The Hooks had a solid 2023 season including some big time performances. Let’s take a look.
2023 Record: 70-68, Texas League South Division
The Hooks got off to a rough start going 7-13 in 20 games in April. They turned things around in May going 15-12 over 27 games. In June they fell off a bit going 11-14 in 25 games. They played some great baseball in July going 16-8 in 24 games. They slipped in August going 10-17 over 27 games. They finished strong in September going 11-4 over 15 games.
Here are the team leaders (min 150 AB or 40 IP):
Hits - Kenedy Corona (106)
2B - Kenedy Corona (21)
3B - Chad Stevens (5)
HR - Kenedy Corona (20)
RBI - Kenedy Corona (61)
BA - Will Wagner (.309)
SB - Kenedy Corona (31)
OPS - Joey Loperfido (.940)
wRC+ - Joey Loperfido (143)
IP - Julio Robaina (116.0)
W - Julio Robaina (10)
SV - Cole McDonald (7)
SO - Colton Gordon (121)
ERA - Ryan Gusto (2.93)
Kenedy Corona, OF
Corona has shown some of his abilities over the last couple of year but put things together in 2023. The 23-year-old started the season in High-A posting an OPS over 1.000 before a quick promotion to Double-A. For the Hooks, Corona led the team in homers, doubles, stolen bases and runs batted in. Overall he finished the season with a .789 OPS with 21 doubles, 22 homers, 65 runs batted in and 32 stolen bases.
Joey Loperfido, OF
Loperfido arguably had the best season of any Astros prospect. He started the year in High-A but was promoted after just 8 games. He spent most of the season in Double-A and slashed .296/.392/.548 with 19 homers and 20 stolen bases while providing good defense all over the field. He was promoted to Triple-A for the final 34 games where he had a .737 OPS. Overall he finished with 25 homers and 27 stolen bases.
Zach Dezenzo, INF
Dezenzo got off to a blazing start in High-A hitting .407 over the first 31 games of the season, earning him a promotion to Double-A. He battled with some injuries but still managed to post a .825 OPS in 63 games in Double-A. Overall he finished with 23 doubles, 18 homers and 22 stolen bases. Another prospect who showed off some solid power and speed potential.
Will Wagner, INF
Wagner missed some time with injuries but when he was healthy, he was one of the best hitters in the system. In 53 games in Double-A, Wagner hit .309 with a .892 OPS. He earned a late promotion to Triple-A and went 15-for-26 in 6 games. Overall this year Wagner hit .337 with 20 doubles, 7 homers and a .938 OPS in 65 games.
Colton Gordon, LHP
After a breakout 2022 season, Gordon pitched in the most innings of his career in 2023 with 128.1. He started the year in Double-A and struck out 121 over 93.1 innings while posting a 3.95 ERA. He was promoted to Triple-A where he racked up 30 K in 35 innings. The left-hander finished with 151 strikeouts proving to be one of the best starters in the system.
Rhett Kouba, RHP
Kouba put together a great 2023 season. He started the year in Double-A as well and was phenomenal posting a 3.27 ERA with 118 K in 110 innings, showing off really good command. He was promoted to Triple-A where he had a 4.50 ERA in 18 innings. The 12th rounder in 2021 is looking like a steal for the Astros to this point.
Julio Robaina, LHP
Robaina kind of flew under the radar coming off a tough year in 2022 but was great this year. At just 22 years old, Robaina posted a 3.18 ERA with 114 K in 116 innings. He ended the season on fire posting a 1.35 ERA over his final 9 outings. With the lack of left handers in the system, this strong season should push Robaina up the depth chart.
Ryan Gusto, RHP
Gusto also flew under the radar but just kept mowing down hitters. The right-hander struck out 53 in 48.1 innings in Asheville before his promotion to Double-A where he had a 2.93 ERA with 62 K in 61.1 innings. Overall he finished with 115 K in 110 innings while being one of the best pitchers in Corpus Christi.