Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday is Here

Before we delve into today's Houston Astros minor league notebook, I'd like to talk about one aspect of this blog. I have to admit something to you, dear readers: frankly, I don't have the time or inclination to follow every player in the Houston organization. I do good work on players who I consider having a shot at reaching the major leagues. If they're not too old for the level, or if they were old when they were drafted, I'll follow their stats. But there are some guys, like Marcos Cabral and Chris Minaker at Lancaster, that I just can't keep up with them.

Those two guys are both regulars for the JetHawks and they both have high averages right now. However, they're both 25 and have been around for a while. At Double-A and Triple-A, I'm a little more lenient, if only because those players are closer to the majors. Players such as John Gall (32) and Drew Locke (26), even though they're older, have a legitimate shot at getting to the pros, even if it's just an injury call-up.

I do factor them in when I say things like 'most hits in the minors' or various other comparisons, but I don't track their game-by-game stats. I just don't have the time, as this is my hobby, not my job. I do, however, have a list of 54 hitters and 47 pitchers that I track every day. Think of this blog as the Top 100 Astros Prospects. Now, with that said, let's get to the notebook:

  • Yesterday, Yordanny Ramirez continued his blistering May by hitting a solo home run in his first at-bat against New Orleans. Unfortunately, his day ended there as his admiration for the ball made some people angry. Ramirez was ejected and third baseman Chad Spann took his place in the lineup after the defense was shuffled. Spann, incidentally, is 6 for 16 with three runs scored and two RBIs in May.
  • Jonathan Gaston has absolutely lit up the Lake Elsinore pitching staff in the past two games. He's now 8 for 8 with a walk, three home runs, a double, a walk, five runs scored and eight RBIs in those games. He's reached base safely in his last nine trips to the plate and is 11 for 22 this month. His teammate, Jack Shuck, is the only other JetHawk player with 11 hits and he has nine more at-bats than Gaston. Did I mention this was away from Lancaster's hitter's haven? Yeah, Gaston's been impressive of late. I'll have a hitting profile of him sometime next week.
  • Jose Duran was touched up pretty good in his start for Lancaster. Duran (1-4) gave up five runs and seven hits in 3 innings of work. Duran also struck out one and walked three.
  • Earlier this week, Lancaster shook up their roster, placing Jason Dominguez on the DL and bringing in right-hander Philip Rummel, a 31st-round draft pick in 2008 out of Kutztown University. This has been unfortunate for Rummel, as no sane pitcher would want to work in this ballpark. In 5 2/3 innings, Rummel has given up 10 earned runs and 12 hits while striking out three and walking two. His ERA sits at 15.88 while his WHIP is 2.47. Here's hoping his time in California gets more enjoyable.
  • Jordan Lyles turned in his best start of the season, throwing 7 innings and giving up seven hits and one run. The right-hander struck out eight and walked none, with the game's only run coming from a solo home run Lyles (1-3) gave up in the fourth inning. The loss was the third time in five starts that Lexington has been shut out with Lyles on the mound. In an interesting quirk, Lyles did not face a lefthanded batter in the game, as Rome's entire lineup consisted of rightys. He did give up the most line drives (5) that he has in four starts, but made up for it by his big strikeout total. I talked about the Power/Finesse Ratio yesterday in the profile of Bud Norris. Lyles' PFR sits at 1.34 right now, which isn't great, but shows he has the stuff to be a top-line pitcher.
  • The only Lexington player to have a good day at the plate? Second baseman Andrew Simunic was 1 for 3 with a double and a stolen base. Since his callup once Albert Cartwright went on the DL with a broken hand, Simunic is 2 for 9 with a walk and two runs scored.

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