Houston Astros Minor League Recap: April 7th
Yesterday was a fun day on the farm for our talent in waiting. OKC, Corpus Christi, and Lancaster were all in action and they completed the system sweep going 3-0. We even got a walk off double from one of our top prospects. Our fourth affiliate, the Quad City River Bandits, had the day off which is not a loss, so I consider them part of the sweep.
AAA Oklahoma City Redhawks (3-2) - Win 6-4
I didn’t become super involved with the Astros minor league system until about three years ago and the thing that makes this Redhawks team awesome is seeing the first round of players that I have been following since day one, now filling out the majority of the lineup. Austin Wates, Jonathan Meyer, George Springer, and Erik Castro from the previous regime and then more recent additions like Domingo Santana, Jonathan Singleton and Max Stassi are all playing major roles in the success of our triple-A team. So much of prospecting is doom and gloom and “drop out rate”, but it’s nice to know that the attention that we give some of these guys out of high school and college isn’t always unfounded.
There is good news and bad news from tonight’s Redhawks game. The good news is they won, and there were some good performances that fueled that win. The bad news is that arguably the highest profile pitcher on the team, Michael Foltynewicz got blasted for 4 runs in the first inning. Rudy Owens was his tandem partner and he faired much better, finishing the game with 4 innings of shut out, two hit ball. Jason Stoffel continues to be one of the only pitchers in the system that gets used as a true closer, and he closed out the 9th inning with two Ks. I’m interested to see when Stoffel will get a look. I can’t imagine the Astros’ FO thinks terribly high of him since Zeid seems to be the first man off the bench for the major league team despite having mixed results in his time last year.
Austin Wates – 3/4, 2B, HR (1), BB (hitting .467 so far this year).
Jonathan Singleton – 2/4, 2 2B, BB, 2 Ks
George Springer – 1/5, 2B, 1K
Domingo Santana – 0/3
Rudy Owens – 4 IP, 2 H, 3 Ks, 51 pitches
Michael Foltynewicz – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HR
AA Corpus Christi Hooks (4-1) - Win 8-5
Corpus, although certainly not void of talent, doesn’t have many big name prospects manning it’s diamond. Delino DeShields Jr. is the biggest name and then fan favorites like M.P. Cokinos, Preston Tucker and Nolan Fontana carry the most weight after that. The bemoaned first round pick Jiovanni Mier is still clinging to life and experiencing a hot start to the season. The pitching staff is mostly compiled of C level lottery tickets that were mostly drafted in the later rounds, but have out performed their pedigree.
Colton Cain started the game and struggled, while partner Brady Rodgers excelled in his 4 innings of one run ball, and actually finished the game for a save. DeShields hit his first home run at double-A and it was an overall positive day for the Hooks.
Jiovanni Mier – 2/3, 2B, 1 K. (Batting .364 on the year so far)
Delino Deshields – 1/4, BB, 2 Ks
Preston Tucker – 1/5, 1 K. (Batting .333 on the year, and the only Hook not to collect an RBI. Lucky for him, smart people don’t care about RBIs any more.)
Matt Duffy – 2/5, 2B, 2 Ks
Colton Cain – 3.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR
Brady Rodgers – 4 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 Ks, 1 HR. (Threw 38 of his 50 pitches for strikes)
High A Lancaster Jethawks (3-2) - Win 2-1
The Jethawks didn’t let a terrible first 8 innings keep them down in the 9th, as Rio Ruiz connects for a 2 RBI double that sends everyone home as Lancaster comes up with the 2-1 win. The Cal league is not known for its pitcher duals but Kyle Westwood and Vincent Velasquez held up their end of the bargain, combining for 9 innings of 1 run, 3 hit, 12 strikeout baseball. Velasquez actually threw a no-hitter through his four innings. Each team was only able to muster 3 hits in yesterday’s contest.
I would like to say, hot damn there is a lot of talent on this team.
Carlos Correa – 0/2, 2BB (Batting .471 on the year and is still yet to strikeout.)
Teoscar Hernandez – 2/3, BB
Rio Ruiz – 1/4, WALK OFF 2B, 1 K
Today’s Scheduled Starting Pitchers (according to team websites):
OKC – Paul Clemens (3.00 ERA)
CC – Aaron West (0.00 ERA)
LC – TBD
QC - Chris Lee (4.50 ERA)