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Minor League Recap: April 13th, 2013

Carlos Correa took a seat on Saturday night, but Mike Foltynewicz helped distract from his absence by getting on track in the Cal League.

Bob Levey

When the Astros selected Carlos Correa at the top of the 2012 draft, there was a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Nobody doubted that Correa had the talent to reward the club in a big way if things panned out, but taking a 17 year old with the first pick doesn't appeal to the impatient type, and it leaves more time for something to go wrong in his development. However, Correa is assuaging any concerns early by taking his aggressive full season ball assignment and starting the year hot with a .276/.432/.483 slash line and a home run. The Astros farm hasn't had a talent like Correa on board in years, and it's so far, so good for the crown jewel of the club's minor league system.

Efficient hitting lifts River Bandits to 6-2 record

Even with Carlos Correa getting an off day on Saturday night, and starter Jordan Jankowski allowing three runs in 3.1 innings, low-A Quad Cities was able to scrape together a win by posting 8 runs on seven hits, six of which were singles. Teoscar Hernandez went 1 for 2 before leaving the game in the 4th inning, raising his early-season average to .400. Polished pitcher Brian Holmes took home the win by allowing three runs on two hits and no walks in four innings pitched, striking out three. Rio Ruiz's batting average sunk to .103 as he failed to record a hit again on Saturday.

Foltynewicz shines, Lancaster drops rubber game in Modesto

Mike Foltynewicz, 2010 first round pick and owner of significant preseason hype, started his high-A debut poorly with two disastrous outings. However, Saturday night's performance reminded us all just what Folty is capable of when his stuff is coming out right. The 21 year old right hander struck out five vs. no walks and recorded eight groundouts against the nuts in five shutout frames before handing the ball to eventual loser Alex Gillingham, a line that brought Foltynewicz's season ERA all the way to 6.30. None of the Astros' pitching prospects has separated themselves as the top dog in the last year or two, and more impressive outings could give Foltynewicz a claim at being the best arm on the farm.

Carlos Perez getting back on track for Corpus Christi

When the Astros traded J.A. Happ to Toronto for a collection of prospects, 21 year old catcher Carlos Perez was part of the haul, bringing an intriguing combination of offensive and defensive upside at a need position to the system. Now 22 and in Double A, Perez stumbled out of the gates by going 0 for his first 6, but has since rebounded by recording four hits in his last two games. Perez has a reputation as a strong defensive catcher, and could emerge as a popular sleeper in the system with strong offensive play in the high minors.

Krauss goes yard again as RedHawks lose shootout

The Astros' Triple A club, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, faced off against top Cardinals prospect and ex-Aggie Michael Wacha on Saturday night, who was one of the most polished and talented pitchers in the 2012 draft. Wacha, who dominated all comers in his professional debut last year, has shown improved stuff as a pro and could contribute in St. Louis later this year. However, though they didn't get the win, the RedHawks were able to put the bat on the ball against Wacha, with a few notable players making splashes. Brandon Laird continued to rake, going 2 for 5 with a double, home run (both off of Wacha) and two strikeouts, and Marc Krauss homered for the second straight game. Jake Elmore went 2 for 5 to drop his batting average to .486, and the RedHawks fell 8-7 on the back of a 4 RBI performance from Springfield 9-hole hitter Justin Christian.

Notable Lines

Quad Cities River Bandits (A)

Teoscar Hernandez- 1 for 2

Rio Ruiz- 0 for 3, BB, K

Jobduan Morales- 1 for 3, BB

Ariel Ovando- 0 for 4, K (hitting .167)

Jordan Jankowski- 3.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Brian Holmes- 4.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Lancaster JetHawks (A+)

Delino DeShields, Jr.- 2 for 5, K

Nolan Fontana- 1 for 4, BB

Andrew Aplin- 0 for 4, BB

Preston Tucker- 1 for 4, SB

Tyler Heineman- 2 for 3, BB

Matt Duffy- 2 for 3, 2B

Michael Foltynewicz- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

Corpus Christi Hooks (AA)

Austin Wates- 1 for 3, BB, SB, CS

Jiovanni Mier- 1 for 3, BB, 2 K

George Springer- 0 for 3, BB, 3 K

Domingo Santana- 2 for 4, K, SB

Carlos Perez- 2 for 4, 2B, K

Jason Stoffel- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K, SV

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA)

Robbie Grossman- 0 for 4, BB, 2 K

Jake Elmore- 2 for 5

Trevor Crowe- 1 for 5, K

Brandon Laird- 2 for 5, 2B, HR, 2 K

Jimmy Paredes- 1 for 4, 2B, K

Marc Krauss- 1 for 4, HR

Jonathan Villar- 1 for 4, K, E

Jose Cisnero- 2.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HRA

Kevin Chapman- 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Rudy Owens- 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K