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TCB Astros March Madness 2014: Nicholas Tropeano vs Nolan Fontana

Right-handed pitching prospect Nicholas Tropeano vs infield prospect Nolan Fontana.

TCB's Astros Fan Favorite March Madness Tournament is underway. From now until the end of Spring Training 64 players will spend the next several weeks facing off in a head to head public vote to determine who advances to the next round and who will eventually be crowned the communities favorite Astros player. For more details check out the tournament introductory post.

The rules are simple, determine which player you want to advance to the next round and then vote. Vote subjectively, objectively, using your trusty magic eight ball or any other set of criteria. It's totally up to you how you want to vote! Votes for this round will last exactly 24 hours.

In this match-up

8 - Nicholas Tropeano

What a difference one year makes. Last season, NiTro was the talk of the minors, putting together an impressive performance at Lexington and Lancaster in the low minors. Things came back to earth for Tropeano at Corpus Christi, as he posted a 4.11 ERA in 133 innings. But, his peripherals nearly matched his time at Lancaster exactly, meaning he wasn't measurably worse than he was in 2012. To make it much further, though, NiTro will need to prove himself in the high minors, making his stuff play a little better and become that middle-rotation starter on his ceiling. -David


9 - Nolan Fontana

Is there a more polarizing prospect in Houston's system than Fontana? What's that? Oh, right...DDJ. Okay, other than him? Mmm, sounds like you're bringing up some pitchers. Okay, can we agree that Fontana's beauty lies in the eyes of his beholders? Good. Fontana has a great walk rate, but really needs to make better contact. He also will likely move over to second eventually, making his position a drag on his value, too. But, oh my good gravy, that walk rate is sublime. In 499 plate appearances last season, Fontana walked 102 times, or 20 percent of his time at the plate. Even though he struck out another 20 percent of the time, that walk rate is a thing of beauty. The 2014 season will be a huge test for Fontana. If he can hit decently in Corpus, his stock should rise again. -David