There are more former G-Stros at first than there were last year but the majority are a bit long in the tooth for the levels they were at last year. Here is what I am watching for from them this year.
Koby Clemens -
(2005 - 25- AAA) - Signed a minor league free agent deal with the Blue Jays. Where will he land when spring training breaks? Las Vegas (AAA) or New Hampshire (AA)? Will he be at 1st or 3rd?
Chase Davidson - (2011 - 22 - SS A) - Hit .335 in 43 games with Greeneville before a brief promotion to Tri Cities. Saw only 10 games at 1B in the 2011 season. How will he hit when he faces more age appropriate competition? Can he cut down on the K's?
Kody Hinze - (2008 - 24 - AA) - Made the two level move last year, blistering Lancaster and putting up solid numbers in AA. Is the best defensive first baseman in the bunch, with a career .991 fielding percentage. Can he increase his power numbers against advanced pitching?
Marcus Nidiffer - (2010 - 25 - Low A ) Was released by the Astros and later signed with the Angels last year. They moved him back to catcher, where he played in college. He hit .230 for Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League. Will he get a shot to play ball again this season or will he be considered to old for the level?
Telvin Nash - (2010 - 21 - Low A) Made the move to 1B last season and was off to a great start at he plate when he broke the hamate bone in his hand. He is the best prospect of the bunch. Just how many prodigious HR will he hit in Lancaster this year? Can he stay healthy? Can he reduce the K's?
Rafael Valenzuela - (2010 - 24 - SS A) The NDFA out of Arizona missed part of 2011 with injury but hit a solid .316 in 31 games with Tri Cities. In his minor league career, he has 42 games at 1B and 37 at 3B. Will he get a shot at full season ball in 2012? Which side of the diamond will he land on?
Jesse Wiersbicki - (2011- 23 - Rookie) Played 37 of 45 games at 1B for the G-Stros in 2011. He hit .265 and had five HR. Will he get to jump to full season ball in 2012? Can he continue to show good OBP (358 in 2011) against advance competition?
Projected placement of those in the Astros organization. Last year, I was two out of three.
Extended Spring Training
Blast from the past
2004 G-Stro Ole Shelton was still playing indy ball in 2011. He hit .304 for the Saint Paul Saints.