tonight (if the weather holds).


So, on the first night of MiLB, the new extra innings rule took effect ... in a game that still lasted 13 innings despite the stated objective of shortening games. Good job, good effort Manfred. (How about we just let baseball be baseball. It will all work out.) presents an under-the-radar prospect for each of the 30 affiliates.

And, in case you missed it, my Opening Day post contained lots of links and info that you can refer to throughout the season.


Adrian Houser - June 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Checking in today with RHP Adrian Houser. Houser was the Astros #11 prospect in 2012 after he was drafted out Locust Grove H.S. (OK) in the second round in 2011. After progressing as high as AA Corpus Christi in 2015, he was included in the Astros July trade that year to the Brewers (along with LHP Josh Hader, OF Brett Phillips and OF Domingo Santana) for RHP Mike Fiers and OF Carlos Gomez (heavy sigh). Houser would make his MLB debut in late September of 2015, but was sent back to AA Biloxi in 2016 where he made 13 starts prior to a June DL stint which was followed by July 2016 Tommy John surgery. Houser made it back in late July 2017 for a few rehab appearances and then spent some time in the Arizona Fall League as well. Houser was recalled to the Brewers on April 6th and made his first appearance in the MLB since September 2015 on Sunday, providing two innings of scoreless relief (1H 0BB 3K). Unfortunately, the recall was short-lived and he is reportedly headed back to the minors. In any event, WTHB wishes Houser the best of luck as he completes his comeback from Tommy John.


Our good friend Alyson Footer writes about two upcoming events organized by MLB, USA Baseball and other organizations to give girls the opportunity to learn and grow as baseball players. To me, this is the takeaway quote ...
Essentially, every prominent group associated with youth baseball has committed to supporting participation in baseball by young women.
This development makes me very, very happy!

Another fun link -- she blew a call in her second game at the ripe old age of 11, but now at 14, she's a grizzled veteran umpire and trendsetter.

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