The minor league season is about a month in and the Astros have seen some great performances. Here are some of the early notable performances in the Astros farm system, with one obvious prospect on here...
Yordan Alvarez, LF/1B
It’s already been said quite a bit, but what Alvarez has done so far in 2019 has been remarkable. So far this season, in 24 games, he is slashing .402 BA/.490 OBP/.931 SLG. He has 10 2B, 12 HR, 36 RBI. He has done this while improving his walk percentage (12.2% to 13.7%) and improving his strikeout percentage (24.9% to 18.6%). He has an insane .529 ISO and 231 wRC+. Alvarez also has a beautiful spread with 30.9% pull, 33.8% center, 35.3% oppo. Small sample to this point, but he has done everything he can at this point to make his name known and earn a call up.
Brett Conine, RHP
Conine was an 11th round pick in the 2018 draft. He has been nothing short of spectacular this season. Conine has pitched in 5 games and posted a 2.25 ERA. He also have 2.71 FIP and 1.92 xFIP. He has totaled 28 innings and has a ridiculous 2 BB/34 K. That’s good for a 31.7 K-BB%, which leads all pitching on the Quad Cities roster with at least 15 innings pitched. To add to that, he has a great 61.9 GB% and 15.8 HR/FB% which is very high. Opponents are hitting just .162 off of him this season.
Nivaldo Rodriguez, RHP
Rodriguez has been around a while but made his full season but this year at 22 years old. Like Conine, he has also dominated the Midwest League posting a 1.33 ERA, 2.38 FIP and 2.34 xFIP. He has 3 BB/33 K in 27 innings, which is good for a 29.1 K-BB%. He is also doing this with a reasonable .262 BABIP. I think we will see Rodriguez and Conine move up to High-A in the near future.
Parker Mushinski, LHP
Mushinski was a 7th round pick in the 2017 draft, one that has been great for the Astros farm system. In just 19.1 innings he has struck out 30 (13.9 K/9). He also has a solid 50.0 GB% and hasn’t really been lucky given his .318 BABIP and 25.0 HR/FB%. One could argue that these numbers could improve. In the past couple season, Mushinski has posted great K rates but the improvement in walks and K-BB (30.1%) has led to a great start for the former Red Raider.
Chas McCormick, OF
McCormick has been in the system since 2017 and has had some solid numbers, but he has seen one major improvement this season. His one major improvement has been his walk rate, which is all the way up to 22.1 BB%. This is well up from his 8.8 BB% in 2018. He has also improved his K% down from 13.4 K% to just 9.5 K%. He may never hit for a ton of power, but if he can play solid defense and get on base, he can have a place on a roster somewhere. He has a 142 wRC+ this season with a reasonable .290 BABIP too.