In our trip around the diamond, we are over to the hot corner. Let's see what questions we will be watching for as the 2012 full season begins and I am sitting here waiting for short season ball in June.
Of the bat, let's not forget that two former G-Stros 3rd basemen are covered in other projections. Clemens was in the first base What to Watch For and Ebert Rosario will be covered in the pitchers.
Jean Batista - (2011, 20, Rookie) - Signed in 2010 as a 17 year old switch hitting shortstop. He didn't play in 2010 but made his debut in the GCL as a 19 year old in 2011. Notice the ages there....something isn't adding up, which may indicate why he didn't play in the DSL in 2010. Regardless, Batista is listed as a shortstop but has played more games at 3B (15), 2B (15) than SS (12). I am including him here because I write the blog and I get to decide! You got a problem with that? Here is what I will be watching for in 2012. Which position will he spend the most time at? Can he keep the pop up as he moves up?
Jonathan Meyer (2009, 21, Hi A) - Showed significant progress defensively in Lancaster in 2011. He dropped his errors from 29 to 16 in more chances. He also showed an increase in power jumping from 2 HR in Lexington to 14 in Lancaster. He finished 2011 with a strong August & September. In his last 31 games, he hit .307 and walked (19) more times than he struck out (18). He also had seven of his 23 doubles and five of his 14 home runs during that stretch. Can he carry the end of 2011 into 2012? Will the power continue or be just another example of the Lancaster effect?
Darwin Rivera - (2011, 20, Rookie) - Rivera was signed in 2008 but had only appeared in 1
game prior to the 2011 season. He started 2011 in the DSL and earned the promotion to Greeneville and struggled. He set a G-Stros record for most errors in a season with 30. His errors tended to come in clusters. At the plate, he showed mixed reviews having good stretches and very cold stretches. He showed pop as the season ended with three home runs in August. Will he improve his fielding in 2012? Can he show improvement in the mental side of the game (handling mistakes in the field and at the plate)? Can he show some of the potential that was hoped for when he signed in 2008?
Amandeo Zazueta - (2006, 26, AA) - Zazueta's career has survived being released by the Astros (2007), and the Braves (2010); playing for four different indy ball teams, and a 50 game suspension for PEDs (2010). Yet he is still playing in the Padres organization. He has played 150 games in the minors & indy ball at shortstop. He played 0 for the Astros organization in two season. At Greeneville, he languished on the bench while Timmy Johnson made 20 errors in 27 games in his second year in Greeneville. He also put up solid numbers in the Mexican Winter League this off season hitting .278 and making nine errors. Will he continue to defy the odds and find a spot on a roster?
Projected placement of those still in the Astros system
Corpus Christi (AA)
Lancaster (Hi A)
Lexington (Lo A)
Extended Spring Training