We’re reviewing each of the 316 players to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.
Assigned to the Rookie-Level DSL Astros Blue squad to begin his professional career, Rosario opened his season by striking out six over a three-inning start on June 9. He also allowed three runs on four walks and a pair of hits in a 10-9 loss to the DSL White Sox. On July 25, he struck out four over three hitless shutout innings for no decision in a 2-1 loss to the DSL Blue Red Sox.
Rosario appeared in a total of only 10 games for the Blues, holding opponents to a .215 batting average with a .392 OBP (due to his 21.7 percent walk rate). In spite of that sky-high walk-rate, Rosario managed an OPS of .661 over 120 plate appearances. He struck out 27 in 25 2⁄3 innings, with a 1.792 WHIP and an 0-2 record with a 7.01 ERA.
Notably, Rosario had extreme starter vs reliever splits, with 9.22 ERA and 2.195 WHIP as a starter and a 4.50 ERA and a 1.333 WHIP as a relief pitcher. still not-yet-20, I would be surprised to see him start the season anywhere but back in the DSL for another campaign.
Narbe Cruz is a six-foot-three, 181 lb. infielder from Havana, Cuba. Born on October 1, 2000, the Astros signed him through free agency for $218,000 on September 16, 2020.
Cruz received his first assignment to join the FCL Astros in 2021, and played in 34 games at first, second, and third base. He hit .221/.361/.291 with one homer and seven RBI. He drew 14 walks against 24 whiffs in 108 plate appearances.
In 2022, Houston split their FCL affiliate (and the DSL affiliate for that matter), into two (the orange squad and the blue). Cruz went back and forth between them at least seven times through the season. In 48 games, he collected multiple hits nine times. On August 20, he hit two doubles for four RBI in a 10-1 Orange win against the FCL Cardinals.
Overall, Cruz slashed .260/.313/.383 with two homers and 21 RBI in 48 combined games between the two affiliates. He drew 10 walks and struck out 28 times in 166 plate appearances. He also stole five bases in seven attempts.
Defensively, Cruz spent the lion’s share of his playing time at second base (169 2⁄3 innings, .943 fielding percentage). He also spent time at third base (73, .964), first base (48 1/3, .975), and shortstop (13 2/3, .667)
I don’t have the inside track on what the Astros have planned for any of their minor league assets, but Cruz is likely ticketed for the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers. Thanks for reading.