It's Tuesday- time to catch up with the youngsters (who are all older than me) from the farm. The past week have seen a number of baseball writers heap some degree of praise on a few of our players. I really don't know how to feel about it. On the one hand, I'm a glass half full guy. With the state of our minor league system, I'm often searching for the thinnest of silver linings. If Drew Sutton shows some pop in 50 AB's, I'm going to get excited, no matter the competition. But at the same time, I realize that these guys will never get the ABs or IPs to completely legitimize what they're doing in Arizona. As I touched on at the beginning, none of these guys are your classic up and coming 19, 20 year old guys. They're mid-20 year olds at the top of a barren list of prospects. Just my take...Things went fairly well for the team this week, so let's get into it:
Wednesday, 11/5: A couple odd things happened in this game- Scottsdale won, and an Astro got the win. Sergio Perez pitched the first five innings in the 7-3 victory, giving up a run while striking out three. Brad James relieved him and pitched ably- allowing a solo home run, but he managed to strike out four in two innings.
Offensively, Drew Sutton failed to get on base for the first time in his baseball career(not true). Mark Ori went yard for the first time all fall, and Brian Bogusevic singled and scored a run.
Thursday, 11/6: A light day for the Astros, as just two hitters and no pitchers saw action. Probably a good thing, since Scottsdale was crushed 20-9. Drew Sutton went 1/5 and scored a run, while Chris Johnson singled, doubled and scored a run. Did he show plate discipline? Yes. He walked as well.
Friday, 11/7: Yes! Our first tie to report on this fall. Phillip Hughes gave up five runs in 1.2 innings, but the Scottsdale bullpen picked up the slack and gave up one run in the remaining 7.1 innings of play. Included in the relief corps is Bud Norris, who struck out four in 1.2 innings of work. At the plate, Brian Bogusevic batted third and collected two singles and scored twice. Drew Sutton knocked him in on one occasion, while going 1/2 at the plate with 2 more walks. The Stone of Shame was attached firmly on Chris Johnson, after collecting two strike outs in as many ABs. I'm starting to feel like Mark Ori is the Astros minor league version of Jan Brady...he's just not getting any attention. He did go 1/5 with an RBI, but with literally everyone contributing on a regular basis, he seems to be getting lost in the shuffle.
Saturday, 11/8: 16-15 win for Scottsdale. Our pitchers don't see any action either..score. Our hitters did see action, and took advantage of the lackluster pitching from Peo. After a mini power slump, Drew Sutton connected on his sixth home run of the fall, en route to collecting three RBI, and 2 more hits. Mark Ori got the call for a second consecutive game, this time DH'ing. He went 1/5, but walked, collected an RBI, and scored twice. For the record though: BA from this game: .200. Strikeout% from this game: .800. Yikes. A drop in the batting order had the opposite effect on Brian Bogusevic's production- he was a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.
Monday, 11/10: Our update ends with more success in the desert. In a 7-6 Scottsdale win, three Astros saw action, and three Astros collected at least one base hit. Drew Sutton singled and scored a run, while Brian Bogusevic singled and knocked a run in. Chris Johnson went 2/4 with a triple and a double. Love those XBHs.
Speaking of XBHs...:
Half of Chris Johnson's 24 hits this fall have gone for extra bases:
On the other end of the spectrum, only 3 of Brian Bogusevic's 20 hits are of the extra base variety:
Developing some pop at this point in their careers is very important to the young Astros' ability to be major leaguers. While Drew Sutton and Chris Johnson have shown some aptitude to hit for power, Bougy has yet to do so. Of course, he is much earlier in his development as a hitter than the rest of our minor league contingent in Arizona. Something to keep our eyes on.