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Astros Crawfish Boil: Friday, January 13, 2023

It’s Friday the 13th and no baseball today, so here’s another Crawfish Boil.

Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Welcome to your Friday the 13th Boil!

Houston Astros News

Do the Houston Astros still have the AL West’s top pitching rotation? (

Three arbitration-eligible Astros merit consideration for long-term deals ($$)

A.J. Hinch shares thoughts on Astros’ legacy in aftermath of sign-stealing scandal (

Fading Mattress Mack Based on Past Betting History (

MLB News

Report: Mets interested in McCutchen, Mancini (

2023 MLB Spring Training Schedule: When Do Pitchers and Catchers Report? (
tl;dr — February 16 for pitchers and catchers, February 21 for everyone else.

Dodgers release Trevor Bauer. Will an MLB team sign him? ($$)

New York Teams Firmly in 2023 MLB Contention (

All-Star closer Billy Wagner: “I’ve watched so many Hall of Fame speeches just thinking about how it would be if I was there” (

MLB Power Rankings: Where teams stand 1 month before camps open (

MLB Analyst believes Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami could be a superstar for the Oakland Athletics (

Oops! All Astros: Zach Daniels

Zach Daniels is a six-foot-one, 220 lb. outfielder from Stockbridge, GA. Born on January 23, 1999, he was Houston’s fourth-round selection in the 2020 draft, with the 131st pick off the board out of the University of Tennessee. Nineteen players have reached the majors after getting picked 131st overall, led by Ed Whitson (21.2 WAR). As for the Volunteers, Daniels could be the 33rd to reach the big leagues, led by Todd Helton (61.8 WAR).

After agreeing to a deal with Houston that included a $400,000 signing bonus, Daniels split his initial professional campaign between the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers and the High-A Asheville Tourists. In 85 combined games he slashed a disappointing .224/.342/.358, with nine home runs, 48 RBI, and 22 stolen bases in 28 attempts.

The 2022 season would see Daniels remain with the Tourists to start the year. He collected 25 hits multiple times through the campaign, including a dozen times where he finished with at least three. On August 19, he collected four hits, including two homers and finishing with six RBI in a 14-7 win against the Aberdeen IronBirds. On September 6, he hit another pair of home runs, adding a single in a 7-5 win against the Greenville Drive.

Daniels played in a team-fifth 95 games in 2022, and put together a very respectable .282/.371/.522 slashing as Houston’s number 29 ranked prospect. According to MLB Pipeline:

Daniels has at least 20-20 upside if he can learn to make consistent contact. His quickness plays better on the bases than in the outfield, but he could fit in center if he refines his reads and routes. - MLB Pipeline

Daniels led the Tourists with 23 jacks and tied for the team lead with 64 RBI. He was second on the club with 22 stolen bases in 27 attempts, and drew 48 walks while striking out 127 times. His .894 OPS ranked tops on the team of players with more than 240 plate appearances.

Defensively, Daniels played 240 23 innings in left field (.979 fielding percentage), 222 13 innings in center (.952), and 185 13 in right (1.000). Following the regular minor league season, he went seven-for-40 in Fall League ball with the Surprise Saguaros. Look for Daniels to start the 2023 season with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.