Minor League Recap: July 12th, 2013

Friday's minor league action gave Astros fans a double dose of coke, and George Springer did more George Springery things. Plus, a brief take on Jarred Cosart's performance and what it means.

Jarred Cosart was absolutely phenomenal in his major league debut on Friday. His fastball is a devastating weapon that can dance all over the zone when he is on, and his hard curve and changeup fill out a devastating arsenal, but his debut was about more than just his brilliance- it was about more than a rookie outdueling David Price- it was the first breeze of a storm that is churning in the waters of major league baseball. The Astros' growing core is that storm, and though many of their top properties are not quite ready to put together the kind of performances that Cosart did on Saturday, given the ambitious nature of the team's rebuilding strategy and the total dearth of talent on the roster when it began, the fact that the first benefits are just now being reaped should come as no surprise. While many top farm systems in the past have turned into little for their big league affiliates, the Astros should be able to pull enough to build around from their current prospect pool.

What excites me the most about the dominance that Cosart showed in his first major league appearance is not that he can now be seen as the Astros' saving grace- he isn't, and to treat him as our Matt Harvey simply isn't fair- it is that as talented as Jarred is, and as electric as his stuff is at times, he's not seen as one of the Astros' five best prospects by most. And that isn't to say that we and the rest of the prospecting community have been evaluating Cosart incorrectly, but rather that we can expect a half dozen similarly exciting debuts in the next two to three seasons. If Cosart's stellar eight-plus inning outing tonight isn't enough to bring the fairweather fans crawling back, then perhaps the next wave will be.

Late Round Arms Continue to Show Their Stuff in Greeneville

Other than perhaps Chase McDonald, Brian Holberton, Brett Phillips and Ariel Ovando, the bats in the G-Stros' lineup aren't likely to inspire much excitement. However, their pitching staff has been home to several unlikely stars this season, and on Saturday, four pitchers drafted in the 22nd round or later in 2013 combined on a seven-hit, one-run performance while racking up 11 Ks as Greeneville topped Princeton, 2-1. Sebastian Kessay, a thickly-built 6'2" lefty taken out of Scottsdale CC (yes, that makes him a Fighting Artichoke) started the contest by striking out four in three shutout frames to lower his season ERA to 0.69, and the two hits he allowed were just the fifth and sixth he's let up in 12 innings this year. Following three 1-run innings from 32nd round pick Austin Chrimson, 40th rounder Tyler Brunnemann, who had a K/BB north of 20 (not a typo) in his last year at Hardin-Simmons college came in to strike out the side in a perfect seventh. To close things out, 35th round pick JD Osborne, who was tabbed as a deep sleeper by pro scouting director Kevin Goldstein, threw two one-hit innings while walking three and striking out a batter. Jeff Luhnow had some success with late round picks during his time in St. Louis, and Kessay, Brunnemann and Osborne in particular look like names to monitor going forward.

Feliz Continues Dominance of NYPL

Michael Feliz put his name on sleeper lists following his strong campaign last year, but this season he has gone from sleeper to bona fide top 15 prospect in the system. He took the hill Saturday against Mahoning Valley and fired five shutout innings, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out seven. The outing was just more of the same for Feliz this season, and his ERA now sits at 1.07- the best mark in all of the NYPL. The seven strikeouts brought his season total to 32, which is tied for the league lead, as well. This is doubly impressive when considering Feliz is still just 19 years old, and facing primarily players 2-3 years his senior. Following Feliz, second-round pick Andrew Thurman came in for three one-run innings, allowing a solo home run but striking out three. Thurman has also been strong in his pro debut, and his ERA now sits at 2.08.

A Double Dose of Coke- Cokinos Collects 11 Total Bases

M.P. Cokinos has been the best pure statistical hitter in the Astros system this season, hitting for average, walking more than he has struck out, and even adding some modest power. He's a bit of an enigma, as he's already 23 years old and his long term defensive home is in question, but it's hard not to get excited about a player hitting .346 at this point in the season, and he's showing no signs of slowing down. Saturday was another great performance for Cokinos, as he lifted two home runs in a 4 for 5 line, adding a double and single, as well. There's a bit of a logjam at Corpus Christi currently, but It's time to find him at-bats at a higher level.

Notable Lines

GCL Astros (Rk.)

Jason Martin- 1 for 5, 2 K

Luis Reynoso- 0 for 3, BB, K

Tyler White- 3 for 3, 3 2B

Greeneville Astros (Rk.)

Brett Phillips- 2 for 4, 2B

Brian Holberton- 0 for 4

Chase McDonald- 0 for 3, BB, 2 K

Ariel Ovando- 0 for 2, K

Sebastian Kessay- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K

Austin Chrimson- 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Tyler Brunnemann- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

J.D. Osborne- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K

Tri-City ValleyCats (SS)

Anthony Kemp- 1 for 3, BB, CS

James Ramsay- 1 for 3, BB, K

Conrad Gregor- 0 for 3, BB

Michael Feliz- 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K

Quad Cities River Bandits (A)

Carlos Correa- 2 for 5

Rio Ruiz- 0 for 4, 2 K

Bobby Borchering- 0 for 3, 2 K

Chris Devenski- 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K

Lancaster JetHawks (A+)

Delino DeShields- 1 for 4, BB, K, CS

Andrew Aplin- 2 for 4, 2B, BB

MP Cokinos- 4 for 5, 2B, 2 HR

Tyler Heineman- 2 for 5

Telvin Nash- 1 for 2, 2B, BB, K

Nolan Fontana- 1 for 2

Brandon Meredith- 2 for 4, 2B

Matt Duffy- 2 for 3, HR

Corpus Christi Hooks (AA)

Enrique Hernandez- 3 for 5, HR, BB, K

Preston Tucker- 1 for 5, BB, K

Domingo Santana- 0 for 5, 3 K

Mike Foltynewicz- 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA)

George Springer- 2 for 6, 2B, 3 K

Robbie Grossman- 4 for 8, 2 2B, K

Jonathan Singleton- 3 for 6, HR

Marwin Gonzalez- 2 for 6, BB, K

Jason Stoffel- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Kevin Chapman- 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

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