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Astros Prospect Report: Quad-Cities duo tosses gem, Phillips goes yard

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

Tony Kemp
Tony Kemp
Timothy De Block

AAA Fresno Grizzlies: Off Night

Fresno is currently 11-8 (fifth best record in the 16 team league), good for first place in their Pacific Northern division by half a game over Sacramento. They're tied for second in both home runs and runs scored, and are all alone with the second-best team OPS. On the other hand the team ERA is just 4.82, 13th out of 16 teams.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: 11-10 loss to Midland (OAK)

-> Tony Kemp: 3-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI
-> Brandon Meredith: 2-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI, R
-> Colin Moran: 2-for-5, RBI, R
-> Conrad Gregor: 2-for-5, SB, RBI, R
-> Tyler Heineman: 2-for-5, RBI, R
-> Joe Sclafani: 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R
-> Leonardo Heras: 1-for-4, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Carlos Correa: 1-for-5, SB, R
-> Teoscar Hernandez: 1-for-5, RBI, R

SP Mark Appel: 4.0 IP, 6 R (5 ER), 7 H, 2 BB, 0 K
RP Travis Ballew: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
RP Mitch Lambson: 0.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K (blown save, loss)
RP Jandel Gustave: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K

There's a lot to unpack with Appel here. The one un-earned run was thanks to a Heineman throwing error, but you can't let Appel off the hook. He wasn't good. The one thing that jumps out to me most isn't in the surface stats. It's his strike ratio; he threw 68 pitches and just 37 of them were strikes. 54% guys. I'm amazed he didn't walk more than two guys, or start overcompensating and throwing it right down the chute and getting homered to death. Way too hittable, hard time finding the zone, and zero strike outs really speaks to all of it, too. The 8-1 GB/FB out ratio is about the only positive you take away. Bad outing, but they come for all from time to time. Get back out there next week and rebound.

I really like Mitch Lambson, or at least I'm intrigued by him, but this was the worst of the season for him so far, by no small margin. I will say that this was his very first unintentional walk issued of the season (he had an intentional one two days ago).

Plenty of good stuff on the other side of the ball though, at least. Nice to see Kemp tee off again. He hasn't really been slumping per se, but his last multi-hit game was back on April 21, over a week ago. He's hitting .329/.453/.357 on the season. 16 walks compared to 12 strike outs in 19 games, just sick.

Five of Moran's last seven games have been multi-hitters. His .268/.310/.378 line doesn't look like much yet, but keep in mind that this guy was hitting .180 after the April 21 game ended. He's still looking for his first homer, but he does have nine doubles in 19 games.

Seven game hitting streak for Gregor now. He's up to .300/.353/.417. Not a terrible OPS considering he hasn't walked much and still doesn't have a homer. It'd be nice to see him really light it up soon, and maybe tap into some raw power. Six extra-base hits in 16 games so far.

The Captain decided to ease up and let his teammates have the spotlight for a night. Still stole a base, which makes him 4-for-4 on the season. If you extrapolate his numbers after 18 games out to 162 games, he'd have 162 runs, 261 hits, 99 doubles, 9 triples, 45 homers, 36 steals and 198 RBI. That should help you grasp how stupid-good he's been so far. That's...that's not too shabby.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: 6-4 win over Rancho Cucamonga (LAD)

-> Brett Phillips: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
-> James Ramsay: 2-for-4, R
-> A.J. Reed: 1-for-3, BB, 3B, RBI
-> Jose Fernandez: 1-for-3, BB, SB, R
-> Danry Vasquez: 1-for-4, RBI, R
-> Chan Moon: 1-for-4, R
-> Chase McDonald: 0-for-3, BB

SP Blaine Sims: 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 5 BB, 0 K (win)
RP Chris Cotton: 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K (save)

Maverick pops a shot after a couple of hitless games. That's his third on the season, all of which have come in his last ten games. During that ten game stretch, he's hitting .381/.447/.714 with three walks and a steal.

Six walks in four games for Reed, who continues to get on-base despite any hitting struggles he's going through. He owns a .360 OBP on the season now. Though the hits haven't been plentiful (15 in 19 games), seven of them half been extra-base hits.

Holberton has been one of my early season disappointments. He's hitting just .200/.282/.314 and is without a homer. It's only been 10 games for him so far though, as he's not playing as frequently, being a catcher.

Sims has 15 walks (and just seven strike outs) in 17.1 innings. Definitely an adventure out there when the knuckleballer takes his turn in the rotation. This is two starts in a row with him giving up fewer than a run per inning, though. That's something, right?

LSU update: Chris Cotton is the no-doubt closer on this club right now, and is perfect in save opportunities. He has 21 strike outs in 12.2 innings. The former Tiger is just ripping it up like Shere Khan right now.

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: 4-0 win over Cedar Rapids (MIN)

-> Jacob Nottingham: 2-for-3, R
-> Mott Hyde: 1-for-3, BB, RBI
-> Ryan Bottger: 1-for-3, 2B, RBI
-> Kristian Trompiz: 1-for-3, 2B, R
-> Bryan Muniz: 1-for-3, R
-> Nick Tanielu: 1-for-4
-> Bobby Boyd: 0-for-3, R
-> Jorge Martinez: 0-for-3, RBI

SP Daniel Mengden: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K
RP Austin Chrismon: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K (win)

The duo of Mengden and Chrismon has been pretty darn nice so far. Tonight they combined for a shutout with 11 ground ball outs and four fly outs. Mengden would easily be the best guy on the staff if not for Joe Freakin' Musgrove pitching like Dallas Keuchel. Mengden owns a 2.04 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 11.2 K/9 through his first four outings.

Chrismon got roughed up in his second start, but he's thrown shutout ball in his three others. He's sitting pretty with a 2.65 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 6.9 K/9. He's not going to miss the bats like the M&M boys, but he's definitely capable of some Keuchel-esque worm-burning, shutout outings.

Oh yeah, and Nottingham hasn't fallen off yet. He's hitting .255/.345/.490 in 15 games so far. I'll take that SLG out of a 20-year-old catcher. Three bombs and three doubles have provided it.

Mr. Hyde hasn't been talked about a lot, but his numbers will catch your eye; he's hitting .310/.420/.466 through 16 games. That big OBP is thanks to 11 walks, and he has just nine strike outs compared to it. He's been a second baseman primarily this season, but he's still playing short occasionally and did so the majority of the time in Tri-City last year. Patient approach, lots of walks, defensive versatility, and heck, a little bit of pop, too (nine doubles, in fact). Interesting package for a 26th-round pick.

Today's Scheduled Starters

AAA: Alex White vs. Jordan Pries
AA: Josh Hader vs. TBD
A+: Adrian Houser vs. TBD
A-: TBD vs. TBD (educated guess would be Joshua James)