Welcome to Appy Astros, a blog dedicated to following current & former Greeneville Astros, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Here you will find reports on current G-Stros, updates on the development of former G-Stros and occasionally an update on what has happened to the guys who have hung up their spikes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Season Recap: Outfielders

We get out of the dirt now and into the players who run in the grass. We will do this like the rest of the positions going with most games played starting with left field.

Telvin Nash (Games played by position - LF - 51, DH - 6 games) The 19 year old, who looks like a linebacker, was the MVP of the Greeneville Astros this season. Here is a photo of him ripping a double on the night he was crowned MVP by the Astros.

His power really developed this year, especially during the month of July when he had 8 homers in 77 at bats. He also had a OPS of .997 for the month. Overall for the year, he finished with 25 extra base hits in 200 AB (1 out of every 8). Compare that to his 2009 numbers of 12 extra base hits in 142 AB (1 out of every 11.8). In a freakish statistical twilight zone moment, he had the same number of walks as extra base hits in both years. But since walks are included in AB, we will see how often he walks based on plate appearances (PA). 2009 he walked once every 13.1 PA. In 2010, it improved to once every 9.6 PA. The only real negative in his batting numbers is the high strike out rate. In 2010, he K'd once every 3.125 AB. After his promotion to Tri Cities, he K's 7 times in 13 at bats.

His defense was a liability in left field for the G-Stros. How can you tell? The Astros played 66 games. You add up all the players who played in left for the year and you get 91. That means, in 25 games, there was a defensive substitution into left field. His arm is not impressive. He takes interesting routes to balls. On the bright side, he was better this year than last year. He only made one more error this year than last year in twice as many chances.

Expectations for next year: This may be more of a hope than an expectation but I think Nash will be at Tri Cities to continue to work on his defense and his pitch recognition. However, if he shows improvement in those areas over the instructional league time and in spring training, I could see him in Lexington.

Bryce Lane - (Games played by position - CF - 25, LF - 8, RF - 2) - The JC drafee who jilted Auburn to sign with the Astros was the primary center fielder for the first part of the G-Stros season.

At the plate, he started in a hole hitting .105 (2 for 19) during the June portion of the schedule. He warmed up to .238 in July and then was sent down to the GCL in early August. He only had one extra base hit, a double, while he was in Greeneville. In the GCL, he found his hitting stroke and got 10 hits in 30 AB during his short stay there. Then he made the big jump to Lancaster to take the roster spot of the injured Lee Cruz. The boy from Phenix City, Alabama took a liking to the California League. He exploded with 16 hits in 15 games. He had 6 extra base hits after hitting just two in the two rookie leagues. He walked 8 times in 56 plate appearances after walking just 9 in 132 PA. He reduced his strike outs from 29 out of 129 AB to 8 in 45 AB. He appears to have caught lightning in a bottle. It is a shame the season had to end.

In the field, he covered ground well in center and made the plays you expect a center fielder to make. He played LF primarily when he was moved to Lancaster.

Expectations for next year: This is going to be interesting to see where he lands. In a vacuum, I would say he deserves to be given a shot an Lexington but with the other outfielders in Tri Cities and in Greeneville, there is going to be a tough competition for the OF spots in Lex. That also may allow him to jump back to Lancaster.

Emilio King - (Games played by position - RF 57, CF - 8, LF - 2) This is my sleeper prospect on the G-Stros in 2010. Add the numbers up there (57+8+2= 67). Greeneville only played in 66 and he only played in 63 of those. That means in at least 4 games, he was moved to another position for defensive reasons. The reason for those moves, King has a cannon. He had 14 outfield assist in his 57 games at RF. To put that in perspective, in 2002, Vlad Guerrero & Larry Walker tied for the NL lead in outfield assist with 14. Hunter Pence currently leads Houston outfielders with 9 through 141 games. This is an unreal amount of assist for a short season RF.

So where did this arm come from? King was signed as a catcher. He played his first two years in the DSL as a catcher before coming to the GCL last year and moving to RF. He made throws from deep RF to home that were absolute frozen ropes. This kid has the best OF arm I have seen in Greeneville.

King also exhibits good range. There were several times, I commented to little Appy Astro at games that a flair was a hit only to see King swoop in and snag the ball. He is impressive in the field.

At the plate, he is much less impressive. After a decent start to the season with a .257 June, he struggled the rest of the season. He finished with a .210 average and a .583 OPS.

Expectations for next year: I expect King to be in Tri Cities. His defense is already above that level but his bat is not there yet.

Ricardo Heredia
- (Games played by position LF - 21, RF - 17, DH - 5) The 21 year old from the Dominican Republic made the jump from the DSL to the Appy League this year. The landing was quite rough. He only made no errors in the field in limited playing time.

At the plate, he struggled mightily. Heredia finished the year with a dismal August hitting just .071.

Expectation for next year: Released

Ryan Humphrey
- (Games played by position: LF - 7, CF - 25, RF - 1, DH 1) Humphrey returned for his second year in Greeneville. His defense was better but his playing time decreased and his offensive numbers decreased. Not a good combination.

Expectation for next year: Released

Delino DeShields Jr.
- (Games played by position - CF - 15, DH - 1) DeShields joined the team in mid August. He immediately showed he belonged at the Appy League Level.

It is not too important to talk about his outfield defense because he will report to Fall Instructional League in a few weeks to start working on his transition to 2nd base. In 16 games with the G-Stros, DeShields impressed the local fans with his speed. His speed showed in his range in the field and his base running at the plate. I saw him turn a single in to a double one night just by hustle and pure speed.

His bat speed is impressive as well. He hit a solid .313 during his time with the G-Stros. He scored in 11 of the 26 times he reached base. Having that kind of efficiency at the top of the line is exciting to see.

Expectations for next year: With DeShields learning a new position, I am hesitant to place him in Lexington since he will still be 18 when the full season starts. If he is deemed ready for Lexington, I won't be surprised but I expect him to be in Tri Cities next year.

Summary In terms of position players, the outfield is where the most promising prospects were in Greeneville this season. DeShields is the cream of the crop but will not be an outfielder by next spring. I wish we could morph Nash's Bat & King's defense into one player. That would be an exciting player to watch.

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