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Astros Prospect Report: Games of May 18, 2016

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The Astros Minor League System steamrolls their opposition to carry their weight in an organizational sweep

Alex Bregman, former chess champion and future Astros shortstop/third baseman/left fielder/?, is a man on a mission this year.
Alex Bregman, former chess champion and future Astros shortstop/third baseman/left fielder/?, is a man on a mission this year.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Fresno lineup will look significantly different while Colin Moran and Tony Kemp are enjoying prime time in the Major Leagues, but we won't see the new look until tomorrow, when Joe Musgrove will take the mound for his second appearance in Fresno.  The rest of the teams erupted tonight, both offensively and (mostly) on the mound, to outscore their opponents 25-9 and join the parent club in a beautiful organizational sweep.

Now you know the end.  Also, SPOILER ALERT: The Titanic sinks at the end of the movie.

The journey getting there, though...that's the fun part.

AAA Fresno Grizzlies: OFF

The Grizzlies are coming off a rough four game sweep at the hands of the Nashville Sounds, and will try to catapult from their off day and the addition of Preston Tucker's bat (assuming he's arrived with the team and is ready to go tomorrow) to jump out with a victory against the Memphis Redbirds.  Joe Musgrove makes his second start for the Grizzlies after a five inning, one (earned) run debut.

AA Corpus Christi: WON 5-2 over the San Antonio Missions (SDP)

Alex Bregman is just a gifted human being on the baseball field.  As has been pointed out by others, Bregatron hit another home run last night, bringing his total for the season to nine.  Amazingly, Bregman has also struck out only nine times.  No other player anywhere in baseball, majors or minors, has as many home runs as strikeouts.

It was also noted during the Missions' broadcast of the game that Alex Bregman is a former state champion chess player in his home state of New Mexico, dating back to his high school days.  That seemed an interesting factotum to pass along to our readers.

As for this game, Bregman's 2-3 night (he had a single, a stolen base, two runs scored, and two RBIs in this contest as well) wasn't the only highlight.  J.D. Davis went 2-4 with his fourth home run run of the season and a double.  His bat is heating up on the season: he now has a six game hitting streak and has hit safely in eight of his last ten games.  Four of those games are multi-hit games, and three of his four home runs on the season have come in the same stretch.  James Ramsay added a two run home run of his own (his second home run of the season) in the first, plating Bregman following his single and stolen base.  Chan Moon and Trent Woodward each added a pair of singles to the offensive effort.

Cy Sneed got the start and pitched well once again.  He did give up his first and second home runs of the season, accounting for both of his earned runs allowed, but otherwise scattered two singles across five innings of work with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Making his second Double-A appearance, Evan Grills impressed once again.  He allowed no runs to keep his ERA in Double-A at zero, allowed three hits and no walks in four innings of work and trucks out two.  He was rewarded for his effort with a save.

Box Score:

Corpus Christi Hooks
Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG*
Teoscar Hernandez CF 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .258
Alex Bregman SS 4 2 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 .330
James Ramsay RF 4 1 1 0 0 1 2 0 1 .186
J.D. Davis 3B 4 1 2 1 0 1 1 0 1 .231
Chase McDonald 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .231
Conrad Gregor LF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .153
a- Rodrigo Ayarza PH-LF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Alfredo Gonzalez C 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .111
Trent Woodward DH 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .222
Chan Jong Moon 2B 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250
Totals 35 5 9 1 0 3 5 2 7 .227
a-Flied out for Gregor in the 8th. 
BATTING
2B: Davis, J (10, Rodriguez, B).
HR: Ramsay (2, 1st inning off Rodriguez, B, 1 on, 1 out); Davis, J (4, 5th inning off Rodriguez, B, 0 on, 2 out); Bregman (9, 7th inning off Alger, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Ramsay 4; Davis, J 6; Woodward 2; Bregman 5; Moon 2.
RBI: Ramsay 2 (9); Davis, J (16); Bregman 2 (26).
2-out RBI: Davis, J.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Hernandez, T; Gregor 2.
GIDP: Hernandez, T.
Team RISP: 2-for-5.
Team LOB: 5.

BASERUNNING
SB: Bregman (3, 2nd base off Rodriguez, B/Kennedy, A).

FIELDING
PB: Gonzalez, A (5).

San Antonio Missions
Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Nelson Ward 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .231
Mike Olt 1B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .261
Jose Rondon SS 4 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 .258
Auston Bousfield CF 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .213
Nick Torres LF 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .260
Yeison Asencio RF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .259
Taylor Lindsey DH 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .221
Gabriel Quintana 3B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .219
Chase Jensen 1B-2B 3 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 .129
A.J. Kennedy C 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .150
Totals 34 2 7 0 0 2 2 0 9 .234
BATTING
HR: Jensen (2, 2nd inning off Sneed, 0 on, 2 out); Rondon, J (2, 3rd inning off Sneed, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Bousfield 2; Torres, N 2; Rondon, J 5; Jensen 4.
RBI: Jensen (7); Rondon, J (16).
2-out RBI: Jensen.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Asencio 2; Quintana.
Team RISP: 0-for-3.
Team LOB: 5.

FIELDING
PB: Kennedy, A 2 (3).
DP: (Ward-Rondon, J-Jensen).

Corpus Christi Hooks
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA*
Cy Sneed (W, 2-1) 5.0 4 2 2 0 7 2 3.45
Evan Grills (S, 1) 4.0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 7 2 2 0 9 2 3.28
San Antonio Missions
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Bryan Rodriguez (L, 2-3) 6.0 8 3 3 1 3 2 3.20
Brandon Alger 2.0 1 2 2 1 3 1 10.69
Elliot Morris 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 9 5 5 2 7 3 5.29
Game Scores: Sneed 58; Rodriguez, B 46.
Pitches-strikes: Sneed 78-56; Grills 40-33; Rodriguez, B 95-58; Alger 37-23; Morris 13-8.
Groundouts-flyouts: Sneed 3-3; Grills 4-4; Rodriguez, B 9-2; Alger 1-1; Morris 1-1.
Batters faced: Sneed 19; Grills 15; Rodriguez, B 26; Alger 8; Morris 3.
Ejections: San Antonio Missions Manager Phillip Wellman ejected by HP umpire Kyle McCrady (8th); San Antonio Missions shortstop Nelson Ward ejected by HP umpire Kyle McCrady (8th)
Umpires: HP: Kyle McCrady. 1B: Nestor Ceja. 3B: Cody Oakes. 
Weather: 67 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 9 mph, L to R.
First pitch: 11:06 AM.
T: 2:21.
Att: 3,786.
Venue: Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium.
May 18, 2016
* AVG and ERA indicate full-season averages for players and teams.

High A Lancaster: WON 11-4 over the Inland Empire 66ers (LAA)

The erstwhile-light hitting Jethawks erupted for four home runs (two of them off the bat of catcher Garrett Stubbs) in an 11-4 rout of the 66ers.

Stubbs' first blast tied the game at one in the bottom of the first, and his second was a three run bomb to put the 'Hawks ahead for good, breaking what was a 4-4 tie at the time.

Garrett Stubbs has quietly assembled a very impressive offensive start to his season.  He's in the midst of a fifteen game hitting streak and has seen his slash line climb to .292/.388/.472 (.860 OPS) while his walk rate has ascended to an 11.7% clip and his strike out rate has dipped to 12.9% for the season.  In eighty-five plate appearances this year, he’s struck out eleven times and walked ten times.  In short, it’s been an impressive display for a young catcher who was thought of by many as a glove-only catcher (he won the collegiate equivalent of the gold glove for catchers) coming into the season.  Certainly, it’s Lancaster, but an .860 OPS, even considering the Lancaster Mirage Effect, is still very, very encouraging for those following Garrett’s progress.

First baseman Bryan Muniz added his third home run of the season, a two-run shot with one out in the seventh inning, and Jason Martin added a solo shot (his second home run of the season) an out later in the seventh.  The offense was vast and varied in this one, as every single player had at least one hit, and six of the starting nine had multi-hit games.  All told, the ‘Hawks banged out sixteen total hits on the night.  Kristian Trompiz and Ramon Laureano had the only non-home run extra base hits, each with a double.

Scott Weathersby got the start and pitched to a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on four hits and two walks and recording a single strikeout.  The night went much better for both Ryan Deemes, who made his second appearance in High-A and once again didn’t allow a run in a single inning of work, and meta-human Brock Dykxhoorn, who struck out four in four innings while scattering two hits to continue a very strong Lancaster campaign for himself.

Box Score:

Inland Empire 66ers
Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG*
Tim Arakawa SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .291
Caleb Adams LF 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .313
Hutton Moyer 2B 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 1 .333
Taylor Ward DH 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .252
Michael Strentz RF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .213
Wade Wass C 4 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 .273
Zachary Houchins 3B 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .188
Jeff Boehm 1B 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .190
Zach Welz CF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .295
Totals 32 4 6 3 0 0 4 3 5 .229
BATTING
2B: Moyer (1, Weathersby); Wass (1, Weathersby); Houchins (4, Dykxhoorn).
TB: Wass 2; Boehm; Moyer 3; Houchins 2; Ward.
RBI: Ward (13); Wass 2 (2); Boehm (9).
2-out RBI: Ward; Boehm.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Boehm.
GIDP: Ward.
Team RISP: 3-for-6.
Team LOB: 4.

BASERUNNING
SB: Adams, C (4, 2nd base off Weathersby/Ritchie).

FIELDING
E: Arakawa (4, fielding).
Outfield assists: Strentz (Laureano at 3rd base); Welz (Marlow at 3rd base).

Lancaster JetHawks
Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Drew Ferguson RF 5 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .284
Garrett Stubbs DH 4 2 2 0 0 2 4 1 0 .292
Ramon Laureano LF 5 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 1 .315
Brooks Marlow 2B 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .250
Jamie Ritchie C 5 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .257
Bryan Muniz 1B 4 1 2 0 0 1 2 0 1 .238
Jason Martin CF 4 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 .233
Kristian Trompiz SS 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .194
Luis Reynoso 3B 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .196
Totals 38 11 16 2 0 4 11 2 6 .269
BATTING
2B: Laureano (11, Hoppe); Trompiz (7, Piche).
HRStubbs 2 (3, 1st inning off Hoppe, 0 on, 1 out; 4th inning off Llorens, 2 on, 0 out); Muniz (3, 7th inning off Middleton, 1 on, 1 out); Martin (2, 7th inning off Middleton, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Martin 5; Ferguson 3; Stubbs 8; Marlow; Trompiz 2; Ritchie 2; Reynoso, L; Muniz 5; Laureano 3.
RBI: Stubbs 4 (15); Ritchie (18); Laureano 2 (18); Muniz 2 (13); Martin (9); Marlow (3).
2-out RBI: Laureano 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Martin; Trompiz; Reynoso, L; Ritchie.
SF: Marlow.
Team RISP: 4-for-12.
Team LOB: 6.

FIELDING
DP: (Trompiz-Marlow-Muniz).

Inland Empire 66ers
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA*
Jason Hoppe 2.2 9 4 4 0 3 1 4.70
Dixon Llorens (L, 1-1) 1.1 2 3 3 1 2 1 6.06
Jordan Piche 2.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.66
Keynan Middleton 1.0 3 3 3 0 0 2 4.67
Josh Roenicke 1.0 1 1 1 1 0 0 9.00
Totals 8.0 16 11 11 2 6 4 4.68
Lancaster JetHawks
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Scott Weathersby 4.0 4 4 4 2 1 0 6.90
Ryan Deemes 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00
Brock Dykxhoorn (W, 3-1) 4.0 2 0 0 0 4 0 3.21
Totals 9.0 6 4 4 3 5 0 4.94
Game Scores: Hoppe 27; Weathersby 37.
WP: Hoppe.
Balk: Llorens.
Pitches-strikes: Hoppe 48-34; Llorens 26-15; Piche 19-14; Middleton 24-15; Roenicke 18-11; Weathersby 76-46; Deemes 21-14; Dykxhoorn 63-42.
Groundouts-flyouts: Hoppe 2-1; Llorens 2-0; Piche 0-3; Middleton 1-1; Roenicke 2-1; Weathersby 4-5; Deemes 1-1; Dykxhoorn 3-2.
Batters faced: Hoppe 16; Llorens 7; Piche 7; Middleton 6; Roenicke 5; Weathersby 18; Deemes 4; Dykxhoorn 13.
Inherited runners-scored: Llorens 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Kyle Wallace. 1B: Alex Trujillo. 
Weather: 88 degrees, clear.
Wind: 20 mph, Out to RF.
First pitch: 6:37 PM.
T: 2:39.
Att: 3,466.
Venue: The Hangar.
May 18, 2016
* AVG and ERA indicate full-season averages for players and teams.

Low A Quad Cities: WON 9-3 over the Clinton Lumberkings (SEA)

Hey.

Hey.

Hey…guess what?

Kyle Tucker is pretty good at baseballing.

He had another good day at the plate, going 2-4 with a pair of singles, a walk, and two more stolen bases (bringing his season total to eighteen, against just three times caught stealing) to raise his season slash line as one of the youngest players in the Midwest League to a cool .323/.399/.436 for the young season.  His 150 wRC+ leads the team comfortably and is twelfth among qualified hitters in the league.  Among hitters with more than 150 plate appearances, Tucker is sixth in wRC+, sixth in wOBA, fourth in OPS, and is the very best in wSB (weighted stolen base runs) in the entire league at 2.4 wSB.  In fact, he’s exactly twice as good in that regard as the second place player (Michael Gettys from the Padres system) in the Midwest League this year among players with 150 plate appearances.  If you open up the filter to include all players in the Midwest League, he’s still the best – narrowly edging Michael Russell from the Tampa Bay Rays’ A ball affiliate. 

As for the rest of the team, there were no home runs in this game but everyone (except Osvaldo Duarte) had at least one hit, and five players – including Tucker – had multiple hits.  Dexture McCall, Pat Porter, and Connor Goedert each had doubles, accounting for the only extra base hits on the day.  Seven total walks and ten singles were enough, in addition to the three doubles, to comfortably beat the LumberKings in this one.

On the hill, Kevin McCanna got the start and went five strong innings.  He allowed just three hits, a walk, and one earned run while striking out four batters.  Franklin Perez, a highly-regarded right-handed pitching prospect who is just eighteen years old, made his debut in A ball with a three inning, four hit performance.  He allowed two earned runs and two walks while striking out five hitters.  He threw fifty-seven pitches, with thirty-four of them for strikes.  Ralph Garza entered in the game to finish it out and had a perfect ninth inning.

Box Score:

Clinton LumberKings
Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG*
Braden Bishop LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .267
Rayder Ascanio SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .260
Dalton Kelly 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .348
Conner Hale 3B 4 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .228
Ricky Eusebio CF 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 .262
Austin Cousino RF 4 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 .156
Arturo Nieto C 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .173
Rafael Fernandez 2B 3 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 .159
Luis Liberato DH 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .228
Totals 34 3 7 4 0 0 3 3 9 .248
BATTING
2B: Fernandez, Ra (2, McCanna); Liberato (3, McCanna); Eusebio (4, Perez, F); Cousino (2, Perez, F).
TB: Cousino 2; Hale 2; Eusebio 2; Liberato 2; Fernandez, Ra 2; Nieto.
RBI: Fernandez, Ra (8); Cousino 2 (3).
2-out RBI: Cousino 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Kelly; Ascanio; Bishop; Nieto.
Team RISP: 2-for-10.
Team LOB: 7.

Quad Cities River Bandits
Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Johnny Sewald DH 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 2 1 .219
Osvaldo Duarte SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 .212
Kyle Tucker CF 4 2 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 .323
Anthony Hermelyn C 5 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 .280
Connor Goedert LF 5 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 .239
Dexture McCall 1B 5 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 .245
Pat Porter RF 3 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 .118
Bobby Wernes 3B 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .175
Aaron Mizell 2B 3 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 .236
Totals 33 9 13 3 0 0 9 7 9 .226
BATTING
2B: McCall (6, Wilcox); Porter (1, Wilcox); Goedert (4, Wilcox).
TB: Goedert 3; McCall 3; Tucker 2; Hermelyn 2; Sewald; Porter 2; Wernes; Mizell 2.
RBI: Hermelyn (9); Porter (6); McCall (7); Mizell 2 (9); Sewald (8); Tucker 2 (19); Goedert (14).
2-out RBI: Hermelyn; Goedert.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Tucker 2; Duarte; Hermelyn.
SAC: Duarte.
SF: Sewald.
Team RISP: 8-for-15.
Team LOB: 10.

BASERUNNING
SB: Tucker 2 (18, 2nd base off Wilcox/Nieto, 2nd base off Kiel/Nieto); Sewald 2 (16, 2nd base off Wilcox/Nieto, 3rd base off Kiel/Nieto).
CS: Duarte (2, 2nd base by Wilcox/Nieto); Mizell (3, 2nd base by Wilcox/Nieto).

FIELDING
PB: Hermelyn 3 (5).
DP: (McCall-Hermelyn-Wernes).

Clinton LumberKings
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA*
Kyle Wilcox (L, 1-2) 2.0 6 5 5 6 2 0 7.36
Matt Walker 2.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 3.78
Nick Kiel 2.0 3 2 2 0 3 0 4.08
Rohn Pierce 2.0 2 2 2 1 2 0 5.63
Totals 8.0 13 9 9 7 9 0 3.73
Quad Cities River Bandits
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Kevin McCanna (W, 1-2) 5.0 3 1 1 1 4 0 3.60
Franklin Perez (H, 1) 3.0 4 2 2 2 5 0 6.00
Ralph Garza 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.15
Totals 9.0 7 3 3 3 9 0 3.77
Wilcox pitched to 4 batters in the 3rd.

Game Scores: Wilcox 20; McCanna 60.
WP: Pierce 2; McCanna.
HBP: Porter (by Pierce).
Pitches-strikes: Wilcox 67-33; Walker 33-21; Kiel 29-20; Pierce 41-22; McCanna 66-48; Perez, F 57-34; Garza 9-8.
Groundouts-flyouts: Wilcox 2-0; Walker 1-1; Kiel 1-1; Pierce 1-2; McCanna 7-2; Perez, F 1-0; Garza 1-1.
Batters faced: Wilcox 16; Walker 8; Kiel 9; Pierce 10; McCanna 20; Perez, F 14; Garza 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Walker 3-2.
Umpires: HP: Brandin Sheeler. 1B: Brandon Mooney. 
Weather: 67 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 7 mph, L to R.
First pitch: 7:01 PM.
T: 2:53.
Att: 1,287.
Venue: Modern Woodmen Park.
May 18, 2016
* AVG and ERA indicate full-season averages for players and teams.