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Minor League Recap: Games of August 15, 2014

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Your daily look at the previous night's Minor League happenings.

Mark Appel hurled a nice game in AA
Mark Appel hurled a nice game in AA
Kevin C. Cox

AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks: 6-2 win over Fresno (SFG)

-> Jesus Guzman: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
-> Preston Tucker: 1-for-3, HR, R, 3 RBI
-> Joe Sclafani: 1-for-3, BB, 3B, 2 R
-> Domingo Santana: 1-for-3, BB
-> Jiovanni Mier: 1-for-4, 2B, R
-> Jonathan Villar: 0-for-3, BB, R

SP Asher Wojciechowkski: 7.0 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 7 K (win)
RP Richard Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
RP Jorge De Leon: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K

This was a sorely-needed dominant outing for Wojo, who's been anywhere from mediocre to flat-horrible since finally returning from a core injury earlier. He had a 6.22 ERA heading into this game, and shaved that all the way down to 5.46 with just tonight. The peripherals are especially encouraging, given that his strike out rate was pretty middling coming into this game (6.75 K/9 prior, not great for a guy who hasn't been getting grounders).

Tucker has yet to break out, but he continues to be very solid, which is pretty reminiscent of what he did in the latter part of last season when he got his first taste of AA competition. His walk rate has dropped, as has his ISO, but more troubling is a large spike in strike out rate; he struck out 16.5% in AA (this year and last combined), but is up to 23.8% in AAA so far. He's currently hitting .276/.336/.434 with 14 doubles and seven dingers for OKC.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: 2-1 win over Arkansas (LAA)

-> Telvin Nash: 1-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 RBI
-> Colin Moran: 1-for-4, R
-> Conrad Gregor: 0-for-2, BB
-> Carlos Perdomo: 0-for-2, BB
-> Tony Kemp: 0-for-3, BB, R
-> Delino DeShields: 0-for-3, BB

SP Mark Appel: 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K
RP Jordan Jankowski: 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 8 K

Appel is the story of the night, of course. You might initially want to pick at the strike out numbers, but that fades once your eye catches the 10-1 ground out to fly out ratio. Ten. To. One. The funny thing is that one of the just two fly balls he allowed all night turned into a homer. It seems pretty clear; when Appel is pounding the zone low, he can be very dominant, but when he elevates too much or misses his spot, he seems hittable. I'll also say that seven batters hit line drives, some for hits, and some for outs, but seven liners in six innings, isn't awesome. The reports of his fastball being flat and/or hittable seem to be borne out in the numbers so far. He still has work to do, but this night was a very nice step forward, even if it was against an Angels farm club.

Moran has at least one hit in 11 of his 13 games since the trade and promotion to AA. Perhaps of biggest significance is the two homers in 13 games, a notable improvement in power. Of course, it's a small sample size, but I know I'm not alone in thinking the Astros may be able to get some more power out of his bat than is expected by most. So far in AA he's hitting .294/.345/.471 (.816) with five XBH.

And how about Jankowski tonight? Nine outs, eight of them by strikes. He has 15 strike outs in his last nine innings, in fact. On the season, he owns a 4.06 ERA, 2.13 BB/9 and 9.39 K/9 in 93 innings. He's not quite as good at generating grounders as some of his fellow prospects that we've talked about recently, but he is a hair above 40%, and if his strike outs stay so strong, that's certainly a figure that can work, especially out of the pen, if that ends up being his future role.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: 6-5 loss to Bakersfield (CIN)

-> Danry Vasquez: 3-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
-> Jon Kemmer: 1-for-4, 2B, R
-> Austin Elkins: 0-for-1, R, 3 BB
-> Jack Mayfield: 0-for-2, BB, R
-> Brett Phillips: 0-for-3, BB, R
-> Rio Ruiz: 0-for-3, BB

SP Zach Morton: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 K
RP Daniel Minor: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K (hold)
RP Andrew Walter: 0.1 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K (hold)
RP Jamaine Cotton: 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 K (blown save, loss)

Tough loss on the road; Lancaster was up 4-2 after the second inning and that held until the eighth. Bakersfield pushed two across to tie, Lancaster scored one in the top of the ninth to take the lead again, and then Bakersfield walked off with two more in the bottom half.

Vasquez is on fire right now. Just how hot is he? From July 7 to the present, he's played in 27 games, and has reached safely via hit or walk in 22 of them. During those 27 games, he has hit .330/.400/.505, with six doubles, four homers, 12 walks and just 12 strike outs. He's hit .378 in his last ten games, with four of those last ten being multi-hit games.

Phillips continues to produce post-promotion as well. In 11 games with Lancaster, he's hitting .364/.429/.639 with two each of doubles, triples and jacks. He's also limited himself to eight strike outs against better pitchers. The big test will come against AA pitchers, probably sometime halfway through next year, I would guess.

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: 6-5 loss to Burlington (LAA)

-> Bobby Boyd: 2-for-5, SB, RBI, R
-> Marc Wik: 1-for-3, BB, SB
-> Thomas Lindauer: 1-for-4, 2B, R
-> Chase McDonald: 1-for-4, BB, R
-> James Ramsay: 1-for-4, BB, 2 SB
-> A.J. Reed: 0-for-2, BB, R
-> J.D. Davis: 0-for-3, BB, R
-> Brian Holberton: 0-for-3, BB

SP Blaine Sims: 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K
RP Chris Lee: 3.0 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K (loss)
RP Albert Minnis: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K

McDonald has dropped off so far in August; he's batting .233/.340/.488 after posting a 1.083 OPS in July (not that that was going to be entirely sustainable). The biggest issue appears to be strike outs; after whiffing 68 times in 73 games, McDonald has punched out 23 times already in just 14 August games. That said, he's still being productive; his HR rate hasn't dropped much, and his walk rate is up this month.

Davis continues to impress in full-season ball. He's hitting .337/.402/.453 in 27 games with the River Bandits, with eight doubles and a homer. Strike outs have been reasonable with 26 in the 27 games. He's struck out just five times in his last eight games.

Reed is still working on getting everything working right, but the power numbers are simply impressive; he already has nine XBH in his fist 18 games in full season ball, four of them being homers. And that's without having hit one in his last nine games. He's slugging .516 so far.

SS Tri-City ValleyCats: 5-2 win over Staten Island (NYY)

-> Derek Fisher: 2-for-5, 2B, R
-> Alex Presley: 1-for-2, BB, 3B, R
-> Nick Tanielu: 1-for-3, 2 BB
-> Mott Hyde: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI
-> Terrell Joyce: 1-for-4, BB, R
-> Jason Martin: 1-for-4, BB
-> Alex Hernandez: 1-for-4
-> Jamie Ritchie: 1-for-5, 3B, RBI, R
-> Ariel Ovando: 0-for-3, BB, R

SP Austin Chrismon: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 5 K (win)
RP Bradon McNitt: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K (hold)
RP Angel Heredia: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (hold)
RP Ryan Thompson: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K (save)

Nice to see a multi-hit game for Fisher, his first since returning from an injury layoff. He's hitting just .200 since his return, but we're just glad he's back and perhaps starting to warm up again. He's sitting at .330/.414/.393 on the year in 29 games with TC. Still looking for his first professional homer.

Chrismon has allowed more than two earned runs in a game just twice this season (13 total games for him), and he hasn't done it since June 28, in fact, giving him a sparkling 1.54 ERA in his last nine outings. He currently owns a 2.90 ERA, 2.14 BB/9 and 6.10 K/9 on the season in 59 innings. He also sports a ground ball rate over 50%, and more than twice his fly ball rate.

RK Greeneville Astros: 5-3 win over Elizabethton (MIN)

-> Yonathan Mejia: 2-for-4, 2B
-> Edwin Medina: 2-for-4, RBI
-> Jacob Nottingham: 1-for-3, BB, solo HR
-> Kristian Trompiz: 1-for-3, 2B, R
-> Hector Roa: 1-for-4, R
-> Sean McMullen: 1-for-4, R
-> Cesar Carrasco: 0-for-3, BB, R
-> Antonio Nunez: 0-for-3, RBI

SP Elieser Hernandez: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K (win)
RP Reymin Guduan: 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 1 K (hold)
RP Juan Delis: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (hold)
RP Zach Davis: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (save)

Overall, it's been something of a disappointing season for Nottingham, though he does continue to flash that power of his. This was his fourth long ball of the season, and his 14th extra-base hit in 42 games.

Medina, the center fielder, has had a nice first 12 games with Greeneville, batting .278/.435/.333. As you may have guessed, he draws walks; nine of them already. He's also 8-for-11 (72.7%) in stolen base attempts.

DSL Astros Blue: 11-4 win over DSL Rays

-> Jonathan Matute: 4-for-6, HR, SB, RBI, R, 2 2B
-> Luis Vasquez: 3-for-4, BB, RBI, 2 2B
-> Wander Franco: 2-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI, 2 R
-> Andy Pineda: 2-for-5, R
-> Jake Bowey: 1-for-3, SB, 3 BB, 3 R
-> Cristopher Luciano: 1-for-3, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI
-> Bryan De La Cruz: 1-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI, 2 R
-> Oscar Campos: 1-for-4, RBI
-> Marcos Almonte: 1-for-5, BB, 2B, R

SP Salvador Montano: 5.0 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K (win)
RP Juan Cuevas: 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 K
RP Yan De La Cruz: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K
RP Dariel Aquino: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K

DSL Astros Orange: 13-4 loss to DSL Pirates

-> Edgar Lorenzo: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
-> Ihan Bernal: 1-for-2, R, 2 BB
-> Felix Lucas: 1-for-4, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Reiny Beltre: 1-for-4, BB, 2 R
-> Anardo Peralta: 1-for-4
-> Wilson Amador: 1-for-5
-> Juan Fuentes: 0-for-4, BB

SP Carlos Pizzolato: 3.0 IP, 5 R (1 ER), 4 H, 2 BB, 1 K (loss)
RP Tomas Lopez: 0.1 IP, 5 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 0 K
RP Hansel Paulino: 2.0 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 4 H, 4 BB, 2 K
RP Jose Ramos: 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K

Today's Scheduled Starters

AAA: Alex White vs. Arnold Leon
AA: Brady Rodgers vs. Kramer Sneed
A+: Evan Grills vs. Daniel Wright
A-: Michael Feliz vs. TBD
SS: Joe Musgrove vs. David Palladino
RK: Dean Deetz vs. TBD