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Astros Dream Draft Tournament Recap and Awards

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A look back at the TCB Astros Dream Draft and Tournament over the past couple weeks.

Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros gets 3000 Career Hit - June 28, 2007 Photo by Bob Levey/WireImage

To close out our Astros Dream Draft Tournament Series, I have collected all the previous articles in this piece for easy reference, and have included cumulative tournament stats for all the players and pitchers as well as awards for MVP, Top Pitcher and Disappointments for the tournament and for each team.

The Draft

The Teams

The Pre-Tournament Analyses

The Tournament

The Tournament Awards

Tournament MVP:

MLB Archive Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Doug Rader, DH, Hatter Colt 45’s - Originally drafted to be the third baseman due to his five gold gloves, Rader ended up relegated to DH duties when it was decided that Alex Bregman’s defensive skills might actually be better. Rader had an inauspicious start to the tournament, striking out twice and grounding into a double play in his first three plate appearances, but after that was just unstoppable. Rader homered in all 3 games, and hit a total of four home runs. They were monster moonshots, with a Game 5 blast traveling 463’ in Minute Maid Park against Hammer, only to be exceeded by a Game 8 bomb that went 464’ in the Astrodome against Cody. He drove in a tournament leading 9 runs, including 5 RBI in the decisive 15th inning of Game 5. He ended the tournament going 6 for 16 with 4 HR, 1 2B and an OPS of 1.599, second only by a hair to Cesar Cedeno’s 1.600 for the H’s.

Tournament Top Pitcher Award:

Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images

Charlie Morton, Cody Blue & Gold - CFM was absolutely unhittable this tournament. That’s not hyperbole either. Through 5 games and 10 innings, not a single batter got a hit off of Charlie Freaking Morton. His performance was easy to overlook, nested away in the fifth and sixth innings of each game, but he ended the tournament with 10 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, and 12 K, with a WHIP of 0.40 in 5 games. Elite, mf. Morton was key reason why the Blue & Gold made as deep a run as they did, because the rest of Cody’s pitching staff, which included J.R. Richard, Dallas Keuchel and Brad Lidge, were not sharp.

Tournament “Thanks For Coming Out” Award

Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals Game 2 Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Lance Berkman, RF, Theta Rainbows - The top offensive pick for the Rainbows in the draft, and one of the Astros most prolific hitters in franchise history, Berkman was expected to generate a lot of the offense for the Rainbows from the cleanup spot. Instead, in two games, Berkman went 0 for 9, struck out 4 times, and drew no walks, for a slash line of .000/.000/.000, ensuring an early exit from the tournament for his team.

Team by Team Stats & Awards

Hatter Colt 45’s (3-0)

  • Game 2: Defeated Theta Rainbows 3-1
  • Game 5: Defeated Hammer H’s 16-12 (15 inn)
  • Game 8: Defeated Cody Blue & Gold 10-3

Colt 45 MVP: Doug Rader, DH - Rader was the tournament MVP, as detailed earlier in this article. But special mention should be made of shortstop Dickie Thon who had just a strong an argument to be MVP. In addition to the two 2-run homers he smacked in the final game, Thon, for the tournament, went 8 for 16 with 4 extra base hits, and an equally impressive 1.556 OPS.

Colt 45 Top Pitcher: Nolan Ryan - While the other team’s pitchers pitching the 3rd and 4th innings (Keuchel, Verlander, Wilson) took their lumps, MLB’s all time strikeout king threw 6 scoreless innings in 3 games, allowing just 2 hits and striking out 11 while only walking 2. Joe Niekro also deserves a mention throwing scoreless seventh innings in all 3 games, allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk.

Colt 45 Disappointment: Turk Farrell, P. With Craig Biggio batting just .182 for the tournament, you might be tempted to pick him, but Biggio drew a tournament leading 7 walks and also got hit by a pitch, giving him a .526 OBP, third overall in the tourney. Once on base, Biggio also contributed a tournament leading five stolen bases. As for Farrell, it’s hard to criticize a team’s second to last draft pick too much, especially when extra innings resulted in more work than he was initially slotted for, but unlike Billy Wagner in Game 5, Farrell was a starting pitcher who should have had a bit more stamina. Instead, he essentially blew the save 3 times in a single game.

Cody Blue & Gold (3-2)

  • Game 1: Lost to Bilbos Brick Red 4-2
  • Game 4: Defeated Theta Rainbows 9-6
  • Game 6: Defeated Bilbos Brick Red 2-1
  • Game 7: Defeated Hammer H’s 13-12 (12 inn.)
  • Game 8: Lost to Hatter Colt 45’s 10-3

Blue & Gold MVP: Moises Alou, LF - Alou drilled a home run in each of the Blue & Gold’s first 4 games before the magic ran out in Game 8. Alou went 6 for 20 with a 2B and 4 HR for a 1.367 OPS, behind only Cedeno, Rader and Thon. Special consideration also goes to catcher Jason Castro, whose Game 4 grand slam turned the tide for the Blue and Gold and allowed them to come back from a 5-1 deficit. Castro also came up clutch again in the bottom of the 10th inning in Game 7, delivering a game-tying RBI single 1 out from elimination. Castro finished 7 for 21, with 1 HR, 6 RBI and a 1.008 OPS.

Blue & Gold Top Pitcher: Charlie Morton - For the most part, the Blue & Gold pitching staff was not good. Morton, however, as detailed earlier in the article, was beyond exceptional.

Blue & Gold Disappointment: Jeff Bagwell, 1B - Drafted first overall, Bagwell did hit a key go ahead 3-run homer in the 7th inning of Game 7. But apart from that, he was virtually invisible the rest of the tournament. The Blue & Gold battled hard from the loser’s bracket to reach Game 8, but with even just a little from Bagwell, they might not have dropped Game 1 to begin with. Bagwell ended 4 for 24 with 13 K and 2 BB. The aforementioned 3-run homer accounted for the only extra base hit and RBI he had during his 5 games.

Hammer H’s (1-2)

  • Game 3: Defeated Bilbos Brick Red 3-2
  • Game 5: Lost to Hatter Colt 45’s 16-12 (15 inn.)
  • Game 7: Lost to Cody Blue and Gold 13-12 (12 inn.)

Hammer H’s MVP: Cesar Cedeno, CF - Simply put, Cedeno put on a spectacular offensive display in the H’s 3 games. If his team had won it all, he would have been an easy pick for tournament MVP. But to paraphrase Joe in Birmingham “No way Cesar Cedeno is player of the (tournament). His team lost.” Still, Cedeno’s 1.600 OPS led all players in the tournament. In total, Cedeno went 8 for 16 at the plate, with a triple and 2 home runs, and 6 RBI. One of his home-runs was a fantastic inside-the-park variety. Cedeno flashed his wheels throughout the tourney, with 4 stolen bases, and was not caught a single time. To top it off, he provide more than a couple web gems in centerfield as well. Honorable mention also goes to second baseman Jeff Kent, who ripped two-run homers left and right (literally) in the tournament.

Hammer H’s Top Pitcher: Ken Giles - The H’s pitching staff was widely vaunted prior to the start of the tournament, but the inclusion of Ken Giles raised some eyebrows, even from the team’s own third baseman Geoff Blum. But while everyone else on the H’s stumbled on the hill, with the pitching woes reaching an apex in Game 7 after the H’s blew an 8 run lead, Giles quietly struck out 5 and walked none in 3 innings of work across 3 games, while allowing no runs and only 2 hits.

Hammer H’s Disappointment: P Justin Verlander - The stats say Billy Wagner pitched the worst, but Wagner was the victim of two extra inning games where he was asked to pitch way more than he could shoulder as a late inning reliever. Verlander, on the other hand, was drafted 6th overall with big expectations to keep the scoring down. Instead he got tagged for a run in Game 5, which the H’s would eventually lose in extras, and in Game 6 screwed the pooch by giving up two home runs and 6 runs with his team up 8-0 to let Cody back into the game at 8-6.

Bilbos Brick Red (1-2)

  • Game 1: Defeated Cody Blue & Gold, 4-2
  • Game 3: Lost to Hammer H’s, 3-2
  • Game 6: Lost to Cody Blue & Gold, 2-1

Brick Red MVP: Jose Altuve, DH. The Brick Red’s first round draft selection was a key piece of an offense that otherwise underperformed. Altuve was productive in each game and finished the tournament 4 for 12, with a .968 OPS and drove in 3 of the Brick Red’s 7 runs in the tournament. Altuve’s 7th inning 2 run home run in Game 1 was the difference in the 4-2 victory, and faced with elimination in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs in Game 6, Altuve delivered an RBI single to keep the team alive, at least for another batter. Consideration also goes to center fielder Carl Everett who led the Brick Red with an OPS of 1.062.

Brick Red Top Pitcher: Larry Dierker. Despite going 1-2, the Brick Red actually had the best pitching in the tournament, allowing no more than 3 runs in any of their games. Unfortunately, the good pitching was not accompanied by good run support. Any one of the six pitchers on staff could be considered for this, but in the end, Dierker’s 0.83 WHIP across 6 innings with 10 strikeout and 0 walks tips the scales towards him. Dierker made just one mistake in the tournament, leaving a pitch over the plate for a 2-run home run by Kent.

Brick Red Disappointment: Bob Watson, 1B. Much of the offense fell short of expectations, but Watson’s .258 OPS as a first baseman drafted early in the 2nd day of the draft gets the nod here. Watson was given the cleanup spot in the lineup and proceeded to manage just one single in 11 at-bats and one walk, Consideration also went to shortstop Miguel Tejada who perhaps single-handedly ensured the Brick Red’s elimination by being tagged out to end Game 6 on an ill-advised attempt to try for home from second on a shallow single to center. But at least he was on base.

Theta Rainbows (0-2)

  • Game 2: Lost to Hatter Colt 45’s 3-1
  • Game 4: Lost to Cody Blue & Gold 9-6

Rainbows MVP: Rusty Staub, 1B Staub went 4 for 9 across 2 games with a home run to lead the Rainbows with a 1.222 OPS. Jose Cruz also came to play going 3 for 8 with 3 doubles and a 1.194 OPS, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the lack of offensive production from the rest of the lineup in Game 2 or the pitching woes in Game 4.

Rainbows Top Pitcher: Octavio Dotel. Dotel gets the honor b default, for the sheer fact that Dotel never even got to play in the tournament, as he was a 9th inning pitcher and the Rainbows lost both their games as the visiting team. Rainbows pitching was subpar across the board in their only two games. Even in Game 2, where they limited Hatter to just 3 runs, the Rainbows still allowed far too many baserunners as Hatter ended the game with 14 LOB. Mike Cuellar was statistically the Rainbows’ best pitcher, but his Game 2 struggles were the difference in the game, leading to the loss.

Rainbows Disappointment: RF Lance Berkman. 0 for 9, 0 BB, 0 runs, 0 RBI, 4 K. Ugh.

Complete Batting and Pitching Tournament Leaders

Batting

Pitching

Thanks to bilbos for initiating this project, HH, Theo and Cody for participating, and to all the TCB readers who followed along!