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Astros Prospect Report: Ritchie walking tall; more homers for Lancaster in victory

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

Timothy De Block

AAA Fresno Grizzlies: 4-1 loss to Sacramento (SFG)

-> Tyler Heineman: 1-for-3
-> Tony Kemp: 1-for-4, SB
-> Jonathan Villar: 1-for-4
-> L.J. Hoes: 0-for-2, 2 BB
-> Matt Duffy: 0-for-2, 2 BB
-> Jon Singleton: 0-for-3, BB, R
-> Robbie Grossman: 0-for-3, RBI

SP Luis Cruz: 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 5 BB, 5 K
RP Jordan Jankowski: 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K (loss)
RP James Hoyt: 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 K

Well, that happens sometimes. Despite being pretty hot, Fresno ran into a first-round pick tonight.

Effectively-wild? Definitely not the usual from Cruz in this game, as he's normally pretty solid on control. Matter of fact, these five walks now represent 22% of the walks he's allowed all season. Nice to see some more missed bats, though (14 strike outs in his last two games, totaling 11.1 innings).

Things are going well for Heineman so far in AAA. He's hitting over .300 so far, and has struck out just once in 12 games.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: Rained out

Tropical Storm Bill's effects are still causing issues. Doubleheader is set for today.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: 14-6 win over Visalia (ARZ)

-> Chase McDonald: 3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI
-> Brian Holberton: 2-for-3, HR, R, 2 BB, 3 RBI
-> J.D. Davis: 2-for-4, BB, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI
-> James Ramsay: 2-for-4, BB, RBI, R
-> Mott Hyde: 2-for-5, 3B, SB, 2 R, 2 RBI
-> Derek Fisher: 2-for-5, 2B, SB, R
-> A.J. Reed: 1-for-3, HR, RBI, 2 BB, 2 R
-> Jack Mayfield: 1-for-4, BB, 2 R
-> Brett Phillips: 0-for-5, BB, R

SP Edison Frias: 7.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 K (win)
RP Frederick Tiburcio: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K (save)

Frias allowed four homers in this game, and still won. I'm guessing he'll never, ever be able to say that again in his career.

Prior to this game, Davis had hit just two long balls in his 30 previous games, so this was a really nice night for him. While he hasn't been bad, his numbers are uninspiring for a bat-first guy playing in the California League. His strike out rate of 26.9% is one potential cause.

McDonald's rebound continues; he's hitting .385 over his last ten games. Power has come in the from of nine bombs and 13 doubles. His OPS is .883 on the season.

That's 17 dingers for Reed, for anyone counting. That ties him with Adam Brett Walker II for the most in affiliated ball.

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: 2-0 win over Clinton (SEA)

-> Jamie Ritchie: 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 BB, 2 RBI
-> Bobby Boyd: 1-for-3, SB
-> Ramon Laureano: 1-for-4, SB
-> Ryan Bottger: 1-for-4
-> Kristian Trompiz: 1-for-4
-> Alex Hernandez: 0-for-2, 2 BB
-> Thomas Lindauer: 0-for-3, BB, SB
-> Sean McMullen: 0-for-0, R (pinch-runner)

SP Jorge Perez: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 5 K
RP Justin Ferrell: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K (win)
RP Angel Heredia: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K (save)

The game was tied at nothing after nine innings...and then Jamie Ritchie hits just his fourth professional homer in the 10th. Two run shot, Heredia nails down the save, ballgame. Awesome.

Speaking of Ritchie, he's hitting .304/.696/.304 in his last 14 g...wait...what? Did I do that right? Wait...yep. Yep. 18 walks in his last 14 games. Eighteen. He has eight in his last three games. He has literally gotten on base 70% of the time for the last two+ weeks. His season walk rate is now 23.4%. His wRC+ is over 150 despite an ISO that was .099 entering this game (the homer should help). Craziness.

Perez is looking mildly-interesting so far in a small sample. The ERA is ugly, but that's thanks to eight earnies in his last outing; outside of that, he hasn't allowed a single other run in four outings. His GB rate was 52% coming into this game, and he helped his cause there with five more outs on the ground and none on the fly. Walks are a glaring issue at this point, though; that's 13 in 18.1 innings.

And speaking of interesting, say hello to Justin Ferrell. If the name isn't familiar, don't beat yourself up; he's a JuCo kid the Astros scooped up all the way down in the 36th round last year. The interest with him is his height; he's listed at 6'7", and he's bulked up by 15 pounds since being selected. He was a closer in JuCo, so seeing him pitching like a tandem starter here is a bit of a surprise. We'll see what he does.

Today's Scheduled Starters

AAA: TBD vs. Tyler Pill
AA: Doubleheader!
-> Game one: Michael Feliz vs. Jake Thompson
-> Game two: Josh Hader vs. Chad Bell
A+: TBD vs. Kyle Lloyd
A-: Brock Dykxhoorn vs. Lukas Schiraldi