With the draft near hours away now, you'd expect that the note on this minor league recap would have to do with the draft. One year later, the Astros have quite a few players from last year's draft class already in High A. Let's run through how the top picks have done so far this season:
Delino DeShields, Jr., Low A - DDJ has struggled with his average this season with a slash line of .222./.297/.369. But, he's getting on base at a good clip and is improving as a base stealer. He's also showing off good power for his age and level. It's not translating to home runs yet, but he's showing solid doubles power, which is the kind of hitter he profiles as in the first place.
Mike Foltynewicz, Low A - The big right-hander has struggled in this first year of full season ball, as his ERA and walk rate have skyrocketed and his strikeout rate has fallen quite a bit. Folty is still young and has shown improvement lately, so all hope is not lost, but things don't look quite as bright as they did two months ago. We're still talking about just a two month sample size. Even Jordan Lyles had a couple bad months in the minors every now and then.
Austin Wates, High A - The Astros probably couldn't be happier with Wates' development so far. He's hitting well in Lancaster with a good batting eye and, more importantly, is stealing bases efficiently. His power hasn't exactly wowed anyone, but that could come with more development time. Right now, he's showing why he was considered a steal in the third round and should be the first player from this class to play regularly in Double-A.
Mike Kvasnicka, Low A - The converted third baseman is hitting (as he should) as one of older prospects in the South Atlantic League. Still, his .301/.364/.444 line shows what the Astros saw in him if he can stick at the hot corner. We might have to wait until next season to see if he can keep up this production against more age-appropriate environs.
Jake Buchanan, High A - If Wates is the favorite to be the first member of this draft class to reach Double-A, Buchanan is a close second. He's got a sterling ERA, good (if not great) strikeout numbers and pinpoint control. That's probably why he's had success in Lancaster and why he'll be able to move up the system despite lacking elite stuff.
Ben Heath, High A - While Heath's power production has dipped this season, things are starting to perk up. His average is rising a bit and he's hitting some home runs, if not as many as last season. He still has a ways to go and is playing in his first full season league. This may be a case of a catcher just getting worn down by focusing on being behind the plate, but we'll have to see how Heath does the rest of this season.
Bobby Doran, High A - It has not been a kind transition for Doran into the Hangar at Lancaster. His ERA is above 9 with peripherals that aren't much better.
Oklahoma City lost 3-2 to Memphis
J.B.Shuck, LF: 2-3, run
Koby Clemens, 3B-LF: 1-3, walk
Sergio Perez, starter: 7 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 3 walks, 5 Ks, 94 pitches, 59 strikes, 10 ground ball outs, 3 fly ball outs
Brandon Lyon, reliever: 1 IP, 2 hits, no runs, no walks, no Ks
Fernando Abad, reliever: 1 IP, no hits, no runs, no walks, 1 Ks
Corpus Christi beat Arkansas 7-2
Jimmy Paredes, 3B: 3-5, 2B, run, K, CS, PO
Jose Altuve, 2B: 2-4, 3B, 2B, 2 runs scored, 3 RBIs, walk
Jonathan Villar, SS: 1-4, run, RBI, K, CS
Jake Goebbert, LF: 3-4, K
Erick Abreu, starter: 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, no walks, 7 Ks, 82 pitches, 58 strikes, 5 ground ball outs, 5 fly ball outs
Sammy Gervacio, reliever: 2 IP, 2 hits, no runs, 1 walk, 3 Ks, 37 pitches, 21 strikes
Lancaster beat Lake Elsinore 12-6
Jay Austin, CF: 2-6, grand slam, 2 Ks
Ben Heath, C: 2-5, RBI, 2 runs scored, 2 Ks
Jonathan Meyer, SS: 3-4, walk, 2 runs scored, K
Kody Hinze, 1B: 3-4, walk, 2 runs, RBI
Jose Cisnero, starter: 3 1/3 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 2 walks, 2 Ks
Chris Hicks, reliever: 2 1/3 IP, no hits, no runs, no walks, 3 Ks
Kirk Clark, reliever: 2 IP, 1 hit, no runs, no walks, K, 13th save
Lexington beat Greenville 3-1
Delino DeShields, 2B: 1-3, walk, 2 runs, K, 2 SB
Chris Wallace, DH: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, walk, K
Emilio King, CF: 2-4, solo HR, 2B, K
Tanner Bushue, starter: 5 IP, 3 hits, no runs, 2 walks, 8 Ks
DSL Astros postponed by rain for the third straight day