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Minor League Recap- April 12th, 2013

It had been smooth sailing for the Astros' minor league clubs coming into Friday, as all teams came into the day with at least 5 wins. The organization hit a speed bump last night with an 0-4, showing, but, as always, there were positives to draw from the night of action.

Springer was a bright spot on a quiet day for Astros farmhands
Springer was a bright spot on a quiet day for Astros farmhands
Scott Cunningham

The Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Astros' AAA affiliate, became the first team to have the pleasure of running into the Oscar Taveras buzzsaw in 2013 on Friday night. Taveras, who has dealt with some nagging injuries in the early-going, had been limited to just a few at bats before last night's contest. He announced his return as only he knows how, recording three singles and a double for a 4 for 5 line, raising his way-too-early season average to .500. Taveras, the best pure hitter in the minor leagues, is coming off a year in which he swung and missed at under 1% of the pitches he saw and should not be long for the minor leagues. One of the top 3 prospects in baseball no matter who you ask, Taveras is the kind of player who you just have to sit back and admire, especially on a night when Astros farmhands were relatively quiet.

Luis cruises, but JetHawks 4-hit by Modesto

Lancaster had been off to a 6-1 start behind the hot hitting of Nolan Fontana and Matt Duffy, but last night, with Luis Cruz and Aaron West piggybacking, the JetHawks fell 4-1 on the road. A popular sleeper, West struck out three hitters in his 2.2 innings pitched, but was touched up for six hits and three runs to get stuck with the loss. Nolan Fontana, who is having a dominant season, finished the night with an 0 for 3, one walk performance. Journeyman pitcher Luis Cruz, who started the game, was stellar as he struck out nine Modesto hitters in 4.2 innings pitched, but was failed by his lack of run support.

Ex-Wildcat Heyer shuts down Quad Cities

The Quad Cities River Bandits, Astros affiliate and one of the most talented teams in the low minor leagues, are having an excellent season so far. However, in their matchup with the Cardinals low-A squad, the Peoria Chiefs, on Friday, they were stopped in their tracks. Kurt Heyer, star pitcher for the Arizona Wildcats' 2012 championship team, struck out eight River Bandits in his five innings on the hill without allowing an earned run as the Chiefs recorded their fourth win of the season. Teoscar Hernandez racked up three hits in the loss.

Patient Hooks put twelve men on base, but Heidenreich hit hard in loss

The Corpus Christi lineup is headlined Domingo Santana and George Springer, two players known for their big power and big swings and misses. On Friday, Santana lived up to his reputation, going 0 for 5 with three whiffs, and the Hooks fell to Springfield 6-3. The Hooks, who are now 6-2, drew five walks on the evening and mustered seven hits, including two by George Springer, but were unable to overcome Matt Heidenreich's four earned runs.

Notable Lines

Quad Cities River Bandits (A)

Teoscar Hernandez- 3 for 5, K, 2 SB

Carlos Correa- 1 for 4, 2B, BB, 2 K, E

Rio Ruiz- 0 for 5, 4 K

Ariel Ovando- 0 for 4, 3 K

Mike Hauschild- 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 9/1 GO/AO

Colton Cain- 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Lancaster JetHawks (A+)

Nolan Fontana- 0 for 3, BB, K

Andrew Aplin- 1 for 4

Matt Duffy- 1 for 4, K

Preston Tucker- 0 for 3, 2 K

Brandon Meredith- 0 for 1, BB

Luis Cruz- 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K

Aaron West- 2.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Corpus Christi Hooks

Austin Wates- 1 for 4, BB

Jiovanni Mier- 1 for 5, K

George Springer- 2 for 4, 2B, BB, K

Domingo Santana- 0 for 5, 3 K

Matthew Heidenreich- 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K

Oklahoma City RedHawks

Robbie Grossman- 1 for 5, 3 K

Jake Elmore- 4 for 5, 2 2B

Trevor Crowe- 1 for 4, BB

Brandon Laird- 2 for 5, 2 K

Marc Krauss- 2 for 5, HR, K

Brett Oberholtzer- 3 IP, 6 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HRA