AAA Fresno Grizzlies: 8-5 win over Albuquerque (COL)
-> Colin Moran: 3-for-3, BB, 3B, RBI, 2 R
-> Reid Brignac: 2-for-3, BB, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Max Stassi: 1-for-3, BB, RBI, 2 R
-> Teoscar Hernandez: 1-for-4, SB, RBI
-> Alejandro Garcia: 1-for-4, 2 RBI
-> Derek Fisher: 1-for-5, 3B, RBI, R
-> Tony Kemp: 1-for-5, 2B, R
-> A.J. Reed: 0-for-2, R, 2 BB
SP Trent Thornton: 5.0 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K (win)
RP Brendan McCurry: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K (hold)
RP Dayan Diaz: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K (hold)
RP Kevin Comer: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K (save)
Thornton's line through four innings was 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K before they got to him in the fifth (three-straight hits, a walk, and a hit batter).
Comer now owns a 1.99 ERA and a 10.4 K/9 in 40.2 innings of work this season. The worst his ERA has been this season was 2.16 after coughing up a three spot back on June 15. There maybe hasn't been a guy, outside of Nick Hernandez, who has been this consistently great all year in the system.
Singleton, White, Reed, Fisher...it seems like we have a problem with prospects coming up, and when they're sent back down, they seem to struggle much more than they were pre-call-up. It was true for Moran, too, but this year he looks like a new man. He's collected 11 hits on his current six-game hitting streak, and is up to .298/.360/.563. That SLG% is stunning. After hitting 30 total long balls in his career prior, he's hit 17 home runs in just 64 games this year. That's 40 home run power in a Major League-length schedule. I'm not saying he's that, but wow. The change is too dramatic and the sample now too long for me to think it's a total illusion. He's clearly made adjustments.
AA Corpus Christi Hooks: Off Day
A+ Buies Creek Astros: 2-1 win over Carolina (MIL)
-> Anibal Sierra: 2-for-4, R
-> Myles Straw: 1-for-2, SB, R, 2 BB
-> Yordan Alvarez: 1-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 RBI
-> Taylor Jones: 1-for-3, BB
-> Ryne Birk: 1-for-4
-> Anthony Hermelyn: 0-for-3, BB
SP Framber Valdez: 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 11 K (win)
RP Ralph Garza: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K (save)
So you're worried about the lack of left-handed pitching in the Astros farm system? Framber Valdez is your boy right now. MLB.com said he has two plus pitches (a 60 for both the sinker and curveball) and is working on what could end up being a solid-average changeup. That was pre-season, before he did what he's done so far for BC; a 2.79 ERA, 10.7 K/9, and a GB rate of nearly 60%. His command is still spotty, but the stuff and the strikeout-groundball combo is certainly enticing. He's 23, advanced for his level, which probably contributed to them letting him go eight innings in this one (on just 95 pitches, by the way). He was seen as a potentially-fast-moving relief option for the MLB club at some point this season, but with this level of success as a starter, expect them to keep giving him that opportunity. I can't imagine he won't be in Double-A at some point soon, though, given his age and level of success so far.
I don't want to be "that guy," but dang, what's a guy got to do to get a promotion? Straw is hitting .328/.434/.417 this year, has more walks than strike outs, and is showing nearly 50 SB ability. And you can't blame it on Lancaster anymore. Only the Astros know what more they want to see.
Alvarez has cooled off initially after his promotion, though he's still drawn five walks in six games and has a pair of extra-base hits already.
A- Quad Cities River Bandits: 3-2 loss to Wisconsin (MIL)
-> Wander Franco: 2-for-5, BB, RBI
-> Tyler Wolfe: 1-for-3, 2 BB
-> Ronnie Dawson: 1-for-4, BB, SB, R
-> Troy Sieber: 1-for-5, BB, R
-> Chuckie Robinson: 1-for-5, BB
-> Bryan De La Cruz: 1-for-5, BB
-> Daz Cameron: 1-for-6, 2B
-> Raymond Henderson: 0-for-4, BB
SP Forrest Whitley: 5.1 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 4 H, 4 BB, 6 K
RP Kevin Hill: 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K (blown save)
RP Dustin Hunt: 3.1 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 5 H, 4 BB, 3 K (loss)
An outing rather typical of Whitley so far; a worrisome amount of walks but dat strike out rate doe... it's at 13.0 K/9 now. 10 of his 16 outs in this game were on strikes or on the ground.
The sample is still tiny on Sieber, but there might be a little something to him. He's a bit old for the level, but he's shown some promise in terms of plate discipline, and he's a lefty. He doesn't appear to have much power, which is a concern as a first baseman, but we'll see.
SS Tri-City ValleyCats: Double-header vs. Connecticut (DET)
Game One: 3-1 loss
-> Kristian Trompiz: 1-for-2, BB, R
-> Randy Vasquez: 1-for-3
-> Kyle Davis: 0-for-1, 2 BB
-> Jake Adams: 0-for-2, BB
-> Corey Julks: 0-for-2, BB
SP Ricardo Castro: 5.0 IP, 3 R (1 ER), 6 H, 3 BB, 4 K (loss)
RP Ben Smith: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K
Game Two: 10-3 loss
-> J.J. Matijevic: 3-for-4, SB, RBI
-> Corey Julks: 2-for-2, SB, 2 BB, 2 R
-> Abraham Toro-Hernandez: 1-for-3, BB
-> Connor MacDonald: 1-for-4, R
-> Kristian Trompiz: 0-for-2, BB, SB
-> Jake Adams: 0-for-3, RBI
SP Alex House: 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K
RP Nathan Thompson: 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 5 BB, 3 K
RP Luis Ramirez: 0.1 IP, 3 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 0 K (loss)
RP Reggie Johnson: 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Toro is hitting, give him that much. How well is the transition behind the plate going? Well, we can't know for now. His pitchers walked nine batters in six innings in the game he caught. How much of it is his fault? Likely not all, maybe not most, but certainly some. Probably. Time will tell the tale. For now, though, the .952 OPS looks nice, if nothing else.
Matijevic is already flashing the hitting talent that let him tear up the Cape Cod League and got him taken in the competitive balance round (thanks, Cardinals). It's four games, but he's tearing it up so far.
RK Greeneville Astros: 6-3 loss to Johnson City (STL)
-> Gilberto Celestino: 2-for-3, BB, SB
-> Chas McCormick: 2-for-4, BB
-> Roman Garcia: 1-for-3, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Martin Figueroa: 1-for-3, BB, RBI
-> Wilson Amador: 1-for-4
-> Joan Mauricio: 0-for-2, BB
-> Cody Bohanek: 0-for-3, 2 BB
-> COlton Shaver: 0-for-4, BB, R
-> Reiny Beltre: 0-for-4, R
SP Tim Hardy: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K (loss)
RP Adam Bleday: 1.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 0 K
RP Bryan Abreu: 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K
RP Dariel Aquino: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K
He's certainly not the only significant talent on the roster, but Celestino is the guy you're watching every day and hoping on. If you're worried that George Springer will bolt for Boston or wherever in a few years, Celestino is one of the guys you're hoping develops up to his talent level. At 18 he's already showing elite ability in centerfield and good signs at the plate. In seven games he has seven walks against four strike outs, and a pair of steals. They're going to be careful with him but make no mistake, he's a guy that could just tear up the lower levels and force himself up to Double-A with releative speed, ala Kyle Tucker. If he has a strong year this year, don't be surprised if he's showing up in the Top 10 area of our organizational prospect lists.
A couple of later-round selections have been early lineup-carriers for Greeneville. McCormick is hitting a cool .500 in his first four games, with three walks against two strike outs, and Bohanek has contributed a .951 OPS in four games himself.
Today's Scheduled Starters
AAA: Joe Musgrove vs. Sam Howard
AA: Kent Emanuel vs. Emilio Ogando
A+: Justin Ferrell vs. Trey Supak
A-: Carlos Sanabria vs. Thomas Jankins
SS: TBD vs. TBD
RK: Noel Pinto vs. Edwar Ramirez