If you haven't already read this series, here's a quick explanation. This article is going to recognize three Astros prospects who are lighting up the box score, but not considered a top 30 prospect by the writers here at the Crawifishboxes.
I noticed that I actually broke my own rule in Volume 1. Daniel Mengden made the Forgotten Few in my first post, but he actually is on the TCB Top 30 Prospect list. I beg all of you readers' for forgiveness. I will learn from my mistake and never make it again.
Here is a link to Volume 2 in case anyone would like to check it out. I am going to try and avoid repeating people on this until later in the season if they continue to perform at a high level.
Without further ado, let's get into this week's Forgotten Few:
Sean McMullen, LF/DH, Quad Cities River Bandits
McMullen was taken in the 30th round of the 2014 draft out of LSU. Brooks' provided a brief introduction to McMullen last year in this draft blurb.
30th Round: Sean McMullen, OF, Louisiana State: Hidden in a deep lineup, the senior outfielder was still a very good hitter with a .288 average and tied for the team lead in home runs with 7. He showed very good plate discipline as well with 37 walks and 33 strikeouts. He split most of his time between DH and LF this season and at the plate he keeps his hands high throughout his balanced swing which helps to add loft to his left handed swing.-Brooks
Not a bad idea to find some value that gets lost among the big time talent at a power school like LSU. It appears that McMullen has had to overcome some adversity early in his career also. I know in many different interviews, I have heard Luhnow mention that he likes prospects that have had to struggle and overcome it, that way they don't have to learn how to do it at the big league level. Here's a snippet from a 2014 interview on the What the Heck Bobby that highlights that:
He said, "Out of high school, I didn't get any scholarship offers from the major Division 1 schools that I wanted to go to so I decided to go to junior college [Delgado Community College] where Coach Joe Scheuermann gave me a great opportunity to get better which I ended up doing.
Over the last 10 days, McMullen has been red hot slashing .419/.438/.806. 7 of his 13 hits over this period have gone for extra bases. His overall stat line this season is not in great territory yet, but if he continues this pace it will get there very soon.
Brian Holmes, LHP, Corpus Christi Hooks
Holmes was taken in the 13th round of the 2012 draft out of Wake Forest. He was made a starter in his sophomore year at Wake Forest. He did not allow a single homerun his entire sophomore year. He led the staff in ERA his junior year and hurled a no-hitter vs Marshall. He's a big lefty standing at 6-4, 210. Keep in mind the no homeruns and no hitter.
Something has clicked with Brian Holmes. He had a somewhat rocky start to the 2015 season. In Lancaster in the month of April his ERA/FIP/SIERA was 4.70/2.68/2.72. The FIP and SIERA indicated he had pitched better than his ERA, but that's still not dominant territory. In the month of May (which includes 3 starts in Lancaster and 1 start in Corpus Christi), he has an ERA/FIP/SIERA of 0.45/1.05/1.20. That is domination. As you've already seen, he was rewarded by a promotion to AA just a week ago.
Holmes has had a quietly solid minor league career so far.
As you can see, Holmes carries good peripherals with a 9.48 K/9 rate. He also does a decent job at limiting walks. However, his college career and the bolded numbers above suggest to me that Holmes may be the strongest at limiting hard contact. His lower than average BABIP and LD% suggest that he has done a decent job of that in his minor league career so far also.
Here's some highlights from Holmes debut at Corpus Christi in which he impressed going 5 innings with 4 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 5 Ks.
Tyler White, 3B, Corpus Christi Hooks
Tyler was drafted in the 33rd round in the 2013 draft out of Western Carolina. Tyler hit .327 over his career at Western Carolina. Here's a snippet from his Western Carolina bio page:
Finished tied for second on the team with a .363 batting average, recording 43 extra base hits including a team-best 27 doubles and 16 home runs (ninth in the nation) ... His 27 doubles broke a 10-year old school single-season record, while also ranking him second in the final NCAA rankings ... Drove in 66 runs to lead WCU and rank 15th nationally ... Enjoyed a career-long, 23-game stretch of reaching base safely that included a career-best, 11-game hitting streak during the month of April
Tyler's minor league career has been similar to Brian Holmes. He has done nothing but hit at every level he has gone to. When you look at his career numbers, you raise your eye brows in mild, if not at least medium interest. He's never been young for his league, but he's also never been too old. The average age in the AA Texas League right now is 24.4 according to Baseball-Reference and Tyler is currently 24.6 years old. Here's Tyler's career minor league numbers:
Tyler is currently making a mockery of the Texas League in regards to plate discipline. In 23 games at AA, he has walked 23 times and only struck out 13 times. His slash at AA in those games is a healthy .342/.505/.447.
Here's a couple of video highlights of White from recent action at Corpus Christi: