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Houston Astros Minor League Recap: 4/16/14

The Astros minor leagues celebrate #SpringerDay with three wins and an off day.

Kevin C. Cox

Every year, top Astros prospects should be given two weeks at the beginning of the season to run rampant in the minors to see if they really want to be called up to the big leagues. This process should be called RumSpringer.

Pow! Pow! - Well, it's time for Player of the Week honors, and there are a few Astros farmhands receiving the hardware this week - starting with first baseman Jon Singleton, who used a four-homer week to grab top honors in the Pacific Coast League. In the California League, a Jethawk won Pitcher of the Week, and I'm not even kidding. It was Vincent Velasquez out in front, and why not? Check out this line for the week:

2-0, 0.69 ERA, 3 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 3 BB, 16 K

Everybody's Doin' the Move-Around - A few less-heralded player movements to report, in addition to some guy named George Springer getting called up to The Show and Robbie Grossman headed to Oklahoma City:

2B Kike Hernandez was called up from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City
LHP Pat Urckfitz was sent from Oklahoma City to Corpus Christi
OF Ruben Sosa was sent from Oklahoma City down to Lancaster
1B Japhet Amador was moved to the seven-day Disabled List
UT Andy Simunic was assigned to Oklahoma City from Extended Spring Training (EST)
LHP Theron Geith was activated from the seven-day disabled list and released
1B Telvin Nash was assigned to Corpus Christi from EST
LHP David Rollins was moved to the seven-day disabled list
OF Justin Gominsky was assigned to EST from Lancaster

The Doctor Will See You Now - After spending approximately four years in college and an additional three years in medical school, Dr. Mark Appel, M.D. (a nickname I'm determined to run with in spite of its lack of support among the TCB staff) is still learning, and this profile of him gets into a couple of his lessons. And because Dr. Appel is always good for a quote, here's one from the article:

"We're here to help the Astros be a winning team at the big league level," Appel said of he and Correa. "What we do now while we feel like nobody's looking is what will define us in the future. Carlos is a great of example of that. He's one of the first to show up and one of the last to leave."

What Happened Was...

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - Hey, how 'bout this Jon Singleton guy, huh? After being named PCL Offensive Player of the Week, all he does is go out and fall a single short of a cycle against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (COL) in support of Jake Buchanan, who started off well enough, but gave away a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the third by allowing six runs (four earned) to score. But it was Jose Cisnero in relief who stemmed the tide, pitching three perfect innings and striking out six. Interestingly, the sixth inning, when the RedHawks put up four runs to tie the game at 6-6, began with a Singleton flyout, but in his next at-bat (in the seventh,) he followed up a leadoff double by Max Stassi by pounding a ball to right center field, grabbing the lead, which the RedHawks would hold on to. Oklahoma City wins, 8-6.

Oklahoma City: 10-4, 1st - Pacific Coast League American Northern

  • CF Austin Wates - 2/5, 2 RBI, K
  • C Max Stassi - 1/5, 2B, R
  • 1B Jon Singleton - 3/5, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K
  • 3B Jonathan Meyer - 2/4, R, RBI, BB
  • 2B Ronny Torreyes - 2/4, R, BB, 2 E
  • RHP Jake Buchanan - 2.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 HR, E, 56 Pit/34 Str, 5 GO/1 FO
  • RHP Jose Cisnero - 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 43 Pit/31 Str, 2 GO/1 FO

Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - Scheduled Day Off

Corpus Christi: 8-4, t-1st - Texas League South

Lancaster Jethawks (A+) - There wasn't a lot to dislike as the Jethawks traveled to Adelanto to take on the High Desert Mavericks (SEA). Lance McCullers and Kyle Smith piggybacked a scoreless game, allowing just three hits and four walks to go with their combined six strikeouts. Meanwhile, every hitter in the lineup picked up at least one hit for the Jethawks, with both Tony Kemp and Carlos Correa putting their second home runs of the year up on the boards, as the Jethawks cruised to a 10-0 win. Of note: Lancaster did not draw a single walk the entire game. Of course, when you have fifteen hits, including seven of the extra-base variety, that's understandable.

Lancaster: 10-4, 1st - California League South

  • 2B Tony Kemp - 3/5, 3B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI
  • CF Teoscar Hernandez - 1/5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 K, SB
  • SS Carlos Correa - 2/4, HR, R, 2 RBI
  • 3B Rio Ruiz - 1/5, 2B, R, K, E
  • C Roberto Pena - 1/4, K
  • DH Dan Gulbransen - 1/4, 3B, R
  • 1B Carlos Perdomo - 3/3, 2B, R, 2 RBI
  • RF Danry Vasquez - 1/4, RBI
  • LF Ruben Sosa - 2/4, 2 R
  • RHP Kyle Smith - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 7 GO/3 FO
  • RHP Lance McCullers - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 7 GO/1 FO

Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Quad Cities got off to a strong start, plating two runs in the bottom of the first inning, both of them coming with two outs. After a James Ramsay flyout and a Brett Phillips strikeout, Jack Mayfield hit a double. He scored on a Conrad Gregor single, with Gregor advancing to second on the throw. A Chase McDonald single put runners on the corners for Brian Holberton, who scored Gregor on a grounder to the pitcher. The West Michigan Whitecaps (DET) rallied back two runs of their own in the top of the sixth, and that's where it would stay until the bottom of the eleventh inning, which Ramsay led off with a single to center, advancing to second on a sacrifice by Phillips. Mayfield was intentionally walked and Gregor struck out looking, bringing my boy Chase McDonald to the plate with two out and two on. McDonald promptly deposited a ball into right field to score Ramsay as the River Bandits won it, walk-off style, 3-2.

People... do not sleep on Chase McDonald. I'm keeping my Lyle Overbay comp in place.

Quad Cities: 7-6, 6th - Midwest League Western (3.0 GB)

  • RF James Ramsay - 1/5, R
  • CF Brett Phillips - 0/4, 2 K, CS
  • SS Jack Mayfield - 1/3, 2B, R, 2 BB
  • 1B Conrad Gregor - 1/5, R, RBI, K
  • DH Chase McDonald - 3/5, RBI
  • RHP Michael Feliz - 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 6 GO/1 FO
  • LHP Evan Grills - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 5 GO/4 FO
  • RHP Tyler Brunnemann - 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GO/2 FO
  • RHP Zach Morton - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GO/0 FO