2021 was the Tourists first season as an Astros affiliate since 1993. They had some ups and down but some monster performances too. Let’s take a look.
2021 Record: 54-62, High-A East South Division
The Tourists got off to a solid start going 12-11 in 23 games in May. They struggled some in June going just 10-16 during the 26 games that month. The Tourists had another rough month in July going 9-16 as they suffered from a lot of promotions. Things got another little bit better in August going 13-12. They finished the season strong going 10-7 but missed they playoffs as they finished 5th in High-A East South Division.
Here are the team leaders (min 150 AB or 30 IP):
Hits - Wilyer Abreu (77)
2B - Shay Whitcomb (22)
3B - C.J. Stubbs/Justin Dirden (3)
HR - Enmanuel Valdez (21)
RBI - Enmanuel Valdez (72)
BA - Scott Schreiber (.319)
SB - Shay Whitcomb (16)
OPS - Alex McKenna (1.005)
wRC+ - Alex McKenna (161)
IP - Danny Cody (69.1)
W - Juan Pablo Lopez (6)
SV - Mark Moclair (4)
SO - Danny Cody (90)
ERA - Misael Tamarez (3.48)
Shay Whitcomb, INF
Whitcomb had a breakout 2021 campaign. After starting the year in Low-A, he was promoted to High-A where he really took off. In 58 games for the Tourists Whitcomb slashed .300/.358/.601 with 22 2B, 16 HR, 16 SB. That was good for a 149 wRC+. Whitcomb also lead the team in doubles and stolen bases despite playing just 58 games in High-A.
Matthew Barefoot, OF
Barefoot got off to a hot start in Low-A hitting .344 in 16 games before being promoted to High-A. Barefoot played in 49 games for the Tourists and hit .287 with a .895 OPS and 12 HR in 47 games. Overall for the season he finished with 23 2B, 20 HR, 21 SB in a really good season for the outfielder.
J.C. Correa, INF
Correa started the season in Low-A and slashed .306/.392/.477 with 19 doubles in 56 games including hitting .418 over the final 18 games. He was promoted to the Tourists where he continued to hit slashing .314/.337/.449 with 13 2B, 4 HR. Overall he hit .310 for the season with 32 2B and 9 HR.
Alex McKenna, OF
McKenna played the majority of his season in High-A and put up some gaudy numbers. In 41 games for the Tourists he slashed .305/.389/.616 with 13 HR and 8 SB, good for a team high 161 wRC+. He was promoted to Double-A later but struggled with some minor injuries.
Enmanuel Valdez, INF
Valdez had a breakout season in 2021 showing off his pop, despite his small stature. He lead the team in HR (21) and RBI (72). He only hit .254 but had a .541 SLG and .286 ISO. He was later promoted to Double-A where he had a 131 wRC+ and hit another 5 HR giving him 26 for the season, an organizational high in 2021.
Yainer Diaz, C
Diaz wasn’t with the Tourists long enough to qualify for the BA lead (just 25 games), but put up some gaudy numbers. In those 25 games he hit .396 with 11 HR and 33 RBI. For those interested, that was good for an insane 213 wRC+. Probably one of the better stretches of the minor league season. Overall he hit .324 with 17 HR, 90 RBI.