With spring training on the horizon, I am always excited to see the season start. However, one of the things that comes at this time of the year is the last few releases. In the last round of releases, there were four former G-Stros who were released. The players whose time in the Astros organization ended were:
Kellen Kiilsgaard - The 30th round pick for 2010 played for Greeneville after having a .159 average in Tri Cities. He appeared in 8 games for the G-Stros.
Colton Pitkin - A lefty who was a 41st round draft pick in 2007. He spent 2007 and 2008 in Greeneville.
Frederico Hernandez - One of the most exciting catchers to play in Greeneville, made his stateside debut in 2008. He was viewed as a top catching prospect making it to AA in 2010. However, he struggled in 2011 and hit under .200 in both AA and high A. Of the bunch, I feel he is the most likely to catch on with another organization.
Hector Rodriguez - Hector was a utility guy in 2010 for Greeneville. That season, he got consistent playing time due to injuries and hit .303 for the year. In 2011, he bounced between Tri Cities, Lexington and Lancaster where he hit a combined .163 in just 35 games.
Releases are a part of minor league ball. However, as a fan, you get to know some of these kids and when their name makes the Baseball America transactions page, it hits home. Hector's release was expected but it was still hard to read about. Hector and my son became friends in 2010. Despite a significant language barrier, they both enjoyed spending time together. Because Hector was so kind to my child, he became a favorite of mine too.
Best of luck to Hector and the rest of these men.