Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

We're going to run through the top of the Astros system first before we get to the short-season teams with Tri-City (a day late) and possibly Greeneville. Without further ado, here are all the news and notes from the Astros minor league system:

Right-hander Polin Trinidad had another good start on Wednesday for Round Rock, pitching seven innings for the third straight game and allowing four hits and two earned runs. The 23-year old struck out four and walked two, giving up one home run. Trinidad has given up a ton of home runs since moving up with the Express, but has averaged a game score of 52 over eight starts in Triple-A. Trinidad is 4-3 over those starts but has not had a FIP under 4.00 since his second start with Round Rock. He's been very good this season, but obviously needs a little more work at this level.

Outfielder Yordany Ramirez has a five-game hitting streak going currently after a 1 for 4 night on Wednesday. Ramirez had another five game streak to start the month, giving him hits in 10 of 11 games in August. The 25-year old has a line of .317/.317/.341 this month with three runs scored, four RBIs, one double and three stolen bases. I still think Ramirez is a good bet to be called up in September as a fifth outfielder.

Third baseman Chris Johnson continues to swing a hot bat in August, going 6 for 12 in his last three games with two home runs and a triple. Johnson now has four home runs and 10 RBIs this month and is hititng .341/.386/.707 with seven runs scored and five strikeouts in 45 plate appearances. He's slightly leading Tommy Manzella in runs created with 10 and has a wOBA of .405. The four home runs this month is his highest total in a single month this season (and he has 18 days left).

Catcher Jason Castro had another 1 for 3 day on Wednesday, walking once and raising his averages to .351/.429/.405 this month. The 22-year old has five walks in August with seven runs scored, five RBIs and two doubles. One of the blogs over at FanGraphs noted that his ISO average has fallen since moving from Lancaster, but this was to be expected. Castro will be a gap hitter and should hit for a pretty good average.

Outfielder Collin DeLome is still slumping pretty hard, going 1 for 11 in his last four games. DeLome did steal a base on Wednesday and has now struck out 10 times. The 22-year old has a line of .154/.241/.154, which is not very good, but he has walked three times already and has scored two runs. Unfortunately, his power has completely disappeared this month and, because his playing time has been spotty, I have to wonder if he's playing through an injury right now.

Outfielder Drew Locke hit another home run on Wednesday, raising his monthly averages to .333/.373/.646 with three home runs, a triple and four doubles. Locke also has nine runs scored and seven RBIs in August with seven strikeouts and three walks. At Locke's age, you expect him to do this, but he's definitely been the best player in Corpus all season and now leads the organziation in RBIs with 102.

Right-hander Leandro Cespedes continued his streak of above-average starts by going seven innings and allowing four hits and one earned run on Wednesday. His K/BB ratio was off a bit as he struck out four and walked five but the 22-year old now has 82 strikeouts in 97 1/3 innings this season. His FIP was 6.06 in this game but his G/F ratio was 12/3 and Cespedes had double-digit ground ball outs for the second straight game.

Catcher/left fielder Koby Clemens has now been hot for going on five straight weeks, extending his hitting streak to 10 games on Wednesday. The 22-year old is 16 for 40 with five walks, eight runs scored, 15 RBIs, three doubles, two home runs and 10 strikeouts in August. His 15 RBIs leads the team and is the most in the organization this month. As farmstros noted, Clemens now has 100 RBIs this season and has created 12 runs this month.

Outfielder Brandon Barnes was recently named Player of the Week by the California League and has gone 15 for 42 this month with seven runs scored, nine RBIs, two doubles, one triple and two home runs. The 23-year old struck out six times in 44 plate appearances but hasn't walked yet and has a line of .357/.372/.619 in August. Barnes also has created 9.7 runs this month with a wOBA of .441, which is the highest on the team.

Second baseman Craig Corrado has struggled this season with a line of .247/.276/.324, but is having a nice August so far. In nine games, the 23-year old is hitting 13 for 37 with one walk, five runs scored, five RBIs, two doubles and six strikeouts. Corrado's line of .351/.368/.405 is one of the best on the team this month. His playing time is cut into by Marco Cabral and now Andrew Simunic but is still getting good at-bats this month.

Left-hander Brad Dydalewicz had a second straight bad start on Wednesday, but didn't get bailed out by his offense and took his fifth loss of the season. The 19-year old gave up seven earned runs and five hits in four innings while walking four and striking out two. Dydalewicz also hit three batters and had a game score of 22. His G/F ratio has been very solid all season at almost 2/1 but has barely been at 1/1 for the past two starts at 11/9. What's also been surprising is that his Power/Finesse Ratio is up to 1.14 overall and hasn't been under 1.00 in three starts. I don't think of Dydalewicz as a power pitcher, especially with 62 strikeouts in 90 innings, but could develop into a power arm.

No comments: