Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday's Rundown

I am just about finished with my June Players of the Month, which is just a bit behind the Astros' schedule, since they just released their POMs here. I'll get mine uploaded in the next day or two, but I'm still working on it, so I may be brief with the rundown today. Without further ado, here's all the news and notes from the Astros minor league system:

Okay, Jordan Lyles is now becoming slightly ridiculous and definitely earns our Gold Star Performance of the Day. The 19-year old got a no decision last night, but it was no fault of his own. Lyles struck out ten while walking one in seven innings, giving him a game score of 72. It was the third time this season he's had a game score in the 70's and the fourth time he's struck out double-digit batters. This season, Lyles has struck out 118 and walked 21, giving him a K/9 rate of 11.18 and a BB/9 rate of 1.98. As I said, ridiculous. He's currently leading the South Atlantic League in strikeouts and would also be leading the Florida State League, the Midwest League, the Carolina League, the California League, the Texas League, the Southern League, the Eastern League, the Pacific Coast League (currently led by Astros starter Bud Norris with 99), and the International League. In case you didn't notice, that's every full-season league in the minors, meaning Lyles is currently leading all minor leaguers in strikeouts. I realize there is a difference in talent levels, but that's still pretty cool.

Thanks to farmstros for the update on J.R. Towles, who apparently has a tweaked hamstring and will be out until at least this weekend. If you haven't visited his site yet, it's one of the best places on the web to get information on the Astros minor league transactions.

Round Rock's Yorman Bazardo tied his season high with six strikeouts on Tuesday. Bazardo (7-3) threw a complete game, pitching eight innings in the loss while allowing two earned runs and eight hits. The 24-year old walked one and hit one batter. Interestingly, Bazardo also had a positive G/F ratio for the seventh straight start, with 11 ground ball outs and 6 fly ball outs. For the season, Bazardo has a ratio of 142/88 G/F.

Outfielder Yordany Ramirez his his ninth home run of the season on Tuesday. The 24-year old is batting .273/.273/.500 this month in 24 plate appearances. Ramirez has been very streaky this season, and is hitting just .264 overall. His .229/.242/.354 line in June was one of the worst on the Astros high minors teams.

Corpus Christi starter Sergio Perez got roughed up again last night, lasting just four innings while giving up seven hits and five earned runs. Perez struck out one while walking three and gave up a home run and hit one batter. His FIP of 8.95 was his second highest of the season and the highest in nine starts.

Reliever Danny Meszaros might have had a rough June, but he has started out the month of July strongly. On Tuesday, the 23-year old threw three scoreless innings, striking out three and walking one while giving up one hit. Meszaros has yet to give up a run in either of his two appearances this month.

The Hooks only managed two hits on Tuesday but still scored two runs. Wladimir Sutil scored one of them and finished 1 for 4 with a double. Third baseman Jhon Florentino had the other hit, also going 1 for 4 and raising his averages this month to .211/.250/.263.

Lancaster starter Chris Hicks pitched his third straight above-average game on Tuesday, recording a game score of 56. It was also the third straight game where Hicks has given up only one earned run. However, he appears to have been a bit lucky against Rancho Cucamonga, giving up zero line drives and having a FIP of 5.70. His defense definitely helped him out, recording a DER of .800, the highest total of the season for Hicks.

First baseman Matt Weston had another big game for Lancaster, going 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI. The 24-year old has 11 RBIs already this month and eight XBH, which translates to a weighted OBA of .575 and 13.8 Runs Created.

Lexington outfielder Jay Austin extended his hitting streak to nine games on Tuesday, but it must've been a bit of a disappointment considering what he's done lately. The 18-year old went 1 for 4 with a strikeout, lowering his monthly averages to .467/.484/.733. That's downright pedestrian, though his Runs Created total of 10.5 is still second only to Weston in the Astros system.

Astros' pitcher of the month Brian Wabick (5-0) stayed perfect on the season by vulturing a win away from Lyles. The 21-year old pitched two hitless innings on Tuesday, giving up a single walk as the only baserunner. Wabick has a slightly higher ERA of 4.63 but has been very good for the past six weeks and hasn't allowed a run in three appearances this month.

One last thought: Tri-City starter and Baytown's own Colton Pitkin (2-2) picked up his second victory on Tuesday. The 19-year old threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and four walks while striking out six. Pitkin has had game scores in the 60's for three of his four starts and induced three double play balls on Tuesday. He's given up just three earned runs in 20 1/3 innings and has a K/9 rate of 7.08. His BB/9 rate is sky high at 5.31, but that may come down with more starts under his belt. Still, it's a promising start to the season for him.

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