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Astros Crawfish Boil: November 11, 2022

Free agency is here. Let the games begin.

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent season is officially open, and the first few tentative moves have already been made.

First I want to say that these Crawfish Boils are simply an aggregate of news links that I find by briefly combing the internet each morning for Astros related content. The content in those articles does not reflect the point of view of SB Nation, The Crawfish Boxes, or myself. It’s not my job to decide what constitutes news and what doesn’t. I’m not a gatekeeper. I’m a bellman.

Astros News

Joey Loperfido, a non-ranked Astros prospect, was named a Carolina League All-Star for his play with the High-A Asheville Tourists. In 108 games between them and the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers, he hit .316/.408/.492 with a dozen home runs and 32 stolen bases.

An SI website announced there were nine Astros players nominated for the All-MLB Team. José Altuve, Jeremy Peña, Alex Bregman, Yordan Álvarez, Kyle Tucker, Justin Verlander, Cristian Javier, Framber Valdez, and Ryan Pressly are all in the running for the honors.

The word “news” implies that something is new, but Verlander opting out is a development we’ve long been coming to terms with. He made it official yesterday by declining his option.

Altuve and Álvarez were each announced as winners of a Silver Slugger Award, for second base and designated hitter, respectively.

A Fangraphs deep-dive into Houston’s success with “swing path diversity.” Fascinating stuff. Advanced stats keep getting more...advanced.

MLB News

Here’s all of the Silver Slugger Award winners.

Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers came to terms on a one-year deal.

The Texas Rangers are expected to go all-in to upgrade their rotation, starting with Jacob deGrom and Carlos Rodón.

Yardbarker graded each team in the American League West. In no huge shocker, the Astros finished with an A+.

Player evaluation is becoming ever more difficult.

Fangraphs also have managerial “report cards.” For example, Aaron Boone finished with a B.

Oops! All Astros: Ernesto Jaquez is a six-foot-two, 190 lb. right-handed pitcher from Santo Domingo, DR. Born on June 11, 1999, he signed with the Astros to a deal that included a $95,000 signing bonus on July 2, 2017.

From 2017 through 2021, Jaquez spent time at the rookie level three different affiliates, the short-season-A level with the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Low-A level with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, and the High-A level with the Asheville Tourists.

Jaquez started the 2022 campaign with the Woodpeckers, and made his season debut in their season-opener, April 8 in a 6-5, 13-inning loss to the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. Jaquez blew the save despite allowing only one hit over six relief innings, striking out eight, and walking only two. Unfortunately, the one hit was a home run. On April 20, in a 3-1 win against the Augusta GreenJackets, he earned a 12-out save, striking out 10 over four innings against one hit and two walks.

Over four appearances, he struck out 29 in 18 13 innings and held his opponents to a .145/.254/.226 slashline and a 0.927 WHIP. His sparkling bottom line would see him quickly moved up to High-A with the Tourists. He appeared for 17 games with Asheville through the rest of the season, starting 11 times. On August 7, he struck out two and allowed one hit and one walk over four shutout innings in a 7-1 win against the Hickory Crawdads.

Over 58 innings with Asheville, Jaquez put up a 7.29 ERA and struck out 47 with a 1.741 WHIP and a .266/.384/.515 opposing slashline. His solid showing at the lower level early in the season seemingly offset in much longer exposure at the higher level could cost him.