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Thursday Morning Astros, etc. Round Up

From a few days ago: Zachary Levine updates us on which draft choices are still unsigned, and how the signed picks are performing in the minor leagues. Levine is also making a trip down to Corpus Christi to watch the Hooks take on the Frisco RoughRiders.

Minor League Ball sums up the Futures Game. Their final take on Mr. Jason Castro:

Love the Glove. Yeah, he hit the home run, too, but it was a hanging breaking ball. I'm still not convinced he'll be more than average with the bat, but that will be good enough for him to be a starter nevertheless.

Obviously, it's tough to get a good read on a player from one game. If he ends up being a top flight defensive catcher who hits for a high average, gets on base and provides some pop (10-15 home runs) I can't say I wouldn't be happy. It's so incredibly tough to find a good, young catcher. He seems like a special player, the sort of player the Astros have been searching for.

Another neat thing that I had overlooked is the Gameday provider from Minor League Baseball provides us with the normal Pitch F/X data for the game. Chia-Jen Lo really turned up his velocity to get out of a little jam. It's nice to know we have a guy in AA who not only has a great deal of international experience, but can dial it up to 95 MPH.

The Astros have been lucky this season, so says one person.

Oh, Joe Morgan, you're always fit to be ridiculed. Joe's sweet spot is telling the audience about the sort of minutae that the average fan knows little about—in game adjustments to batting stances, fielding tips, etc. Everything else...not so much.

Jonah Keri, formerly of Baseball Prospectus, tells us the Astros have a 36% chance of making of the playoffs. Specifically:

Middling squads like the Mets, Braves, Reds, Astros, White Sox and Mariners are still in the thick of the race due to division leaders’ inability to break away. Add it all up and we could see a busier than usual trade season.

As the trade deadline prepares to truly heat up, BtB is making sure that we bring the best of saber-thinking to the discussions.

Finally, it's time to bust out the tin for Lance Berkman.  Happy anniversary, Lance.