Monday, September 25, 2017

2017 Rule 5 Draft Primer and Eligible Astros Players

2017 Rule 5 Draft Primer and Eligible Players

UPDATED TO ADD CIONEL PEREZ: See the note below

The current Astros 40-man roster is full to overflowing right now with the 60-day DL stints of Jandel Gustave and Brady Rodgers making them the 41st and 42nd player respectively. And, oh, what happens when David Paulino is eligible to play again? Hmmmm, getting a little crowded, isn't it? And, to make matters just a wee bit more complicated, at some point before late November, the Astros are going to have to figure out who to add and who to subtract or risk losing a player or two to the Rule 5 Draft. Let's take a look ...


Dean Deetz - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Here is a primer based on my understanding of how the Rule 5 draft works, as well as some preliminary information about this year's draft eligible players. The draft will be held during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida scheduled for December 10th through 14th.

RULE 5

The Rule 5 draft (don't call it the Rule V draft or baseball purists will jump down your throat) was updated somewhat prior to 2016's draft in two ways: it eliminated the lower of two minor league phases of the draft and it increased the compensation payment to teams for players who are lost through the draft. Here is the text of Rule 5 with the Eligibility Rules highlighted in Blue.
Rule 5
ANNUAL SELECTION OF PLAYERS
(a) MEETINGS. A selection meeting shall be held each year at such time and place as the Commissioner shall designate and shall be known as the Rule 5 Selection Meeting. At the Rule 5 Selection Meeting, Major League Clubs may claim the contracts of players who are on Minor League Reserve Lists (filed pursuant to Rule 2) and who are subject to selection as set forth in this Rule 5. If any Major League or Minor League Club shall fail to file Minor League Reserve Lists in accordance with Major League Rule 2, its players on Minor League Reserve Lists shall be subject to selection under this Rule 5 without any restrictions. The Commissioner shall decide all procedural questions that may arise during the Rule 5 Selection Meeting.
(b) METHOD AND PRIORITY OF SELECTIONS. Selections under this Rule 5 shall be made in two separate phases: the Major League phase and the Class AAA phase. A player selected in one of these phases must be placed on the Major League Club’s Reserve List in the same classification of the phase in which the player was selected. Within each phase, only players from a Reserve List of a lower classification Club are eligible for selection. Within each phase, selections shall be made according to the following order and conditions:
(1) Major League Clubs shall select in reverse order of their winning percentages at the close of the preceding championship season, without regard to standings within any Division or League and without regard to post-season results. If two or more Clubs had an identical percentage of games won at the close of the preceding championship season, the selection order of those Clubs shall be determined by the percentage of games won in the next prior championship season, with any remaining ties resolved by continuing to examine the tied Clubs’ respective championship season winning percentages in each preceding prior year, until the tie is broken.
(2) As called in the above order of priority in a phase, each Major League Club shall have a right to select one player subject to selection under this Rule 5. If a Club does not exercise its right of selection when called, or if its right of selection in that phase has ceased because its Reserve List(s) for the classification covered by the phase has reached the allowable limit under Rule 2, the next Club in order shall be called. When a round has been completed, the process of selection shall be repeated until all Major League Clubs have no further right of selection in that phase. A Club
having announced its selection in proper order cannot later cancel the selection.
(3) In any year in which one or more new members have been admitted to a Major League for operations in the next championship season, each such new member may select player contracts under this Rule 5. The procedures and regulations governing such selections shall be as agreed upon by the Major League Clubs.
(4) Any Major League Club may authorize (in writing or by electronic communication) any employee, the Commissioner, or an employee of the Commissioner’s Office to announce its selection or selections at the meeting. Such authorized selections shall be as binding and effective as if announced by a Major League Club official.
(c) PLAYERS SUBJECT TO SELECTION. All players on the Minor League Reserve Lists of Major League and Minor League Clubs, except players on the Voluntarily Retired, Disqualified or Ineligible Lists, shall be subject to selection by other Major League Clubs at the Rule 5 Selection Meeting in accordance with the following:
(1) A player without previous Major or Minor League service who signs with a Major League or independent Minor League Club shall be subject to selection based on the following:
(A) if 18 years of age or under on the June 5 immediately preceding the player’s signing, the player shall be subject to selection at the fifth Rule 5 Selection Meeting that follows the signing date of the player’s first Major or Minor League contract, unless Rule 5(c)(1)(C) applies;
(B) if 19 years of age or over on the June 5 immediately preceding the player’s signing, the player shall be subject to selection at the fourth Selection Meeting that follows the signing date of the player’s first Major or Minor League contract, unless Rule 5(c)(1)(C) applies;
(C) if the signing date of a player’s first Major or Minor League contract is between
(i) the conclusion of the championship season for the Major or Minor League Club to which the player is assigned on such contract and
(ii) the next Rule 5 Selection Meeting,
then the player shall be deemed to have signed after the next Rule 5 Selection Meeting, for purposes of this Rule 5(c)(1).
(2) A player who is re-signed by a Club within one year from the date the Club released the player shall be subject to draft at the Rule 5 Selection Meeting following the date of the latest contract with that Club.
(3) A player who has been subject to draft at a Rule 5 Selection Meeting shall be subject to draft at any subsequent Rule 5 Selection Meeting if the player is on a Minor League Reserve List (filed pursuant to Rule 2 (Player Limits and Reserve Lists)) at the time of the Rule 5 Selection Meeting.
(4) A player
(A) whose contract has been assigned outright by a Major League Club to a Minor League Club,
(B) who has been signed as a free agent to a Minor League Uniform Player Contract for services in the following year and is otherwise subject to selection pursuant to Rule 5(c)(1) or Rule 5(c)(2), or
(C) who has been released unconditionally from a Minor League roster and is otherwise subject to selection pursuant to Rule 5(c)(1) or Rule 5(c)(2), shall be subject to selection at any subsequent Rule 5 Selection Meeting if the player is on a Minor League Reserve List (filed pursuant to Rule 2 (Player Limits and Reserve Lists)) at the time of the Rule 5 Selection Meeting.
(5) A Major League or independent Minor League Club may designate any player on one of its Minor League Reserve Lists to be subject to selection who otherwise would not be selectable under this Rule 5.
(d) CONSIDERATION, PAYMENT, AND RESPONSIBILITY. The consideration for a selection under this Rule 5 shall be as follows:
(1) $100,000, if the selected player is placed on a Major League Reserve List;
(2) $24,000, if the selected player is placed on a Class AAA Reserve List;
In addition to the compensation set forth in this paragraph, an independent Minor League Club shall be reimbursed by a selecting Major League Club for all compensation (including salary, bonuses and benefits) that it has paid to a selected player if the player is selected at the first selection meeting following the first year of the player’s initial Minor League Uniform Player Contract. Payment of the consideration due the selectee Club shall be made in the same manner as provided in Rule 12 Transfer Agreements) regarding other assignments of player contracts. The selector Major League Club must assume all responsibility for the player’s physical condition and for the player’s reporting.
(e) PLAYER-MANAGERS. A Player-Manager shall be subject to selection if the player would otherwise be selectable under Rule 5(c) (Players Subject to Selection). However, a player-manager shall be subject to selection as a player only and the player-manager selected may reject such selection by giving written or electronic notification of such rejection to the Commissioner within 30 days from the date that the player-manager receives notification of such selection from the Commissioner. A player-manager contract that has been executed within 30 days before the close of the season shall not be changed to a player contract during the season following execution of such player-manager contract unless the Commissioner approves such a change in writing.
(f) COVERING UP. No agreement shall be made for the purpose or with the effect of covering up a player from selection. If the Commissioner shall be of opinion that any such agreement has been made, the Commissioner may impose a fine upon each party to such an agreement.
RULE 5 ELIGIBILITY

The highlighted passage above regarding Rule 5 eligibility is somewhat cumbersome. What it means in English is that this year's eligible players basically include: 1) any player who signed prior to the end of the 2013 season; and 2) players who signed after the end of the 2013 season and prior to the end of the 2014 season who were 19 years old or older when they signed. That means most 2014 drafted college players are eligible, but high school players (and some community college players) drafted in 2014 may not be eligible until next year. For the international free agents, one needs to know when the player signed their first professional agreement and their age at signing to make the determination. There is an exception based on players who signed during the off-season, but otherwise, that is the basic gist of it.

MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF THE RULE 5 DRAFT

The first phase of the Rule 5 draft is the major league phase. In order to protect an eligible player from being drafted in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft, he must be on the major league club's 40-man roster prior to November 20th (if that falls on a business day). Players on the 40-man roster at that deadline are considered "protected."

Obviously not all of a team's best players can be protected on the 40-man roster. That is where the AAA Reserve List helps. If a player from the AAA Reserve List is drafted in the Rule 5 draft, that player must remain on the drafting team's 25-man major league roster for the full season or he will have to be put through waivers. If claimed, the new team will be subject to the same conditions regarding that player. If not claimed, the player will be offered back to the team from which he was drafted.

The cost of drafting a player in the major league phase of the draft is now $100,000. If the player is offered back to the team from which he was drafted, the original team must pay $50,000 back to the drafting team. If the original team declines, the player will be put on waivers.

Last season LHP Reymin Guduan was added to the 40-man roster by the Astros in advance of the deadline. The front office made the determination that Guduan was the most likely player to be taken in the Rule 5 draft. The front office took a calculated risk by not adding players such as RHP Mike Hauschild, OF Jon Kemmer, C Tyler Heineman and others to the 40-man roster, but only included them on the AAA Reserve List. They made a determination as to which players, if drafted, were more likely to "stick" on a major league roster for a full season and were very successful in that the only unprotected player claimed in last year's Rule 5 draft was Hauschild who was claimed by the Rangers and subsequently returned to the Astros.

Since players taken in the Rule 5 draft have to remain on the drafting team's 25-man roster for the full season, pitchers are taken much more frequently than position players simply because it's fairly easy to use a pitcher sparingly out of the bullpen. Position players can't be tucked away quite so neatly if they struggle. It all comes down to another team's ability to find room on their 25-man roster for a full season. It's simply not that easy to do and that's why so very few players are drafted in the Rule 5 draft and stick with a team.

It's also the case that often minor league fans overvalue prospects. We may think much more highly of a player than the other teams' front offices do. When all is said and done, the Astros front office will take some risks in leaving players unprotected, but it will be a highly educated guess based on many factors, including future needs.

MINOR LEAGUE PHASE OF THE RULE 5 DRAFT

There is now only one minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, reduced from two phases in earlier years. The players on the 40-man roster and the AAA reserve list aren't eligible to be taken in the minor league phase of the draft. To my knowledge the AAA reserve list is still set at 38 players so, in essence, you are protecting your top 78 players from the minor league phase. (As far as I know, AAA Reserve Lists are not made public so we are left to guess who the Astros will be shielding from the minor league phase of the draft.)

In the AAA Phase of the draft, a player who is on the AA Reserve List or lower can be drafted for inclusion on the drafting team's AAA Reserve list for a cost of $24,000. The kicker on the minor league phase of the draft is that the drafted player basically becomes that team's property. There is no requirement to offer the player back if he doesn't work out. He can be traded, released, etc. at a team's discretion.

ASTROS 2017 RULE 5 ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

The following are those players who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December if they are left unprotected. I have organized them by the level at which they were assigned at the end of the minor league regular season. Players who are first year eligible have been #'d. [PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS LIST IS PRELIMINARY AND IS BASED ON MY RECORDS. IT HAS NOT BEEN VERIFIED WITH THE ASTROS FRONT OFFICE FOR 100% ACCURACY.]

AAA Position Players
OF Jon Kemmer (DL at end of season)
IF Jack Mayfield (DL at end of season)

AAA Pitchers
RHP Kevin Comer (DL at end of season)
LHP Kent Emanuel
RHP Mike Hauschild
#RHP Brendan McCurry
#RHP Cy Sneed

AA Position Players
#2B/3B Nick Tanielu (spent most of 2017 on the DL; rehabbing with GCL at end of season)

AA Pitchers
#RHP Josh James
#LHP Cionel Perez (see this BA article for more on Perez)

Position Players at High A or lower
#IF Osvaldo Duarte (DL at end of season)

Pitchers at High A or lower
#LHP Yhoan Acosta (on DL most of 2017 season)

#First year eligibility for Rule 5 Draft

In addition to the above, the following players will be minor league free agents at the conclusion of the major league season in which case they are free to explore free agency.

Minor League Free Agents
RHP Angel Heredia (on rehab assignment)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WTHB Astros MiLB 2017 Players of the Year

There were so many amazing feats of baseball excellence in the Astros system this season that I wish I could acknowledge them all. Here are just a few ...

FULL SEASON PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: OF KYLE TUCKER


Kyle Tucker - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Despite somewhat uneven results following his late May promotion to AA Corpus Christi, Tucker was still the player to beat in terms of the breadth of his accomplishments for 2017. In 120 games between Buies Creek and Corpus Christi, Tucker batted .274/.346/.528 with 33 doubles, five triples, 25 home runs, 90 RBI, 70 runs scored, 21 stolen bases and eight outfield assists. He was the only 20/20 man in the Astros minor league system, an accomplishment worth noting. As is the fact that he is still only 20 years old at AA.

Serious consideration was also given to Quad Cities/Buies Creek OF Carmen Benedetti (.316/.421/.452 in 92 games); Quad Cities/Buies Creek OF Ronnie Dawson (.278/.363/.437 in 129 games) and Buies Creek/Corpus Christi OF Myles Straw (.290/.405/.360 in 127 games). Benedetti has an outstanding right field arm (11 outfield assists), developing power (27 doubles, one triple and five home runs) and excellent on-base skills. Ronnie Dawson's numbers may not look that impressive until you consider that he hit .314/.410/.490 from June 1st on and .333/.413/.502 from July 1st forward. And, last but certainly not least, Myles Straw may not be a power threat, but his 38 stolen bases for the season show him to be a legitimate speed threat; he also scored 90 runs and collected 14 outfield assists.

Note that I did not consider any players who have already made their major league debut (sorry, Tony Kemp!).

STARTER OF THE YEAR: RHP ROGELIO ARMENTEROS

Rogelio Armenteros - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

There were a number of very good pitching performances in the Astros minor league system in 2017, but no one was quite as dominant as Rogelio Armenteros. Armenteros split his season between Corpus Christi and Fresno and compiled a 10-4 record with a 2.04 ERA, a 1.043 WHIP and 38 walks to 146 strikeouts in 123.2 innings. His stats were almost identical at the two levels with the main difference being an astonishing 8-1 record in his 10 starts at the higher level.

Honorable mention goes to Quad Cities/Buies Creek RHP Carson LaRue (12-7, 3.23 ERA, 1.133 WHIP, 30BB:105SO in 120 IP); Quad Cities/Buies Creek RHP Jorge Alcala (7-6, 3.05 ERA, 1.061 WHIP, 45BB:95SO in 109.1 IP); Buies Creek/Corpus Christi RHP Yoanys Quiala (9-5, 2.57 ERA, 1.187 WHIP, 24BB:92SO, 108.2 innings); and Quad Cities/Buies Creek/Corpus Christi RHP Forrest Whitley (5-4, 2.83 ERA, 12.13 WHIP, 34BB:143SO, 92.1 IP).

RELIEVER OF THE YEAR: RHP NICK HERNANDEZ

Nick Hernandez - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

I struggled with this one a little bit, but ultimately I went with Nick Hernandez. Hernandez was lights out in his time with Buies Creek (1.59 ERA, 0.853 WHIP with 9 saves in 24 appearances), but the numbers following his promotion to Corpus Christi were a little less flashy (5.84 ERA, 1.297 WHIP with 1 save in 14 appearances). But once I dug down a little bit further, I was sold. Hernandez inherited 32 runners and allowed only two of them to score and he converted 10 of 11 save opportunities. He ended the season with a 1-3 record, 10 saves, a 3.38 ERA, a 1.040 WHIP and held batters to a .170 average in 38 appearances (58.2 IP).

There were several other pitchers that I considered for this award, primary among them Buies Creek/Corpus Christi RHP Riley Ferrell (3.67 ERA, 1.204 WHIP, 6 saves in 38 appearances). Ferrell started out the season slowly, but hit his stride late. He had a 2.45 ERA and a 0.773 WHIP from July 1st forward, holding batters to a .158 batting average. In his final nine appearances, he allowed only three hits, zero walks and zero runs over 12.1 innings.

CATCHER OF THE YEAR: CHUCKIE ROBINSON

Chuckie Robinson - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

I like a catcher who is a well-rounded player and that sums up who Chuckie Robinson is. He not only has a solid bat (.274/.330/.463 with 32 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs) and a good arm (41% caught stealing rate in 2017), but he can also steal an occasional base as he did seven times during the season. He was an invaluable member of the Quad Cities team both during the season as he caught around 30 or so pitchers who came through the level, as well as the River Bandits postseason, catching eight of nine games and contributing four home runs and eight RBI.

SHORT SEASON PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: OF RAMIRO RODRIGUEZ

Rodriguez spent the vast majority of his season with the Dominican Summer League with a mid-August promotion to the Gulf Coast League that saw him continue with his dominance at the plate. In 58 games, Rodriguez hit .335/.440/.500 with 11 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 24 RBI, 37 runs scored and eight stolen bases. He walked 30 times to only 23 strikeouts. Rodriguez is from Panama and will be 20 in February.

STARTER OF THE YEAR: LHP ANTONIO PUJOLS

In his first season in the Astros system, Pujols made quite an impression, compiling a 4-2 record with a 1.65 ERA, a 0.933 WHIP and 16 walks to 49 strikeouts in 54.2 innings of work. He held opposing batters to a .186/.250/.266 batting line. Pujols is from the Dominican Republic and will turn 20 in January.

RELIEVER OF THE YEAR: RHP JESUS BALAGUER

Jesus Balaguer was 5-2 with 4 saves, a 2.73 ERA and a 1.061 WHIP in 18 bullpen appearances for Greeneville, Tri-City and Quad Cities this season. He walked 15 batters and struck out 53 in 33 innings of work and held hitters to a .175/.271/.263 batting line. Balaguer, who just turned 24 in August, is from Cuba and 2017 was his first season in the U.S.

TEAM OF THE YEAR: QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS

Russ Steinhorn - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Russ Steinhorn guided the 62 players who came through the River Bandits clubhouse in 2017 to the Midwest League Championship in his second season as a manager in the Astros system. He first managed in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, an experience that came in very handy for him as 30 of those 62 players he managed in Quad Cities were Latin American and ran the gamut in their abilities to communicate in the English language. Steinhorn created a great clubhouse culture that blended all of the personalities and backgrounds, resulting in a vibrant atmosphere with great chemistry and energy both on and off the field. The River Bandits ended the season with a 79-59 record, the best mark in the Astros minor league system and, of course, bragging rights at Spring Training 2018 as they will be the only Astros MiLB team to be presented with championship rings.

MISCELLANEOUS AWARDS ...
(SOME SERIOUS, SOME NOT SO MUCH)

BEST HAIR: RHP DEAN DEETZ

Dean Deetz - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Not only does he have hair that would fit in alongside Yuli Gurriel and George Springer, he also has a great sense of humor and took no offense when I mentioned that his hair made him look like a porcupine.

Honorable mention has to go to Cesar Rosado though ...



MOST LIKELY TO BREAK OUT DANCING IN THE CLUBHOUSE (OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER): OF RONNIE DAWSON


BEST BASEBALL NAME: OF FILDEX PERFECTO

Surely the Astros are planning to convert this young man to a pitcher just so someone gets the opportunity to report on a Perfecto Perfecto one day!!!

BEST USE OF DUGOUT PAPER CUPS: RHP CY SNEED

Cy Sneed - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

HAVE A GAME AWARD, PART 1: C EDUARDO DE OLEO

De Oleo hit three home runs in ONE GAME on April 21st. It was only his second game in the Astros system.

MOST INTERESTING FACE: RHP CRISTIAN JAVIER

Cristian Javier - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

I have been intrigued by Javier's face since I met him last year ... so interesting, mysterious and somehow vulnerable. Oh, and he's a really good pitcher too!

BEST DEBUT BY A PITCHER IN 2017: LHP KIT SCHEETZ

With apologies to NDFA RHP Brendan Feldmann and 11th rounder LHP Brandon Beilak, each of whom had terrific starts to their pro careers, I have to go with Kit Scheetz, another non-drafted free agent who started his season with the Gulf Coast League rookie club, was quickly promoted to Tri-City and earned his way to Quad Cities in mid-August. From rookie ball to earning a win in Low A postseason play in your first professional season while compiling a 1.72 ERA and a 1.021 WHIP is pretty impressive no matter how you look at it. In 47 innings in the regular season, he walked nine and struck out 53.

CUTEST COUPLE, PART 1: TRENT WOODWARD AND KYLE TUCKER


Trent Woodward and Kyle Tucker - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

BEST NICKNAME: FREUDIS "SUPER" NOVA

Freudis was christened "Super" Nova after hitting two home runs in one game on August 3rd.

BEST SMILE: 1B DEX MCCALL

Dex McCall - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

HAVE A GAME AWARD, PART 2: C NERIO RODRIGUEZ

Rodriguez caught five baserunners in one game on July 28th. In addition, he hit a home run. According to MLB pipeline, that combination has NEVER happened before.

BEST DEBUT BY A POSITION PLAYER IN 2017: JOSH ROJAS

Josh Rojas - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

There are several deserving candidates, but I have to go with the 26th rounder out of the University of Hawaii. Not only did he skip rookie ball and the short season clubs altogether to make his debut with Low A Quad Cities, he also subbed in at AAA Fresno at the end of the season, and he more than held his own at the plate, hitting .261/.319/.478 with five doubles, five triples and 10 home runs in 56 games. Primarily a third baseman/second baseman, he also played a couple games at short and ended up playing outfield in the postseason where he was credited with two outfield assists.

ONLY IN THE DSL AWARD: ASTROS ORANGE TEAM

On June 21st, the Astros Orange team scored six runs in one inning without collecting a hit ... six walks, three hit batters, two wild pitches, one passed ball and one stolen base ... only in the DSL!

CUTEST COUPLE, PART 2: TROY SIEBER AND KRISTIAN TROMPIZ

Troy Sieber and Kristian Trompiz - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

HAVE A GAME AWARD, PART 3: 1B/OF JOSE BENJAMIN

Benjamin hit for the cycle in only four at-bats in a rain shortened game on July 17th ... double in the first, triple in the third, home run in the fifth and single in the sixth.

HALL OF FAME AWARD: RHP BROCK DYKXHOORN

Brock Dykxhoorn - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Dykxhoorn has the distinction, as far as I know, of being the only current Astros minor leaguer to have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame ... the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, that is. He was inducted this past summer as a member of the Pan Am Gold Medal 2015 Canadian National Team.

MOST LIKELY TO BREAK A FEW HEARTS: RHP FORREST WHITLEY


Forrest Whitley - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

What can I say? He's talented, charming, good looking and a top prospect! 

HAVE A GAME AWARD, LAST CALL: C JAMIE RITCHIE

Jamie Ritchie - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Ritchie hit for the cycle on August 6th ... home run in the second, single in the fifth, double in the seventh, triple in the eighth. According to twitter, saving the triple for last (and getting it) is the equivalent of getting every beautiful girl in the bar to go home with you at closing time.

2017 ASTROS MILB BY THE NUMBERS

TEAM STATS


  • 893: Regular season Astros minor league games played
  • 456-437: Cumulative record of all nine Astros MiLB teams
  • +150: Cumulative run differential for all nine teams
  • 9: Astros MiLB teams
  • 5: Astros MiLB teams with winning records
  • 2: Astros MiLB teams advancing to the playoffs (Greeneville and Quad Cities)
  • 1: Astros MiLB team winning a League Championship (Quad Cities/Midwest League Champions)



  • 5.52: Highest team ERA in the Astros MiLB system (Fresno Grizzlies)
  • 4.13: Cumulative ERA for all pitchers in the Astros MiLB system
  • 3.53: Lowest team ERA in the Astros MiLB system (Gulf Coast League Astros)
  • 1.607: Highest team WHIP in the Astros MiLB system (Fresno Grizzlies)
  • 1.397: Cumulative WHIP for all pitchers in the Astros MiLB system
  • 1.216: Lowest team WHIP in the Astros MiLB system (Buies Creek Astros)



  • .473: Highest team SLG in the Astros MiLB system (Fresno Grizzlies)
  • .397: Cumulative SLG for all players in the Astros MiLB system
  • .316: Lowest team SLG in the Astros MiLB system (DSL Astros Orange)
  • .359: Highest team OBP in the Astros MiLB system (Fresno Grizzlies)
  • .337: Cumulative OBP for all players in the Astros MiLB system
  • .304: Lowest team OBP in the Astros MiLB system (Tri-City ValleyCats)
  • .282: Highest team BA in the Astros MiLB system (Fresno Grizzlies)
  • .251: Cumulative BA for all players in the Astros MiLB system
  • .216: Lowest team BA in the Astros MiLB system (Tri-City ValleyCats)


OFFENSIVE LEADERS




Minimum 300 PA for full season and minimum 150 PA for short season to qualify



PITCHING LEADERS




Minimum 70 innings pitched for full season and minimum 40 innings pitched for short season to qualify

  • 13.9: Strikeouts per nine innings for Quad Cities/Buies Creek/Corpus Christi RHP Forrest Whitley in 92.1 innings (143 strikeouts), the full season leader
  • 11.6: Strikeouts per nine innings for Tri-City RHP Colin McKee in 41 innings (53 strikeouts), the short season leader
  • 5.8: Hits per nine innings for Quad Cities/Buies Creek RHP Jorge Alcala in 109.1 innings, the full season leader
  • 4.2: Hits per nine innings for Tri-City RHP Colin McKee in 41 innings, the short season leader
  • 1.7: Walks per nine innings for GCL/Tri-City/Quad Cities LHP Kit Scheetz in 47 innings, the short season leader
  • 1.6: Walks per nine innings for Corpus Christi/Fresno RHP Trent Thornton in 131.1 innings, the full season leader
  • 5.89: Strikeout-to-walk rate for GCL/Tri-City/Quad Cities LHP Kit Scheetz in 47 innings, the short season leader
  • 4.39: Strikeout-to-walk rate for Corpus Christi/Fresno RHP Trent Thornton in 131.1 innings, the full season leader
  • 0.933: WHIP from DSL LHP Antonio Pujols in 54.2 innings, the short season leader
  • 1.043: WHIP from Corpus Christi/Fresno RHP Rogelio Armenteros in 123.2 innings, the full season leader
  • 1.65: ERA from DSL LHP Antonio Pujols in 54.2 innings, the short season leader
  • 2.04: ERA from Corpus Christi/Fresno RHP Rogelio Armenteros in 123.2 innings pitched, the full season leader


Previous By The Numbers Posts from 2017
April
May
June
July
August/September

If you made it this far, thank you all for reading! And a special thanks to Dustin Nguyen who has provided continuously excellent recaps and helped keep me sane over these last few years!!! Come back soon for my Rule 5 post.

Monday, September 18, 2017

August/September Astros MiLB Roster Moves/Transactions

Final list of August/September Astros MiLB Roster Moves and Transactions (moves following the end of the minor league season will be kept on my offseason transaction list coming soon to a blog post near you)

9-9: 1B Troy Sieber activated from the Quad Cities DL
9-8: 2B Reiny Beltre (Greeneville) released
9-8: C Martin Figueroa (Greeneville) released
9-8: LHP Francisco Villegas (Greeneville) released
9-8: LHP Maikel Sepulveda (Greeneville) released
9-9: 2B/OF Marcos Almonte placed on the Quad Cities 7-day DL
9-6: RHP James Hoyt recalled to Houston from Fresno
9-5: 3B/2B Josh Rojas assigned to Quad Cities from Fresno
9-5: C Evan Gattis sent to Quad Cities on a rehab assignment
9-4: RHP Michael Feliz sent to Quad Cities on a rehab assignment
9-3: LHP Alex Winkelman assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
9-3: LHP Sean Stutzman assigned to Corpus Christi from Buies Creek
9-3: RHP Brendan Feldmann assigned to Corpus Christi from the GCL
9-3: RHP Devin Raftery assigned to Buies Creek from the GCL
9-2: IF/OF Tony Kemp recalled to Houston from Fresno
9-2: IF Tyler White recalled to Houston from Fresno
9-2: LHP Reymin Guduan recalled to Houston from Fresno
9-2: OF Bryan de la Cruz assigned to Quad Cities from Tri-City
9-2: OF Patrick Mathis assigned to Tri-City from Greeneville
9-1: Traded RHP Franklin Perez (Corpus Christi), C Jake Rogers (Buies Creek), OF Daz Cameron (Quad Cities) and PTBNL/Cash for RHP Justin Verlander (Tigers)
9-1: Designated RHP Dayan Diaz for assignment (lost on waivers to the Angels)
9-1: SS Ozziel-Sanchez Gallan assigned to Corpus Christi from the GCL
9-1: 3B/C Trent Woodward assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
9-1: 3B Josh Rojas assigned to Fresno from Quad Cities
9-1: RHP Brady Rodgers recalled to Houston from Fresno and placed on the 60-day DL
9-1: RHP Ian Hardman assigned to Tri-City from Greeneville
9-1: RHP Peter Solomon assigned to the GCL from Greeneville
8-31: C Juan Centeno recalled to Houston from Fresno
8-31: SS Carlos Correa sent to Corpus Christi on a rehab assignment
8-31: C Carlos Canelon assigned to Corpus Christi from Tri-City
8-31: C Eduardo de Oleo assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-31: 3B Colin Moran sent to Quad Cities on a rehab assignment
8-30: C Max Stassi sent to Corpus Christi on a rehab assignment
8-30: RHP Lance McCullers sent to Corpus Christi on a rehab assignment
8-30: IF Jack Mayfield placed on the 7-day DL
8-29: C Carlos Canelon assigned to Tri-City from Corpus Christi
8-28: RHP Kevin Comer placed on the 7-day DL
8-27: RHP James Hoyt optioned to Fresno from Houston
8-27: 1B Troy Sieber placed on the Quad Cities 7-day DL
8-26: C Eduardo de Oleo assigned to Corpus Christi from Fresno
8-25: OF Carlos Machado assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-25: RHP Cristofer Melendez (DSL) released
8-24: LHP Tony Sipp sent to Fresno for a rehab assignment
8-24: RHP Michael Feliz sent to Fresno for a rehab assignment
8-24: SS Carlos Correa sent to Fresno for a rehab assignment
8-24: RHP Will Harris sent to Fresno on a rehab assignment
8-24: RHP Lance McCullers sent to Fresno on a rehab assignment
8-24: C Juan Centeno optioned to Fresno from Houston
8-24: RHP Cesar Rosado (Quad Cities) activated from the DL
8-23: RHP Angel Heredia (Corpus Christi) sent to Tri-City for a rehab assignment
8-23: 2B Nick Tanielu (Corpus Christi) sent to the GCL for a rehab assignment
8-22: OF Myles Straw assigned to Corpus Christi from Buies Creek
8-22: Ronnie Dawson assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities
8-22: RHP Dustin Hunt (Quad Cities) released
8-22: SS/2B Cody Bohanek assigned to Quad Cities from Greeneville
8-22: OF J.J. Matijevic assigned to Quad Cities from Tri-City
8-22: C Evan GattisRHP Will HarrisLHP Tony Sipp and RHP Michael Feliz scheduled for rehab assignments in Corpus Christi
8-21: 1B Spencer Johnson (Corpus Christi) released
8-21: SS Juan Pineda assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-20: RHP Jordan Jankowski claimed off waivers by the Dodgers
8-19: SS Reid Brignac (Fresno) activated from the DL
8-19: RHP Dustin Hunt assigned to Quad Cities from Tri-City
8-18: C Jose Carrillo assigned to the GCL from the DSL
8-18: OF Ramiro Rodriguez assigned to the GCL from the DSL
8-18: OF Jonathan Lacroix placed on the GCL 7-day DL
8-15: RHP Yoanys Quiala (Corpus Christi) activated from the suspended list
8-15: C Eduardo de Oleo assigned to Fresno from Buies Creek (had been on rehab assignment at GCL)
8-14: LHP Reymin Guduan optioned to Fresno from Houston
8-14: RHP Jordan Jankowski designated for assignment
8-14: SS Alex DeGoti assigned to Buies Creek from Fresno
8-14: RHP Cy Sneed assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-14: C Max Stassi called up to Houston from Fresno
8-14: RHP Gabriel Valdez placed on the Quad Cities 7-day DL
8-14: RHP Cesar Rosado placed on the Quad Cities 7-day DL
8-14: 3B Wander Franco assigned to Quad Cities from the GCL
8-14: SS Ozziel Sanchez-Galan assigned to the GCL from Buies Creek
8-13: 1B/OF Spencer Johnson assigned to Corpus Christi from Fresno
8-13: IF Colin Walsh assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-13: OF Rico Noel assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-13: RHP Kevin Hill assigned to Buies Creek from Corpus Christi
8-13: C Trent Woodward (Corpus Christi) activated from the DL
8-13: OF Jonathan Lacroix (12th round pick) assigned to the GCL
8-13: RHP Fredis Guerrero assigned to the GCL from the DSL
8-13: RHP Freylin Garcia assigned to the GCL from the DSL
8-12: SS Reid Brignac placed on the Fresno 7-day DL, retroactive to 8-11
8-12: LHP Ashur Tolliver (Fresno) released
8-12: RHP Forrest Whitley assigned to Corpus Christi from Buies Creek (official on 8-17)
8-12: LHP Cionel Perez assigned to Corpus Christi from Buies Creek (official on 8-15)
8-12: RHP Josh James (Corpus Christi) activated from the suspended list
8-12: LHP Sebastian Kessay (Buies Creek) released
8-12: RHP Carson LaRue assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities
8-12: RHP Abdiel Saldana assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities
8-12: RHP Cesar Rosado (Quad Cities) activated from the DL
8-12: LHP Nathan Thompson assigned to Quad Cities from Tri-City
8-12: LHP Kit Scheetz assigned to Quad Cities from Tri-City
8-12: RHP Dustin Hunt assigned to Tri-City from Quad Cities
8-11: IF/OF Marcos Almonte (Quad Cities) activated from the DL
8-11: SS Osvaldo Duarte placed on the Quad Cities 7-day DL
8-11: RHP Ronaldo Marrero assigned to the GCL from Tri-City
8-11: RHP Jairo Solis assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-11: LHP Maikel Sepulveda assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-10: RHP Andrew Thome assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-10: OF Jon Kemmer placed on the Fresno 7-day DL
8-10: RHP Yoanys Quiala (Corpus Christi) suspended for an undisclosed number of days
8-10: RHP Angel Heredia (Corpus Christi) sent to GCL on a rehab assignment
8-9: IF Tyler White optioned to Fresno from Houston
8-9: C Eduardo de Oleo (Buies Creek) sent to the GCL on a rehab assignment
8-9: LHP Adam Bleday assigned to Tri-City from Greeneville
8-9: RHP Leovanny Rodriguez assigned to Tri-City from Greeneville
8-8: SS Ozziel Sanchez-Galan assigned to Buies Creek from the GCL
8-7: C Carlos Canelon assigned to Corpus Christi from Tri-City
8-7: C Bernardo Heras assigned to Tri-City from Corpus Christi
8-5: RHP J.B. Bukauskus assigned to Tri-City from the GCL
8-5: RHP Chad Donato assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-5: C Garrett Stubbs assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-5: SS Alex DeGoti assigned to Fresno from Buies Creek
8-5: 1B A.J. Reed optioned to Fresno from Houston
8-5: 3B J.D. Davis called up to Houston from Fresno
8-5: C Juan Centeno recalled to Houston from Fresno
8-5: C Bernardo Heras assigned to Corpus Christi from the GCL
8-5: Ozziel Sanchez-Galan (GCL) activated from the suspended list
8-5: OF Cesar Cortez (GCL) activated from the suspended list
8-4: RHP James Hoyt recalled to Houston from Fresno
8-4: OF Rico Noel assigned to Corpus Christi from Fresno
8-4: OF Rico Noel assigned to Fresno (picked up from the Atlantic League)
8-4: RHP Jordan Jankowski optioned to Fresno from Houston
8-4: C Trent Woodward (Corpus Christi) sent to the GCL for a rehab assignment
8-4: RHP Gabriel Valdez activated from the Quad Cities DL
8-4: IF/OF Marcos Almonte placed on the Quad Cities 7-day DL, retroactive to 8-1
8-4: RHP Matthew Merrill assigned to the GCL from Greeneville
8-4: SS Ozziel Sanchez-Galan (GCL) suspended for an undisclosed number of days
8-4: OF Cesar Cortez (GCL) suspended for an undisclosed number of days
8-2: RHP Elieser Hernandez activated from the Buies Creek DL
8-2: OF Carmen Benedetti assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities
8-2: OF Luis Payano assigned to Quad Cities from Tri-City
8-1: RHP Jordan Jankowski recalled to Houston from Fresno
8-1: OF Drew Ferguson assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-1: 1B/OF Spencer Johnson assigned to Fresno from Buies Creek
8-1: RHP Kevin Hill assigned to Corpus Christi from Buies Creek
8-1: RHP Josh James (Corpus Christi) suspended for an undisclosed number of days

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Astros Farm Report: And That's a Wrap

What. A. Game.


Unbelievable win by Quad Cities last night. After (improbably) winning the first two games of the five game series on the road, the team came home to sweep the series in front of a large, enthusiastic crowd. Jake Levy, voice of the Bandits, noted that the crowd seemed to get to Fort Wayne starter Adrian Morejon, one of San Diego's top prospects, as he and the next two Fort Wayne pitchers saw the Bandits take a 12-0 lead by the end of the fifth inning. Ronel Blanco, who got the start for Quad Cities, was nothing short of brilliant. He exited the game after 6.2 innings, only because he had reached his pitch count. But before he left, he struck out one last batter for a career high of 10 strikeouts in a game to go with four hits, zero walks and zero runs. He got a huge ovation from the crowd and a tip of his cap as he left the field only made the ovation bigger. The Tin Caps managed to score two runs during an abbreviated outing by Yohan Ramirez to make it 12-2, but Lucas Williams came in for the final two innings and shut the door on Fort Wayne, allowing only one hit and striking out one. All of the Quad Cities starters collected either a hit or a walk in the game, but Chuckie Robinson was an overachiever, going 4-for-5 with a double, home run, three RBI and four runs scored. Troy Sieber, Abraham Toro and Kristian Trompiz each drove in a pair, and Toro and Trompiz each collected two hits. Chas McCormick and Colin Moran both scored twice and had two hits each as well. The Bandits collected a total of 13 hits and 8 walks so there was more than enough offense to go around.


With a pop out to Kristian Trompiz as the final out of the game, the team rushed the field to celebrate and before the Quad Cities video feed went quiet, I saw two of the Latin players start dancing during the celebration. And thus ended a crazy, weird, sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful season of Astros minor league baseball for me. It started with me stressed and underappreciated at a job I didn't much care for with barely the time or energy to write blog posts to being unemployed and re-energized and enjoying minor league baseball more than I have since my early days of writing about it. I fell in love with that Quad Cities team in July (although there have been a few graduations and a few substitutions since then), and when Luis Payano and Marcos Almonte started dancing to celebrate the win, I started laughing and crying and wanting to dance with them.

There will be much more offseason coverage to come, including the annual WTHB Awards presentation coming soon, so check back often. Thanks for reading my little slice of the internet.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 9/15

Game 2 of the Midwest League Championship Series is in the books and it was a good one ... at least for the River Bandits. Patrick Sandoval (W, 6.0IP, 6H, 1BB, 2SO) and Salvador Montano (S, 3.0IP, 1H, 1BB, 4SO) combined on the shutout on the road, giving Quad Cities a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five series as they head home for the final game(s) of the series. And the pitching staff had to be sharp in this one. The River Bandits took a 1-0 lead in the first with an Abraham Toro RBI single, but that's where it stood until the sixth inning. A lead-off double in that frame from Wander Franco followed by a Kristian Trompiz single blossomed into two runs as Chas McCormick and Troy Sieber each drove in a run to make it 3-0. Trompiz was also involved in the scoring in the eighth inning as he singled and came around to score on a ground out and a Colin Moran single (I only feel slightly guilty that the rehabbing major leaguer has been so good in the Midwest League postseason). J.J. Matijevic doubled in the final run of the game to give the Bandits a 5-0 lead and to seal the win.

And now Quad Cities only needs to win one more game out of the next three at home to claim the championship. I do not wish to tempt the baseball gods, but I do like the odds on that one.

Game 3 will be at 6:35 CT on Saturday with TBD facing Adrian Morejon (0-0, 1.50 in one game in the postseason).
  • 6:05 CT on Wednesday, 9/13, at Fort Wayne: Quad Cities 6, Fort Wayne 3
  • 6:05 CT on Thursday, 9/14, at Fort Wayne: Quad Cities 5, Fort Wayne 0
  • 6:35 CT on Saturday, 9/16, at Quad Cities: QC: TBD vs. FW: Adrian Morejon (1-2, 4.23)
  • 5:15 CT on Sunday, 9/17, at Quad Cities: QC: TBD vs. FW: Reggie Lawson (4-6, 5.30)
  • 6:35 CT on Monday, 9/18, at Quad Cities: QC: TBD vs. FW: Michael Baez (6-2, 2.45)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 9/14

Game 1 of the best-of-five League Championship Series went swimmingly (mostly) as Quad Cities took a 1-0 lead over Fort Wayne on the road. The Bandits took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first, scoring four of those five runs with two outs thanks to an Abraham Toro RBI triple and a 3-run shot from J.J. Matijevic. Quad Cities starter Cristian Javier gave two back in the bottom of the frame via the long ball. Chuckie Robinson countered with a solo shot in the top of the third to make it 6-2. Javier allowed another Fort Wayne run on a walk and two singles to make it 6-3 before being replaced by Jesus Balaguer with two outs in the fourth. Balaguer (W, 3.0IP 1H 1BB 7SO) and Robert Corniel (S, 2.1IP 1H 2SO) collectively allowed only two singles and a walk over the final 5.1 innings. The River Bandits only collected seven hits in the game, two each from Chas McCormick and Colin Moran, and struck out 16 times. Twelve of those strikeouts came against Fort Wayne starter Pedro Avila.

Game 2 will be at 6:05 CT tonight with Patrick Sandoval (1-0, 2.70 in the post season) facing Lake Bachar who will be making his first appearance of the postseason for Fort Wayne.

  • 6:05 CT on Wednesday, 9/13, at Fort Wayne: Quad Cities 6, Fort Wayne 3
  • 6:05 CT on Thursday, 9/14, at Fort Wayne: QC: Patrick Sandoval (2-2, 3.83) vs. FW: Lake Bachar (4-1, 4.06)
  • 6:35 CT on Saturday, 9/16, at Quad Cities: QC: TBD vs. FW: Adrian Morejon (1-2, 4.23)
  • 5:15 CT on Sunday, 9/17, at Quad Cities: QC: TBD vs. FW: Reggie Lawson (4-6, 5.30)
  • 6:35 CT on Monday, 9/18, at Quad Cities: QC: TBD vs. FW: Michael Baez (6-2, 2.45)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 9/12

So, this happened ...

Quad Cities starter Kit Scheetz got the win with 6.2 strong innings, allowing only one run on a solo home run, three total hits and one walk while striking out nine. Salvador Montano and Robert Corniel provided scoreless relief the rest of the way. The Bandits handed Scheetz a 3-run lead before he ever threw a pitch. In the top of the first, three straight Bandits batters walked and Josh Rojas cleared all the little duckies on the pond with a double. Rojas was also involved with the scoring in the fourth inning as he singled, advanced to third on a J.J. Matijevic ground-rule double and was driven in by a Bryan de la Cruz sac fly, bringing the score to 4-0 where it stayed until Cedar Rapids solo home run in the seventh made it 4-1. Quad Cities threatened in the eighth but did not add to their lead; however, the ninth inning was another story. RBI singles from Chuckie Robinson and Kristian Trompiz helped pad the lead to 6-1 and that is where it stayed.

Quad Cities will travel to Fort Wayne for the first game of the best-of-five League Championship Series. None of the starters have been announced at this time.

6:05 CT on Wednesday, 9/13, at Fort Wayne
6:05 CT on Thursday, 9/14, at Fort Wayne
Time TBD on Saturday, 9/16, at Quad Cities
Time TBD on Sunday, 9/17, at Quad Cities
Time TBD on Monday, 9/18, at Quad Cities


Monday, September 11, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 9/11

Game 2 of the Midwest League Division Finals is in the books and it wasn't nearly as fun as Game 1.

Quad Cities starter Ronel Blanco took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks over 2.2 innings and allowing Cedar Rapids to take the early lead. Lucas Williams (2.1IP 4H 3R 1BB) didn't fare much better and the Bandits were in a 7-0 hole at the end of the fifth. Quad Cities was able to get on the board in the top of the sixth as they sent 10 batters to the plate; they scored four runs on four walks, three singles and a wild pitch. Nathan Thompson came in for the bottom of the sixth and allowed only one double and two walks the rest of the way, but the Bandits only managed to produce two base runners in their final three innings, one of which was erased on a double play so that was that. Chas McCormick went three-for-four with a walk and an RBI. Colin Moran and Bryan de la Cruz each had two hits with a double and Troy Sieber collected two hits as well.

Game 3 is scheduled for 6:35 Monday in Cedar Rapids.

Division Championship Series Schedule

6:30 CST on Saturday, 9/09, at Quad Cities: Quad Cites 5, Cedar Rapids 4
4:05 CST on Sunday, 9/10, at Cedar Rapids: QC: Cedar Rapids 7, Quad Cities 4
6:35 CST on Monday, 9/11, at Cedar Rapids: QC: Kit Scheetz (2-0, 0.95) vs. CR: Tyler Wells (5-3, 3.11)