After long and much anticipated waiting, the Astros have finally released their minor league rosters for the 2013 season. The season starts for each affiliate on Thursday and the Lancaster JetHawks actually have an exhibition game tomorrow.
Not any real surprises here. Also, not really anything exciting prospect wise. The biggest thing to watch will be the usage of Josh Zeid and Kevin Chapman in the bullpen with the new pitching philosophy. I'm curious as to how Jose Martinez performs as he tries to come back from being a good prospect and his career derailed. Villar may be the most interesting assignment as that was debatable whether or not he deserved a AAA assignment. Grossman's is a promotion, but we all knew it was coming.
There's a lot of promotions from last season, particularly on the fielding side. Domingo Santana is the headliner here as the combination of he and Springer will surely make the outfield exciting to watch. Wates' injury problems are probably the biggest reason he returns. The Meyer and Mier combo are probably challenges to see if they'll really progress. Castro will have to use this opportunity to prove he's not a Lancaster product. The catching group is noteworthy and I really like the possible rotation. This will be a pretty exciting group.
There are quite a few players who skipped Quad-Cities this season, which we didn't really see last season. Tucker, Ballew, Rodgers, West, Cokinos, and Heineman all made the jump. It's very trusting of the FO to skip the pitchers but I'm not really that surprised with the position players. This team boasts a lot of power potential and the winds of Lancaster could make this one of the best offensive teams in recent Lancaster history. As for the rotation, Houston hasn't sent this amount of talent to Lancaster...ever.
Prospect fun! This is the team that will have scouts flocking to. Ovando, Ruiz, Correa, Velasquez, and McCullers is one of the best prospect headlines to be in one place we've seen recently. Corpus last year boasted the best prospect lineup last year, but this blows that out of the water. There are plenty of others to watch with Hernanez, Joyce, Scott, Davidson, Pena, and Morales position wise. The pitchers are mostly college level guys with Minor, Holmes, Bircher, Hallock and Cain, but should definitely be effective.
Kevin Comer, Joe Musgrove, Adrian Houser, Lance Day, Jose Fernanez: I guess these guys just aren't ready for fulls season ball quite yet or are pushed back due to depth.
Telvin Nash, Tanner Bushue: Dog House
We will also be bringing out season previews for each team starting tomorrow.