This offseason, we’re recapping each and every one of the 316 players to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.
Before you check me, I know that we aren't yet in the offseason. I had to start a wee bit early to fit every player at a pace of two-a-day to finish in time for Spring Training.
Jose Arias is a five-foot-10, 170 lb. outfielder from Sabana Grande de Palenque, DR. Born on November 3, 2004, he’s still not quite 18 at the time of this publication. On January 15, 2022, the Astros signed him to a deal through free agency, and eventually assigned him to the DSL Astros Orange squad. In 24 games, he hit .226/.304/.323 with six doubles and seven RBI. He drew five walks against 31 whiffs in 69 plate appearances.
On July 9, the Astros moved Arias across the yard to the Blue squad, where Arias slashed .115/.216/.205 in 33 contests. He hit two triples and a home run, with five RBI. Unfortunately, he also struck out 45 times against five walks in 88 plate appearances.
Combined between the two clubs, Arias stole 14 bases in 19 attempts. Defensively, he made a total of eight errors in 331 2⁄3 innings in the outfield, good for a .913 overall fielding percentage. I’m willing to chalk this up to the pressure of being 17-years-old and getting paid to play baseball professionally, but Arias needs to learn patience and fielding fundamentals in order to advance through the system.
Palmer Wenzel is a six-foot-one, 195 lb. relief pitcher from San Antonio, TX. Born on February 11, 1997, Wenzel played two seasons in junior college before joining Texas-San Antonio for three years (and Texas U for one) starting in 2018. His major college stats were pretty good — a 12-2 record with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He struck out 72 batters against 30 walks over 89 innings in total.
Whatever the case, Wenzel didn’t get drafted after his final season in 2021, and elected instead to join the Missoula Paddleheads in the independent Pioneer League. He went 4-0 with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.81 WHIP. Houston took a flyer on him on February 16 of this year.
First assigned to the High-A level with the Asheville Tourists, Wenzel allowed 18 runs (16 earned) in 16 innings. He surrendered 23 hits and 16 walks while striking out only 12. A month into his professional career and the Astros sent Wenzel down one level to the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
Wenzel impressed in his first appearance with the Woodpeckers, striking out the side on June 10 in a perfect fourth inning of a 7-1 victory against the Delmarva Shorebirds.
While with Fayetteville, Wenzel got into eight games in relief, and struck out eight in 11 2⁄3 innings. He also walked nine and gave up 10 hits for 10 runs (nine earned). Between the two clubs he had put up a 1.884 WHIP, and Houston released him on July 18.