We’re in our 29th day of reviewing every player to appear in Houston’s system through the 2022 season.
I’ve been very careful about keeping the guys in the majors (or near the majors) for later. The season is still ongoing, after all.
Roger Jorge is a six-foot-one, 180 lb. right-handed relief pitcher from Calimete, Cuba. Born on April 3, 2001, the 2022 season was his first as a professional. He signed with the Astros on November 3, 2021.
Right from the start, control has been a question mark for Jorge. His first six appearances, with the FCL Astros Blue, would see him walk 16, give up five homers, hit two batters, and strike out 10 in 12 1⁄3 innings. Just on a whim, they tried him as a starter. In his only inning as a starter, he struck out one over a perfect first in a 4-2 win against the FCL Marlins on August 6.
After his start, management moved Jorge to the FCL Astros Orange, where he pitched in long relief for three games through the end of the season. Much was better. In 8 2⁄3 innings, he struck out 12 and walked four, allowing two earned runs on five hits and four hit batters.
Jorge enjoyed “normal” progress through his first season, although his relatively advanced age may be slightly concerning. Regardless, he should start the 2023 season with the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
Wilton Lara is a five-foot-11 middle infielder from Bani, DR. Born on January 21, 2004, the Astros signed him to his first professional deal on November 3 last year (along with Jorge and several others). On June 4, they assigned him to the DSL Astros Orange.
Right from the jump, Lara was in high rotation, ranking fifth on the team with 50 appearances through the season. In 148 plate appearances in total, he drew 11 walks and struck out 36 times, slashing .227/.311/.349 with three homers and 14 RBI. He stole 14 bases while getting caught seven times.
On June 18, Lara had his best game as a pro to date. In a 15-13 win against the DSL Guardians Red, he collected two singles, a double, and a solo home run, going four-for-six and scoring three times without a strikeout.
Defensively, Lara played at all of the infield positions, mainly at shortstop. He played 110 1⁄3 innings at short (.909), 76 innings at second (.950), 74 2⁄3 innings at third (1.000), and 17 at first (1.000).
Lara will still be 19 when next season begins. I could see the Astros giving him a lateral promotion to one of the FCL rookie clubs to start. Thanks for reading.