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Astros Prospect Report: Games of April 18, 2017

Alex Winkelmann starred for Buies Creek and Quad Cities scored 12 in an eventful night on the farm.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros
James Hoyt’s early season performance suggest he’s motivated to get back to Houston
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In a four-game slate on Tuesday night, Astros affiliates split their games 2-2. For Quad Cities and Corpus Christi, offense came easy, as they combined to outscore their opponents 22-11 yesterday. While things were a bit tougher for Fresno and Buies Creek, both teams still had players post strong performances in losses.

Low-A: Quad Cities (6-6) 12, Burlington (5-6) 2

This was a much-needed offensive explosion for the River Bandits, who have a number of struggling bats in their lineup. Ex-college stars Ronnie Dawson, Stephen Wrenn and Jake Rogers are all off to slow starts in 2017 and had strong nights on Tuesday- Dawson was just 1 for 6 and did K four times, but he managed to send his one hit into the seats, while Wrenn and Rogers each had two hits including a homer for Wrenn and a double and triple for Rogers. Daz Cameron, who has had an up-and-down early going, was 1 for 4 with his third home run and one strikeout.

Quad Cities’ pitching staff had a banner night, combining for 11 strikeouts and allowing just two runners to reach home, both on solo shots served up by starter Hector Perez. Carlos Sierra and Lucas Williams finished the game with 3.1 perfect innings.

Notable Lines

Ronnie Dawson: 1 for 6, HR, 4 K

Daz Cameron: 1 for 4, HR, K

Jake Rogers: 2 for 4, 2B, 3B

Stephen Wrenn: 2 for 5, HR

Randy Cesar: 2 for 5, 2B, HR, 3 K

Marcos Almonte: 2 for 5, 2B, HR, 2 K

Hector Perez: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, 7 K

Carlos Sierra: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Lucas Williams: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K

High-A: Buies Creek (9-4) 0, Myrtle Beach (6-7) 6

The BC ‘stros could not produce any offensive magic yesterday, but starter Alex Winkelman provided plenty on the mound. A 2015 21st-round pick, Winkelman has put up nice strikeout numbers in each of his first two pro seasons but struggled with walks, particularly in 2016. Early in this season, Winkelman has been a different pitcher, issuing just one free pass in his first 3 outings. Last night’s was perhaps the best of his career, as he fanned ten Pelicans en route to 6 scoreless and walkless innings, allowing just one hit. Though he turned 23 in February, Winkelman is making some noise in the early going and may be someone to watch- the Astros have turned players with similar profiles into contributors in the past.

On the offensive side, only Osvaldo Duarte had a strong night, recording three hits and stealing a bag. Myles Straw got a hit and walked twice, and was one for two on the basepaths.

Notable Lines

Jason Martin: 1 for 4, 2 K

Myles Straw: 1 for 2, 2 BB, SB, CS

Kyle Tucker: 0 for 3, BB, K

Pat Porter: 1 for 4, 2 K

Osvaldo Duarte: 3 for 4, SB

Anibal Sierra: 1 for 4, K

Alex Winkelman: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K

Double-A: Corpus Christi (8-4) 10, NW Arkansas (4-8) 9

The Hooks had an eventful Tuesday, rallying from behind to steal a 10-9 victory. Starter Kyle Smith got blown up in less than three innings of work, putting pressure on piggybacker Trent Thornton, who threw the final five frames for the Hooks.

The offense for Corpus had a strong night, with Drew Ferguson and J.D. Davis leading the way. Ferguson knocked three hits, two of which were doubles, and Davis hit his second bomb of the young campaign and paired it with a double. Davis is now hitting .326 on the season. Jon Singleton had a single and three walks, while Ramon Laureano put the ball in play four times, recording one hit and stealing a bag. Laureano is off to a very slow start, but bad luck is largely to blame. He should rebound in short order, and has improved significantly over the last week.

Notable Lines

Drew Ferguson: 3 for 5, 2 2B, K

Ramon Laureano: 1 for 4, BB, SB

Jon Singleton: 1 for 2, 3 BB

JD Davis: 2 for 5, 2B, HR

Trent Thornton: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K (in relief)

Triple-A: Fresno (5-8) 1, Las Vegas (8-5) 6

It was not an exciting night for the Grizzlies, who managed seven singles and two doubles but just a single run, with Keegan Yuhl failing to keep them in the game early. The power present on the Fresno roster hasn’t really manifested yet, and top prospects A.J. Reed and Derek Fisher have not performed up to their standards in the early going. Fisher had a solid night against the 51s however, recording a single and a double while striking out in his other plate appearances.

The biggest bright spot for Fresno was once again reliever James Hoyt, who threw a perfect inning out of the pen and picked up his eighth strikeout. Should struggles or injuries arise in the big-league pen, Hoyt is very likely first in line for a call-up.

Notable Lines

Tony Kemp: 1 for 4

Derek Fisher: 2 for 4, 2B, 2 K

Teoscar Hernandez: 0 for 4, 2 K

AJ Reed: 1 for 4, 2B, 2 K

Preston Tucker: 2 for 4, K

Colin Moran: 1 for 3, BB

Jon Kemmer: 1 for 4

James Hoyt: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K