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Houston Astros News
Why avoiding arbitration with Framber Valdez is a sign of good things to come for Astros (Houston.sportsmap.com)
MLB Analyst Mocks A Major Astros Snub (thecoldwire.com)
Comparing the Astros and Guardians offenses (coveringthecorner.com)
White Sox Agree To Minor League Deals With Jake Marisnick, Erik Gonzalez (mlbtraderumors.com)
Sunday Notes: Ceddanne Rafaela Might Be Boston’s Answer in Center (or Short) (blog.fangraphs.com)
Why Bo Bichette’s Wheels Fell Off in 2022 (blogs.fangraphs.com)
Oops! All Astros: Justin Dirden
Justin Dirden is a six-foot-three, 209 lb. outfielder from O’Fallon, MO. Born on July 16, 1997, he was signed by Houston after going undrafted out of SE Missouri State in the 2020 draft.
Dirden split his first professional season, 2021, between the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers and the High-A Asheville Tourists. In 83 games combined between the two levels, he slashed .274/.394/.537 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI.
Dirden is currently ranked as Houston’s number 11 prospect, by MLB Pipeline:
Strong and physical at 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, Dirden’s top tool is his plus raw left-handed power. He consistently launches balls to his pull side, and while his approach comes with some strikeouts, he also works counts and draws walks. He has enough feel for hitting that he could bat .260 with 20 homers and 60 walks season if he reaches his ceiling. - MLB Pipeline
After his promising numbers in his first professional exposure, Dirden started the 2022 season with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. In 92 games, he totaled multiple hits 34 times. On July 13, he hit a double and two home runs with four home runs in a 10-3 win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The entire month of July, in fact, was incredible for Dirden, as he hit .412/.500/.741 in 22 games, with six homers and 19 RBI. In 92 games he slashed out a very nice .324/.411/.616 line with 20 round-trippers and 73 RBI.
A week into August, Dirden was promoted to the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys, and played in 32 games at the still-higher level. Although his slashline suffered in comparison, at .242/.305/.398, he still has the benefit of time and a crowded situation in Houston before he’s likely called on. Look for him to make an appearance sometime in 2023 as an injury replacement, but he’ll start the year back at the Triple-A level.