AAA Fresno Grizzlies: 7-4 win over Las Vegas (NYM)
-> A.J. Reed: 3-for-4, BB, R
-> Juan Centeno: 3-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
-> Reid Brignac: 2-for-3, BB, HR, RBI, 3 R
-> Colin Moran: 2-for-5, 2 RBI
-> Preston Tucker: 1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Tyler White: 1-for-4, BB
-> Jon Kemmer: 1-for-4, R
-> Tony Kemp: 1-for-5, RBI
-> Teoscar Hernandez: 0-for-4, BB
SP Keegan Yuhl: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K (win)
RP Aaron West: 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K
RP Ashur Tolliver: 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (hold)
RP Dayan Diaz: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K (hold)
RP James Hoyt: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K (save)
You couldn't ask for too much more from Reed's first week. He's hitting .348 early on, and seven walks to boot have him at a beautiful .500 OBP so far. Eight strike outs in seven games shows there's still some work to be done, but it's an encouraging start.
Kemp has at least one hit in each of his first six games, and is hitting a cool .400 thanks to that. He's also swiped a couple of bases, and has four walks and not one single strike out. I don't know if he'll ever get consistent MLB playing time with Houston, but you have to figure someone will want to give him a real shot somewhere.
BAbip gremlins played a large role in spoiling Yuhl's first taste of Triple-A last season, and they got to him in a short outing last Thursday night. Finally in this game, things turned around for him. Despite some walks, he limited damage and continued to miss some bats. He has eight strike outs in 7.2 innings in his first two games of the year.
AA Corpus Christi Hooks: Off Day
A+ Buies Creek Astros: 5-1 win over Myrtle Beach (CHC)
-> Jason Martin: 3-for-4, BB, SB, 2 R
-> Dexture McCall: 2-for-4, BB, SB, R, 2 RBI
-> Pat Porter: 2-for-4
-> Kyle Tucker: 1-for-3, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI
-> Myles Straw: 1-for-4, BB, R
-> Stijn van der Meer: 1-for-4
-> Osvaldo Duarte: 0-for-3, BB
-> Christian Correa: 0-for-4, RBI
SP Akeem Bostick: 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K (win)
RP Ralph Garza: 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K
RP Nick Hernandez: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (save)
Bostick set the tone early and Buies Creek cruised, with Myrtle Beach not scoring their lone run until the seventh inning.
It looks like Bostick is finding the Carolina League much more to his liking. After a mediocre showing in Lancaster in 2015, things got worse in 2016; his walk rate spiked to 5.5 BB/9 and a 5.70 FIP made it clear he was struggling in the desert. It's too early to say how sustainable his success through two games (11 IP, 0 R) with Buies Creek is, but it's a nice start. His K/BB is currently 3-to-1, and he's never posted that or better in a sample of 50 innings or more.
First multi-hit game for Martin. Though he hasn't gotten off to a hot start during the first week, he has been drawing some walks and looking good on the basepaths; he owns a solid .346 OBP after this game, and is 3-for-4 in stolen bases already. He's averages one stolen base every 5.7 games prior to this season, so one every other game (three in six games) is certainly an improvement. Even more importantly, his success rate in four prior seasons has been just 57% (58-for-101). All around, the early returns show promise for a greatly-improved running game, which could certainly boost his stock.
The offense for the first week has been led by Straw and Tucker, though. The enigmatic and intriguing Straw is hitting for average and drawing walks outside of the California League just the same as he did last year so far, and a pair of doubles leaves him with a nice .350/.440/.450 line through six games. He's whiffed just three times against four walks, and has a pair of steals, too. Time will tell how his approach translates at higher levels, but he certainly hasn't done anything but perform so far.
Tucker, meanwhile, has seven hits so far, four of which are extra-base knocks. His 1.036 OPS comes as little surprise, then. This game saw his first walk and first successful steal of the season.
100% Houston-area product Hernandez has impressed in relief throughout his young career. Last year and this one so far, he's allowed just five earned runs. His first outing, three shutout innings last Saturday, was interesting and Devenski-esque. It will be interesting to see if they view him as a 2-to-3 inning guy going forward.
A- Quad Cities River Bandits: 3-2 loss to Peoria (STL)
-> Anibal Sierra: 2-for-5, RBI
-> Alexander De Goti: 2-for-5, R
-> Carmen Benedetti: 1-for-3, BB, R
-> Randy Cesar: 1-for-3, BB
-> Jake Rogers: 1-for-3
-> Stephen Wrenn: 1-for-4
-> Ronnie Dawson: 1-for-4
-> Chuckie Robinson: 0-for-3, BB
-> Taylor Jones: 0-for-4, RBI
SP Ryan Hartman: 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K
RP Hector Perez: 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 5 K (loss)
RP Abdiel Saldana: 0.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 K
Very quiet game until the eighth inning, when QC scored a pair and Peoria responded with one in the bottom half to make it a 2-2 tie. They tried to get the 10th inning out of Perez, but pulled him when he got in trouble. Saldana came in and gave up the walk and hit that allowed Peoria to walk it off.
The less-talented Sierra is off to a solid start. He's hitting .333 so far with a .407 OBP, and he projects for some power, too. He should be able to handle multiple infield positions and could have a career as an MLB backup, but at 23 years old already in Low-A, he's a bit of a long shot, too. He's the type of guy who could get blocked easily and get nabbed in the Rule 5 in a few years.
Wrenn is off to a nice start, not unlike last season in Tri-City immediately after being drafted. He owns a 1.014 OPS through six games, with two extra-base knocks and four walks already. Cutting down on his strike out rate will go a long way to making more believers out of scouts and industry pros.
Robinson interests me. Good arm and solid instincts behind the plate, and there's some power potential with the stick, too. Realistically, he's a long shot for sure, but there's something to work with here. If either the bat or the recieving takes another step forward, he could be a guy.
Hartman is off to a strong start so far. In two games he's allowed just one run, while punching out 11 against just one walk. He's a guy that didn't get a ton of love pre-draft; while his numbers were impressive, the competition he played against in college wasn't. Well, so far he's translated his success to professional ball. He's a lefty that can occasionally hit the mid-90s, misses a lot of bats, and has limited walks fairly well so far. Definite sleeper candidate this year.
Today's Scheduled Starters
AAA: Brady Rodgers vs. Donovan Hand
AA: Trent Thornton vs. Max Povse
A+: Justin Ferrell vs. Brannon Easterling
A-: Ryan Hartman vs. Sam McWilliams