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 29, 2011

J. D Martinez named Astros 2011 Rookie of the Year

Zachary Levine reports that the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America have named J. D. Martinez the 2011 Houston Astros Rookie of the Year.  He hit .274 in 53 games with 13 doubles and six home runs.  He patrolled LF well earning a fielding percentage of .990 and showing he can throw some by adding five outfield assist. 

Martinez played 19 games for Greeneville in 2009 after being drafted in the 20th round that year.  He is the third former G-Stros position player to play in the majors following J. R. Towles and Jose Altuve.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Run On.... Outfield Assist Leaders

I just posted a link to video of Emilio King's throw from RF that was nominated for the MILB.com Play of the Year.  That got me thinking which of the Astros minor leaguers threw out the most runners from the outfield.  According to Baseball Reference stat page for each team, where are the young guns who patrol the OF.

(Couldn't resist the cheesy movie reference - sorry)

Daniel Adamson - the 23rd round draft pick from 2010 threw out 13 in Lexington, seven in Lancaster and added one more during his time in Corpus Christi for a total of 21 outfield assist. Last year in Tri Cities, Adamson threw out 7 batters.

Grant Hogue - the 35th round draft pick from 2009 threw out 15 runners in Lancaster.  He did it from all over the outfield.  He threw out two from LF, two from CF and 11 from RF.  In 2010, Hogue threw out nine from CF in Lexington.

Emilio King - The former catcher from the Dominican Repubic the threw out 14 runners in Lexington in a down year for him.  Last year, he threw out 14 in just 57 games in RF for Greeneville.  Before that he threw out nine in the GCL in 41 games.  Maybe word is getting around, don't run on King.

Andrew Muren - the 22nd round pick of 2011 put on a sharp shooting show in Tri Cities. He gunned down 14 runners in just 66 games.  Ten of those came from RF and four came from CF.

Honorable Mentions
Other full season outfielders who hit the double digit mark in outfield assist were: Jake Goebbert (12), J. B. Shuck (11) and Jon Gaston  (10).

Top short season arms to watch include: Teoscar Hernandez (7 in 59 games), Ariel Ovando (6 in 39 games), and Jerrod McKinney (5 in 30 games).

Emilio King up for MILB Play of the Year Award

Folks in Greeneville know Emilio King has to have a permit to carry his right arm.  It is a weapon.  Folks in the South Atlantic League learned that fact this season.  One of his 14 outfield assist is up for the MILB.com Play of the Year.  You can view the throw and vote here

Three G-Stros up for MILB Game of the Year Awards

MILB let's fans vote on a number of awards every year.  They currently have the ballots up for "Best Game of the Year" at each level.  Three former G-Stros are mentioned in these awards.  Here is your chance to show your support for these outstanding performances.

First of all we have Chris Wallace & Telvin Nash sending balls out of McCormick field in Asheville like they were candy canes at a Christmas parade.  Back in April Telvin & Chris each went 5-for-6 with three homers, a double and four runs scored. You can read more about the game here. And  vote for them here.

Later in the season, Josh Magee had an amazing run of getting a hit in 12 straight at bats for Greeneville. I know the award is for "Best Game" but Magee's outstanding performance stretched over three games.  He went 5-5 and 4-4 in back to back games and then got three hits in the next game before striking out going for hit number 13.  You can read about the streak here and vote here.  

Let's support our former G-Stros - Vote early & often!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last Night Good for 2004 G-Stros Patton & Paulino

Checking box scores this morning, I saw that two former Greeneville Astros got wins in the MLB yesterday.  First, Felipe Paulino continues his good pitching for Kansas City.  He fanned 9 batters in his start against the Twins. He went six innings allowing three runs on six hits with two walks to earn his fourth win of the year. 

Meanwhile, back on the east coast, the Orioles were facing the Red Sox.  After five innings, the Sox were up 2-1.  Baltimore turned to Troy Patton who retired the only five batters he faced.  While he was one the mound, the Orioles took the lead and gave Patton his second win of the season.  It also lowered his ERA on the season to 3.25 and for the month of September his ERA is down to 0.98.  He is making the case to start the season in the Majors for the first time and maybe even in the back end of the bull pen.  Dave Regan of foxsports says this:

...reportedly the Orioles are looking to move him (current closer Jim Johnson) to the rotation given the struggles of starters like Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman. Troy Patton and Pedro Strop are potential sleepers, but it's possible the team's 2012 closer is not yet on the roster.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Instructional Roster Released

Thanks to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle for releasing the Instructional League roster.  Here are the former G-Stros who are going to be spending part of their fall in Florida.  I will include the number of players who have played in Greeneville out of the total number at each position as well as they year(s) the player was in Greeneville in parentheses.

Pitchers:(9 out of 22 on roster)
Ruben Alaniz (10)
Ricardo Batista (10, 11)
Jamaine Cotton (10,11)
Michael Foltynewicz   (10)
Christopher Lee (11)
Luis Ordosgoitti (11)
Rodney Quintero (10,11)

Francis Ramirez
Vincent Velasquez (10)

Catchers: (3 out of 6)
Ernesto Genoves (11)
Roberto Pena (10)
Chris Wallace (10)
Infielders: (5 out of 10)
Jean Carlos Batista (11)
Delino DeShields Jr. (10)
Jonathan Meyer (09)
Jiovanni Mier (09)
Telvin Nash (10)

Outfielders: (2 out of 8)
Ariel Ovando (11)
Jordan Scott (11)

Of the  44 players who are on the non rehab roster, here is where they finished the 2011 season.

GCL: 7
Greeneville: 8
TriCities: 8
Lexington: 10
Lancaster: 4
Corpus Christi: 4
No Roster/DL: 3

Thursday, September 8, 2011

GCL - Past, Present, & Future (2011 edition)

Last year, I looked back at the where the 2009 GCL players spent their seasons and then made predictions where the 2010 folks would spend their 2011.  I didn't do to badly on the prediction piece.  All four of the players I predicted to be in G'ville (Moon, Monzon, Smith & Jones) were there.  Of the three I projected for Tri Cities, two of the three spent time there this year (Scott & Rosario) while one player was released (Ditthardt).  I didn't fair as well in Lexington where I only  one (Perez) out of three spent any time there.

Let's do the same process for this year:

Where 2010 GCL Astros Spent 2011:

Lets look at only those who spent more than a handful of games in the GCL in 2010 and find out where they spent 2011.

Repeat of GLC 

Of the 39 players who spent significant time on the GCL roster in 2010, 11 (28%) of them returned to the GCL for 2011.  That is a slight increase from the 26% (9 players) who returned from 2009 to 2010.  Let's look at a few of the returnees to see who they did in their second stint.

Jose Fernandez (SS) - The young shortstop showed slight improvement at the plate.  His average and OBP raised slightly.  He stolen base total jumped from four to 11 while holding his caught stealing to three.  His fielding showed significant improvement.  He dropped from 32 errors in 265 chances to 15 errors in 203 chances.  He will still be 18 when spring training rolls around next season. 

Luca Martone (2B) - Showed a huge jump at the plate this season in the GCL. His average went from .173 to .314 and his OPS jumped from .419 to .770.  He remained solid in the field.  He will also be 18 when spring training starts.

Kyle Reddinger (1B) - The 11th round draft pick in 2010 went backwards in 2011.  His average dropped from .219 to .148 and his OPS dropped from .568 to .436.  He will be 20 when spring training starts.

Pedro Gomez (RHP) - His ERA dropped from 7.76 down to 4.18. His WHIP dropped from 1.979 to 1.429.  This drop was highlighted by his hits dropping from 54 in 31 1/3 IP to 21 in 28 IP.  However, his BB jumped from 8 to 19.  He will be 20 when spring training starts.

Evan Grills (LHP) - The 10th pick in the 2010 draft might be ready for a big jump in 2012.  He showed good progress in 2011.  He appeared in 13 games (33 1/3 IP) and amassed a 3.00 ERA.  He only allowed 7 walks to go along with 33 hits for a 1.212 WHIP and he fanned 29 batters.  He will be 19 at the start of spring training.

Kirshawn Holley (RHP) - Holley only made one appearance in 2010, so 2011 was for all intents and purposes, his first season.  He had an impressive showing.  In 13 appearances (16 2/3 IP) he fanned 15 while only allowing 12 hits and 8 unintentional walks.  He will turn 20 just before spring training starts.

Francis Ramirez (RHP) - He repeated the GCL for most of the season and while his numbers didn't improve from an outcome standpoint.  He continued to miss bats consistently.  This warranted a late season jump to Greeneville where he fared better in ERA and showed better control. He will be 20 when spring training starts.

 Promoted to Greeneville

Greeneville was a popular landing spot for the GCL class of 2010.  They had 14 players (36%) make the jump to the Appy League.  This is an increase from the 24% who made the same jump last year.  Here is a look at what the experience was like for some of the more notable players to make the leap.

Ernesto Genoves (C) - He looked poised for a break out season after posting a batting average over .370 for the first 20 games.  However he faded in August, hitting just 172 for his last 18 games.  However, his season average of .280 was still an increase from his GCL numbers and his OPS jumped .140 points.  He will still be 20 when spring training begins.

Jordan Scott (LF) - Scott actually spent some time this year in Lexington before the short season teams started but he spent the majority of the season in Greeneville so he is listed here.  He had an All Star caliber season in Greeneville.  He was named the team MVP after hitting .337 in 60 games in Greeneville.  His defense will need some work but has shown he is ready for full season ball, and he will just be 19 when spring training starts.

Joshua Magee (2B) - Magee showed a significant amount of development this season.  He only hit .133 in June (9 games), he hit .232 in July (21 games) and then capped off the season by hitting .376 in August.  His August was helped by a 12 for 12 streak during the month.  Overall, his average jumped 56 points and his OPS rose 134 points.  He will be 20 when spring training starts.

Chan Moon (SS) - Moon showed a descent glove but his offensive numbers dropped from the GCL days.  He showed alittle more power but everything else showed decline.  Although he did have better numbers in August (.256 avg with .680 OPS).  He will be turning 21 during spring training next year.

Luis Ordosgoitti (RHP) - When as an 18 year old, you come into the APPY and strike out 42 batters in 44 IP while only walking seven, you qualify as a pitcher to watch.  He needs to work on missing bats a bit more.  He gave up 47 hits in those 44 IP.  He will be 19 when spring training starts.

Jose Perdomo (RHP) - Perdomo didn't fare as well as Ordosgoitti.  In fact, he was shut down in mid July and didn't appear again.  In his five starts (18 IP), he surrendered 33 hits and four HR.  He did fan 21 during those appearances.  Perdomo will be 20 at the start of spring training 2012.

Jeremiah Meiners (LHP) - I always like to pull for the underdog.  Meiners was a 40th round draft pick who didn't fare too well in the GCL in 2010 (6.95 ERA in 22 IP).  However, he showed growth in Greeneville.  In 40 1/3 IP (20 games), he fanned 42 batters and only allowed 34 hits and 10 walks for a WHIP of 1.09.  He will be 23 when spring training rolls around so the odds are against him but I hope the growth continues.

Promoted to Tri Cities
There were four players (10%) who were promoted to Tri Cities from the 2010 team.  That is up from 2 players or 6% from the 09 group.  All of those promoted were pitchers.

Kristian Bueno (LHP) - Bueno struggled with his control in SS-A ball.  He walked 19 batters in 20 2/3 IP. He will be 23 when 2012 spring training starts.

Dayan Diaz  (RHP) - Diaz put on a show in Tri Cities.  His season ERA was an impressive 1.98 over 50 IP (19 games).  More impressive was the 70 strike outs in those 50 innings pitched. Diaz missed all of 2009 and most of 2010 with injury so his 2011 performance puts his name on the radar for 2012. He will 23 just before spring training begins.

Juri Perez (RHP) - Perez is working his way back from an injury at the end of the 09 season that stunted his development.  He show some signs of returning to his strong 2009 form (67 Ks in 67 1/3 IP)  but there is still a long way to go (5.48 ERA).  He will still only be 21 when spring training rolls around.

Ebert Rosario (RHP) - Rosario continued his effort to covert from an infielder to a pitcher.  He struggled with his control in the NYPenn League, walking 14 batters in 23 2/3 IP but he also fanned 27.  Still a work in progress.  He will turn 25 after the season starts next year, so time is limited.

Promoted to Lexington
There was only one player(3%) who spent the majority of 2010 in the GCL who made the jump to the SALLY League.  That is down from four in 2010.

Roberto Pena (C) - In his first full season, Pena showed promise, nabbing 39% of runners who tried to steal.  However, the wear and tear of the long season appeared to catch up to him.  His batting numbers peaked in July (.258 avg & .638 OPS) but waned as the season went along.  He is seen as a promising catching prospect by those in Houston.

So far, we have covered 30 of the 39 players who spent any significant time on the 2010 GCL Astros roster, that leaves us with 9 players who were released, retired or were placed on the restricted list before the end of the 2011 season.  That list is as follows:

Ryan Ditthardt
Wilder Parra 
Geber Suniaga
Emmanuel Cedano
B J Hagans
Rafael Felix
Austin Lucas
Andrea Lucatti
Dieudone Paul

Back to the Future

So now who do I think could make the move this year. Any of the projections here are likely to be impacted by the draft, and any prospects picked up in trades. Let’s see who the crystal ball says we should keep an eye on for next year.


Yonathon Mejia (2B)  - After improving his average from .235 in the DSL to .329 in the GCL, Mejia is ready to move up.  However, with his age being 19 next year, I don't expect him to jump to Tri Cities but it is possible. He needs time in the field.  He was at DH for 21 of his games in the GCL.

Luca Martone (2B) -He got the majority of the starts at 2B for the GCL team but he only appeared in 29 games.  I can see he and Mejia sharing time at 2B at Pioneer Park next season. 

Kenny Diaz (C) - It is a small sample size but in 13 games, he hit .281 and he threw out 5 out of 9 runners trying to steal.  He will be 19 when spring training begins.

Kelvin Vizcaino  (LF) - Average increased from .191 to .244 in his jump from the DSL to the GCL.  

Javaris Reynolds (CF) - The 7th round draft pick out of H. S. only hit .228 this season but he plays a solid center field.  He might repeat the GCL but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in Greeneville.

Kirshawn Holley (RHP) & Evan Grills (LHP) - They give every indication that it is time to move up.

Tri Cities

Juan Mojica (RHP)  - His 1.42 ERA earned a late season promotion to Greeneville in 2011.

Blake Ford (RHP) - The 44th round pick for 2011 appeared in 18 games with a 1.90 ERA.  Might jump all the way to Lex.

Justin Gill (RHP) - Held opponents to a .210 average in 21 2/3 IP as a 22 year old in the GCL.


Chris Epps (RF/LF) - Hit .304 in 35 games before promotion to Tri Cities.  There he hit just just .212 in 70 plate appearances but did crush two HR.  Will turn 23 in December.

Feel free to add you ideas about who you think is going where.  We will look back at this next year to see how we did.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wet Trip To Lexington & the End of the Season

Took a road trip with the family to Lexington to try to catch the last two games of the season.  Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate.  I got to spend about 4 hours at Whitaker Bank Ballpark but didn't get to see any baseball.  However, their grounds crew pulled the tarp impressively. 

Sunday night was rained out and they planned a double header to start at 11:00 on Monday.  Monday, we were able to chat with a few players while waiting out the rain delay. For guys who are away from home, sometimes a familiar face can make them smile.  Several of the former G'ville players recognized us and chatted.  We chatted about the weather and how their seasons had gone. We talked about home.  One of the players heading to instructs said he was going to get 12 days at home before he had to report.  He was trilled with the idea of time at home. 

However, as a family, we had decided that 2:30 would be our departure time for G-ville.  Sure enough, 1st pitch of the double header was shortly after 2:30 PM.  We were already on the road and were able to listen to a few of the innings via radio. 

When I got home, I hated we had to leave.  The box score showed a good showing by former G-Stros in the double header sweep.  In game 1, Hector Rodriquez went 1-2 with an RBI, Emilio King went 1 for 3 with an RBI and Jorge De Leon got his 16th save. In game 2, former G-Stros accounted for all three RBI (King, Nash & Sosa), the win (Alaniz), a hold (Gouvea) and the save (Streinlein).

Thanks to Ryan (@eFIVE Tweets) for all his help during the trip.  It is great that you can travel to an unfamiliar place and have some one who makes sure you have a great time regardless of the weather.

Hopefully next season we can make a visit for an actual game.

The End of the Season
Baseball America today put the end of the season well:
The final day of a minor league season feels a whole lot like the last day of the year at a college.
Bags are packed, some parents are milling around to help load up cars. Goodbyes are given along with promises to keep in touch.
And the reality is that some of the players heading home may never be back. For six months, a baseball team is a large family. They travel together, eat together and spend hours wiling away the dead time before games or during rain delays. Then at the end of the season, everyone heads to their respective homes. Some will be back together again next year. But others will be traded, or sign elsewhere as minor league free agents, or get released.
It makes for one of the stranger days of the season. Players who have been grinding their way through a 140-game season and more than six months away from friends and family understandably are excited about the idea of heading home.
By an hour after the game, the bags are packed and the clubhouse is beginning to look like a ghost town. Players are used to traveling light, so with a couple of duffel bags and bat bags loaded up, most of them are ready to hit the road.
The Legends had last place locked up, to them the games were meaningless.  However, they impacted the standings and the league office said they must be played.  Sometimes those of us who follow minor league baseball forget these players are humans with families and friends they miss.  There is nothing worse that expecting to be home by a certain time and getting delayed.  It doesn't matter if that delay is via travel conditions, weather, demanding bosses or the league office saying you have to play a game.

The Legends were supposed to have a 12:00 start time on Sunday.  Those driving home could have been on the road by 4:00.  Several of those flying had 5:30 fights.    Due to having to play both halves of the double header, their plans changed. By the time they played both games, it was after 6:30. Some were frustrated by the events.  Yet, several of the players still took time out to talk to fans.  My son left with a few extra souvenirs.  He also got to spend time with some guys who put their frustrations aside to make an 11 year olds day.  So today we give a special thank you to Hector Rodriguez, Domingo Santana, Ben Heath, and Jhonny Medrano for going above and beyond on a cold wet day when their thoughts were on home.