Hoverboards Don't Work On Water...
...unless you've got power. Max Stassi has been getting his hoverboard to go over quite a bit of water recently, with home runs in five consecutive games, and six home runs over a nine-game stretch. That led MiLB.com's Jake Seiner to write this profile, in which Stassi says he's trying to pattern his game after none other than Craig Biggio, with a grinder mentality and attention to the mental portion of the game.
"Just his mental outlook, it's a big reason why he had as much success as he had," Stassi said. "It doesn't matter what you did yesterday, and you can't predict the future, so why worry about tomorrow? A lot of it is just staying in the present moment and trying to get out there and have success and hit the ball hard and let things take care of themselves. "
It also references Stassi's two-homer, eight-RBI game back in June. Stassi remains a work in progress, but if he can get himself on track, it will do wonders for the Astros' catching depth in the minors.
Speaking of MiLB.com Features...
"Yeah, I went to the big leagues and then came back down to make some adjustments and they're starting to pay off," Grossman said. "I'm seeing the ball better, making better contact. Just a couple things with my swing and just being more confident."
Grossman is hitting .371/.458/.548 over the month of July, which is an incredibly good sign. If he can keep this pace up - no small feat - he'll be back knocking on the door in no time.
As mentioned above, Stassi has really come on strong lately, as evidenced by his selection as the Texas League Offensive Player of the Week after slashing .389/.381/1.222 over five games, with a home run in each. He was the only Astros farmhand to win honors this week. That is, of course, unless you believe everything you read...
Don't Believe Everything You Read
According to MiLB.com, the RedHawks' Evan Meek was the pitcher of the week. The problem, of course, is that Meek doesn't pitch for the RedHawks at all. Instead, he pitches for the Astros' previous Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express (TEX). Maybe a trade happened that we didn't hear about..
Dance Dance Revolution
Kike Hernandez isn't having his best season at the plate. He has a wRC+ of 84, which leads only Round Rock's Odubel Herrera among Texas League second basemen. At just twenty-one years old, the book certainly isn't closed on him, but his skillset has yet to show itself - that is, except for his dancing skill, per this MiLB.com writeup. Again, though, Hernandez has picked things up in July, going .227/.320/.455 with four home runs. He's also inching his walk rate higher this season - from 5.4% in Lancaster in 2012 to 8.7% this year in Corpus Christi. Combined with his increased power and a low BABIP, he may still have a breakout year in sight.
Movin' On Up
Seaton On The Dock of the Bay
Yesterday was Ross Seaton's 58th start for the Corpus Christi Hooks, which puts him in sole possession of second-most ever. Chance Douglass is the only pitcher with more starts as a Hook, with 59.
What Happened Was...
Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - Marwin Gonzalez is now the official starting shortstop in Oklahoma City, and he celebrated by being the only RedHawks player to not get a hit yesterday, with two strikeouts and an error. The game looked like a classic pitcher's duel between Brett Oberholtzer and Everett Teaford of the Omaha Storm Chasers (KCR), with OKC grabbing a run in the first and Omaha tying it up in the third. Through five innings, Teaford held the RedHawks to that one run, striking out seven. Oberholtzer was just as sharp, allowing a single hit and a walk through six innings, all while striking out six batters. The difference was in the bullpens - Kevin Chapman and Jason Stoffel held the Omaha hitters to two hits and three walks through the final three frames, while the RedHawks teed off on Mikael Cleto and Michael Mariot, scoring in each of the final four frames to win, 6-1.
Oklahoma City: 55-47, 3rd (2.5 GB) - Pacific Coast League American Southern
- DH Robbie Grossman - 1/3, R, RBI, BB, HBP
- SS Marwin Gonzalez - 0/4, 2 K, E
- CF George Springer - 1/5, 2 R, 3 K, 2 SB
- 3B Brandon Laird - 2/3, R, 2 RBI, BB, HBP
- RF Jimmy Paredes - 2/5, K, SB
- 1B Jonathan Singleton - 1/3, 2B, R, RBI, BB, K
- LF Ruben Sosa - 2/4, 3B, RBI, K
- LHP Brett Oberholtzer - 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
- LHP Kevin Chapman - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
- RHP Jason Stoffel - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - It was a bit of a mixed bag for Ross Seaton. He allowed a run in each the second and third innings, but a five-run fifth inning for the Hooks - capped by a two-run shot by Erik Castro - gave him a 6-2 lead heading into the eighth inning, where he promptly allowed two hits, including a home run. Chia-Jen Lo relieved him to shut the door on the eighth, however, and Jorge De Leon didn't allow a baserunner in the ninth as the Hooks danced away with a 6-4 win over the San Antonio Missions (SDP).
Corpus Christi: 16-14, 2nd (1.5 GB) - Texas League South
- C Rene Garcia - 3/4, 2B, 2 RBI, CS
- LF Preston Tucker - 1/4, 2B, R, K
- 3B Jonathan Meyer - 1/1, 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB, HBP
- 1B Erik Castro - 1/4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K
- DH Max Stassi - 1/3, K, HBP
- RF Domingo Santana - 0/4, 2 K
- RHP Ross Seaton - 7.2 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- RHP Chia-Jen Lo - 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- RHP Jorge De Leon - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) - In a very un-Jethawks type of performance, Lancaster's batters drew just two walks, struck out six times, and had just one extra-base hit. That single extra-base hit - a three-run home run by Andrew Aplin in the third inning - accounted for all of Lancaster's offense in this one. Meanwhile, David Rollins cruised along against the Bakersfield Blaze (CIN), allowing just two runs in six innings of work. Jonas Dufek was perfect out of the bullpen, striking out three and not allowing a single baserunner through two innings, and Travis Ballew slammed the door to earn the win for the Jethawks, 3-2.
Lancaster: 20-12, 1st - California League South
- SS Nolan Fontana - 0/3, R, BB, 2 K
- CF Andrew Aplin - 2/4, HR, R, 3 RBI
- LF Brandon Meredith - 1/2, R, BB, SB
- DH Joe Sclafani - 1/3, K, SB
- LHP David Rollins - 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
- RHP Jonas Dufek - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- RHP Travis Ballew - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Jordan Scott was cruising along in the Astros system before his promotion to the Midwest League in 2011. After posting wOBAs of .352, .366, and .377 respectively in the Gulf Coast, Appalachian, and New York-Penn Leagues, he struggled in a small sample in Lexington. 2012, his first year in full-season ball, was actually worse. But this year, the twenty-one-year-old outfielder has improved. He's hitting for a little more power and drawing more walks, and has worked his way to a 105 wRC+. In yesterday's game, he took off, driving in Quad Cities' first five runs (a career high) to pace the offense, along with a 2-run Carlos Correa home run. Starter Colton Cain faced the minimum in the first inning - walking Todd Hankins, but then picking him off - before allowing a leadoff home run in the second. He was chased after allowing three runs in four innings, with Daniel Minor and Mitchell Lambson combining to keep the Lake County Captains (CLE) offense silent until the bottom of the ninth, when they scraped together another run. When the dust settled, though, Quad Cities emerged victorious, 7-4.
Quad Cities: 16-13, 3rd (4.0 GB) - Midwest League Western
- CF Teoscar Hernandez - 0/2, R, 2 BB, SB, E
- LF Jordan Scott - 2/4, 3B, R, 5 RBI, BB, SB
- SS Carlos Correa - 1/5, HR, R, RBI, 2 K
- 3B Rio Ruiz - 1/5, 2B, K, SB
- RF Dan Gulbransen - 1/3, BB, K, SB
- C Roberto Pena - 0/2, 2 R, 2 BB, E
- 2B Brian Blasik - 1/2, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB
- LHP Colton Cain - 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, BK, HBP
- RHP Daniel Minor - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
- LHP Mitchell Lambson - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- RHP Juan Minaya - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- 1B Michael Martinez - 2/4, 2B, R, RBI, K
- C Ernesto Genoves - 2/4
- RF/LF Jon Kemmer - 2/3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, K
- RHP Tanner Bushue - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, WP, HBP
- LHP Albert Minnis - 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- RHP Adrian Houser - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP
- LHP J.D. Osborne - 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- RHP Richard Rodriguez - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- 1B Yonathan Mejia - 2/3, 2B, R, BB
- 2B Jose Solano - 2/3, R, RBI, 2 K
- LF Javaris Reynolds - 2/2, RBI, BB, HBP
- RHP Francis Ramirez - 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- RHP Samil De Los Santos - 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- RHP Erick Gonzalez - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
- CF Luis Payano - 4/4, 2 R
- SS Kristian Trompiz - 1/3, R, RBI
- LF Alexander Melendez - 1/4, 2 RBI
- C Brian Pena - 1/3, BB, K
- 2B Jean Estrella - 1/4, 2B, K
- RHP Harold Arauz - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, BK
- RHP Gerardo Juarez - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, HBP
- RHP Yonquelys Martinez - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, HBP
- CF Luis Payano - 1/3, BB, K, SB
- 2B Jean Estrella - 1/4, K, CS
- 3B Randy Cesar - 1/3, BB
- LF Alexander Melendez - 2/3, R, K
- SS Kristian Trompiz - 2/3, R
- RF Jarico Reynoso - 1/2, 2 RBI, BB
- LHP Geronimo Franzua - 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
- LHP Cristhopher Santamaria - 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- RHP Juan Delis - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K