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Astros Things I Think I Think

ST. LOUIS - MAY 13: Relief pitcher Matt Lidstrom #22 of the Houston Astros throws against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 13, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Astros beat the Cardinals 4-1.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS - MAY 13: Relief pitcher Matt Lidstrom #22 of the Houston Astros throws against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 13, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Astros beat the Cardinals 4-1. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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With apologies to Peter King...

...I think that Houston as scored 34 runs this month. Only two teams have scored less, the Mariners and the PIrates. But, in the past week, the Astros have scored 24 of those 34 runs. It's not a full-fledged offensive turnaround, but it's a nice start.

...I think that MiLB has done two nice features on Astros minor leaguers. Here is one on Brian Bogusevic and here's one on J.D. Martinez. Some good work to give the back story on prospects, which doesn't happen very often. Though I enjoyed reading about how Bogusevic learned about his conversion to the outfield, it just reminded me that the Astros messed up in drafting him as a pitcher. Some of you were discussing this on Friday, but the Astros decided to keep Bogusevic as a pitcher after he ended his two-way career at Tulane. Most scouts at the time thought of Bogusevic as a better hitting prospect than a pitcher. Then-scouting director Paul Ricciarini was in his first season after succeeding long-time scouting head David Lakey. He gambled on Bogusevic in the first round and lost. 

...I think Scott Boras representing this Korean player is both good and bad. It's bad because Scott Boras is evil in a Gordon Gekko way. He cares more about his bottom line rather than what's best for his clients and when he expands his influence into the international realm, it can only exacerbate the rampant increases in signing bonuses for IFAs. On the other hand, his presence here might force talk of an international draft to the forefront. I guarantee he will lobby against it, and I think ultimately that's the right call.

...I think that Chris Sale might have a lower floor than you'd expect from a prospect with his profile. Frankie Piliere passes on this note about Sale not sticking as a starter. That's not the first time I've heard this either. Why do I bring it up? Because the Astros have been linked to Sale in the past few months. Of course, these same people ignore the past few drafts worth of data on Bobby Heck and Ed Wade. Sale doesn't seem to fit their profile for pitchers in the draft. From all I've heard about him, I'm pretty happy about that.

...I think this story on New York high school newspapers starting to print pitch counts is pretty inspired. For all the talk of Jameson Taillon this spring, does anyone know how many pitches he averages per start? Is there any pressure on him to not throw 150 pitches per start? Teams care quite a bit about this once they own the rights to a player, so wouldn't they want all the information they could on potential draftees?

...I think there are not many better prospect evaluators than MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. In this notebook, he breaks down some of the draft's risers and lead balloons. He doesn't include one of the names that OremLK brought up recently, Philadelphia prep schooler Jesse Biddle, but he did mention SoCal righty Peter Tago. The guys over at Baseball Beginnings have been really high on Tago this spring, partly because John Klima is based out of SoCal too and he's been able to see Tago a lot. Andy Seiler is also high on both, as Tago was listed at No. 51 on his lastest Top 100 prospect list and Biddle was listed at No. 69. For what it's worth, Texas A&M's Barret Loux was listed at No. 27...Just sayin'.

...I think I haven't seen many better breakdowns of a minor league pitcher's mechanics than this one by Alex Eisenberg over at Baseball Intellect. What I like most about it is not the level of detail on showing Lyles' motion before and after being drafted. His progress and performance last season was validated a little more because of these changes.