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Astros Crawfish Boil: Thursday, December 29, 2022

It’s your Thursday Boil!

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World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Here’s the Thirsty Thursday Boil.

Houston Astros News

Neris Played Pivotal Role in World Series Win For Houston Astros, Looks to Improve in 2023 (si.com)
I know a lot of you look down on what passes for “reporting” over at SI.COM these days, but it really is slim pickins this time of year.

MLB Insider on Houston Astros plans to extend pitchers: “By the time the season opens, one or both of Valdez and Javier has a long-term extension” (sportskeeda.com)
This is huge if true. I’m hoping they’re both locked up prior to Spring Training.

Five Biggest Houston Sports Stories for 2022 (houstonpress.com)

Here’s Framber Valdez connecting deep from each side of the plate.

MLB News

Surprising stat could breed Yankees-Reds deal at 2023 trade deadline (yanksgoyard)
Good eye, but a 1.308 OPS against a team that’s in another league is a small sample size. The Yankees can go get him, but he’s probably due for a bit of regression in this one thing.

MLB Will Drop FTX Patches For Umpires In 2023, But Partnership Dilemma Remains (forbes.com)

Marlins signing infielder Jean Segura, per reports (local10.com)

Did This Offhand Comment By Carlos Correa Doom His Free Agency? (nesn.com)

For well-managed teams, there’s no such thing as a window of contention (bluejaysnation.com)

How the Red Sox’s half-measure trade deadline is making their departure-filled offseason look even worse (cbssports.com)

“That Is Nuts!”- Ex-World Series Winners Bewitch MLB Fans With a $73 Million Move to Flex Their Long-Term Ambition (essentiallysports.com)

Other News

Celebratory gunfire: This is what you need to know about it before the New Year (click2houston.com)

Oops! All Astros: Drew Gilbert

Drew Gilbert is a five-foot-nine, 185 lb left-handed outfielder from St. Paul, MN. Born on September 27, 2000, he was a 35th-round choice of the Minnesota Twins in 2019 out of Stillwater HS. Instead of signing on, which a lot of would-be students end up doing, Gilbert instead matriculated to the University of Tennessee.

After limited output in 2020 and an underwhelming 2021 despite a full season, Gilbert broke out in a big way in 2022. In 58 games for the Volunteers, he slashed .362/.455/.673 with 11 home runs and 70 RBI. Impressively, he drew more walks than he struck out, with 33 and 32 respectively.

Gilbert’s decision to bet on himself paid off in a big way, literally. At the end of the 2022 first round, the Astros took him off the board with the 28th overall choice. The college has yielded 167 draftees, 32 major leaguers, and with Gilbert, 13 first-rounders. That group is led by Todd Helton (61.8 WAR). Thirty-eight players taken 28th overall have gone on to the majors, led by Gerrit Cole (33.7).

Gilbert signed with the Astros to a contract that included a $2,497,500 bonus. In his professional debut with the FCL Astros Orange on August 4, he collected a pair of singles and an RBI in a 3-2 loss to the FCL Mets. After three games at the rookie level, he was promoted to the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers, and played in each game of their six-game set against the Down East Wood Ducks. He went five-for-21 overall, blasting his first professional dinger on August 10 in a 5-0 victory.