The 2009 G-Stros were the first bunch that were the sandwich short season team. Below them, the new GCL Astros were playing at the spring training complex. And the ValleyCats were playing above them in the NY- Penn League. In Greeneville, the fans didn't know what to expect from the new set up in the lower minors. What we saw was a mix of high draft pick high school players and low round/free agent college players. This edition of the the G-Stros had just seven teenagers and all seven were still active this year.
Of the 35 players who graced the roster that year, 63% (22) were still active on an affiliated roster at some point this season. Let's look at how high they climbed. They are listed by the highest level they appeared in and the percentage by each level is out of the full roster.
MLB (2- 6%)
Jose Altuve - see 2008 write up
J. D. Martinez - made a brief stop in Greeneville on his rapid climb to the majors. He hit .403 during just 14 games in Greeneville. This year, he hist .274 in 53 games in the big leagues. He made the fastest climb of any G-Stros position player to the majors.
AAA ( 0 - 0%)
AA (0 - 0%)
Altuve & Martinez appeared at this level but made it the the show to end the season.
High A (6- 17%)
Miguel Arrendell - The utility man appeared at five positions for Lancaster (RF, LF, SS, 2B, 3B) while hitting .281 in 50 games. He was moved back to Tri Cities for the last month of the season to sure up their middle infield where he hit just .219 in 18 games. Arrendell will turn 24 during spring training next season.
Grant Hogue - Hogue was a fan favorite during his time in G'ville for his hustle and easy going nature with fans. After playing in CF exclusively in 09 & 10, he spent time in all three outfield positions in Lancaster in 2011. He spent 76 of the 106 games in right field, where he amassed 11 of his 15 assist. He hit .269 on the season. He will be 25 when he reports to spring training.
Jonathan Meyer - Meyer continues to show improvement as he climbs the ladder. In Lancaster in 2011, he hit .264 with 14 home runs. He had only hit 5 in his previous two seasons. Next year will determine if the power is the result of Lancaster or his maturation as a hitter. He will be 21 when he reports next season.
Jio Mier - He evenly split his season between Lexington and Lancaster, playing 57 games at each stop. He hit .245 at Lexington, an improvement over 2010's .235, before moving to Lancaster where he hit .233. Mier is still considered a solid SS prospect and will be 21 when next season rolls around.
Jose Cisnero - is the pitcher from 2009 who has climbed the highest. He pitched in Lancaster and amassed a 6.06 ERA. However, when you average 11.09 strike outs per 9 innings (152 in 123 1/3 IP), that means there is something happening good there. Cisnero will be turn 23 next April.
Luis Cruz - see 2008 write up.
Low A (7 - 20%)
Garrett Bullock - the tall lefty made just three appearances in Lexington before returning to short season ball in Tri Cities. Those three outings were not that impressive. However, his 2.51 ERA in Tri Cities was solid. Bullock is old for the levels he has been playing. He will start the season at 25.
Jeiler Castillo - see 2008 write up.
Gabriel Garcia - after two seasons in G'ville, Garcia moved up to Lexington where he was solid. In 69 1/3 IP (37 games), he had a 3.76 ERA which is lower than his ERA in either season in Greeneville. He struck out 68 batters and had a WHIP of just 1.212 which is the lowest of his career. He is pitching well in winter ball in Venezuela right now. He will be 22 when spring training begins.
Murilo Gouvea - spent most of the season in Lexington with a brief time in Tri Cities. In Lex, he amassed a 3.98 ERA in 30 games (74 2/3 IP). He had more than a strike out an inning with 83. He struggled keeping the walks down. He will be 23 when next season begins.
David Martinez - was a man in search of a role this year. He pitched in 37 games. He started five and finished 17. In 66 2/3 IP, he fanned 44 batters while walking 17. He will be 24 at the beginning of spring training.
Yuri Perez - like Bullock, he had a less than memorable brief stint at Lexington. He made 15 starts for TriCities where he had a 5.48 ERA. Perez missed most of 2010 after elbow surgery. He is still working his way back. We hope he can regain the form he had in 2009 for Greeneville. He will be 21 at the start of spring training.
Carlos Quevedo - really struggled to keep the ball in the park. He gave up 22 home runs in Lexington this season in 151 innings pitched. That equates to 1.3 HR every nine innings. He gave up more home runs than walks. Quevedo walked 19 batters for an average of 1.1 per nine innings pitched. Quevedo will be 22 at the start of spring training.
Short Season A (3 - 5%)
Bubby Williams - the catcher with the cool name,spent 2011 in the New York Penn League. His showed power, leading the team with six home runs but struggled making consistent contact. He hit .206 in 36 games for the ValleyCats. He will be 22 at the start of spring training next year.
Joan Belliard - repeated the NYPenn league in 2011 but only pitched in 18 2/3 innings. His strike out numbers are still strong but is still struggling with walks. He will be turning 23 in March.
Travis Smink - after two seasons in G'ville, he moved to Tri Cities this season. In 23 games, he had a 4.37 ERA. He will turn 25 next April.
Rookie Ball & DL (4 - 11%)
Luis Alverez - returned to Greeneville after missing 2010 with a bad knee injury. Alverez hit .271 in 38 games. He only struck out 19 times in 151 plate appearances. He turns 22 just before minor leaguers report to spring training.
B J Hyatt - listed on the roster for Greeneville but never was in uniform. Still rehabbing from surgery after the 2009 season.
Wilton Infante & Nathan Pettus - see 2008 write up.
Like the 2008 edition, the 2009 team still has 22 active players. Unlike them, it is the position players who have climbed faster than the pitchers. A few of the players in this group will not be back for spring training but the core of this bunch should be at AA and High A to start next year.