Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday's Trip to Corpus Christi

Corpus had it's game on Thursday postponed, but here's the best and worst from the past week with the Hooks:

Jhon Florentino had a nine-game hitting streak broken three days ago, but is still tied for the team lead in hits with 23. The 25-year old's line of .319/.347/.486 is the best on the team in terms of average and slugging percentage. Florentino is one of four players with at least 10 runs created in Corpus. At 25, his potential is a bit limited, but if Chris Johnson ever gets called up to the big league team, he's a shoo-in for getting a shot at the job in Round Rock.

Wladimir Sutil is 6 for 16 in his last three games, raising his July averages up to .288/.366/.342 in 83 plate appearances. Sutil leads the Hooks with 14 runs scored and in stolen bases with four in five attempts. Sutil doesn't have much power, hitting just four doubles this month and 15 doubles this season with only other extra-base hit (a home run). Not a lot of power, but good defense, good speed and he can hit at the top of the order.

Corpus Christi's youngest everyday player, Collin DeLome, is in a bit of a slump after starting out hot for the first two weeks of July. The 22-year old is 1 for his last 12 and has struck out 16 times in 80 plate appeareances this month. DeLome has walked nine times in July, which is 36% of his season total. His 16 home runs are the most in the top two levels of the Astros system, but his 87 strikeouts this season are also second-highest in those same levels.

The pitching is extremely thin at Corpus right now, with 29-year old Andy Van Hekken, 26-year old Wilton Lopez and 30-year old Kenny Baugh all in the starting rotation. Throw in two 23-year olds who are struggling in Brad James and Sergio Perez and there are basically just relievers to look at in positive terms. James has a 9.31 ERA in 19 1/3 innings in July with a K/BB ratio of 7 to 13. James has got a G/F ratio of 34/17, but his FIP is still 6.67. As for Perez, his latest start only lasted 1 inning and in four starts this month, he's got an ERA of 6.62. Perez has struck out more batters than James with 10, but has also walked 13. Each players has given up three home runs and both have WHIPs over 2.00. Corpus does profile as a hitter-friendly park for home runs, but there aren't as many runs scored there, so it could be a bit of a wash.

The two-relievers of note are both 23 in Danny Meszaros and Chia-Jen Lo. Meszaros has been very effective this month with an ERA of 2.92, lowering his season ERA to 4.89. Meszaros has struck out 12 and walked five in 12 1/3 innings with one hold. Lo, hasn't been as good, though he lost some time to the Futures game. In six innings over six appearances, Lo has allowed six hits and four earned runs while striking out nine and walking four. His FIP of 4.87 is higher than Meszaros' 3.77, but not by much. Both still look to have a bright future and should be in Round Rock by next season.

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