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.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Season Recap: Outfielders

This is the last installment in the season recap for the 2012 Greeneville Astros.  Let's look at the guys who roamed the grassy spaces in Greeneville this season. It is a young bunch with Jose Monzon being the senior of the guys and he hasn't turned 21 yet.  Greeneville hasn't had an outfield with this much promise since 2004 (Parraz, Einertson & Torbert) and 2005 (Iorg, Flores & Barnes).  Each of those players made it to at least AA.  I believe the first three in this list have the potential to be better than either of those groups of outfielders.

Ariel Ovando was back for his second season.  The 18 year old showed improvement both at the plate and in the field.  His batting line jumped from .235/.283/.365 to .287/.350/.444.  The number of errors went down in the field.  He generally showed more hustle and focus this season than last, though that appeared to wane down the stretch of the season. 

I like Ovando more than most Greeneville fans. He is still very raw.  He was not ready for the Appy last year and his struggles that season have left a bad impression with some folks. 

Ovando turned 19 in September.  He will play his first full season of A ball as a teenager.  That will be a challenge for him.  In my opinion, the part of Ovando's game that needs the most work is the mental side of the game.  That includes staying focused in the outfield and not getting too down when the inevitable slump hits.  It means being more even and consistent. 

D'Andre Toney came to the Astros as the player to be named later in the Quintero/Bourgeios trade with the Royals.  He played 57 games in center and made just five errors.  He made multiple diving catches and ran down balls in the gap well.  He struggled some with balls hit to the wall.  He appeared to struggle with knowing when to play it off the wall verses trying make the highlight reel catch.  A small nit to pick there, I know. 

At the plate, Toney wasn't able to replicate the success he had in the Arizona Rookie League for the Royals in 2011.  He did show improvement in his plate discipline taking 15 walks in August alone.  He also showed some progress in stealing bases. He was 15 out of 20 in stolen base attempts for the year.  Toney will be 21 when spring training starts next season.  I expect to see him patrolling CF for Quad Cities.

Terrell Joyce manned left field in 39 games for the Astros.  He also played through an injured wrist for much of the season.  Joyce showed descent range and a solid arm in left.  He had just two errors and made three assist.  He made several nice catches coming in on balls that were slicing away from him.

At the plate, Joyce led the team with seven home runs.  He hit 14 doubles to show he has some pop in his bat.  He hit for a .273 average on the season and earned a spot on the fall instructional roster.  I can't see anyone blocking him from making his full season ball debut next spring.  He will still be 20 when spring training begins next season. 

Jose Monzon repeated Greeneville this year.  He was the utility outfielder appearing in 19 games in LF, 13 in CF and 14 in RF.  At the plate, Monzon improved his average to .214 after hitting .200 in 2011.  This was his third season in short season ball in the states.  He will be 21 when players report next year. 

Mark Wik was drafted in the 21st round this year and appeared in 18 games in LF, six in RF and made two appearances at 2B.  Wik exploded in June with a .357 average in his first nine games but cooled off finishing the season with a .235 average in 40 games. Wik took 21 walks which helped boost his OBP to .359.  In the field, he was solid but not spectacular.  He will be 20 when players report to camp. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Post Season Awards Ballot

Normally, I keep my post to the Greeneville Astros, their alumni and the Astros farm system. However, as a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I get the opportunity to put in my two cents in post season awards the group gives out. So here are my thoughts on who deserves the  National League hardware from the 2012 season.

Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year - nominate 3)

1. Dusty Baker
2. Davey Johnson
3. Freddi Gonzalez

With all due respect to Johnson, Baker handled early season injuries to his bullpen and managed several DL trips by several key parts to lead the Reds to a 97 win season.  I believe he did more with less than any other manager this season.

Willie Mays Award (Top Rookie - nominate 3)

1. Bryce Harper
2. Wade Miley
3. Lucas Harrell

Harper gets my vote here.  Though, I would have loved to have voted for Jose Altuve if Ed Wade hadn't rushed him to the majors last year. 

Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever - nominate 3)

1. Craig Kimbrell
2. Arnoldis Chapman
3. Jason Motte

Kimbrell gets my vote for the second year in a row.  Kimbrell's 16.66 Ks per 9 is slightly ahead of Chapman and gives him the edge.

Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher - nominate 5)

1. R. A. Dickey
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Gio Gonzalez
4. Johnny Cueto
5. Kris Medlin

Dickey took the mound more innings than the other top four and walked fewer batters while throwing a knuckle ball as his primary pitch.  Enough said.   Medlin is added in for his performance.  It is a shame he wasn't in the rotation all year.  If he was, the Braves might be NL East Champs.

Stan Musial Award (Top Player - nominate 10)

1. Andrew McCutchen
2. Buster Posey
3. Yadier Molina
4. Ryan Braun
5. Joey Votto
6. David Wright
7. Jason Hayward
8. Michael Bourn
9. Giancarlo Stanton
10. Chase Headley

McCutchen carried a team as much as one player can. There was no other offensive player on his team that was in the top 40 in WAR.  The Pirates faded in the end but it shouldn't diminish McCutchen's impressive season.