One source the Astros have been relying on to rebuild their farm system is other teams' farm systems. Numerous players cut or left unprotected by other teams have been snatched up and plugged into the Houston organization. Here are five players who have taken a shine to being in a Houston-affiliated uniform:
Wesley Wright, LHP(Houston), 24. Wright was picked up in the 2007 Rule 5 draft from the Dodgers for $50,000. Although, he has struggled in 2009 after a steady rookie year, for a left-handed arm, he is a bargain.
Yordany Ramirez, OF(Round Rock), 24. Ramirez was signed after the 2007 season. He fills highlight reels with his defense. He is batting .339 with five doubles for the Express, so maybe his bat is coming around.
Drew Locke, OF(Corpus Christi), 26. Thank the Dodgers again for leaving Locke unprotected in the 2008 Rule 5 draft(minor league phase). He cost the Astros $12,000. He is batting over .400 with 23 RBI and four RBI. He may be a bit old to be a prospect, but for $12,000 he is a good addition in the rebuilding process.
Chirs Minaker, IF(Lancaster), 25. Minaker was released late in Spring Training 2009 and picked up by the Astros. He is hitting .387 with nine RBI for the JetHawks.
Jack Tilghman, RHP(Lexington), 21. Tilghman was drafted and released by the Phillies before the Astros found him pitching for Texarkana in 2008. So far this season, he has a 2.89 ERA with six Ks in 9 1/3 innings.