Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2019 season. This week we will look at the left field position. I will focusing on guys who played the majority of their games at this position.
Previous Position Reviews:
Not much I can say about Alvarez that hasn’t already been said. He only played in 56 games in the minor leagues but had one of the most dominant stretches I have seen in the minors. He started the year in AAA and wasted no time dominating posting a 1.332 OPS with 12 HR, 30 RBI in just 22 games in April. He continued to destroy AAA baseball finishing with a 1.184 OPS in 56 games. He was promoted to Houston where he played primarily DH and 1.067 OPS and 178 wRC+ in 87 games. Overall in 2019 he slashed .325/.424/.690 with 42 2B, 50 HR, 149 RBI in 143 games between AAA and MLB.
2019 Stats: 56 G, .333 BA/.443 OBP/.742 SLG, 16 2B, 23 HR, 71 RBI, 170 wRC+
McCormick was drafted by the Astros in the 21st round of the 2017 draft. McCormick was solid in his first two minor league seasons but really put together a strong year in 2019. He started the year in AA and had a great month of April posting a .890 OPS with 21 BB/9 SO in 20 games. He ended up playing in 53 games for the Hooks and slashed .277/.426/.395. He was promoted to AAA where he slashed .262/.347/.466 with 3 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR in 57 games. Overall he had a 117 wRC+ with 15.0 BB% and 13.8 K%. A solid season from the 24 year old.
2019 Stats: 110 G, .269 BA/.386 OBP/.432 SLG, 6 2B, 6 3B, 14 HR, 66 RBI, 16 SB, 117 wRC+
Costes was a 22nd round pick in 2018 by the Astros. Costes started the year in Quad Cities and slashed .291/.378/.456 with 3 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 20 RBI in 28 games. He was promoted to High-A where he had a .733 OPS with 3 HR, 12 RBI in 29 games. He posted great walk (11.5%) and strikeout (13.2%) rates. Overall he had a .785 OPS with a 131 wRC+ in 57 games.
2019 Stats: 57 G, .270 BA/.370 OBP/.415 SLG, 6 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 5 SB, 131 wRC+
Julks is a local product of Friendswood, TX and the University of Houston. He was drafted by the Astros in the 8th round in 2017. He started the 2019 season in High-A and slashed .266/.369/.389 with 25 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR in 97 games. This was good for a 124 wRC+. He was promoted to AA late in the season and played in just 10 games hitting .162. He will be 24 in 2020 and hopefully can put together a good season for the Hooks.
2019 Stats: 107 G, .256 BA/.358 OBP/.367 SLG, 25 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 10 SB, 115 wRC+
THE REST OF THE PACK
Abreu has been in the Astros system since 2017. In 2019 he made his full season debut playing for Tri-City and Quad Cities. He played in 24 games for the ValleyCats and hit just .229. He was promoted to Quad Cities and actually hit better slashing .270/.355/.385 with 7 2B in 35 games (117 wRC+). He will be 21 years old in 2020 and should be an everyday guy for the River Bandits.
2019 Stats: 59 G, .255 BA/.326 OBP/.365 SLG, 11 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 6 SB, 104 wRC+
The guys who play left field in the minors, don’t always translate to left fielders at the major league level. Like we have seen with Yordan Alvarez. The Astros outfield is pretty set right now but they at least have a little depth down on the farm. McCormick, Julks, and Costes all figure to be in the upper minors and hopefully they will be able to build on their 2019 seasons.