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Astros Prospect Report: Fresno wins championship to close minor league season

It's been a wild ride, with tons of player movement, break outs, improvements, disappointments, and all six teams making the playoffs. Fresno plays the rubber game of the PCL championship series.

Tyler White finished off a stunning AAA breakout by helping lead the club to a championship
Tyler White finished off a stunning AAA breakout by helping lead the club to a championship
Timothy De Block

AAA Fresno Grizzlies: 7-3 win over Round Rock (TEX)

-> Tony Kemp: 3-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
-> Robbie Grossman: 2-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
-> Alex Presley: 2-for-5, 2B, solo HR
-> Tyler White: 1-for-3, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Jon Singleton: 1-for-3, BB, R
-> Tyler Heineman: 1-for-4
-> Nolan Fontana: 1-for-4
-> L.J. Hoes: 0-for-3, BB, R
-> Andrew Aplin: 0-for-4
-> Colin Moran: 0-for-1 (defensive sub)

SP Mark Appel: 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 10 K (win)
RP Jordan Jankowski: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K (hold)
RP Kevin Chapman: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K
RP James Hoyt: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K

This outing was something of a microcosm of Appel's season; he allowed a first inning run, then tossed four shutout innings. He was through the 5.2 innings with 10 strike outs when a single and a long ball ended his outing, leaving him with an ERA that doesn't look so great. He was so close to something really special, but somehow, they other team found a way to get to him eventually. So odd.

But it wasn't enough, thanks to excellent bullpen work. Hoyt was as good in the playoffs as he was in the regular season. He posted a 1.08 ERA, 1.08 BB/9 and 12.96 K/9 against El Paso and Round Rock in post-season play. Eight of the 12 outs he recorded against Round Rock in the championship series were on strikes. I don't know about you, but now that the AAA season is finished, I sure hope the Astros can find a 40-man roster spot for him for the last few games of the MLB season. He could sure be a shot in the arm for a bullpen that has been getting knocked around recently.

A good day from the offense was key as well. Fresno answered the Express' first inning run with two of their own, and the never lost the lead, even with the two-run bomb in the sixth that tightened things up temporarily. White played a big role in the post-season, with three bombs in the nine playoff games he played in. He hit .343 in the playoffs.

And Tony Kemp picked a most opportune time to wake back up after mediocre play in most of his AAA stint this year. He had multiple hits in five of the nine playoff games, and hit .405 during post-season. Also notable is that Colin Moran played his first game in AAA; it was just the last two innings as a defensive sub for White at third base, but there you go.

And with that, the Fresno Grizzlies are the PCL champions for 2015! This brings to a close the Astros' minor league season as well, and what a season, with everyone making the playoffs and two championships (though the other four clubs had disappointing first-round exits).

Stay tuned though; we'll be wrapping up the Minor League season over the next couple of weeks, and we're not far from the Arizona Fall League and the Winter Baseball Leagues, too.

But for now, of course, here's this thing: