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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Abad Coming Into His Own?

Back in 2007, Fernando Abad pitched in 17 games in Greeneville. He was 21 and was experiencing state side baseball for the first time. There were some very promising signs from him that year. He had more strike outs (54) than innings pitched (50). That is impressive but the most impressive thing Abad did was he adjusted to the league he was in. He started off the season with a very forgettable start against Burlington where he gave up 6 earned runs in 4 2/3 IP. During that outing, he surrendered 5 hits, 2 of which left the yard. He also gave up 3 walks which was 1/4 of his season total. In fact, he gave up 10 of his 12 walks in his first six outings. That showed his ability to adjust. To learn how to pitch. He has continued to show that ability to adjust as he has moved through the Astros' farm system. Notice the drop in HR year by year in his minor league career.

2007 Greeneville / Tri Cities - 6 in 53 IP (1 per 9 innings pitched)
2008 Lexington - 9 in 76 IP (1.1 per 9 IP)
2009 Lancaster/ CC - 9 in 96 2/3 IP (0.8 per 9 IP)
2010 CC/ RR - 4 in 46 IP ( 0.8 IP per 9 IP)

He adjusted as he moved up. The fact that he improved his HR stats while in Lancaster is impressive. In the majors last year, he gave up 3 in 22 IP (1.4 per 9 IP). So he still has some learning to do. but he has shown the ability to adjust before.

His pitching is leading the Toros of the Dominican Winter League into the Caribbean Series. Before they moved on to focus on the winners of the Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, & Mexican Leagues; Abad was able to be congratulated by President Leonel Fernandez (see photo). So his star is shining bright in the Dominican right now. What about here in the states?

In today's Houston Chronicle, columnist Richard Justice states "there is cautious optimism" about Abad's ability to fill the 5th starter role in Houston this year. He outlines Abad's eye opening performance this winter:

Abad has emerged this winter as perhaps the most interesting player at spring training. He has had a steady climb through the system since being signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2002.

In 333 minor league innings, Abad has 53 walks and 351 strikeouts. He performed well during a 22-game major league stint out of the bullpen last season and will come to camp as a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Abad has opened eyes all over baseball this winter with his performance in winter ball, pitching 19 consecutive shutout innings at one point.

Troy Patton Cited for DWI

For the second time this month, a former G-Stro has been cited for DWI. Patton was arrested last weekend in Texas. According to MLB.com:
Patton, 25, was pulled over by police for speeding and driving over a curb, according to the report. Police also said Patton had a 0.14 blood-alcohol content, which is nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 in Texas, and that he was released on $500 bond, with a court date scheduled for later this month.
Patton pitched for the 2004 Greeneville Astros and was sent to the Orioles as a part of the package for SS Miguel Tijada. He appeared in one major league game last year and is likely to start at AAA again this year.

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