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, October 27, 2011

2006 & 2007 Greeneville Astros Progress Reports

Yesterday, we went back to 2005 to see who was still hanging around.  Today we will cover two years.  We are covering two years because, well..., there aren't many players left from these two teams.

There were 31 players on the 2006 roster.  Six of those players were still in affiliated ball during the 2011 season (19%). We have already covered half of these guys in the 2005 post (so click here to read about them). Those from the 2005 team who were also on the 2006 team include:
Brandon Barnes
Ralph Henriquez
Polin Trinidad

Other players who were active in 2011 were:

Tom Vessella - the 11th round pick in 2006 was released by the Astros after the 2008 season.  He played two years in indy ball and was signed by the Giants this year.  He started the season in AA, was sent down to the Sally League (A), was promoted to the Cal League (A+), before ending the year with one appearance in AAA Fresno.  Over those four stops, he amassed 5.50 ERA in 38 games (72 IP).  He started eight games and also finished 8 games.  He will be 26 years old when spring training starts next year. 

Armadeo Zazueta - the utility infielder from Mexico only appeared in 28 games and had just 57 plate appearances in Greeneville.  He was released after that season.  In 2008, he appeared back in the states playing indy ball.  He was signed by the Braves in 2010 and played in Myrtle Beach (A+) and Mississippi (AA).  He also suspended for PED use.  Then late this season, he showed up with the Padres' AA team in San Antonio.  In 15 games he hit .283 with his best games coming against the Corpus Christi Hooks.  Over a three game series, Zazueta went six for 13 with three singles, a double, a triple and a HR.  He will be 26 next season.

Reid Kelly - Kelly was the 33 round pick in 2005 but didn't sign until 2006.  He pitched in Greeneville in 2006.  He spent 07 & 08 in Lexington before finishing his time with the Astros organization in 2009 in Lancaster.  He was out of baseball for 2010 but was signed in 2011 by the White Sox.  He appeared in 18 games for Kannapolis of the Sally League (A) but was released in August.  In his time in the Sally, he put together a 3.72 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 19 1/3 IP.

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." - Thumper (Bambi 1942)
This is going to be very, very short.  Of the 38 players that appeared on the roster in 2007, only five players are still active in affiliated ball (13%).  Sixty three percent (24) of the players were out of affiliated baseball at the start of the 2009 season.  Let those awful stats sink in for a moment and then let's say the nice things about the survivors.

Fernando Abad - The big righty made it to the bigs in 2010 appearing in 22 games out of the Houston bullpen.  He had a solid 2.84 ERA and looked primed to be an important part of the 2011 pen.  However, he wasn't effective in 29 games (19 2/3 IP) and was sent down to the minors in early July.  He made two rehab appearance in the Gulf Coast League before heading to AAA.  There he got 30 innings of work in with a 4.50 ERA.  Abad is currently on the 40 man roster, so he should be competing for a bullpen slot again this coming spring at age 26.

Albert Cartwright - Cartwright was drafted in the 36rd round of the 2007 draft.  He didn't get much playing time in 2007 due to some paperwork related issues but returned to Greeneville in 2008 where he shared time at 2B with Jose Altuve.  He then climbed the ladder all the way to AA in 2010 before he was traded last off season. He was traded to the Phillies for Sergio Escalona.  Cartwight injured his Achilles during spring training and missed the whole season.  He reported on his twitter feed that he was able to return to the field for instructional league games.

Kyle Greenwalt- He was drafted in the 20th round of the 2007 draft.  He repeated Greeneville in 2008 and was the MVP that season.  After stops in Lexington (09) and Lancaster (10), he spent the fall of 2010 in the Arizona Fall League.  He started 2011 in Corpus Christi and struggled.  After nine starts, he was moved to the bull pen and then in late July, he was sent back to Lancaster.  In Lancaster, the notorious hitters park, Greenwalt was extremely effective.  He pitched in 12 games (24 1/3 IP) amassing a 1.85 ERA.  Greenwalkt will be 23 at the start of next season where I expect he will take another shot at AA.

Arcenio Leon - The hard throwing Venezuelan spent the first of his two seasons in Greeneville during the 2007 campaign.  After a solid but unspectacular 2009 in Lexington, he returned there and was outstanding.  In 26 games (54 IP) he struck out 60 batters and had a 2.33 ERA.  He was moved all the way up to AA Corpus Christi to finish that year and predictably he didn't fare as well.  His strike out numbers stayed good at 23 in 23 IP but he also walked 22 batters.  He returned to Corpus Christi in 2011 and struck out 73 batters in 64 2/3 IP.  But he still walked too many batters (48).  He did get moved up to Oklahoma City at the season for one brief appearance.  He will be 25 when next spring rolls around.  I look for him to be at AAA next season.  He is on the 40 man roster and has some promise if he can learn the control to match his velocity. 

Colton Pitkin - Pitkin was drafted in the 41st round of the 2007 draft.  He came with a tired shoulder so he was eased in to pro ball in 2007 only pitching 7 2/3 innings.  He returned to Greeneville in 2008 and struck out 45 batters in 44 innings out of the bullpen.  After a stint in 2009 as a starter for Tri Cities, he moved back to the pen in Lexington in 2010.  He stayed in the pen in Lancaster in 2011 where he got off to a great start with a 3.82 ERA in the first half.  However, after the all star break, he struggled and finished with a 6.45 ERA overall.  Pitkin will be 22 when he heads to Florida this spring, he will likely be in Lancaster but he might be in Corpus Christi. 

So there you have it.  2008 can only look better since we know there will be at least four of these players returning to the roster.  We will look at their outcomes soon.

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