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, August 31, 2011

Appy Astros G-Stros End of August Report

Little Appy Astro and I went to Pioneer Park last night and caught the last game of the season.  It is always a bitter sweet time of the year.  You can tell the players are ready to go home and see family and friends. And having experienced being away from home, I understand where they are coming from. However, as a baseball fan, it means the season is drawing to a close.  And a disappointing season at that.

I had high hopes for this edition of the G-Stros.  Some of the players I thought would do well, didn't.  However, that doesn't mean there wasn't some development that took place.  Let's take a look at who showed some growth during the final month of the season.

Josh Magee turned his season around in a big way in the month of August.  In June and July, he played in 30 games and was 20 for 99 at the plate (.202).  He got sizzling hot in August including one stretch where he hit in 12 straight AB.  He finished the month hitting .376 (32 of 85) and that brought his season average up to a respectable .283.  He is a good example of a player who develops over a short season.  He raised his OBP at least .100 points each month.

Jordan Scott was the MVP of the G-Stros this season.  He hit .337 on the season but hit .366 for the month of August.  He also hit his first HR of the season.  He will turn 20 on 9/22/11.  Look for him to be in LF in Lexington next season.

Jean Batista joined the G-Stros around the middle of August.  He appeared in 12 games and got off to a hot start.  The 19 year old SS hit .333 and also hit two HR during his brief stay in Greeneville.

On the mound, there were also some positive developments:

Frances Ramirez was called up from the GCL and made four starts in G'ville in August.  In those four starts, he put up a 2.89 ERA in 18 2/3 IP. He only allowed 12 hits and two walks while striking out 11 batters during that span. 

Tyson Perez put together a solid last month of the season.  His ERA for August was 3.54 in six starts but he fanned 29 batters in 28 innings pitched.  Prior to this month, he had only fanned 20 in 27 IP. 

Chris Lee, the highest draft pick at the start of the year, showed some signs of development.  He fanned 26 batters during his last 23 2/3 IP.  While he still gave up way too many walks, he was getting more swings and misses and more ground balls.

Jeremiah Meiners was one of the most solid arms out of the pen all season.  He finished with a 2.90 ERA and never had a month where his ERA rose to the 3.00 level.  In 40 1/3 IP, he fanned 42 batters and only walked 10.   He didn't get enough IP to qualify among the league leaders (14 1/3 short), but his WHIP of 1.09 would have been in first place.  He showed significant growth over his 2010 season in the GCL (6.95 ERA).

Zach Dando didn't have the best of months for August but despite an ERA of 4.97, he held opposing batters to a .196 average.  He had more Ks (35) than IP (33).

Matison Smith was one of the older players on the roster.  At 23, he put together a nice August out of the G-Stros pen.  He put up a 1.42 ERA in 9 appearances (12 2/3 IP).  During that span, he fanned 20 batters.

Scott Zuloaga, had an impressive August.  The side winding lefty posted a 2.45 ERA for the month that was less than half of his previous month's 5.68.  During August, he appeared in 12 games and fanned 8 batters in 7 1/3 IP.  He also induced ground balls at a higher rate.  His season ERA is deceptively high due to his 36 ERA in August.

Most Likely To Return
Last year, I predicted that Cotton & Batista would return to pitch in G'ville.  Here are the players, I feel will be back in Greeneville next year.  It will be a larger number than were here this year.

Possible returnees include:

Ariel Ovando - raw talent still has a great deal of work to do in the field and on the bases.
Darwin Rivera - made a big jump to the Appy after only 13 games in the DSL over 2 years.
Garen Wright - injuries hampered this season for another raw outfielder.
Chan Moon - really started to shine at SS later in the season.  Had a few flashes at the plate as well.
Adrian Houser - don't see him ready for older competition yet. 
Jose Perdomo - if he is not hurt, I could see him back for a 2nd year.  Didn't pitch after 7/18.

If those six players return, that would be a solid foundation for a good team for 2012.  Because there is always next year.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jordan Scott Called Up

Jordan Scott has played his last game as a Greeneville Astro this season. We learned this morning from his twitter account that he has been called up to Tri Cities for their last two series.

Jordan went 0-4 last night, dropping his season average to .337. He dropped to 3rd over all in the league, just ahead of former teammate, Chase Davidson. Davidson finished the his time with the G-Stros at .335. It is possible, depending on how a few other players fair tonight, that they could become the first pair of G-Stros to finish in the top 5 in batting average in the league. They would be just the 2nd pair to finish in the top 10. Last year, Chris Wallace (.310 - 6th) and Marcus Nidiffer (.303 t-7th) were the first pair to finish in the top 10.

Scott's Appy League batting average will be the highest for a G-Stro in the history of the franchise. Chase Davidson's will be the second highest. He will have just enough plate appearances to qualify for the league leaders. He had 188 plate appearances before being called up; 184 are needed to qualify for league leaders.

Record Not To Get Excited About
With last night's loss, the 2011 G-Stros obtained the franchise's 300th loss and also secured their spot as having the second worst record for the season. The 07 team holds the record for the fewest wins with their 17-51 record. The current edition is sitting at 25-42 with one to play. The 09 team finished 27-40.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Arguello Not Done Yet

Douglas Arguello confirms that he still has the desire to pitch and that he wants to try to get to the majors. In an interview with the Spanish language newspaper LaPrensa.com.ni out of Managua, Nicarogua, Arguello gives the details of his last day as an Astros farm hand. Translation by Google Translator:

The day he was discharged, he noticed that the left-hander did not appear on the active roster from the Red Eagles of Oklahoma City, but not given much importance and thought he had been placed on the disabled list or something. However, after practice was the surprise when the manager told him to call his office and informed him of the low.

"My teammates were amazed. Many believed he would go to the majors in September, but instead I was left out. Do not know what happened, I just said they had no space on your computer, but I do not give up and hope to keep in the minors with any organization that gives me the opportunity, "said the Nicaraguan.

Arguello is planning to play winter ball and the article says he has had talks with Leones of the Dominican Republic and is hoping to play for his native Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic.

G-Stros Record Watch - Best Season Batting Average

As this season wraps up, I started looking at how this years numbers compare to previous years. Jordan Scott, with three games left, leads the 2011 edition of the G-Stros with a solid .340 average. Let's see where that stands compared to previous seasons. The average listed required that the player played in over half of the teams games. I will also include what transpired in the rest of their career.

2004 - .316 Antonio Garcia (44 games) - The big 1st baseman returned to Greeneville in 2005, his third season in the Appy League. He was released before the 2006 season started.

2005 - .335 Josh Flores (59 games)- The speedy CF had a great year in the Appy League and was considered one of the top prospects in the Appy that season. He quickly climbed up the system ladder, playing half of the 2007 season in Corpus Christi. Then in a freak accident in the off season, he slipped on some ice and damaged both knees. He missed all of the 2008 season. He came back in 2009 and then was injured again. When he returned in 2010, he wasn't the player he had been before all the knee injuries. He was released during the 2010 season and is now playing indy ball for the Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League.

2006 - .314 Ronald Ramirez (57 games) - The shortstop from Columbia went to Lexington to start the 2007 season and was off to a hot start when he was injured. He never got his bat back after that. He made it to Lancaster in 2009 but was released before the 2010 season.

2007 -.273 Ebert Rosario (59 games) - The lanky 3rd baseman came back to G'ville in 2008 and improved his season average to .304 in 47 games. He then steadily climbed the ladder to Lancaster where his development stalled. So in 2010, he was sent back to the GCL to learn how to pitch. He is with the Tri Cities ValleyCats this season pitching out of their bullpen.

2008 - .306 Albert Cartwright (39 games) - Cartwright was sharing time at second with a young Jose Altuve. He edged Rosario by .002 for the best average bragging rights in 2008. He moved on up to Lexington in 2009 where he struggled but something clicked in 2010. He started in Lancaster but after hitting .319 in 92 games, he was promoted to AA. During the off season, he was traded to the Phillies for relief pitcher Sergio Escalona. Cartwright then tore his Achilles tendon during spring training and he has missed the 2011 season as a result.

2009 - .324 Jose Altuve (45 games) - It was a surprise to see Altuve back in G'ville for the 09 season. He had hit .284 in 08. Since then, he has shot to Houston in just two seasons. He is the starting second baseman and quickly becoming a Houston Astros fan favorite.

2010 - .310 Chris Wallace (47 games) - Wallace started the 2011 season in Lexington but was promoted to Corpus Christi after he hit .285 in 66 games. He has had some learning to do in CC where during the month of July, he hit .272 with 5 HR. He suffered a right wrist injury and has not appeared in a game since 8/3/11.

Other players who finished with an average over .300:

2004 - .308 Mitch Einertson (63 games)
2005 - .333 Eli Iorg (35 games)
2006 - .306 Steve Brown (54 games)
2010 - .303 Marcus Nidiffer (43 games)
2010 - .303 Hector Rodriguez (43 games)
2011 - .335 Chase Davidson (43 games)

So if Scott plays in all three games the team has left, and gets four at bats a game, he just needs three hits to have the highest single season average for any player who has played in Greeneville. If he doesn't pull it off, Josh Flores will continue to hold the record by percentage points over Davidson.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chase Davidson is Appy All Star

Congratulations to Chase Davidson for his selection as the First Baseman on the 2011 Appy League All Star Team. Davidson is making the most of his professional start with the G-Stros. He hit .335 with 11 HR, 13 Doubles, and an impressive 8 of 9 in stolen bases in 43 Appy League games. While Davidson looked good at the plate and played a solid first base. Where he stood out was with his base running. He gets impressive speed out of his 6'5" 222lb frame.

Jordan Scott Gets Shafted in All Star Voting

There were four outfield spots on the Appy League, and it is beyond me how Jordan Scott didn't get one. How can the player with the 3rd best overall Average and tied for the league lead in hits not get an All Star nod?

I took their following 16 stats from the four who made it plus Jordan Scott - Runs, Hits, Doubles, Triples, HR, RBI, Total Bases, BB, SO, SB, SB%, OBP, SLG, AVG, OPS and Errors. I then ranked them 1 - 5. Ties were given the same value but are marked with a (t). Then have 5 points for a 1st place rank down to 1 point for a 5th place rank.

Eddie Rosario (Twins) 9/28/91 (19)
1st Place Ranks: 10 (R, H (t), 3B, HR, RBI, TB, BB, SLG, OPS, E)
2nd Place Ranks: 1 (SB)
3rd Place Ranks: 2 (SB%, OBP)
4th Place Ranks: 2 (2B, AVG)
5th Place Ranks: 1 (SO)
Total Ranking Points - 65 points

It is clear why Rosario is the Co-Player of the Year in the Appy League. He is the youngest player of the five and leads by himself in 10 categories and is tied for the lead in another. He was drafted in the 4th round draft in 2010 and spent last year in the Gulf Coast League.

Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays) 1/4/89

1st Place Ranks: 2 (2B, AVG)
2nd Place Ranks: 6 (HR, TB, SO, SLG, OPS, E(t))
3rd Place Ranks: 4 (R, H, 3B, RBI)
4th Place Ranks: 1 (OBP)
5th Place Ranks: 3 (BB, SB, SB%)
Total Ranking Points: 51 points

The old man of the bunch (22) earned the second place in points based on his consistent ranking in the 2nd & 3rd spots. He was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2011 draft.

Chris Hawkins (Blue Jays) 8/17/91
1st Place Ranks: 1 (SB%)
2nd Place Ranks: 5 (R, 2B, 3B, RBI, E(t))
3rd Place Ranks: 6 (HR, TB, BB, SB, SLG, OPS)
4th Place Ranks: 3 (H, SO, AVG)
5th Place Ranks: 1 (OBP)
Total Ranking Points: 50

Hawkins is one of the trio of 19 year old players on the list. He was taken in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft by the Blue Jays. He consistently was at the second and third place in the rankings. He is listed as the Utility Outfielder on the All Star List.

Jordan Scott (Astros) 9/22/91
1st Place Ranks: 1 (H(t))
2nd Place Ranks: 3 (SB%, OBP, AVG)
3rd Place Ranks: 3 (2B, 3B, SO)
4th Place Ranks: 8 (R, HR, RBI, TB, BB, SB, SLG, OPS)
5th Place Ranks: 1 (E)
Total Ranking Points: 43 points

Scott was also picked in the 2010 draft (14th round). He is only tied for the lead in one area but was consistently in the top four in all areas but one. He has been consistent, hitting .333 in June, .313 in July and an impressive .378 in August. With his power increasing as the year has gone along (9 of 15 extra base hits in August). This shows that he belonged among the top four who were selected to be all stars.

Jamal Austin (Mariners) 8/26/90

1st Place Ranks: 3 (SO, SB, OBP)
2nd Place Ranks: 2 (BB, E(t)
3rd Place Ranks: 1 (AVG)
4th Place Ranks: 1 (SB%)
5th Place Ranks: 9 (R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, TB, SLG, OPS)
Total Ranking Points: 37 points

Austin was on a tear in July when he hit .436 and got on base at a .541 clip. Since then he has calmed down with a .221 average and .265 OBP in August so far. During his slump, Scott has shown to be the more consistent player.

So it appears that the All Star Vote may have been held a little too early to recognize Jordan Scott as an All Star. His performance this year is worthy of All Star recognition. He has looking to finish his second season hitting over .300. Let's hope he continues to show this progress next year in full season ball.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Paris Shewey Talks About APPY Life & School

Paris Shewey talked to his old college's web site about life in the Appy League and it included this nice video.

Shewey says he is heading back to WSU to finish his degree this fall.

It is not uncommon for some players to come of the roster a few days early to allow them to head back and not miss too many classes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A few silly & serious things to look for in the last 8 games

Heading into the last 8 games of the season. The G-Stros have a 24 - 36 mark. Here is what we know... they will NOT finish with the worst record in G-Stros history. That ignoble mark belongs to the 2007 G-Stros who finished 17-51.

Let's look at what could happen if they win a certain number of games.

8- Let's go out with a streak and win them all. If that happens, they pass the 2010 club (31-35) for the 3rd most wins in team history.

7 - Okay, so maybe nobody's perfect and they let one get away. They will still have the 3rd best win total along side the 2010 club.

6- That would be a solid way to wrap up the season. This would assure them that they do not finish last in the Appy West based on their two game lead over Bristol. 30 looks so much better than 29 in the win column. They would also tie the 2008 team for the 4th highest win total.

5- That would be over half the remaining games won. It would tie them with the 2005 club (29-37) for 5th most wins. It would also insure that they would not have the worst record in the league based on their three game lead over Burlington in the overall standings.

4 - Finishing .500 would keep them ahead of the the 2009 club (27 - 40) and put them in 6th best record by themselves. And let's face it loosing any more means 40 losses and 40 losses simply looks bad.

I won't even go into the impact of loosing more than half of the last eight. I am hoping they are able to pull out at least five wins.

What so you don't find this kind of score board watching fun? Fine, then let's just continue to see if:

Josh Magee can continue his torrid pace. If he gets eight more hits, he will have averaged a hit per game this season.

Ariel Ovando can finish strong. Only hitting .221 in August.

Ernesto Genoves can keep the average above .300 for the season. Currently at .303

Jordan Scott can reach higher than 5th best batting average in the Appy League.

Greeneville fans can claim their 8th straight attendance win. They are 8,000 fannies in the seats ahead with five more home games.

There is always something to look for at the ball park.

Arguello Released

Releases are hard to read about. When you start following the start of a players career, as we are lucky to do in Greeneville, you expect that you will be reading about the end of those careers. Sometimes, you expect it to come quickly; other times you hope it will be years from their time with the G-Stros.

Today, I learned via Astros County that Douglas Arguello had been released. Arguello was a member of the 2004 Appy League Champ G-Stros. That year, he was 19 and was used exclusively out of the bullpen. Though it was the first year those of us in Greeneville had seen him pitch, it was his second year in the Appy League. He had pitched out of the Martinsville bullpen the year before. He dropped his ERA from 5.26 down t0 2.92 that season and then went on to be stretched out into a starter as he moved up the ladder.

Control has always been an issue for Arguello. This season, he was in AAA Oklahoma City. He started off the year in the rotation but struggled. They moved him to the pen and in the second half of the year, he was showing some promise. In July, after coming off the DL, he had a respectably solid 2.73 ERA in 12 outings. He was getting a good number of ground balls, and his 9 walks in 12 1/3 IP weren't hurting him. In August, he had 9 outings. In 5 of those, he didn't allow a single earned run. In the other 4, his line read this way: 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 7 earned runs, 4 BB, 4 K. Three of those four outings ended with Arguello not getting anyone out.

But hey, he is left handed. He will likely go to winter ball and if he is successful there, maybe get a minor league invite to spring training from another organization. He will turn 27 in November. Best of luck to the Nicaragua native.

Here are who is left out of the 2004 G-Stros in affiliated ball as the 2011 season wraps up.

Juan Gutierrez - D'backs (MLB 60 day DL)
Felipe Paulino - Royals (MLB)
Troy Patton - Orioles (MLB)
J. R. Towles - Astros (AAA)
Jordan Parraz - Yankees (AAA)
Wlad Sutil - Astros (AA)
Brad James - Astros (AA)
Jimmy Barthmaier - Nationals (AA)
Neil Sellers - Phillies (AA)

That is 9 out of the 36 players who saw playing time in 2004 for the G-Stros. Having 25% of the players off a team being active in affiliated ball 7 years later isn't too bad. Five of the nine have seen MLB action (Towles & Barthmaier in addition to the 3 who are currently on MLB rosters).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Patton Pulls Double Duty in Double Header

I missed this last week but Troy Patton appeared in both halves of the Baltimore/ NY Yankees double header on 7/30.

In game 1, he pitched 2 2/3 innings (44 pitches) giving up one run on three hits. He struck out two and didn't issue a walk.

In game 2, he pitched the final inning (23 pitches) of a Yankee blow out giving up no runs on one hit while striking out two.

So combined, his days work was 3 2/3 IP, (67 pitches) one run on four hits, 0 BB and 4 K. Not a bad outing.

These outings dropped his season ERA to 4.15, after starting the month of July with a 7.71 ERA. His ERA for the month of July was 2.84 in five games (6 2/3 IP).

Big Night For Big League G-Stros: Martinez HR & Lyles 1st W

For the first time, three former Greeneville Astros were on the field at the same time. Jordan Lyles was on the mound, Jose Altuve was at 2nd and J. D. Martinez was in LF. Here is how the three did.

Altuve went 2 for 3 with a sac bunt. His one out was a line drive that Brandon Phillips snared to rob him of a base hit. His two hits were a bunt single and a single to shallow right. This outing puts his batting average at .340 and he has now hit in 12 of the 14 games he has gone to the plate. He has also played solid 2nd base since his call up. He is currently the youngest position player in the NL this season and with Mike Trout being sent down by the Angels, he is now the youngest in MLB.

Lyles started his 12 big league game still searching for win #1. He gave a three runs on six hits in seven innings pitched to have his 3rd straight quality start. He didn't walk any batters and fanned three. He walked off the mound at the end of the 7th down 3-2 but J. D. Martinez delivered in the bottom half of the inning to put him in the position for his first big league win.

Martinez got his shot in the #3 spot in the line up. In the first inning, he roped a line drive to LF that resulted in a two run home run off Dontrell Willis. J. D. wasn't done for the night. He ended up adding a two RBI double in the 7th that secured the win for Lyles. He ended up going 3 for 4 on the night and just a triple shy of the cycle.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Stubby Clapp Video Star

Former G-Stros hitting coach, Stubby Clapp has been featured in two videos recently. The first are his thoughts on J. D. Martinez being called up to the Houston Astros.

The second is his tirade during the day game today after a ValleyCat player was hit by a pitch and the ump said he didn't get first because he leaned into the pitch. Keep in mind, this outburst occurred with the stands full of kids there for "Camp Day."

Current Greeneville manager Omar Lopez might could take some lessons from Stubby on how to make your point. Lopez was ejected from Saturday night's game and was given a two game suspension for bumping the umpire. It wasn't quite as eventful an ejection as Stubby's.

Appy Astros G-Stros End of July Report

We have the first 40 games of baseball under out belts in Greeneville. The G-Stros are mired in last place in the Appy League West but there are bright spots. Let's look and see what the first 40 games tell us and who we need to be watching for the next 28 games of the season.


Ernesto Genoves
is a 20 year old catcher from Venezuela. He has exceeded expectations with his bat this season. After hitting .278 last year in 23 games with the GCL Astros, he is hitting .373 in Greeneville in 20 games. He has shown the ability to get on base at a .462 OBP clip and is slugging a solid .627. He is second on the team in doubles, HR and extra base hits.

Chase Davidson (21 years old - 1B) is the leading slugger on the team. He leads the team with 9 HR, 10 doubles and 20 extra base hits. He is hitting .313 on the season and thanks to his 21 walks, he has a OBP of .411. He has struck out 43 times in 128 AB.

Jordan Scott (19 years old - LF/CF) is hitting .320 during his time with Greeneville this season. He snapped a 9 game hitting streak last night. He leads the team in hits and has been a consistent source of runs at the top of the line up.

Ariel Ovando (17 year old - RF) while his playing time has been limited by dings (He played in 20 out of 30 games in July). His developing nicely. He is learning a great deal in a hurry. He is hitting .269 but 7 of his 21 hits have been for extra bases. What he does in August will be interesting to watch.

Others to keep eyes on:
Jesse Wierzbicki - Old man of position players catching up to Appy League.
Darwin Rivera - Struggles in field impacting his bat, can he turn it around?
Garen Wright - showing improvement over his 2010 GCL numbers but has been missing time with a bum shoulder. Will he get to see many more at bats this summer?
Josh Magee - Hit .133 in 9 games in June. Hit .232 in 21 games in July. Finished July hitting in 6 of 7 games. Is he putting it together for August?
Luis Alverez - starting to show signs he is returning to the form he was in in 2009 prior to the knee injury.

Starting Pitchers:

Rookie ball stats are pretty useless. You get players with a wide variety of ability and at a wide variety of development. For pitchers, I have found it helpful to drop their best & worst outings from their stats to get a better picture of what the true stat might look like. For more on my rational, check out my post that looked at the 2010 pitching staff where I explained the Appy Astros Adjusted Scoring System (3A2S).

Luis Ordosgoitti is a 19 year old from Venezuela. He had been stellar through his first five starts. The last two showed some struggle. He was placed on the 7 day DL and then sent down to the GCL when Adrian Houser was brought up. His demotion caught me off guard, I am hoping it is just a rehab type of assignment. At this point in the season, his ERA is 4.37 but he has just walked 3 batters and fanned 32 in 35 IP. When you take out his best & worst starts, his ERA drops t0 3.67.

Chris Lee was the highest round draft pick from 2011 (4th) on the team prior to Houser's arrival. Lee has struggled with control, walking 18 batters in 25 innings. Though he showed some progress from his two starts in June (6 BB in 3 2/3 IP) and July (12 BB in 21 1/3 IP). He appears to struggle more with his control out of the stretch than in the wind up. His ERA is currently 6.84. His 3A2S ERA is 6.48.

Tyson Perez
is the 21 year old pitcher out of Stanford drafted in the 17th round. He has been inconsistent which is not unusual for Rookie Ball. He currently has a 5.63 ERA through 8 starts. He started August with his best start of the season going 5 innings giving up no earned runs on four hits. When you take out his best start and worst start (8 ER in 1 1/3 IP) of the season, his 3A2S ERA drops to 4.21. He has less than one walk a start on the season.

Richardo Batista is a LHP repeating the Appy League this season at 19 years old. He has been outstanding at times with two starts being scoreless through 5 innings. Then he has also been very average not even getting to the 5th inning in 4 of his 7 starts. He tends to nibble when he pitches. If it is a free swinging team, he is good to go. If they are patient, he goes deep in counts and batters are walked. The key for Batista is throwing his curve for strikes. ERA 5.58/ 3A2S ERA 5.02.

Jose Perdomo is a 19 year old RHP from Venezuela. He put up outstanding numbers in the GCL last year. The Appy League hasn't been so kind. He currently totes a 9.00 ERA in 5 starts. His 3A2S ERA is higher at 9.52. The one bright spot in his numbers is he still has more K's than IP (21/ 18). He has not pitched since 5/18 but isn't on the DL. There may be an issue they hope rest will fix be it physical, mental or mechanical.

Jermain Cotton is repeating the Appy. He has made four starts and four relief appearances. However, he has not had a relief appearance shorter than four innings, though he has had two starts shorter than three innings, I am lumping him in with the starters. Cotton throws pretty hard. His ERA for the season thus far is 5.76. His 3A2S ERA is 4.81. He appears to be more comfortable in long relief as his relief ERA is 2.76.

The one to keep an eye on for the last month of the season is Adrian Houser who had a solid start in his first Appy League outing. He was drafted in the 2nd round this year.

Relief Pitchers:

The bullpen has improved as the season has come along. There is some maturity in the pen and some of the top performers are some of the oldest players on the roster. Let's look at a few of the highlights.

Jeremiah Meiners is a 22 year old LHP who was drafted in the 40th round in 2010. He has fanned 23 batters in 24 innings and only walked four. He has held opponents to a .204 batting average. His ERA is an even 3.00 on the season.

Matison Smith is a 23 year old RHP who was a NDFA signed in 2010. He has finished a team leading 9 games for the G-Stros and has 2 saves. He only had three walks through his first 19 1/3 IP before giving up two in his last outing. In fact, his last two outings have taken his ERA from 2.12 to 3.38. It will be interesting to watch how he does the rest of the season.

Steve Martin is a 23 year old RHP out of Texas A&M who was drafted in the 37th round this year. He has appeared in 8 games and has a 1.38 ERA (2 ER in 13 IP). Opponents are hitting just .098 against him. He has not allowed a hit in 5 of his 8 outings.

Rodney Quintero is repeating the Appy this year after only making three appearances in 2010. The 21year old 25th round draft pick from 2010 has show some promise this year by not allowing an earned run in six of his 11 outings and striking out 24 batters in 19 1/3 innings. However he has also been very hittable at times giving up a total of 19 hits in 19 1/3 IP.

Zach Dando is a 20 year old drafted in the 32nd round this year. He had a rough first outing of the season but has bounced back with a solid 2.95 ERA in July. He has 22 strike outs in 19 1/3 IP.

James Propst is a 22 year old drafted in the 38th round this year. He has been inconsistent mixing six scoreless outings with three outings where he gave up three or more runs. He has fanned 29 batters in 25 IP.

Appy Astros Alumni of the Month - July

July was a crazy month. It included the call ups of two former G-Stros and others moving around the organization. Let's take a look at the numbers and see which former G-Stros stood out this month.

Tri Cities ValleyCats

Hitter of the Month
There are only three former G-Stros position players on the ValleyCat roster. Former G-Stro catcher Ryan McCurdy had the best month of the three. In 12 games, he hit .316. Bubby Williams gets a mention for hitting three home runs during the month.

Pitcher of the Month
Garrett Bullock gets the nod for his 2.84 ERA and 16 strike outs in 12 2/3 IP. The rest of the former G-Stros had pretty rough months in Tri Cities so no honorable mentions after having a slew of them last month.

Lexington Legends

Hitter of the Month
Ben Orloff leads the way for the former G-Stros hitters who put up some impressive numbers in July. He hit .358 on the month with a very impressive .436 OBP. While Orloff is old for the league at 24, he continues to show that when he gets a chance to play, he will do well. After only getting in to 33 games prior to the all star break, he has already played in 33 since Jio Mier was promoted to Lancaster.

Others worthy of mention include Delino Deshields Jr. who bounced back from a .154 June with a .320 July. Telvin Nash who came off the DL to hit .264 with 4 HR and an impressive .409 OBP. Finally, Bryce Lane isn't getting much playing time but in 16 games, he hit 3 HR and 4 doubles for a .581 slugging percentage.

Pitchers of the Month
Again, we are going with a starter and reliever of the month in Lexington. Carlos Quevedo gets the nod as starter of the month. He went 1-0 with a 2.32 ERA in 5 starts and held opponents to a .240 batting average. Brian Strenlein gets the reliever of the month honors for his 1.35 ERA over 7 games. He fanned 12 in 13 1/3 IP and held opponents to a .234 average.

Honorable mentions: Two other relievers need to be noted for their performances in July. Gabriel Garcia had an 0-2 record but in 6 games (15 1/3 IP) he fanned 14 batters and had a 2.87 ERA. Jorge DeLeon had good outcomes with a 4-0 record with 3 saves to go along with 14 strike outs in 14 1/3 IP. He held opponents to a .226 average while compiling a 3.68 ERA.

Lancaster JetHawks

Hitter of the Month

With Jose Altuve moved on through CC to Houston, and Kody Hinze now in Corpus Christi, we will have a new hitter of the month in Lancaster. We are going with Miguel Arrendell this month. The utility infielder hit .302 in 16 games with a .397 OBP. He is now hitting a solid .284 on the season and his having a career year.

Pitchers of the Month
Starter of the month is Jose Cisnero. He went 4-1 in 5 starts with a 4.26 ERA. He struck out 40 batters in 25 1/3 IP and held opponents to a .219 average. Out of the bullpen, Wander Alvino gets the reliever of the month. Alvino produced a 0.79 ERA in July in 8 appearances. He struck out 13 in 11 1/3 IP. The secret to his success lately has been inducing a 2.75 ground out to air out ratio. The has allowed him to overcome the 11 walks he surrendered in July.

Corpus Christi

Hitter of the Month
J.D. Martinez finished the month in Houston, but he put up amazing numbers that earn him hitter of the month at Corpus Christi. Prior to his departure, he hit .380 with 7 home runs and 16 extra base hits. He had a .473 OBP and a .717 slugging percentage. He also took more walks (15) than times he struck out (13).

Honorable Mention
Kody Hinze continues to put up solid numbers in the shadow of amazing numbers. After his promotion to Corpus Christi, he has hit .350 with 5 home runs and a total of 10 extra base hits. His OBP was .418 and his slugging an even .600. He also showed solid plate discipline taking 10 walks while striking out just 17 times in 80 at bats. Chris Wallace is trying to follow in Martinez's cleat prints after bypassing Lancaster on his way to AA. In July, he hit .272 with 5 home runs and 9 extra base hits in 81 at bats. His .303 OBP and .506 slugging are solid but pale in comparison to Martinez and Hinze. Also, Jose Altuve, hit .353 in his 8 games in July prior to his promotion to Houston.

Pitcher of the Month
Arcenio Leon
appeared in 12 games for Corpus Christi. He struck out 22 batters in 16 1/3 innings and complied a 2-1 record with one save and a 3.78 ERA.

Oklahoma City RedHawks

Hitter of the Month
In 17 games, J. R. Towles hit .283. That earns him the honor of hitter of the month in AAA.

Honorable Mention:
Koby Clemens
hit .256 for the month with 10 extra base hits (5 HR) which is note worthy after his May (.220) and June (.181) performances.

Pitcher of the Month

In a very close race, Sammy Gervacio wins the award this month. Slingin' Sammy went 3-0 with one save during July and had a microscopic ERA of 0.56 in 11 appearances (16 IP). He held opponents to a .196 average.

Honorable Mention
Douglas Arguello has thrived since his move to the pen. In July, he also appeared in 11 games (11 1/3 IP) and produced an impressive 0.73 ERA. Even more impressive is his 3.00 ground out to air out ratio.

Outside the System Minors

Hitter of the Month
Jordan Parraz
continues to lay claim to this award. He had a great July hitting .374 with 13 extra base hits in 28 games for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the Yankees organization.

Honorable Mention:
Ralph Henriquez was promoted to AAA Tacoma of the Mariners organization this month. In the 19 games since he arrived there, he has been hot at the plate. He has been hitting .356 with 6 extra base hits.

Pitcher of the Month
Jimmy Barthmaier
had 8 appearances in July (7 relief & 1 start). In 15 1/3 IP, he amassed a 1.73 ERA and fanned 14 batters for AA Harrisburg of the Washington Nationals organization.


Hitter of the Month
Jose Altuve
could win by default but he earns the award with his performance after his late month call up. In his first 11 games as a big leaguer, Jose hit 359 with two doubles. The buzz created by his promotion has been so much fun to watch.

Pitchers of the Month
Felipe Paulino
edges out the competition this month for the starter of the month award. In 4 starts, he went 1-2 with a 4.01 ERA. He fanned 27 in 24 2/3 IP.

For the reliever of the month, we go outside the Astros organization to Troy Patton of the Baltimore Orioles. In 5 relief appearances since his call up in Mid July, Patton has put up a 2.84 ERA in 6 1/3 IP. He has fanned 8 batters while walking only one.

Honorable mention:
Jordan Lyles
continues to seek his first big league win but he is not pitching as bad as his 0-3 record indicates. Two of his five starts in July qualified as quality starts. Therefore, he is the starter of the month.

Life Outside of Baseball: Brandon Barnes' Big Announcement

List night former Greeneville Astro introduced his new child to the world via twitter. Kenadie Joy Barnes. Just a reminder that these young me we follow also have a life outside of baseball. Brandon is currently on the temporarily inactive list for the Corpus Christi Hooks so he can be home for this important event. Congrats Brandon.