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Moving on up? The Minor League Promotion Speculation Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by xcrunner51, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Three months of the season have come and gone. Every classification has had its All-Star game except for ML and AAA. It’s about this time every year where the mid-season promotions start picking up. Some prospects have already shuffled around for injury (typical) or performance (rare) reasons. Let’s take a look the promotions that have already happened.

    Lucas Harrell and Jordan Lyles both previously had big league time and I considered them the 6/7 starters who were locks for promotion when injuries hit.

    Significant promotions (promotion date):
    Jason Chowning - LoA → HiA (5/5/12)
    As good as he was in Lexington (0.66 era) is as equally terrible as he’s been in Lancaster (14.54).

    Wes Musick - HiA → AA (early May); AA → AAA (5/21/12)
    Rocketed through the system this year. Started in HiA and currently holding his own in AAA with a 3.64 era in 6 starts in OKC. Probably not going to get a September call-up but it would be a nice reward for an Altuve-esque rise through the system.

    Brandon Barnes - AA → AAA (5/26/12)
    Promoted to AAA after posting a .317/.377/.567 slash line in Corpus. Still hitting at a nice clip (.323/.375/.462) in 35 games in OKC but his power has taken a dip. Potential September callup.

    Dallas Keuchel - AAA → ML (6/17/12)
    Promoted amidst the Norris/Wandy injury period even though he was mediocre in AAA. Has been a revelation in the bigs with a 1.35 era in 3 starts.

    Brett Oberholtzer - AA → AAA (6/23/12)
    Promoted after an average showing in the Texas league. He’s really struggled in OKC with a 6.20 era. He’s not going anywhere and will probably not get a September call-up.

    Bobby Doran - HiA → AA (6/23/12)
    Promoted to take Obie’s spot after a very decent showing in Lancaster (3.67 era in 14 starts). Like Obie, he’s struggled at the next level with a 6.55 era in 2 starts for Corpus.

    Nick Tropeano - LoA → HiA (6/29/12)
    Promoted after a stellar full-season debut. Put up the second best game score in the system in his HiA debut. Probably not going anywhere but is a candidate to start at AA next season.

    Other notable promotions:
    Adam Bailey (OF) – Promoted from HiA → AA
    Jonathan Aristil (RHP) – Promoted from AA → AAA

    Can’t forget the total dud promotion:
    Jarred Cosart AA → AAA (5/4/12) → AA
    Promoted to AAA to replace Aneury Rodriguez (sent to Houston when Kyle Weiland injured his shoulder). Put up a dud (6in, 4 er, 10 hits, 5k’s) and was immediately sent back to Corpus.

    Stay tuned for promotion predictions!
     
    #1 xcrunner51, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
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  2. SupermoochieFro

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    Very nice idea!
     
  3. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    AAA → ML
    Brett Wallace and Jimmy Paredes: Both have had significant time in Houston already and Luhnow has implied they’re going to be promoted soon. At worst, they're guaranteed September call-ups. Like I said earlier, Brandon Barnes and Wes Musick may get pat-on-the-back September call-ups.

    Fernando Martinez (OF), Xavier Cedeno (RHP), Aneury Rodriguez (RHP) have already seen time in Houston and will take the bus depending on injuries. Sergio Perez and Amando Galarrga are names to be aware of if Mills and Luhnow decide to wholesale the bullpen.

    There’s a whole bunch of AAAA players who merit September call-ups but not on the 40-man roster and are thus ineligble:
    Mike “Crash” Hessman (1B)
    Landon Powell (C)
    Carlos Corporan (C)
    Travis Buck (OF)

    AA → AAA
    Jonathan Singleton: Started off the year strong but has slumped badly of late. I don’t see a mid-season promotion here.
    Jonathan Villar: Opposite of Singleton. Started off the year absolutely terrible, but has rebounded strong as of late. I think a promotion is 50/50 here. He can potentially handle AAA pitching but I think finishing the year in AA is a good idea. I think he stays.
    Jason Stoffel (RHP): Having a strong year in AA (1.62 era). Is an interesting option for a September call-up if Houston needs pen help.

    Jose Cisnero (RHP), Austin Wates (OF), Jose Martinez (2B), Kevin Chapman (RHP): All having good, above-average seasons at their respective positions but no one screams fast-track here.

    HiA → AA
    George Springer: tearing it up in Lancaster but has huge home/road splits. His road OPS (.790) plays even in AA so I’m not so concerned about a substantial regression. His age and performance really scream out fast-track. I think he gets a mid-season promotion.
    Domingo Santana: having a solid season in HiA for a 19 y/o. His advanced stats suggest he’s not ready for a promotion. BB% < 10%, K% of 29.1%. He’ll take the pat on the back and look at AA next year.

    All the rest of the hitters are having either solid, unspectacular seasons or don’t have enough bats at HiA to consider AA yet. I’m not even going to bother evaluating Lancaster’s pitchers for promotion.
     
    #3 xcrunner51, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
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  4. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    LoA → HiA - Lexington is the team with the most contention about promotions.

    Delino Deshields Jr: Not much new to say. He started off slow but then took off running (literally). Has the 3rd most steals in the minors and is flashing some power to boot. He’s starting to get consideration for top prospect status. Almost every indicators suggest he’s ready for more. Here’s the rub: I don’t really want DDJ in Lancaster. Like most pitching prospects, the league doesn’t play to his strengths. He’s an on-base/speed guy. Lancaster would bring out his power, not really a point of emphasis. If we had an FSL or Carolina league team I’d be comfortable with a mid-season promotion. But because we have Lancaster, I’m hesitant. Outside the box idea: finish the season at Lexington and skip him to Corpus next year. Prediction: he gets a mid/late season call-up to Lancaster.

    Michael Foltynewicz: Like DDJ, he is repeating the level and putting up great stats. The problem? His advanced stats suggest he’s not as good as his sterling 9-2 record and 2.51 era dictate. His fielding independent ERA (FIP) is 3.61 and his K/9 rate is only 6.80. He also has the pitcher-raping California league to look forward to. There are two ways to handle his promotion: 1) finish the year in Lexington and start him in Corpus next season; 2) throw him to wolves in Lancaster like Tropeano. Neither option is particularly appealing. But if I had to make a prediction, I’d say he gets a mid/late season call-up to Lancaster.

    Matt Duffy (3B) is the only other guy on the team that bears mentioning. He’s put up a nice .304/.379/.477 slash line at Lexington. This gives him the underwhelming distinction of being the best 3B in the system right now. He’ll probably finish out the year in Lexington and start in Lancaster next season.
     
  5. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Rookie league/Class A Short Season → LoA – this is all fun speculation because these teams just started play a few weeks ago. This is more of a ‘who to watch’ post.

    Tri-City Valley-Cats (Class A – Short Season)
    Andrew Aplin (CF): Absolutely dominating the New York-Penn league to the tune of .405/.534/.524 in 14 games with 11 stolen bases and a 11:5 BB:K ratio. He’s polished college bat that is clearly a cut above this level. I personally would fast-track him to Lexington. Three of the four outfielders on that roster are terrible. Unfortunately the fourth outfielder, Jay Austin, is the starting centerfielder and is batting a respectable .286/.388/.357. So no promotion. :(

    Jobduan Morales (C): Off to a nice start at Tri-City batting .333/.354/.600 in 45 AB’s. Noted to be a raw defender so more time at Tri-City isn’t a bad idea. The problem is that he’ll have to split time with 8th round pick Tyler Heineman here and promotion is off the table because Lexington has 4 catchers on the roster.
     
  6. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    Jay Austin's back on the DL. His prospect status is pretty much dead, even if he's 22.
     
  7. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    I'd llike to contribute a few thoughts of my own...

    The Arizona State duo of Andrew Aplin and Brady Rodgers could see time in Lexington before the end of the season. It's pretty early, but I'm putting them in consideration to jump straight to Lancaster in 2013.

    Oberholtzer turned it around a little before his promotion to OKC, where he's still trying to get the hang of things.

    Jordan Schafer's .634 OPS is 2nd-worst among all major league outfielders, ahead of only Cameron Maybin. Barnes strikes me as possibly being one of those late-bloomer types. He's not on the 40-man roster, so that could pose a slight issue. There's about 2 or 3 pitchers on the 40-man that need to be outrighted off of it. Schafer has got to go.

    Jimmy Paredes and Brett Wallace need to be up with the Astros for the entire 2nd half.

    If Nick Tropeano dominates the California League, he'll be in Corpus in no time flat.

    R.J. Alaniz couldn't beat the Lancaster effect forever. He'll take his lumps and be glad he's not there anymore next year.

    The bullpen has been nothing short of disastrous. Lyon has repaired his trade value somewhat, so he could probably get flipped for a middling prospect or two. Myers has been roughed up, but he should get a decent haul. Bring up Jason Stoffel and Xavier Cedeno.

    Delino DeShields to Lancaster. George Springer to Corpus by the end of the month. Matt Duffy or Erik Castro to Corpus as the everyday 3B (Castro would probably DH on the side as usual). Jose Martinez to OKC to become the everyday 2B.

    Lexington's bullpen has some intriguing pieces in Dayan Diaz and Murilo Gouvea. They've done extremely well despite being old for the level. The two of them should be on their way up. Carlos Quevedo has been a revelation since transitioning to the bullpen. His plus command should help him survive in Lancaster. However, taking those 3 guys all at once would pretty much gut the Legends' bullpen, with only Evan Grills and Tom Shirley remaining. And I'd like to see Grills as a starter. Travis Ballew, Kenny Long, and Blake Ford could be possible replacements from Tri-City.

    On to the more obscure... Michael Feliz to Greeneville from the GCL. I'm not liking the fact that he's coming out of the pen, but at least he's been stretched out. I'd rather see him start games.

    Lance McCullers will be in Greeneville after a few GCL starts. That much I know.

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>McCullers will join GCL Astros and then go to Greeneville</p>&mdash; Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) <a href="https://twitter.com/brianmctaggart/status/214818785562083329" data-datetime="2012-06-18T20:36:04+00:00">June 18, 2012</a></blockquote>
    <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    Mitch Lambson could possibly play at least 3 levels this year? Why not? 15 scoreless to open the season. 5 hits, 21 strikeouts in his 15 innings. I get the feeling that might not be in Lexington very long, but if one of Gouvea, Diaz, or Quevedo gets promoted, he'll probably take their spot.

    Sucks that Jio Mier got hurt. He was having a renaissance season. He'll make up for lost time in Lancaster, then get a couple of weeks in Corpus to finish out the season.

    Uh... Mike Foltynewicz? I'll go with option 1. Although option 2 probably has the higher probability of occurring. If he's tough enough to survive Lancaster, then he's undoubtedly one of the top prospects in the system. He has the stuff, but his numbers suggest that regression is in store. Hopefully not in Lancaster. I was much more comfortable with sending Tropeano there, because he was a college product and probably would have handled the change in offensive environments in a less volatile manner. Granted, Modesto is a pitcher's park (compared to the rest of the other bandboxes), and we'll get to see how he fares in Lancaster this coming Friday.

    Ariel Ovando's power hasn't quite materialized yet, but he should get some run in Tri-City or even Lexington before the end of the year. Adrian Houser should be in Tri-City to end the year. Brian Blasik's blazing start isn't guaranteed to last, and he's pretty low on the totem pole as an undrafted free agent. I hope he gets a crack at Tri-City though.

    From the DSL.... I'm not even sure where to begin. All of them are raw. The most likely guys that I would pick to come stateside next year are Samil De Los Santos, Frangy Colon, Edwin Villarroel (pitchers), Frederick Serrano, Luis Reynoso, and Arturo Michelena (position players). Mesac Laguna has to come to the U.S. or else he'll be released. OF Jarico Reynoso looks like a burner in the making.
     
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  8. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Rookie League/Short Season update

    I have a hard time predicting these promotions because they can be a lot more fluid than the upper levels. Also prospects are subject to a bigger numbers game. It's hard to be promoted when the next level already has 3 guys who play your position. So I just did a prospect update.

    Tri-City ValleyCats (Class A – Short Season) – Great performances on both side of the ball. They have the best record in the New-York/Penn league.

    Andrew Aplin (CF): Absolutely dominating the league to the tune of .405/.534/.524 in 14 games with 11 stolen bases and a 11:5 BB:K ratio. He’s a polished college bat that is clearly a cut above this level.

    Jobduan Morales (C): Off to a nice start at Tri-City batting .333/.354/.600 in 45 AB’s.
    Austin Elkins (IF): polished 19th round college bat hitting .364/386/.491 in 55 AB’s
    Dan Gulbransen (OF): polished 16th round college bat hitting .318/.455/.500 in 44 AB’s.

    The pitching at Tri-City is amazing. All five starters have an ERA under 1.76. Juri Perez hasn’t given up an earned run in 17 innings. The other 4 starters have K/9 rates at 8.5+. (Vincent Velasquez, Aaron West, Brady Rodgers, Brian Holmes). Reliever Travis Ballew has a 0.90 era and 13k’s in 10 innings of work.

    Greeneville Astros (rookie level) – Again this team doing well; a mere ½ game back of first place in the Appalachian league. The hitting is excellent. Five batters have an OPS over .900. The pitching is meh.

    Ariel Ovando (OF): the $2 million dollar man is doing well in a repeat year at Greeneville. He’s batting .346/.397/.579 in 57 AB’s. Is a legitimate contender to move up to NYP at some point this season.
    Brian Blasik (SS): an UDFA from this year draft, he’s hitting .372/.386/.945 in 43 AB’s. Dude needs to learn how to take a walk, but other he’s very impressive.
    Jean Batista (SS): another SS, he’s hitting .368/.379/.579 in 57 AB’s.
    Ernesto Genoves (C): former international signee who is repeating Greeneville after a solid .280/.375/.464 season last year. Hitting .333/.395/.576 in 33 AB’s this season. Very oddly he had a 1 game, 2 AB cup of coffee with Lexington this year. Appears to be blocked by the 6 catchers at Tri-City and Lexington.

    Richard Rodriguez: former international signee getting his first taste of domestic ball. Has a 2.65 era in 3 starts with an impressive 22 k’s, 4 BB’s in 17 innings. He’s another guy who got a cup of coffee with Lexington this year (1 start, 3 IP, 4 K’s, 1BB).
    Adrian Houser: 2011 second rounder who had one great start (6 IP, 3H, 0ER, 0BB, 8K’s), one decent start (5IP, 1ER, 4BB, 1K) and one Happ-esque start (4.1 IP, 10H, 6ER). Gotta love the inconsistency of high school pitchers.
    Tanner Bushue: 2009 second rounder who sent down from Lexington after 3 horrible starts. After failing to progress past LoA in 3 years and pitching horribly in Greeneville (7.71 era), I expect an outright release soon.

    GCL: Glorified extended spring training. I don’t think anyone was wowing but tellitlikeitis may have some thoughts on that.
     
    #8 xcrunner51, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  9. SupermoochieFro

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    I predict that Brett Wallace gets promoted today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Count that as one prediction come true :grin:
     
    #10 xcrunner51, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  11. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Sigh.... Keuchel was sent back to AAA because Mills can't manage a bullpen.
     
  12. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    He'll be up in few once Wandy is traded. Plus with the AS break he wouldn't have pitch for a while anyways.
     
  13. cardpire

    cardpire Member

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    that's a good point. probably the larger factor.
     
  14. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    If Blasik could hit .372 with a .945 slugging percentage at the MLB level, I think I could learn to forgive him for his inability to walk.
     
  15. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    You'd think that but inability to take a walk is a huge red-flag, especially in the lower levels. Young pitchers with poor/developing control tend to walk more people. If you can't take a walk on an 18 y/o pitcher, that's troublesome.

    Walk rate is a big part of the hit tool. You rarely see successful ML hitters with a BB% less than 5%.

    Altuve raised his isolated slugging 60 pts and BB% from 2.1 to 5.0% and boom he's an all-star this year. Lowrie's and JD Martinez's career BB% are both 10%.
     
  16. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Canceled
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    GCL-wise.... you have the big 3, obviously. As I stated in my earlier post, McCullers will be there for a bit, then he's off to Greeneville, which I think might happen in August.

    Correa could go that same route, then spend all next year in Greeneville.

    Brett Phillips, with his 5 triples, is getting my attention. Once he fully matures, he could have quite a bit of power. 17 strikeouts in 41 at-bats is definitely an area of improvement, but he seems like he's willing to take a walk, too. Making his case for Greeneville early.

    Everyone else has had pretty slow starts. That should change as the year progresses, as I can get a better read of where their tracks are headed.

    Pitching-wise, Chia-Jen Lo is on the long road to recovery from Tommy John surgery. He was being touted as a possible closer before his career got derailed. Reymin Guduan is a hard-throwing (read as: wild) lefty that Jeff Luhnow seemed to like during his trip to the Academy.

    Michael Feliz should get a crack at Greeneville at some point this year. He really held his own as a young 17-year-old in the GCL last season. This is his age 18 season; he won't turn 19 until after the minor league season concludes. Feliz has had prolonged relief appearances when Lo has started, and he's been terrific in that capacity. He needs to start.
     
  17. SupermoochieFro

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    It looks like their waiting until the AS break to bring Wally up which gets them a little look at Dominguez the next 4 games. Since Wallace was playing mainly at 3B, I can see them just switching spots after the break. I expect things to heat up in trade talk with Luhnow trying to move Wandy this next week so Keuchel can be brought back up without the 6th man rotation.
     
  18. Doyle1228

    Doyle1228 Member

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    Hey everybody.... I am brand new to this site i happen to scroll through google and i ended up running into this site.... I was reading through the Minor League Promotion/ Spec page and saw a couple things on the Tri City Valleycats.... I am from Albany NY and i go to a lot of there games... so if anybody has question comments concerns please fire away and i will do my best to answer them....

    I have seen/read some things about some of the TC guys on here and a lot of you seem to know a lot... so i figured i would throw in my 2 cents...

    Andrew Aplin - This kid is tearing it up in TC... a lot of people around TC seem to think he is good as gone.. he wont be with TC much longer... Hes like a 5 tool player... I think in his 1st week of the season he had 2 or 3 triples... he has great plate discipline and he does a a lot of the little things to help the team win.... He also can run like a deer... he tracks down some pretty tough ball and he makes it look effort less.... Hes a guy to pay close attention to and will probably fly through the minor leagues.... I feel like this guy could play in the MLB's in a few years but idk if he will have a position... Hes a CF and i feel like hes gonna be stuck behind Springer unless they decide down the line to move him to a Corner OF position...

    Jobduan Morales - Hes another guy i have seen talked about on here.. He is a nice piece... hes like a veteran to a bunch of young guys but hes not really catching to much anymore... Since they have signed Tyler Heineman hes been more DH and 1B then catching.... Hes got an ok bat but he like to swing at bad pitches and if he grounds out he doesn't hustle 1 bit down to 1st... Hes got a solid Arm behind the plate but hes gonna be more of a DH 1B caliber player than Catcher...

    Austin Elkins - I really like this kid hes a grinder and will give you a 100% percent every night no matter what... He can hit and he can field and he will even swipe a couple bags for you... Hes been hitting 1st or 2nd in the lineup all year and hes been producing at the Top of the Lineup... Hes a guy that if somebody gets hurt or sent down he could be on his way up.... Also hes doesn't go by the name Austin anymore they now call him "Catfish"... i asked a couple nights ago about it and he said that what he was known as growing up... so hes now "Catfish" Elkins...

    Dan Gulbransen - Another name i read about.... He started off pretty hot but has really cooled off lately.... Hes a trooper and a gamer thought.... The other night a guy hit a fly ball off the left field fence and Gulbransen at the track jumped for it and missed and fell right to the ground like knocked the wind out of him self and got right back up to pick up the ball and throw it in..... He stayed in the game and battled the rest of the night... He's a guy that likes to swing at bad pitches some times but also at the same time will have a nice eye at the plate... Has a good sense of the plate at times and then loses it at times.... Very Flexible and stretches before every game and does stretches standing on his head... Really down to earth nice guy wish him nothing but the best in the future...

    Vincent Velasquez - I have seen him pitch once and he didn't do to well.... his first couple of starts he did really well and he pitches friday(7/6/12) and he didnt do to hot... Hes got a live fastball at 94 and a nice curveball and a 2 seamer but on this night didn't really have it.. 5IP, 3ER, 3BB, 4K's and giving up 1 HR.... not so hot... A couple people who have talked to Vincent said He has good days and bad days when it comes to his arm... Vincent says it hurts from day to day.... It seems as if he wont be in TC much longer though because there has been some chatter about moving him up a level to Lexington.... Overall a very nice guy though....

    Brady Rodgers - He knows how to throw a baseball he likes to nibble on the corners and throws a lot of different pitches to get guys out... He got a live fastball in the low 90's hes just nasty with his pitches... This kid has a chance to move up with the ranks very quickly.. He is there #5 starter in the rotation and every 5 days hes goes out there and puts it all out on the line for the team.... He does run into some patches where hes dominate for 4-5 innings and then just dies out and then there is games where he will be dominate for 5-6 solid innings... But this kid is very nice kid... Hes got USA baseball cards and i have asked him to sign a bunch of times and everytime at the end i say thanks so much and he always responds with oh not a problem anytime... Hes very humble down to earth... Hes a great guy... Also an extra little tidbit on him... He was in the Little League World Series when he was 11-12 years old with a team from Texas.... Hes also a Houston boy and he was thrilled to be drafted by Houston and hes also loving it that Aplin was drafted by the Astros and they are rooming together here at TC...

    Kenny Long - This Kid has been and a friend of mine baffled... His fastball clocked in at 70MPH... YES 70MPH and he gets guys out.... Hes like a lefty specialist and he is striking guys out left and right... Guys are over swinging on his pitches... and he throws a couple other pitches but I cant tell if there a Slider or Curve... My friend seems to think he throws a Knuckle curve screwball type of pitch cause its really hard to pick up on what he is throwing... I don't think this kid has much of a future having a fastball that plays at 70... but hopefully guys will start working with him and hopefully develop him into something better....

    please feel free if anybody has questions about TC Valleycats i would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have....

    Tri City had an 11 game win streak snapped on July 4th.. I believe that is a League Best so far.... Houston fans you will definitely have something to cheer about in Years to come...
     
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  19. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Wow, thanks for that Doyle1228! It's great to get input from someone who's actually put eyes on the players.
     
  20. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Something I didn't consider with potential September call-ups is requirement of being on 40-man roster. So unless 40-man roster moves are made, any thoughts of Singleton, Villar, Stoffel, Chapman or Zeid getting a late-season look are probably wishful thinking.

    Here's the list of 40-man roster players not on the active list:
    Juan Abreu
    Xavier Cedeno

    Paul Clemens
    Jorge De Leon
    Dallas Keuchel
    Arcenio Leon
    Aneury Rodriguez
    Jimmy Paredes
    Brett Wallace
    Fernando Martinez

    JB Shuck

    I bolded everyone who has either seen Houston or is likely to be a September call-up. I don't know who Jorge De Leon is or why he's on the 40-man. Arcenio is a reliever in Corpus with decent stats, so he could get a September callup. I just have no idea why he's on the 40-man roster.

    15-day DL
    Justin Maxwell
    Wilton Lopez
    Kyle Weiland
    Marwin Gonzalez
    Sergio Escanola (60 day DL)

    Maxwell, Lopez and Gonzalez should finish their rehab assignments and be added back to the active roster. Looking at it, I'm surprised Weiland hasn't been moved to the 60 day DL. That move would free up a spot on the 40-man and give one of the prospects I listed above a shot at a September callup.
     

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