The Crawfish Boxes are reviewing all 316 players to appear in Houston’s system through the 2022 season.
Alex Palmer is a five-foot-10, 160 lb. right-handed switch-hitting pitcher from Arlington, TX. Born on May 15, 1998, he was Houston’s 20th round pick in 2019 with the 616th overall pick and signed with an $80,000 bonus. The only player taken 616th to make it to the majors was Mike Barlow.
Palmer had started the 2019 season striking out 109 in 107 collegiate innings with Stephen F. Austin, with a WHIP of 0.944. After getting drafted, he was sent to the Gulf Coast League to play for the Astros rookie club, where he put up a 1.000 WHIP over 22 innings, with 29 more strikeouts and a 3.27 ERA.
After involuntarily taking the 2020 season off, Palmer pitched a total of 30 innings between the FCL rookie club and the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers. Again, he put up very solid numbers including a 1.067 WHIP and 46 strikeouts for a 13.8 K/9. Opponents slashed an anemic .187/.269/.234 when attempting to hit Palmer.
In the 2022 season, Palmer was limited to just six innings in August with the FCL Astros Blue. He faced 20 batters, walking one, giving up one hit, and striking out 14 in six innings.
There is little in the way of player notes for prospects so low in the system, but I’m surmising from what is available that Palmer was likely injured for most of the year. Coming back in August as he did, and putting up the stat line he did (in a very small sample size), I’d say that Palmer is ready for a level far above the rookie team.
Yeuris Ramirez is a six-foot, 170 lb. infielder from Santo Domingo, DR. Born on November 28, 1998, the right-hander signed with the Astros through free agency for $500,000 on July 2, 2015.
Since that time, Ramirez has slowly worked his way up through Houston’s system, finally getting to the Low-A level with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers in 2021. At the dawn of the 2022 campaign, he was still ensconced with the Peckers.
On July 22, in a 10-5 win over the Kannapollis Cannon Ballers, Ramirez hit a single and a double with three RBI. On August 2, he hit three singles with two runs scored and an RBI in an 8-4 victory against the Salem Red Sox.
In 68 games in total for Fayetteville, Ramirez slashed .199/.311/.319, with six homers and 25 RBI. He stole 12 bases in 16 attempts, and struck out 97 times against 25 walks in 254 PA. On August 8, the Astros released Ramirez back into free agency.