Thursday, December 14, 2017

Astros Transactions: Hot Stove and Rule 5

A few more Astros transactions to report ...

On Wednesday, the Astros agreed to a two-year deal with RHP Joe Smith. (Deadspin weighs in on his uncommonly common name here.) The Astros were looking for a veteran bullpen arm and with 11 seasons worth of experience in MLB for five different teams, Smith qualifies. In 698 games over the years, he has a 44-28 record with 30 saves, a 2.97 ERA and a 1.185 WHIP. In 2017, he appeared in 59 games (54IP) with a 3.33 ERA, a 1.037 WHIP and 10 walks to 71 strikeouts.

In today's Rule 5 Draft, the Astros picked up LHP Anthony Gose from the Rangers. Wait. What?! I thought he was an OF! Well, he was. That was until he wasn't. It seems that when you can throw 100 mph as a lefty, you get the attention of a team looking for lefty bullpen pitching like the Astros. He's only pitched in 11 games competitively, all in the High-A Florida State League. Two rough outings blew up his ERA to 7.59, but he held batters to a .189 batting average in his 10.2 innings of work. Keeping Gose on the 25-man roster for the 2018 season isn't going to be easy, but there is some exceptional upside if he can pull off this whole pitching gig. Gose may sound familiar to you. He was an Astro for a nanosecond in 2010. Baseball is a crazy world.

Elieser Hernandez - August 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

On the other side of the coin, the Astros lost RHP Elieser Hernandez to the Marlins in the Rule 5 draft. The baby-faced 22-year old Venezuelan has never pitched above High-A and has been quite inconsistent at times, but (according to my notes from 2016) has a lively low to mid-90's fastball and a solid changeup to work with. He missed almost two months of the 2017 season, but when he made it back to Buies Creek in the latter part of July, he put up a very strong 2.67 ERA and 1.069 WHIP in his final eight games of the season there. In four starts in Venezuela this winter, he had a 2.20 ERA and a 0.918 WHIP in a very competitive league. If Hernandez can show consistency with the Marlins, he could potentially stick with that team.

In the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, the Astros selected LHP Chris Nunn from the Cubs. After sitting out all of 2016, Nunn appeared in one game for the Independent League Evansville Otters in 2017 before being scooped up by the Cubs and sent to their AA club. In four starts for the Tennessee Smokies, he had a 4.76 ERA and a 1.353 WHIP. Nunn can reportedly throw in the range of 97-98. He was first drafted by the Padres in the 24th round in 2012 out of Lipscomb University and was 27 in October. As a reminder, in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, the player basically becomes the property of the selecting team so there will be no need to offer Nunn back to the Cubs if he doesn't work out.

Also of interest to some of the long-time Astros minor league fans out there, RHP Drew Muren is on the move again. Drafted by the Astros as an outfielder in the 22nd round in 2011, Muren reinvented himself as a pitcher in 2015. After spending time in the Diamondbacks organization, he found himself picked up by the Giants in August. Muren was selected from the Giants by the Blue Jays in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft today.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 12-13

Better late than never with the latest Astros offseason news ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

Chuckie Robinson - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

12-13: RHP Luis Garcia (21)
12-14: OF Wilson Amador (21)
12-14: C Carlos Canelon (23)
12-14: RHP Hunter Martin (23)
12-14: OF/IF Kendy Moya (19)
12-14: C Chuckie Robinson (23)
12-15: DH/C Freddy Chirino (18)
12-15: RHP Nathanael Ventura (22)
12-16: 1B/OF Jose Benjamin (22)
12-16: OF Bryan de la Cruz (21)

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

The Astros started the winter meeting off quietly by signing two players to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

C Tim Federowicz was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the 7th round in 2008 out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was later traded to the Dodgers in 2011 and then to the Padres in 2014 and spent the last two seasons in the Cubs and Giants organizations, signing with those two teams as a free agent. Federowicz turned 30 in August and has played in 119 major league games scattered over six seasons, hitting a combined .196/.245/.313 and catching 34% of would be base stealers. In 77 games for the AAA Sacramento River Cats in 2017, he hit .300/.366/.463 with a 30% caught stealing rate.

RHP Matt Ramsey, who turned 28 in September, was drafted by the Rays in the 19th round in 2011 out of the University of Tennessee, was traded to the Marlins in 2014 and then was picked up by the Brewers in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft last December. He has no major league service time. Ramsey spent the vast majority of his 2017 season with AA Biloxi, compiling a 3-3 record with 27 saves, a 3.65 ERA, a 1.353 WHIP and 18 walks to 58 strikeouts in 44.1 innings of work. He appeared in five games with the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox in July with mostly forgettable results.

The cumulative Astros offseason transaction list can be found here.

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL) - SEASON OVER

The Mesa Solar Sox ended their fall campaign with a 16-13-1 record to lead the East, but ultimately fell 8-2 to the West in the Arizona Fall League Championship game on 11/18.

RHP Dean Deetz - 8G 4.91 ERA/1.182 WHIP 11.0IP 4BB:23SO
RHP Riley Ferrell - 9G 4.66 ERA/1.552 WHIP 9.2IP 9BB:7SO
RHP Brendan McCurry - 5G 4.05 ERA/1.350 WHIP 6.2IP 3BB:5SO (last played 10/30)
LHP Framber Valdez - 6G/6ST 3.20 ERA/1.627 WHIP 19.2IP 8BB:14SO
1B Yordan Alvarez - 4G .313/.353/.438 3B 1BB:6SO (last played 10/14)
3B/2B Nick Tanielu - 2G .000/.000/.000 (last played 10/16)
OF Kyle Tucker - 22G .214/.305/.310 6-2B 3B 9RBI 9BB:22SO 2SB:0CS

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)

No active Astros players played over the last week.

Other Astros minor leaguers may be and likely are still with the teams and working out with them even if they aren't getting any playing time. In years past, the Liga Paralela (the Venezuelan version of the minor league) featured many Astros minor leaguers, but due to the current economic issues in Venezuela, the league was roughly cut in half and very few Astros players are participating this year.

Aguilas de Zulia
SS Kristian Trompiz - 10G .227/.320/.227 3BB:4SO (last played 10/28)
RHP Elieser Hernandez - 5G/5ST 2.11 ERA/0.844 WHIP 21.1IP 6BB:22SO (last played 11/6)

Bravos de Margarita
2B Alfredo Angarita - 29G .304/.396/.337 2B 3B 8RBI 13BB:27SO 4SB:3CS (last played 11/26)

Leones del Caracas
RHP Diosward Gonzalez - 2G 6.75 ERA/2.251 WHIP 1.1IP 2BB:0SO (last played 10/19)
RHP Yoanys Quiala - 4G/2ST 7.45 ERA/1.448 WHIP 9.2IP 5BB:8SO (last played 10/31)
C Gabriel Bracamonte - 3G .125/.125/.125 0BB:2O (last played 10/28)

MEXICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LMP)

Akeem Bostick - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Akeem Bostick's last start on Friday was not his best. After dominating in his previous start, he allowed two runs on four hits and five (!) walks in only three innings of work. He only managed to throw 36 of his 68 pitches for strikes, a far cry from the 57 strikes in 78 pitches in his last start.

Jacob Dorris only appeared once since my last post, on last Thursday. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning, but still gave up two walks. Walks have definitely been an issue for Dorris this winter. In this particular game, he threw 16 pitches, only six of which were strikes.

But it's not all bad news in the LMP. After a dreadful start to his fall campaign and after sitting out for about two and a half weeks, Drew Ferguson got the start in right field last night and went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. And he didn't strike out! Baby steps!

Caneros de la Mochis (20-34 8th place)
RHP Akeem Bostick - 10G/10ST 2.85 ERA/1.244 WHIP 41IP 17BB:45SO
OF Drew Ferguson - 5G .095/.136/.143 1BB:8SO

Naranjeros de Hermosillo (28-26 5th place)
RHP Jacob Dorris - 8G 8.64 ERA/2.280 WHIP 8.1IP 10BB:2SO

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)

Rodrigo Ayarza - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Utility switch-hitter Rodrigo Ayarza has definitely tailed off since his great start for Adelaide, but he's still contributing. In his last four games, he was 4-for-17 with a double, RBI, four runs scored and a stolen base. He struck out twice to zero walks.

Adelaide Bite (3-13 6th place)
Rodrigo Ayarza - 16G .266/.309/.453 6-2B 2HR 5RBI 4BB:17SO

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)

Reymin Guduan has made three appearances since my last post, allowing only one hit (a double) and stranding all three of the runners he inherited. His first outing of the season wasn't pretty, but he's managed to lower his ERA by nine points this week. Again, baby steps!

Reymin Guduan - June 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Gigantes del Cibao (23-20 2nd place)
LHP Reymin Guduan - 5G 4.50 ERA/2.500 WHIP 2.0IP 2BB:1SO

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LBPRC)

The LBPRC has set January 6 as their target date to begin play.
NEWS AND LINKS

The Rule 5 Draft will be tomorrow at 8:00 CST and will be audio streamed live on MLB. With Jeff Luhnow indicating recently that he may be looking for a Christmas (or Hanukkah) bargain, here are the top available Rule 5 prospects (from Jonathan Mayo) he may be considering. Baseball America also has a list of their top five Rule 5 prospects here. Happy Shopping! And here is the info on the Astros that could be taken in the draft.

I supported the Justin Verlander trade wholeheartedly at the time and I still do, but do yourself a favor and bottle up that World Series feeling. You may need it in the future when these three players make their marks in the MLB.

BP came out with their Top 10 Astros prospect list (plus 11 more to watch) last week.

FORMER ASTROS UPDATE

Abraham Toro-Hernandez and Jorge Guzman - August 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As you may or may not remember, flamethrowing RHP Jorge Guzman was traded to the Yankees as a part of the November 2016 deal bringing C Brian McCann to Houston. Guzman pitched for Short Season A Staten Island in 2017, compiling a 5-3 record with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.035 WHIP in 13 starts. He walked 18 while striking out 88 in 66.2 innings. Guzman is on the move again, this time included in this week's Marlins-Yankees trade for OF Giancarlo Stanton. Guzman has been assigned (initially) to the Batavia Muckdogs, but I expect to see him make his full season debut in 2018. He will be 22 in January. Watch this space.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 12/4

Checking in on the Astros playing in Winter Leagues and some news and links, but first things first ...

WISHING A HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

Oscar Campos - August 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

12-4: RHP Joe Musgrove (25)
12-6: RHP Freylin Garcia (20)
12-6: 1B Taylor Jones (24)
12-7: OF Frankeny Fernandez (21)
12-8: C Oscar Campos (21)
12-8: C/DH Kelvin Perez (19)
12-9: RHP Wender Oberto (18)
12-10: RHP Chauncey Nunez (19)

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL) - SEASON OVER

The Mesa Solar Sox ended their fall campaign with a 16-13-1 record to lead the East, but ultimately fell 8-2 to the West in the Arizona Fall League Championship game on 11/18.

RHP Dean Deetz - 8G 4.91 ERA/1.182 WHIP 11.0IP 4BB:23SO
RHP Riley Ferrell - 9G 4.66 ERA/1.552 WHIP 9.2IP 9BB:7SO
RHP Brendan McCurry - 5G 4.05 ERA/1.350 WHIP 6.2IP 3BB:5SO (last played 10/30)
LHP Framber Valdez - 6G/6ST 3.20 ERA/1.627 WHIP 19.2IP 8BB:14SO
1B Yordan Alvarez - 4G .313/.353/.438 3B 1BB:6SO (last played 10/14)
3B/2B Nick Tanielu - 2G .000/.000/.000 (last played 10/16)
OF Kyle Tucker - 22G .214/.305/.310 6-2B 3B 9RBI 9BB:22SO 2SB:0CS

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)

No active Astros players played over the last week.

Other Astros minor leaguers may be and likely are still with the teams and working out with them even if they aren't getting any playing time. In years past, the Liga Paralela (the Venezuelan version of the minor league) featured many Astros minor leaguers, but due to the current economic issues in Venezuela, the league was roughly cut in half and very few Astros players are participating this year.

Aguilas de Zulia (22-23 5th place)
SS Kristian Trompiz - 10G .227/.320/.227 3BB:4SO (last played 10/28)
RHP Elieser Hernandez - 5G/5ST 2.11 ERA/0.844 WHIP 21.1IP 6BB:22SO (last played 11/6)

Bravos de Margarita  (19-27 7th place)
2B Alfredo Angarita - 29G .304/.396/.337 2B 3B 8RBI 13BB:27SO 4SB:3CS (last played 11/26)

Leones del Caracas (27-20 2nd place)
RHP Diosward Gonzalez - 2G 6.75 ERA/2.251 WHIP 1.1IP 2BB:0SO (last played 10/19)
RHP Yoanys Quiala - 4G/2ST 7.45 ERA/1.448 WHIP 9.2IP 5BB:8SO (last played 10/31)
C Gabriel Bracamonte - 3G .125/.125/.125 0BB:2O (last played 10/28)

MEXICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LMP)

Akeem Bostick - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Akeem Bostick pitched a brilliant game on Saturday, but was deprived of the win as his Los Mochis teammates couldn't breach the run column until the ninth inning. Bostick allowed two singles, a ground-rule double and a walk over six shutout innings, throwing 57 of his 78 pitches for strikes with four swinging strikeouts. He lowered his ERA from 3.09 to 2.61.

Jacob Dorris appeared twice this past week, but he would probably prefer to forget the first of those two outings in which an intentional walk to load the bases was immediately following by a bases clearing triple from former Astro Jason Bourgeois. His second outing was a little quieter as he allowed one hit over a scoreless two-thirds of an inning.

Caneros de la Mochis (18-29 8th place)
RHP Akeem Bostick - 9G/9ST 2.61 ERA/1.105 WHIP 38IP 12BB:44SO
OF Drew Ferguson - 4G .056/.056/.111 0BB:8SO (last played 11/24)

Naranjeros de Hermosillo (25-22 Tied for 3rd place)
RHP Jacob Dorris - 7G 9.82 ERA/2.318 WHIP 7.1IP 8BB:2SO

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)

Rodrigo Ayarza - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Last week I noted that utility switch-hitter Rodrigo Ayarza had yet to draw a walk in his time in Adelaide. He must have heard me because he walked four times in his last four games as he went 3-for-11 with four runs scored, three strikeouts and an outfield assist in those games. Ayarza continues to provide a solid contribution to the Bite despite that team's dismal performance in the standings.

Adelaide Bite (2-10 6th place)
Rodrigo Ayarza - 12G .277/.333/.511 5-2B 2HR 4RBI 4BB:15SO

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)

Reymin Guduan showed up on the Gigantes roster this week. In his first game, he allowed two singles and a walk without recording an out and was charged with one run after he left the game. Yesterday's game went a bit better as Guduan got two quick ground outs before walking a runner and getting lifted.

Reymin Guduan - June 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Gigantes del Cibao (20-18 3rd place)
LHP Reymin Guduan - 2G 13.50 ERA/5.997 WHIP 0.2IP 2BB:0SO

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LBPRC)

The LBPRC has set January 6 as their target date to begin play.


NEWS AND LINKS

Very few roster moves have been posted so far this winter, but Dustin and I are keeping up with all of them here.

The Twelve Days of Astros (World Series style).

As I reported last week, several Astros minor leaguers were playing in the Pan-Am U-23 Baseball Tournament, including SS Jonathan Arauz (Panama) and RHP Yohan RamirezRHP Robert Corniel and UTIL Marcos Almonte for the Dominican Republic. According to Quad Cities former Manager Russ Steinhorn, SS Osvaldo Duarte and 3B Randy Cesar were also on the Dominicana squad. The tournament concluded over the weekend with Venezuela defeating Mexico for the gold. The Dominican Republic team lost in the bronze match to Puerto Rico, but will advance (along with those other teams) to the U-23 World Baseball Cup in 2018.


The World Baseball Softball Confederation site has more info on the tournament.

The Rule 5 Draft isn't until next week, but with Jeff Luhnow indicating recently that he may be looking for a Christmas bargain, here are the top available Rule 5 prospects he may be considering. Happy Shopping! And here is the info on the Astros that could be taken in the draft.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December Astros Birthdays

Happy Birthday to all these Astros December babies!!!

WISHING A HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ...

Frankeny Fernandez - August 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

12-1: RHP Jean Reyes (20)
12-2: RHP Ronny Garcia (18)
12-2: SS Miguelangel Sierra (20)
12-2: IF Kristian Trompiz (22)
12-4: RHP Joe Musgrove (25)
12-6: RHP Freylin Garcia (20)
12-6: 1B Taylor Jones (24)
12-7: OF Frankeny Fernandez (21)
12-8: C Oscar Campos (21)
12-8: C/DH Kelvin Perez (19)
12-9: RHP Wender Oberto (18)
12-10: RHP Chauncey Nunez (19)
12-13: RHP Luis Garcia (21)
12-14: OF Wilson Amador (21)
12-14: C Carlos Canelon (23)
12-14: RHP Hunter Martin (23)
12-14: OF/IF Kendy Moya (19)
12-14: C Chuckie Robinson (23)
12-15: DH/C Freddy Chirino (18)
12-15: RHP Nathanael Ventura (22)
12-16: 1B/OF Jose Benjamin (22)
12-16: OF Bryan de la Cruz (21)
12-20: 3B/C Abraham Toro-Hernandez (21)
12-21: LHP Yeremi Ceballos (19)
12-22: LHP Denilson Lugo (20)
12-22: 3B Richard Slenker (23)
12-22: RHP Jairo Solis (18)
12-23: 1B Jake Adams (22)
12-26: LHP Noel Pinto (22)
12-27: C Ray Henderson (22)
12-28: RHP Corbin Martin (22)
12-28: 2B Enmanuel Valdez (19)
12-29: RHP Yulian Frontado (20)
12-30: 2B Kyle Davis (22)
12-30: RHP Nick Hernandez (23)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 11/27

Checking in on the Astros playing in Winter Leagues and some news and links, but first things first ...

WISHING A HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO


Kristian Trompiz - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

11-27: LHP Luis Ramirez (22)
11-28: 3B Yeuris Ramirez (19)
11-29: RHP Dean Deetz (24)
11-29: 1B/C Rhandall Sanchez (19)
12-1: RHP Jean Reyes (20)
12-2: RHP Ronny Garcia (18)
12-2: SS Miguelangel Sierra (20)
12-2: IF Kristian Trompiz (22)

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL) - SEASON OVER

The Mesa Solar Sox ended their fall campaign with a 16-13-1 record to lead the East, but ultimately fell 8-2 to the West in the Arizona Fall League Championship game on 11/18.

RHP Dean Deetz - 8G 4.91 ERA/1.182 WHIP 11.0IP 4BB:23SO
RHP Riley Ferrell - 9G 4.66 ERA/1.552 WHIP 9.2IP 9BB:7SO
RHP Brendan McCurry - 5G 4.05 ERA/1.350 WHIP 6.2IP 3BB:5SO (last played 10/30)
LHP Framber Valdez - 6G/6ST 3.20 ERA/1.627 WHIP 19.2IP 8BB:14SO
1B Yordan Alvarez - 4G .313/.353/.438 3B 1BB:6SO (last played 10/14)
3B/2B Nick Tanielu - 2G .000/.000/.000 (last played 10/16)
OF Kyle Tucker - 22G .214/.305/.310 6-2B 3B 9RBI 9BB:22SO 2SB:0CS

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)

Alfredo Angarita is the only active Astros player currently playing in this league, and he is only barely playing as of right now. His week consisted of three appearances as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement in which he was 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a strikeout.

Other Astros minor leaguers may be and likely are still with the teams and working out with them even if they aren't getting any playing time. In years past, the Liga Paralela (the Venezuelan version of the minor league) featured many Astros minor leaguers, but due to the current economic issues in Venezuela, the league was roughly cut in half and very few Astros players are participating this year.

Aguilas de Zulia (20-19 4th place)
SS Kristian Trompiz - 10G .227/.320/.227 3BB:4SO (last played 10/28)
RHP Elieser Hernandez - 5G/5ST 2.11 ERA/0.844 WHIP 21.1IP 6BB:22SO (last played 11/6)

Bravos de Margarita  (15-25 8th place)
2B Alfredo Angarita - 29G .304/.396/.337 2B 3B 8RBI 13BB:27SO 4SB:3CS

Leones del Caracas (25-16 1st place)
RHP Diosward Gonzalez - 2G 6.75 ERA/2.251 WHIP 1.1IP 2BB:0SO (last played 10/19)
RHP Yoanys Quiala - 4G/2ST 7.45 ERA/1.448 WHIP 9.2IP 5BB:8SO (last played 10/31)
C Gabriel Bracamonte - 3G .125/.125/.125 0BB:2O (last played 10/28)

MEXICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LMP)

Akeem Bostick - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Akeem Bostick is back from his foot injury and has had two starts this past week; the first of those went decidedly better than the second. Last Tuesday, Bostick threw five shutout innings, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out seven. Last night didn't go quite so easily for Bostick. He allowed only four hits, but two of them happened to be two-run home runs, the second of which was hit by old friend Jason Bourgeois. In 4.1 innings, he allowed four hits, three walks, four earned runs and struck out eight batters.

Jacob Dorris only appeared once this week, successfully throwing 1.1 scoreless innings and stranding an inherited runner. He still has a ways to go to make up for one really rough outing last week though and his numbers reflect that.

Similarly, Drew Ferguson got off to a rough start as he has been unable to (initially) replicate his successful 2016 winter season in Puerto Rico. He was 1-fer his first four games as a lead-off hitter and was rewarded with sitting on the bench for the next two games.

Caneros de la Mochis (16-25 Tied for 8th)
RHP Akeem Bostick - 8G/8ST 3.09 ERA/1.188 WHIP 32IP 11BB:40SO
OF Drew Ferguson - 4G .056/.056/.111 0BB:8SO

Naranjeros de Hermosillo (24-17 2nd place)
RHP Jacob Dorris - 5G 7.94 ERA/2.293 WHIP 5.2IP 7BB:2SO

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)

Rodrigo Ayarza - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Utility switch-hitter Rodrigo Ayarza continues to impress down under. In his second week of play, he was 5-for-17 with three doubles, a home run, two RBI and three runs scored. The only chink in the armor is that Ayarza has yet to draw a walk to go with his 12 strikeouts.

Adelaide Bite (1-7 6th place)
Rodrigo Ayarza - 8G .294/.294/.618 5-2B 2HR 4RBI 0BB:12SO

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)

No active Astros are currently playing in this league.

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LBPRC)

I haven't seen that the LBPRC winter season has been officially canceled yet, but with the devastation to that island from Hurricane Maria, I find it likely.

NEWS AND LINKS

After the Astros WON THE WORLD SERIES and before Thanksgiving, I made a quick trip to Arizona to take in a couple of the Arizona Fall League games. (Travel tip: The week before Thanksgiving is a FABULOUS time to travel!!!) I took copious pictures of all of the prospects, not just the Astros in attendance. Here is the 11/14 Glendale (White Sox, Indians, Dodgers, Pirates and Phillies) at Mesa (Cubs, Tigers, Astros, A's and Nationals) game and here is the 11/16 Surprise (Royals, Twins, Cardinals, Rays and Rangers) at Mesa game. The photos aren't labeled yet, so you're on your own.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see very many of my Astros in action, but did get to see Kyle Tucker and a brief outing from Riley Ferrell. Some fans seemed to be worried about Tucker's numbers for the AFL season. Don't be. He looked fine at the plate, but wasn't getting much of anything to hit during the two games I watched. He generally didn't chase out of the zone and put up decent at-bats. But the last game I saw him in (in which he was 1-for-4 with a double) was his 142nd of the season, not counting Spring Training and the Futures game and the Rising Stars game. His season lasted longer than that of his parent team who played through to the World Series. I'm not worried about Tucker and you shouldn't be either. One thing I would like to note, though, is that I really liked him in right field. He gets excellent reads and has tremendous range and a great arm and really shone in right.

Some other random notes from the AFL. Unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to see Washington prospect Victor Robles play, but there were a few other players that stood out for me.

Cubs C Ian Rice, a product of the University of Houston, isn't listed as a top Cubs prospect, but I enjoyed watching him work behind the plate. There were some wild pitchers in the two games I saw him catch and he handled them well, blocking balls in the dirt with the best of them, and he handled the wide-ranging pitching staff very well.

Another player with a Houston connection that stood out for me was Kody Eaves, a Pasadena High School product that made good contact at the plate and was solid at second. Eaves, who has played for the Tigers for the last two seasons after being traded from the Angels, is another non-ranked prospect, but I liked what I saw both on and off the field.

Oakland prospect Sheldon Neuse, who was traded to that team by the Nationals in July, did not get cheated at the plate. "Neuse" is pronounced "Noisy," a moniker that described his bat well. Neuse looked good in the field both at third and at short, but his build translates better to the hot corner. In any event, I liked his swing and his power potential.

In the Arizona Fall League, the pitchers often don't stay in long enough to really get a good feel for them, but I did find another non-ranked prospect that I liked in RHP Trevor Bettencourt, a 2016 29th round draft pick playing for the Phillies. I love a pitcher who works quickly, attacks hitters and shows no fear. That's what I saw from Bettencourt.

Several Astros minor leaguers are currently playing in the Pan-Am U-23 Baseball Tournament, including SS Jonathan Arauz (Panama) and RHP Yohan Ramirez, RHP Robert Corniel and UTIL Marcos Almonte for the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find any boxscores for the games, but the World Baseball Softball Confederation site has had a couple of articles on the tournament. Apparently Ramirez is doing the Astros proud. He not only got the Dominican Republic team's first win, he has also recorded the highest velocity of the tournament thus far, hitting 96 on the radar gun.

I found this article on the science behind lefties who excel in sports to be interesting. Take a gander if you're so inclined.

DeAnna, Social Media Goddess for WTHB, dug up this old post from Thanksgiving 2013. I'm thankful that those tough years made us really appreciate this World Series win even more!!!

And finally ... I keep meaning to put a link to my Instagram account if you're interested. I've found that Instagram is a good way to keep in touch with what's going on with the Astros Latin American players, many of whom aren't on Twitter. The account is mostly Astros minor league baseball stuff, but I will occasionally post a travel photo to mix things up.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 11/21

Checking in on the Astros playing in fall and winter leagues, but first things first ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

these Astros babies who are celebrating this week!!

Francis Martes - April 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

11-19: LHP Framber Valdez (24)
11-21: RHP Manny Ramirez (18)
11-22: 1B Roman Garcia (22)
11-22: LHP Parker Mushinski (22)
11-24: RHP Francis Martes (22)
11-25: RHP Erasmo Pinales (23)
11-26: OF Renaigel Martes (20)

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

Cionel Perez - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

LHP Cionel Perez (Corpus) and RHP Dean Deetz (Fresno) were added to the 40-man roster on Monday, the deadline for protecting players from the Rule 5 draft. Perez, a 21-year old Cuban, has only played in the affiliated system for one season, but was subject to the draft because he re-signed with the Astros after his original contract with the team had been voided due to concerns with his elbow. Perez made three stops in the Astros system in 2017, playing at Low A Quad Cities, High A Buies Creek and AA Corpus Christi and compiling a 6-4 record with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.292 WHIP, walking 27 and striking out 83 over 93.2 innings.

Deetz, who will be 24 at the end of this month, was originally drafted by the Astros in the 11th round in 2014. He started the season with AA Corpus Christi, putting up a 4-2 record with a 1.82 ERA and a 0.908 WHIP in eight appearances (six starts) before being promoted to AAA Fresno in early June. Although his numbers at Fresno were less than stellar, he showed continuous improvement during his time there and was particularly effective once he was moved to the bullpen late in the season (2.79 ERA and 1.552 WHIP and .171 opposing BA in 7 bullpen appearances). Similarly, Deetz ended his Arizona Fall League season with five scoreless bullpen outings (including one outing in the Championship game), allowing only one hit and two walks while striking out 15 batters over seven innings.

OF Ramon Laureano (Corpus), who would have been subject to the Rule 5 draft, was traded to the A's for RHP Brandon Bailey in advance of the deadline. Laureano, a premier defensive player, struggled at the plate in 2017. Although his stock has fallen, his career is far from over, and it is my sincere hope and belief that he will flourish with the A's. Bailey only has two professional seasons under his belt, having been drafted by the A's in the sixth round in 2016 out of Gonzaga. He appeared in 24 games (17 starts) between Low A and High A in 2017 and ended the season with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.088 WHIP. He walked 31 and struck out 120 in 91 innings of work.

Finally, RHP Carlos Pimentel (GCL) was placed on the restricted list last week. Pimentel, an undrafted free agent out of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, was suspended 56 games due to a positive test for Stanozolol.

Here is a complete list of the Astros offseason moves to date and here is the updated Rule 5 post showing which players will be subject to next month's draft.

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL) - SEASON OVER

The Mesa Solar Sox ended their fall campaign with a 16-13-1 record to lead the East, but ultimately fell 8-2 to the West in the Arizona Fall League Championship game over the weekend.

Kyle Tucker was the only Astros position player remaining active. In his final week of work, he went 4-for-16 with a double (including two hits in the Championship game). Framber Valdez's final start of the fall season last Wednesday saw him allow three hits, two walks and two runs (one earned) in four innings while striking out five batters. Dean Deetz provided three scoreless innings of relief for the week, allowing two walks and striking out six. And Riley Ferrell allowed one hit in his one relief appearance; unfortunately, that one hit was a solo home run.

RHP Dean Deetz - 8G 4.91 ERA/1.182 WHIP 11.0IP 4BB:23SO
RHP Riley Ferrell - 9G 4.66 ERA/1.552 WHIP 9.2IP 9BB:7SO
RHP Brendan McCurry - 5G 4.05 ERA/1.350 WHIP 6.2IP 3BB:5SO (last played 10/30)
LHP Framber Valdez - 6G/6ST 3.20 ERA/1.627 WHIP 19.2IP 8BB:14SO
1B Yordan Alvarez - 4G .313/.353/.438 3B 1BB:6SO (last played 10/14)
3B/2B Nick Tanielu - 2G .000/.000/.000 (last played 10/16)
OF Kyle Tucker - 22G .214/.305/.310 6-2B 3B 9RBI 9BB:22SO 2SB:0CS

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)

Alfredo Angarita, a 20-year old Venezuelan signed by the Astros in November 2015, has cooled off somewhat since his excellent start to his LVBP season, but still has a .303 average. In his last six games, he is 4-for-20 with two walks, two runs scored and a hit by pitch. He is the only active Astros player currently playing in this league.

Aguilas de Zulia (17-15 4th place)
SS Kristian Trompiz - 10G .227/.320/.227 3BB:4SO (last played 10/28)
RHP Elieser Hernandez - 5G/5ST 2.11 ERA/0.844 WHIP 21.1IP 6BB:22SO (last played 11/6)

Bravos de Margarita  (13-21 8th place)
2B Alfredo Angarita - 25G .303/.392/.337 2B 3B 7RBI 13BB:26SO 4SB:3CS

Leones del Caracas (23-12 1st place)
RHP Diosward Gonzalez - 2G 6.75 ERA/2.251 WHIP 1.1IP 2BB:0SO (last played 10/19)
RHP Yoanys Quiala - 4G/2ST 7.45 ERA/1.448 WHIP 9.2IP 5BB:8SO (last played 10/31)
C Gabriel Bracamonte - 3G .125/.125/.125 0BB:2O (last played 10/28)

MEXICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LMP)

Akeem Bostick hasn't appeared since leaving the game on 11/8 with what was characterized as an injured foot. Jacob Dorris has appeared twice over the last week; he would probably like a do-over for one of those outings (3H 3BB 4R 1.0IP).

Caneros de la Mochis (14-21 7th place)
RHP Akeem Bostick - 6G/6ST 2.78 ERA/1.103 WHIP 22.2IP 7BB:25SO (last played 11/8)

Naranjeros de Hermosillo (20-15 1st place)
RHP Jacob Dorris - 4G 10.38 ERA/2.539 WHIP 4.1IP 6BB:2SO

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)

Rodrigo Ayarza - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Utility switch-hitter Rodrigo Ayarza made his mark early with the Bite, hitting a home run in his first official game with the team. He followed up with two doubles over the next three games.

Adelaide Bite (0-4 6th place)
Rodrigo Ayarza - 4G .294/.294/.588 2-2B 1HR 2RBI 0BB:5SO

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)

No active Astros are currently playing in this league.

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LBPRC)

I haven't seen that the LBPRC winter season has been officially canceled yet, but with the devastation to that island from Hurricane Maria, I find it likely.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 11-13

Checking in on the Astros playing fall and winter ball plus an update on a former Astro, but first things first ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

Here are this week's birthdays. All November birthdays can be found here.

11-12: RHP Charlie Morton (34)
11-13: RHP Chris Devenski (27)
11-14: OF J.J. Matijevic (22)
11-14: LHP Nathan Thompson (24)
11-15: RHP Luis de Paula (21)
11-16: IF Alfredo Angarita (21)
11:16: C Juan Centeno (28)
11-17: OF Jon Kemmer (27)
11-18: C Anthony Hermelyn (24)
11-18: RHP Angel Ortega (18)
11-18: OF Ronaldo Urdaneta (19)

TRANSACTIONS/ROSTER MOVES

Here are the latest transactions. I have also started my ongoing offseason transaction post here and will keep that updated and linked on the front page of the blog.

11-6: 2B Colin Walsh (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: C Eduardo de Oleo (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: RHP Kevin Comer (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: SS Reid Brignac (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: OF Rico Noel (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: RHP David Martinez (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: RHP Jumbo Diaz (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: RHP Jandel Gustave (Houston) activated from the 60-day DL
11-6: RHP Brady Rodgers (Houston) activated from the 60-day DL
11-6: RHP David Paulino (Houston) activated from the 60-day DL
11-2: RHP Tyler Clippard (Houston) elected free agency
11-2: LHP Francisco Liriano (Houston) elected free agency
11-2: DH Carlos Beltran (Houston) elected free agency
11-2: RHP Luke Gregerson (Houston) elected free agency
11-2: OF Cameron Maybin (Houston) elected free agency

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL)

Framber Valdez - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

The Mesa Solar Sox currently have the best record in the AFL at 15-10-1; they are in first place in the AFL East division, two and a half games in front of the Salt River Rafters with four games remaining in the season. If the standings hold, Mesa and Peoria would face off in the Championship game on Saturday.

Kyle Tucker is the only active Astros position player remaining active and, since I last wrote, he continued to scuffle until he (and the Solar Sox) broke out on Saturday, going 3-for-5 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored as Mesa stomped Salt River 16-2.

Framber Valdez had a very nice start on Thursday, contributing four shutout innings for Mesa. He allowed four hits and one walk while striking out two. Dean Deetz (1.0IP 2SO) and Riley Ferrell (2.0IP 1H 2BB 1SO) contributed one and two scoreless outings, respectively, since my last post.

RHP Dean Deetz - 7G 6.00 ERA/1.333 WHIP 9.0IP 3BB:19SO
RHP Riley Ferrell - 8G 4.15ERA/1.615 WHIP 8.2IP 9BB:6SO
RHP Brendan McCurry - 5G 4.05 ERA/1.350 WHIP 6.2IP 3BB:5SO (last played 10/30)
LHP Framber Valdez - 5G/5ST 3.45 ERA/1.723 WHIP 15.2IP 6BB:9SO
1B Yordan Alvarez - 4G .313/.353/.438 3B 1BB:6SO (last played 10/14)
3B/2B Nick Tanielu - 2G .000/.000/.000 (last played 10/16)
OF Kyle Tucker - 19G .222/.325/.319 5-2B 3B 9RBI 9BB:18SO 2SB:0CS

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)

Alfredo Angarita, a 20-year old Venezuelan signed by the Astros in November 2015, made it as far as the Gulf Coast League in 2017. Based on his ability to hit in the highly competitive LVBP, look for him to start rising a bit more rapidly in 2018! Over his last five appearances he is 6-for-18 with two RBI, four walks, four runs scored and a stolen base. He has hit safely in 17 of his 20 games.

Aguilas de Zulia (15-12 3rd place)
3B Arturo Michelena - Has not appeared yet
SS Kristian Trompiz - 10G .227/.320/.227 3BB:4SO (last played 10/28)
RHP Elieser Hernandez - 5G/5ST 2.11 ERA/0.844 WHIP 21.1IP 6BB:22SO (last played 11/6)

Bravos de Margarita  (10-18 8th place)
2B Alfredo Angarita - 20G .329/.420/.371 2B 3B 7RBI 11BB:17SO 4SB:3CS

Leones del Caracas (17-12 2nd place)
RHP Diosward Gonzalez - 2G 6.75 ERA/2.251 WHIP 1.1IP 2BB:0SO (last played 10/19)
RHP Yoanys Quiala - 4G/2ST 7.45 ERA/1.448 WHIP 9.2IP 5BB:8SO (last played 10/31)
C Gabriel Bracamonte - 3G .125/.125/.125 0BB:2O (last played 10/28)

MEXICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LMP)

Jacob Dorris - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Jacob Dorris showed up in the LMP on Friday and was tagged with a run on an inherited runner after issuing a walk and hitting a batter, but he settled down in his second appearance Sunday, stranding a runner and contributing 1.1 scoreless innings. Akeem Bostick had an abbreviated outing on Wednesday, exiting the game after only one inning for what the game recap characterized as an injured foot.

Caneros de la Mochis (13-16 Tied for 6th)
RHP Akeem Bostick - 6G/6ST 2.78 ERA/1.103 WHIP 22.2IP 7BB:25SO

Naranjeros de Hermosillo (16-13 Tied for 2nd)
RHP Jacob Dorris - 2G 5.40 ERA/1.800 WHIP 1.2IP 1BB:1SO

Charros de Jalisco (15-14 Tied for 4th)
OF Rico Noel (Free Agent) - 2G .200/.200/.200 0BB:3SO (last played 10/12)

Yacquis de Obregon (11-18 8th place)
IF Reid Brignac (Free Agent) - 11G .206/.364/.265 2-2B RBI 7BB:11SO

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)

No active Astros have played since my last post.

Gigantes del Cibao (14-9 Tied for 1st)
C Eduardo de Oleo (Free Agent) - has not played yet

Toros del Este (9-14 Tied for 5th)
RHP Angel Heredia - has not pitched yet
RHP Jumbo Diaz (Free Agent) - 7G 4SV 2.70 ERA/1.200 WHIP 6.2IP 2BB:4SO (last played 11/6)

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LBPRC)

I haven't seen that the LBPRC winter season has been officially canceled yet, but with the devastation to that island from Hurricane Maria, I find it likely.

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)

The first game of the season will take place on 11/16. I have not seen official rosters yet, but Utility Player Rodrigo Ayarza who played for Quad Cities and Buies Creek in 2017 will appear on the Adelaide Bite roster. Ayarza, a 22-year old Panamanian switch-hitter, already made his mark by hitting a lead-off double for the Bite in their first exhibition game last week.

FORMER ASTRO UPDATE

Michael Dimock - June 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As I have perused the winter league boxscores of late, I couldn't help but notice that Friend of the Blog Michael Dimock has been doing some good work in the Dominican Winter League. Since being traded by the Astros to San Diego in 2014, he has spent time with the Padres and Angels organizations, but currently finds himself to be a man without an MLB affiliation. It appears that he would like to change that and has been very impressive out of the bullpen for Toros del Este. In eight appearances, he is 1-0 with one save, a 0.00 ERA and a 0.750 WHIP. In 5.2 innings, he has allowed four hits and no walks, striking out six.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017-2018 Astros Offseason Transactions

Keeping up with all the Astros offseason transactions ...

As of 12/14, the Astros 40-man roster stands at 40 with the addition of RHP Joe Smith and LHP Anthony Gose.

12-14: LHP Chris Nunn drafted by the Astros from the Cubs in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 drafr
12-14: RHP Elieser Hernandez selected from the Astros by the Marlins in the Rule 5 draft
12-14: LHP Anthony Gose selected by the Astros in the Rule 5 draft
12-13: RHP Joe Smith to be signed to a two-year contract and added to the 40-man roster.
12-11: C Tim Federowicz signed by the Astros and assigned to Fresno
12-11: RHP Matt Ramsey signed by the Astros and assigned to Fresno
12-1: RHP Mike Fiers non-tendered; signed with the Tigers
11-27: C Juan Centeno (Houston) claimed off waivers by Rangers; Centeno was placed on waivers 11-22
11-20: LHP Cionel Perez (Corpus) added to the 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft
11-20: RHP Dean Deetz (Fresno) added to the 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft
11-20: OF Ramon Laureano (Corpus) traded to the A's for RHP Brandon Bailey
11-17: RHP Carlos Pimentel (GCL) placed on restricted list
*Pimentel, an undrafted free agent out of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, was suspended 56 games due to a positive test for Stanozolol.
11-6: 2B Colin Walsh (Fresno) elected free agency - signed with the Angels
11-6: C Eduardo de Oleo (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: RHP Kevin Comer (Fresno) elected free agency - signed with the Tigers
11-6: SS Reid Brignac (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: OF Rico Noel (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: RHP David Martinez (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: RHP Jumbo Diaz (Fresno) elected free agency
11-6: RHP Jandel Gustave (Houston) activated from the 60-day DL
11-6: RHP Brady Rodgers (Houston) activated from the 60-day DL
11-6: RHP David Paulino (Houston) activated from the 60-day DL
11-2: RHP Tyler Clippard (Houston) elected free agency
11-2: LHP Francisco Liriano (Houston) elected free agency
11-2: DH Carlos Beltran (Houston) elected free agency - retired
11-2: RHP Luke Gregerson (Houston) elected free agency
11-2: OF Cameron Maybin (Houston) elected free agency

At the end of the minor league season, the players who ended the season on the DL are activated (most of the moves were posted retroactively). A few of these players were on the 60-day DL and have been rehabbing for quite some time.
  • 10-11: OF Jonathan Lacroix activated from the 60-day DL; Lacroix was drafted in the 12th round in 2017 and has not played in his first professional game yet
  • 9-27: 2B/3B Nick Tanielu activated from the 60-day DL; Tanielu ended the season with two rehab assignment games with the GCL and is now playing in the Arizona Fall League after missing most of the 2017 season following ACL surgery last fall
  • 9-27: RHP Angel Heredia activated from the 60-day DL; Heredia made seven rehab appearances toward the end of the 2017 season and is now on the Dominican Winter League's Toros del Este roster
  • 9-27: RHP Ryan Deemes activated from the 7-day DL; Deemes last pitched for Buies Creek on 5/7
  • 9-27: RHP Jose Hernandez activated from the 60-day DL; Hernandez missed the entire 2017 season and ended the 2016 season playing in High-A Lancaster
  • 9-27: IF/OF Marcos Almonte activated from the 7-day DL; Almonte missed the final six Quad Cities postseason games on the DL
  • 9-27: IF Osvaldo Duarte activated from the 7-day DL; Duarte last played for Quad Cities on 8/10
  • 9-27: RHP Gabriel Valdez activated from the 7-day DL; Valdez spent large chunks of July and August on the DL and last pitched for Quad Cities on 8/14
  • 9-27: RHP Edgardo Sandoval activated from the 7-day DL; Sandoval last appeared for Quad Cities on 5-3
  • 9-27: RHP Enrique Chavez activated from the 7-day DL; Chavez missed the entire 2017 season and last appeared for Quad Cities in September 2016
  • 9-27: RHP Enoli Paredes activated from the 7-day DL; Paredes last pitched for Quad Cities 5/31
  • 9-27: RHP Jose Bravo activated from the 7-day DL; Bravo missed the entire 2017 season and ended his 2016 season in the DSL
  • 9-10: LHP Yeremi Ceballos activated from the 7-day DL; Ceballos last pitched for the DSL team on 6/19
In addition, it was reported that OF Juan Ramirez would be the PTBNL in the Justin Verlander trade. Ramirez was 18 on 4/9 and spent his second pro season with the GCL, compiling a .301/.385/.362 batting line in 46 games. He walked 20 times to only 14 strikeouts and stole 11 bases. Ramirez signed with the Tigers in 2015 for a $185,000 bonus.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Astros Farm Report: Fall/Winter League Updates

Time to catch up with the Astros playing in fall and winter leagues ...

[I took some time off so that I could fully enjoy and savor the Astros World Series run, but I'll be back now with more regular postings. Thanks for your understanding.]

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL)

Brendan McCurry - April 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

The Mesa Solar Sox are currently 13-9 and in first place in the AFL East division, a game and a half in front of the Scottsdale Scorpions. Kyle Tucker scuffled a bit to end the month of October going 0-for-9 in the final two games of that month, but he turned that around in his first November appearance for Mesa going 2-for-4 with a double, walk and two runs scored. Tucker was the lone representative of the Astros in the Arizona Fall League Fall-Star game. He went 1-for-1 with a walk to support the AFL East as they won the contest 4-2.

After a rough start to the fall season, Dean Deetz has been turning it around in his two appearances in November, allowing only one hit and no walks while striking out seven in three scoreless innings of work. Similarly, Brendan McCurry has allowed no runs in his last three appearances. After allowing no runs in his first three appearances, Riley Ferrell has allowed four in his last three outings causing his ERA to spike. Framber Valdez's fall season has been a bit of a mixed bag since his excellent first appearance.

The final regular season game will be next Thursday the 16th. If the Solar Sox hold on to first place, they will appear in the Championship game on Saturday the 18th.

RHP Dean Deetz - 6G 6.75 ERA/1.500 WHIP 8.0IP 3BB:17SO
RHP Riley Ferrell - 6G 5.40ERA/1.650 WHIP 6.2IP 7BB;5SO
RHP Brendan McCurry - 5G 4.05 ERA/1.350 WHIP 6.2IP 3BB:5SO
LHP Framber Valdez - 4G/4ST 4.63 ERA/1.886 WHIP 11.2IP 5BB:7SO
1B Yordan Alvarez - 4G .313/.353/.438 3B 1BB:6SO (last played 10/14)
3B/2B Nick Tanielu - 2G .000/.000/.000 (last played 10/16)
OF Kyle Tucker - 16G .203/.309/.305 4-2B 3B 6RBI 8BB:17SO 2SB:0CS

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)

Elieser Hernandez - August 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Elieser Hernandez continues to excel. He is ranked fourth in ERA and second in WHIP for qualified pitchers in the league. Alfredo Angarita started his season with a ten-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 12 of his 15 games.

Aguilas de Zulia (12-11 4th place)
3B Arturo Michelena - Has not appeared yet
SS Kristian Trompiz - 10G .227/.320/.227 3BB:4SO (last played 10/28)
RHP Elieser Hernandez - 5G/5ST 2.11 ERA/0.844 WHIP 21.1IP 6BB:22SO

Bravos de Margarita  (10-13 Tied for 5th)
2B Alfredo Angarita - 15G .327/.407/.385 2B 3B 5RBI 7BB:15SO 3SB:2CS

Leones del Caracas (13-10 Tied for 2nd)
RHP Diosward Gonzalez - 2G 6.75 ERA/2.251 WHIP 1.1IP 2BB:0SO (last played 10/19)
RHP Yoanys Quiala - 4G/2ST 7.45 ERA/1.448 WHIP 9.2IP 5BB:8SO
C Gabriel Bracamonte - 3G .125/.125/.125 0BB:2O (last played 10/28)

MEXICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LMP)

Akeem Bostick - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Bostick has been busy making up for his first start by putting up a 1.00 ERA and a 0.944 WHIP over his last four starts.

Caneros de la Mochis (11-12 6th place)
RHP Akeem Bostick - 5G/5ST 2.91 ERA/1.107 WHIP 21.2IP 6BB:24SO

Charros de Jalisco (13-10 2nd place)
OF Rico Noel - 2G .200/.200/.200 0BB:3SO (last played 10/12)

Yacquis de Obregon (8-15 8th place)
IF Reid Brignac - 8G .208/.394/.292 2-2B RBI 7BB:7SO

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)

Jumbo Diaz is the only 2017 Astros farm hand who has actually appeared in a LIDOM game so far. He has collected saves in four of his last five appearances for the Toros.

Gigantes del Cibao (11-7 2nd place)
C Eduardo de Oleo - has not played yet

Toros del Este (8-10 Tied for 4th)
RHP Angel Heredia - has not pitched yet
RHP Jumbo Diaz - 7G 4SV 2.70 ERA/1.200 WHIP 6.2IP 2BB:4SO

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LBPRC)

I haven't seen that the LBPRC winter season has been officially canceled yet, but with the devastation to that island from Hurricane Maria, I find it likely.

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)

The Australian Baseball League will start their schedule with exhibition games on November 9th and will continue play through early/mid February.