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Astros Prospect Report: Pitching largely strong; Moran's three-hit game

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

Colin Moran is starting to heat up at the plate
Colin Moran is starting to heat up at the plate
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

AAA Fresno Grizzlies: 5-3 win over Sacremento (SFG)

-> Joe Sclafani: 3-for-5
-> Andrew Aplin: 2-for-3, BB, 2B
-> Domingo Santana: 2-for-4, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Tyler White: 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 3 R
-> Nolan Fontana: 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB
-> Matt Duffy: 1-for-5
-> Jonathan Villar: 0-for-4, BB, SB, R

SP Mike Hauschild: 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K (win)
RP Jason Stoffel: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 K (save)

Tyler White is hitting a mere .432 since his promotion to AAA. Eight of his 11 games with Fresno have been multi-hit games, and he's reached base via hit and/or walk multiple times in all but one of those games. I mean, if he goes 2-for-5 in his next game, his OBP will go down. Whew. And a pair of homers already! If he really has some pop along with these OBP skills...this is an interesting prospect. Just 11 games so I don't want to get too excited, but wow.

Who is the next Dallas Keuchel? Maybe it's Hauschild. Look, of course, that's a huge name to place on a guy, and Keuchel is probably not unlike Maddux; for a long time we'll be going "but remember Keuchel!" every time we want to believe that some unheralded sinkerballer who struggles to hit 91 MPH has success. But can he be a useful piece? I think so. He came into this game with a 63.6% ground ball rate, which is essentially Keuchel's rate, and he got 10 more outs on the ground in his seven innings in this outing. His walk rate is now 2.03 BB/9 after actually taking a small hit with the two walks in seven frames of this game. He has a 3.33 K/BB ratio on his career. He has one of those batted ball heat maps that appears to have a small hurricane hovering over the infield. And then there's Brent Strom. I'm not going to say that he's the next Keuchel, but there are obvious similarities. I'm not going to be the one betting against him at least being a solid back-end starter.

Santana has at least one hit in all but one of his games since returning to AAA from his much-less-frightening MLB stint. I can't say for sure they'll trade him, certainly, but his value might not ever be higher. The deadline should be intriguing, to say the least.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: 6-3 win over Springfield (STL)

-> Colin Moran: 3-for-4, 2B, RBI
-> Jon Kemmer: 2-for-3, BB, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
-> Brett Phillips: 2-for-5, R, 2 RBI
-> Jack Mayfield: 1-for-3, BB
-> A.J. Reed: 1-for-4, 2B, R
-> Alfredo Gonzalez: 1-for-4, RBI, R
-> Danry Vasquez: 1-for-4, R
-> Teoscar Hernandez: 0-for-3, BB

SP Kyle Westwood: 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K (win)
RP Aaron West: 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K
RP Chris Cotton: 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (save)

Westwood's outing was not unlike Hauschild's; two earned in seven (and a third here), and a ton of GB outs. Westwood traded in two strike outs for two extra grounders, 12 total. He has a 1.64 BB/9 on his career, and a 3.28 K/BB ratio.

I imagine they're just been careful with him because of recent-ish injuries, but West isn't pitching starter innings for the most part, and that's even factoring in the tandem rotation system. He's pitched more than two innings in just three of his last ten games, and he's averaging 3.1 IP per game on the season.

Kemmer is on a nice run and has beefed his line up to .323/.402/.549 now. 11 each of doubles and dingers in 57 games, which would have him in range of a 30-30 season in those categories in a full-length 162 sample. Could stand to cut down on the strike outs a bit more, though it's not awful.

Seven-game hitting streak for Moran, and he's hitting .359 in his last ten games. So some progress there, which is nice, considering the poor performance that followed his weird injury earlier this year. He's sitting at .276/.337/.387 in 48 games right now. He does have 15 doubles, which would have him on-pace for 50 doubles in 162 games, so if he can just turn a few of those into some more long balls, we could have something.

.317/.369/.467 with six XBH for Phillips in his first 15 AA games. What a rise for this guy. John Sickles just bumped him up over 100 slots on his mid-season rankings and into the top 30. The prospect media is taking notice of what this guy is becoming.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: 8-6 loss to High Desert (TEX)

-> James Ramsay: 2-for-5, 2B
-> Chase McDonald: 1-for-2, BB, 3 RBI
-> J.D. Davis: 1-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 R
-> Jacob Nottingham: 1-for-3, BB, 2 R
-> Ronnie Mitchell: 1-for-4, 2 RBI
-> Derek Fisher: 1-for-5, 3B, RBI
-> Mott Hyde: 1-for-5, 2 R

SP Kevin Comer: 6.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K (loss)
RP Andrew Walter: 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K

Nottingham hasn't gone hitless yet since his promotion, and including the end of his QC stint, he's on a 13-game hitting streak. In his 11 games with Lancaster, he's hitting .362/.412/.702 with nine XBH. Whew.

McDonald is on a nice little run and has brought his season line up to .294/.376/.570. His sample in Lancaster is 27.7% of his career but he's hit 38.9% of his homers in that time, so it's probably fair to wonder how much of the power he's showing is legit.

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: 3-2 win over Burlington (LAA)

-> Bobby Boyd: 2-for-2, 2B, R
-> Ryan Bottger: 2-for-3, BB, R
-> Sean McMullen: 2-for-4, solo HR
-> Ramon Laureano: 2-for-4, SB
-> Kristian Trompiz: 1-for-3, 2B, RBI
-> Jamie Ritchie: 1-for-4, RBI
-> Alex Bregman: 1-for-4
-> Luis Reynoso: 0-for-1, BB (pinch-hitter)

SP Justin Ferrell: 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K (win)
RP Angel Heredia: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K (save)

Boyd is doing fairly well at the top of the lineup, batting .273/.340/.341. He does walk some and has 20 stolen bases in 26 attempts. Does strike out more than you'd like from a top of the order bat, though. Hasn't hit a homer yet in his pro career either, so don't hold your breath looking for power to appear in his toolbox.

Bregman has been kind of streaky so far, if you can be streaky in a sample size of just 17 games. He'll smash it for 3-4 games, then go cold for a few, then smash it again. He has five hits in his last three games after having just one hit in the preceding five games. He's struck out just five times in 17 games, though. 6.3% strike out rate? Yeah, that'll work. His BAbip is under .280 right now, and while we don't have a previous sample to compare that to, I'm willing to bet that's fairly low for him. Don't be shocked if he takes off sometime in the coming weeks.

SS Tri-City ValleyCats: 3-0 win over State College (STL)

-> Pat Porter: 3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI
-> Drew Ferguson: 2-for-4, 2 R
-> Bryan Muniz: 1-for-4
-> Anthony Hermelyn: 0-for-2, 2 BB
-> Bobby Wernes: 0-for-2, R

SP Dean Deetz: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K (win)
RP Agapito Barrios: 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K (hold)
RP Juan Santos: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K (save)

Deetz is looking much better this year. Four of his five outings have been shutout work, giving him a sparkling 1.23 ERA through five games. He's walking some guys (4.09 BB/9) but that's the only area you could really complain about. Six outs on the ground and none on the fly in this game, which boosts his GB rate up to 61.5%

Tiny sample, but Ferguson (19th round pick this year) is hitting .352/.444/.630 in 16 games for Tri-City. Better yet, he has eight walks and just four strike outs during that time. Time will tell if this is just a hot streak against inferior competition, but he's done absolutely everything you could hope for so far.

RK Greeneville Astros: 5-2 win over Pulaski (NYY)

-> Randy Cesar: 2-for-3, BB, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
-> Osvaldo Duarte: 1-for-3, BB, 3B, 3 RBI
-> Myles Straw: 1-for-4, R
-> Aaron Mizell: 1-for-4
-> Kevin Martir: 0-for-3, BB, R
-> Brauly Mejia: 0-for-3, R

SP Albert Abreu: 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K
RP Salvador Montano: 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K (win)

Duarte interests me. 19-year-old, a shortstop, and hitting .284/.368/.433. There are some strike outs, but he's also walking a bit, showing some pop, stealing some bases. The overall numbers show a lack of polish in most areas, but also a fair number of tools, and a lack of polish is more than normal for a teenager. Looks like a name to watch.

Mizell is just another in the line of middle-infielders who are having good showings in the system this year. Hitting .342/.392/.438 in 19 games, with six XBH and 3-for-3 in base stealing attempts. Strike outs are there, though. We'll see if he can become something.

Today's Scheduled Starters

AAA: All-Star Break
AA: Ruben Alaniz vs. Arturo Reyes
A+: Austin Chrismon vs. David Ledbetter
A-: David Paulino vs. TBD
SS: Alex Winkelman vs. Carson Cross
RK: Erasmo Pinales vs. TBD