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Tuesday's Three Astros Things

Talking about Kris Bryant, Mat Gamel's injury and Harold Craw...


Some things to talk about while we get a nice profile on the giant Nate Freiman...

1) John Klima on Kris Bryant

My favorite independant scout has a nice little profile on possible No. 1 overall pick, San Diego State third baseman Kris Bryant. If you read it, you might be struck by how negative it seems to be. Here's an excerpt:

I like Bryant, but he is a guy who needs to get more consistent at all aspects of the game. His father might want to kill me for saying this in public, but I’m just saying what the scouts are thinking and what the instructors will say, and that’s part of my charm. If you look at Bryant with a really critical eye, you can find things to work on. Talented players warrant the critical eye, at least they do for me. The guys who can take third party opinions should do well for themselves.

Read the whole thing, because there's lots of interesting stuff in there. If you've read Klima for a while, the things that stand out here aren't the negatives he brings up about Bryant, but what he's not saying. Klima is picking here because he likes Bryant and thinks he can be an impact bat.

Yes, he does have things to work on. The longer swing bothers me, but what Klima is talking about are adjustments Bryant may need to make in Double-A. It's what an amateur player needs to do to become a successful big leaguer. As Klima finishes the article, he says Bryant can be as good as he drives himself to be. That's true of anyone and is why scouting is as much about relationships as watching video or checking stats.

Suffice it to say that I'm more on board with Bryant than I was before reading about him here.

2) Mat Gamel hurt, will Brew Crew come calling?

I know this got brought up in the comments yesterday, but I thought I'd put it out here for a little discussion again. The Brewers announced Monday that first baseman Mat Gamel suffered a knee injury and will miss the 2013 season. Naturally, speculation started on who they would get to replace him.

Since the Astros have a ton of first base candidates, they immediately jumped on that list. Running through the possible targets, though, doesn't leave many matches. You have to figure that Carlos Pena won't be traded this quickly for anything substantial, so he's out. Chris Carter won't get flipped this soon after being the centerpiece fo that Jed Lowrie trade.

That leaves Nate Freiman and Brett Wallace. Freiman is a Rule 5 pick, which doesn't prohibit him from being traded, but does make it less likely that he'd produce much of a return. Wallace could be an option, but at this point, his trade value is probably much smaller than his potential.

What makes more sense is the Brewers going after the recently DFAed Mike Carp. Indeed, it seems the Brewers are interested in Carp, along with the Astros and a number of other teams. Carp would probably be cheaper at this point than Wally, but might fetch a similar price to someone like Freiman.

At the same time, I'm not sure the Astros think they have a glut at that position right now. We assume that someone like Freiman won't make the opening day roster and that there's a log jam at those spots. But, the Astros could just get creative in how they platoon people through the first base/DH/left field spots and keep all four to that end.

3) Craw joins Quad Cities

Lastly, a neat note on one of the newest Astros minor league affiliates. The Quad Cities River Bandits named a new GM recently, and he's got a great name for TCB purposes.

At a press conference held at Modern Woodmen Ballpark on Tuesday afternoon, the Quad Cities River Bandits introduced Harold Craw as the team's new general manager.

Craw's hiring, after 10 seasons with the South Atlantic League's Charleston RiverDogs, has a special significance. The Chattanooga native is the only black general manager in Minor League Baseball, as well as the first black general manager in the history of the Midwest League.

Get it? Craw, Crawfish Boxes?

Yeah, you get it.

Thanks to wgr56 for the tip on the story. It's a great story other than his fantastic name, as Craw worked with Mike Veeck, as in wreck, with the Charleston RiverDogs. He seems like a rising star from the article (no surprise there) and has a difficult task after being called in so close to the season.

Who knew there could be minor league news not relating to prospects?