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.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brian Blasik: Long Shot or One the Scouts Missed

I have always been a fan of the underdog.  When it comes to minor league baseball, college seniors who sign as non drafted free agents (NDFA) are some of the biggest underdogs.  There is one such NDFA on this year's G-Stros roster that I am pulling for to do well. 

There were 1238 players drafted in the 2012 MLB draft. Brian Blasik wasn't one of them.  He had a successful college career.  He made All Atlantic 10 for three years.  He set a Dayton record for stolen bases.  He lead the league in hits his senior year and finished with the third highest batting average.  He was named a third team All American by Louisville Slugger and lead Dayton to their first NCAA Tourney appearance.  Yet, he wasn't drafted. 

The Astros offered him a chance to play pro ball and he has taken full advantage of it.  Last night, Blasik went 3 for 3 with his 10th double of the year.  He is now hitting (.384 - 2nd in league) and has 33 hits (tied for 1st in league).  He has just eight strike outs in 86 at bats. He has made just two errors at second base this season.  Blasik also has had a tendency to get the big hit when it is needed. He is hitting .585 with runners on base and .500 with runners in scoring position.  Of his 33 hits, 24 have come with runners on base. 

Yet, Blasik is old for the league at 22.  I did a post earlier this year that looked at the ages of players who played in the Appy League who did make it to the show.  Since 2004, the year Greeneville got the Astros affiliate, there had been 102 players who had played in the Appy who had appeared in at least one major league game.  Of those 102 players,  84 were between the ages of 18-21 when they played here.  Only nine players who made it to the big leagues were 22 and of those nine, six were pitchers.  One of the three position players was Yunel Escobar who was a Cuban refugee and only played a handful of games.  We will look at the other two players in a moment.

First let's look at the best 22 year old players Greeneville has had in the past.  

Back in 2004, there was Neil Sellers, a 32nd round pick out of Eastern Kentucky who hit .285 and played 3rd for Greeneville.  He made it as high as AAA and played affiliated ball until this year.

In 2005, Eli Iorg was a 1st round supplemental pick from the University of Tennessee.  He should have played at a higher level but rumor has it, he came to Greeneville because he was rehabbing an injury and his doctors were just down the road in Knoxville.  The outfielder climbed quickly through the Astros system but was released at AAA in 2009.

Most recently, Chris Wallace, a 16th round draft pick out of the University of Houston, played in Greeneville in 2010.  He made the Appy League all star team and has climbed quickly to AA.  The catcher is currently repeating AA this season.   

Blasik is currently hitting fifty points higher than any of those three and his on base and slugging are comparable.

Now let's look at the two who have made it.

Interestingly, they are both second basemen and both from the Twins system.  Since the Twins, don't have a Short Season A ball team, they often have slightly older players than the rest of the league.

Matt Tolbert was a 16th round pick out of Ole Miss.  He played in 33 games for the E-twins in 2004 and hit .308 in 33 games.  He made six errors in 119 chances for a fielding percentage of 0.950.  He made his MLB debut in 2008 and has played in 247 MLB games for the Twins.  He was a free agent after last season and signed with the Cubs.  He has spent all of 2012 in AAA. He has played 2nd, SS & 3rd in the majors and has also played the three outfield spots in the minors.

Brian Dinkelman was an 8th round pick out of McKendree University in 2006.  He played in 46 games with the E-twins that season.  He hit .298 and made just three errors in 186 chances at 2nd.  Dinkelman made his MLB debut last season and played in 23 games.  He diversified as he moved up splitting time between second and the corner outfield positions.   He has played in just 35 games at AAA most at LF and DH this season. 

How does Blasik stack up?

Quite honestly, statistically, he looks better at this point in time.

The only area where Blasik isn't exceeding these guys performance is in walks taken. He is currently walking about as often as Jose Altuve.

Blasik, like all NDFAs is a long shot.  However, if he keeps performing at this level, he can have a solid career in pro ball. It appears he has the bat and his defense is solid at 2nd and he has some flexibility as he also played other positions (SS & OF) in college and in wood bat leagues.

Time will tell if he turns out to be just another organizational roster filler or the one the scouts missed in the draft.  But he will definitely be one to keep an eye on as he makes his journey.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Defense, Defense, Defense

Last night, Brian Blasik made his first error of the season.  In fact he made two.  They were the first errors made by any G-Stros second baseman this season.  My eyes had told me it was a solid defense and we needed an upgrade from last years defense that featured a team record 30 errors by one third baseman.

Let's look at how much of a defensive upgrade 2012 is from 2011.

Quite a drop from almost two errors a game to less than one.  That stat makes the pitching staff happy. Note that the only area currently higher is shortstop.  That number is skewed by Jean Batista's four errors in four games played at shortstop.  Jimmy Howick has made five errors in 24 games.

Before you get too down on Batista, he has made only one error at first in 15 games and none at second in seven games.  First base is a new position for him.  Last year he played a few games at third but he hasn't ventured over there this year.  I would like to see him there and wouldn't be surprised eventually to see him play some outfield.  I am beginning to wonder if Batista might wind up being a super utility kind of player in the mold of Omar Infante. Good bat but not defensively great at any position. 

One other indication of the growth is in one repeating player. Ariel Ovando committed seven errors last season and a .904 fielding percentage. This season he has made just one error and has a .967 fielding percentage.

Double Delight!

Last night, the G-Stros rapped out a team record eight doubles in their 13-8 win against Pulaski.  The previous record was six doubles in a game and it had happened five times.  After that outburst, Greeneville is tied with Danville for the lead in doubles with 56; despite playing one less game than the D-Braves.

The eight doubles were hit by five batters:
Brian Blasik  - giving him nine on the year (2nd in the league)
Terrell Joyce -hit two doubles giving him eight on the season (Tied for 3rd in league)
Ariel Ovando - bringing his total to eight as well (T-3rd)
Ernesto Genoves  - had two to also reach eight (T-3rd)
Jean Batista - added two to bring his total to seven (Tied for 11th in the league)

The record for most doubles in a season by a Greeneville Astro is 20. That record is held by two former G-Stros: Jose Altuve & Ronald Ramirez.  With 41 games to go, it appears that record may fall this year.

As a team, the G-Stros are on pace for 141 doubles. That would shatter the previous record of 119.

Other Notes:

Jean Batista added a home run to his two doubles and is on an extra base hit tear.  In the last three games, he is 6 for 12 with three doubles and a two HR.  He has surpassed his HR total from last season (3) and is quickly catching his extra base total of 16.  He currently has seven doubles, two triples and four home runs.   

D'Andre Toney is quietly having a very good July.  For the month, he is hitting .328 and is getting on base at a .400 clip through 15 games.  When you add the pop of four doubles and two homers this month.  That is a very impressive line. 

Every G-Stro had a hit last night and all but one had a RBI. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Eye Witness Report: July 13 Greeneville 3 Elizabethton 2

The game on Friday the 13th was unique.  The game lasted 2 hours and 52 minutes and there was a 2 hour and 51 minute rain delay in the middle of the 4th inning.  The post game fireworks were moved to mid game fireworks, to kill time while the field was being readied for play to resume.  It was neat to watch the players who were warming up, stop and watch the fireworks. Just a reminder of how they are still kids in many ways.  On to the game action:

On the mound:
Francis Ramirez had a solid start going when the rains came.  I was able to talk to another teams scout during the rain delay and I asked him what Ramirez was throwing.  He said " 90-93 fastball and is locating it well.  Curve ball doesn't have much bite though." 

Strikeouts were plentiful as G-Stro pitchers struck out a total of 15 E-Twins while walking five.  The E-Twin batters lead the league with 4.6 walks again so it was a pretty average game for them.  However, they average only 7.6 Ks per game so Greeneville pitchers did a nice job. 

Two guys from the pen really impressed me Friday night.  Jordan Jankowski came in with bases loaded and two outs in the fifth and fanned Travis Harrison who has only 13 strike outs in 85 at bats this season and is hitting .341 on the season.  He also had a 1,2,3 sixth.  He allowed a run in the seventh before being pulled from the game.

Euris Quezada got the win with three innings of work.  He allowed just one base runner on a walk and struck out five batters.  Remember - the team batting average for Elizabethton is .297.  This is the best offense in the league.

At the plate: 
Greeneville did just enough to win this one at the plate.  They also had the strike out bug; fanning 14 times.  Only Angel Ibanez didn't strike out but he found other unique ways to make outs.  He was picked off of first twice and was called out for batter interference in the 10th.  One of the pick offs was with runners at 1st and 3rd and one out in the inning. I bet I know what he will be working on.

D'Andre Toney was effective in the lead off spot getting on base three times, with a hit and two walks.  He laid down a sac bunt as well that lead to James Howick scoring after the catcher threw the ball into left trying get the runner at third.

Brian Blasik came through with a big hit again after starting the night 0-4 with three strike outs, he roped a double near the line in left that scored Toney with the game winning run in the 10th.   

In the field:
James Howick
had the play of the game at shortstop.  In the seventh inning, with score tied at two and runners at first and third, he made a diving stop on a hard hit grounder and started a 6-4-3 double play. 

Big win for Greeneville.  They took two out of three for the best team in the league despite being out scored in the series 18-11.  They cut the lead of the E-twins down to  1 1/2 games as a result of the extra inning win.

Combined with the Sunday sweep of a double header with the Bristol Sox, the G-Stros are only 1 game back of the E-Twins for the division lead and are three games up on the Johnson City Cardinals for the wild card spot. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eye Witness Report: July 11- G-Stros 7 E-Twins 4

It had rained all day in Greeneville and the weather kept the crowd down but the game on the field was worthy of a much larger audience.  The crowd that was there huddled up under the awnings to stay away from the heavy drizzle that fell at times early in the game.  Let's look at the game:

At the plate:
Every Greeneville hitter contributed at the plate tonight. Only one was without a hit but he contributed a sacrifice fly that scored a run.  Here were the top contributors:

Big Hit Brian Blasik - In the first, he battled in an eight pitch at bat to hit a sacrifice fly to plate the first run of the game. In the third, he ripped a ball down the left field line for a bases loaded triple to give Greeneville all the runs they would need.  It made the game 5-0 at the time.  He would later score on a sacrifice fly by Terrell Joyce.  He finished the night going 2-3 with four RBI and a run scored.

Angel Ibanez - Got things started in the third with a lead off single.  He later scored on a wild pitch after moving station to station.  He finished the night two for four but the two outs were loud.  He smoked a line drive to third in the fourth and then hit a ball to deep right field in the ninth that the park barely held. 

D'Andre Toney - Was the lead off man tonight and got the game off to a good start with a double in the first and later scored on Blasik's sac fly.  He also reached in the third on a dropped third strike.  He later scored on the carousel started by Blasik's triple. He tried to bunt his way on in the fifth but he didn't deaden it enough and the ball beat him down the baseline.

There were three at bats that went deep in counts that had good results for Greeneville.  Blasik's eight pitch sac fly in the first is one. He finished the night seeing 20 pitches in four plate appearances.  Ibanez's single in the sixth was a seven pitch at bat. Toney reached on a called third strike on the seventh pitch of that at bat and only one pitch was a ball - the first pitch! 

On the Mound:
Adrian Houser impressed me tonight. He was pitching against a very good team and at times, he struggled. He showed resiliency as he pitched six innings.  Let's look at each inning individually:

First: Leadoff hitter reaches on a single that was almost a great play by Blasik at second.  The second batter reaches on a fielders choice but the leadoff is erased.  After a fly out to center for the second out, the final out is made by Mark Wik in right who ranges a long way to flag down a tailing fly ball. Unofficially 13 pitches - 10 strikes
Second:  First batter walks in a seven pitch at bat.  Houser bounces back and fans the next guy on four pitches and gets the subsequent batter to fly out to right on just two pitches.  The final batter hit the ball back to Houser on the second pitch of the at bat for a 1-3 put out.  Unofficially 15 pitches - 9 strikes.
Third: Two lead off walks followed by a fielder's choice that erased the middle runner.  So he has first and third with one out.  A flair hit just over the short stop allowed one run to score and leaves runners at first and second with one out.  Another ball is hit to left and Wik catches the ball and fires a laser back to the infield to discourage any extra base ideas the E-Twins might have had.  Houser bears down at this point and strikes the next batter out.  Unofficially 27 pitches - 12 strikes.
Fourth: The lead off man in the inning golfs a high fly ball to the fence in center.  It appears Toney had a bead on it but ends up leaping about a foot away from where the ball hits the fence.  The result is a lead off triple.  This is followed by a RBI single up the middle.  That put the Twins up by one at the time.  The next batter singles and puts runners at first and second with no outs.  During the next at bat, the catcher, Genoves tries to pick a runner off first but Batista is not ready for the throw.  It goes into right and the result is second and third with no outs.  It looks like the wheels are coming off.  However, Houser digs deep and strikes out the next two batters.  Then after a four pitch walk to load the bases, he fans the last out of the inning.  Impressive pitching in a high pressure situation.  Unofficial count 25 pitches - 15 for strikes.  So after four innings, his pitch count is at 80.
Fifth: Houser throws just 12 pitches in a one two three inning.  Eight of the pitches are for strikes and the ball doesn't leave the infield.
Sixth: A seven pitch strike out starts off the final inning of work for Houser.  The next batter hits a flair for a single down the right field line.  Houser bounces back and strikes out the next batter and then induces a fielder's choice ground ball for the final out.

Houser really impressed me tonight.  He pitched ahead in the count all night - 17 of the 25 batters he faced saw a first pitch strike.  He mixed his pitches well.  When Elizabethton started sitting fastball early in the count, he went to his change and made them look silly several times. Adrian Houser earned that win tonight!

Scott Zuloaga came in to start the seventh and got one strike out sandwiched between a hit and a hit batter. Michael DiMock came in and got a 5-3 double play to end the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth before struggling in the ninth.  Though one of the hits in the ninth was a triple that was added by a bad route.  Ovando didn't give enough ground in moving on the ball and the ball was past him before he met where he expected the ball to be. 

In the field:
I have already mentioned the solid play by Wik in left and the error by the catcher on the throw to first, however, the first baseman, Jean Batista, has some responsibility in that play.  He was not in position to receive the throw and the result was the runners moving up 90 feet.

Batista simply doesn't look comfortable at first yet.  The footwork and the glove work are both raw. It appears he tries to backhand everything when he should be scooping with the arm extended.

The game was very fun and the team played very well. Everyone contributed with the bats and the pitching stayed around the zone and the defense made plays when they were needed.  The E-Twins left 11 men on base compared to Greeneville just leaving four.  The win puts Greeneville just 1 1/2 games back of the E-Twins with two more games this week with them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Big Series Coming With E-Twins

Greeneville has a three game series starting at home Wednesday with the Elizabethton Twins.  This will be a good test for the G-Stros, who currently trail the E-Twins by 2 1/2 games in the Appy League West.  Here is how the teams stack up so far in some key categories.

Just look at run differential. The G-Stros have a very respectable +51 Run Differential in 20 games (2.55 per game). However, the E-Twins have an amazing +93 Run Differential in 21 games (4.43 per game).  This could be a very telling series for the G-Stros. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Eye Witness Report: July 8th Greenevile 2 - Bristol 5

Well, Bristol got their first road win of the season.  Greeneville had their chances in this game but couldn't get a timely hit or a timely out.  Here are my fan observations from last nights game:

On the mound:
Fredrick Tiburcio was sandwiched some good outs in between a rough start and a bad finish.  A lead off single followed a solid triple resulted in a first inning run for the B-Sox.  He got out of the man on third no out jam and then completed three straight one, two, three innings.  He then blew up in the fifth.  A lead off triple, a walk and a single led to one run and then a two out double plated two more.  This was his longest outing of the year. 

The bullpen did an excellent job.  Christian Garcia fanned the  side in his inning of work.  Scott Zuloaga scattered three fly balls around the outfield in his one inning.  Euris Quezada got a bunch of ground balls but they were often hit hard.  One took a bad hop and caught Mike Martinez in the throat. It was a scary moment but he stayed in the game.  Another handcuffed Jimmy Howick at short for an error that led to an unearned run.  Michael Dimock did a nice job in his inning as well. 

At the plate:
Ariel Ovando went one for four but also just missed on a missile down the right field line in the ninth that would have been for extra bases.  On the down side, later in that at bat, he hit a hard grounder to first that pinballed around the first baseman's feet.  Ovando didn't hustle down the line and allowed the late covering pitcher to beat him by several steps.

Brian Blasik impressed me yet again with a bunt single that was perfectly placed in the sixth.  I am not sure if it was called or not but it put a runner on base when Greeneville was having trouble creating any momentum.   He also got on with a walk. 

Josh Magee went one for three, but he hit the ball hard all night. 

Terrell Joyce extended his hitting streak to nine games with a one for four night. 

In the field: 

Joyce made the play of the night with a great diving catch in left.  The ball was hit to left and was tailing toward the line.  He ran a long way and made a great dive at the ball about a foot off the ground and came up with the catch.

The loss, combined with an E-Twins loses keeps the G-Stros 2 1/2 games back of Elizabethton and 1 1/2 ahead of Johnson City for the wild card spot. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jean Batista's Signing Involved Age Issues

Jean Batista, who is having a great start in Greeneville this year was signed in 2010 for a reported $300,000.  He was initially reported as a 17 year old when his signing was released in May.  As is usual in the Domincan Repubic, the signing was subject to verification by MLB.  He didn't show up on the DSL roster in 2010 and then played for the GCL & Greeneville in 2011 as a 19 year old.

The Astros media guide list his signing as November 15, 2010 which happens to also have been his 19th birthday, according to the date of birth listed in the media guide.

During the time of his signing, Jean Batista was being followed by camera crew filming the documentary "Pelotero".  The web site for the documentary hints that there were problems about the age in the character summary of Jean Carlos Batista.  But I had not heard anything definative on the subject until today.

Pelotero Trailer [US Theatrical Premiere at the Maysles Cinema, July 13th - 19th] from Maysles Cinema on Vimeo.

The documentary's executive producer is Bobby ValentineHe was interviewed on WEEI about the documentary in conjunction with the July 2nd international signing day.  In talking about the pressure on Dominican youth to falsify their age, the interview recaps Batista's situation.  He talks about how the age issue may have been unintentional but that it changed his status as prospect dramatically; it changes his signing bonus dramatically and it changes how he is perceived by the Houston organization dramatically.  The section about Batista can be found at the 8 minute 50 second mark in the pod cast, I have paraphrased the comments but there is much more there.

So this answers some questions about his age but it doesn't change the fact that Batista is a 20 year old hitting the ball very well in the Appy League right now.  The documentary will be released in limited theaters and on itunes on July 13th.

Greeneville Report - The Pitchers - June 2012

We have seen what the hitters looked like, let's take a look at the pitchers.  We will look at the top starters and relievers.


I really like the game score stat. So I will use that as the primary tool to evaluate the starters.  However one of the limitations is that some of the starters are still being stretched out so they won't go as long in games as others and that limits their scoring potential in this formula.

Adrian Houser - Three Starts - Average Game Score (47).  Houser had both the high and the low game score for the G-Stros in June.  He bounced back from an 11 to score a 74 in his final start of the month.  The 74 game score was the highest on the team thus far this season.

Richard Ramirez - Three Starts - Average Game Score (59).  Very consistent month with game scores of 61, 57, and 59 in his three starts. Ramirez is second in the league in strikeouts (22 in 17 IP), and ninth in WHIP (1.06).

Francis Ramirez -Two Starts - Average Game Score (49.5).  Even though June wasn't spectacular, F-Ram has started July with a game score with a 70 in his start on Sunday.

Keep an eye on Daniel Minor who earned a game score of 60 in a three inning start.  It appears they are stretching him out.  He went four innings in his next start with a not as impressive game score of 44.


We get a bit of a larger sample size with relievers in terms of appearances but due to the low inning count, one bad outing can skew the results.  Here are the top thee relievers based on numbers for June.

Mitch Lambson - earned his promotion to Lexington by striking out 12 batters and allowing no base runners in the 9 2/3 innings he pitched in Greeneville.

Jordan Jankowski - is earning the title of team vulture. He already has three wins pitching in relief. In five games, he has 11 strikeouts in 7 1/3 IP. 

Michael Hauschild - has become the closer for Greeneville.  He has finished four games and earned saves in both save opportunities he had in June. He struck out seven in six innings pitched. 

Greeneville Report - The Hitters -June 2012

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  The 2012 edition of the G-Stros have hit the ground running and are certainly making a positive impression with a 9-3 mark to start the season.  Here are some of the individual player highlights from June.  All stats will be from June but their rank among league leaders will be as of last night's games.


Juan Batista - hit .377 for the month of June with seven of his 20 hits going for extra bases. That provided him with a slugging percentage of .603.  He has only struck out five times in 54 at bats, compared to his brief stay in Greeneville last season where he struck out 13 times in 45 at bats.

In the field, Batista has played the most at first, though he is listed as a shortstop.  At short, he has struggled making four errors in 19 chances.

Among league leaders, he is tied for seventh in runs scored (11), second in hits (21), tied for ninth in doubles (4), tied for eighth in HR (2), tied for 4th in RBI (12), fourth in total bases (33), and seventh in batting average and slugging.

Ariel Ovando -is getting a second chance to make a better impression. Last year, he appeared like he wasn't giving good effort in the field.  This year, that has not been the case.  The best evidence of this was in a game early in the year, he made a sliding attempt at a foul ball near the Greeneville bullpen that last season, he probably wouldn't have attempted.

For June, he hit .364 in June with six of his 16 hits for extra bases.  Even though he struck out 13 times in 44 at bats, he still produced an OBP of .408.  He has yet to make an error in 14 chances in the right field.  He has one outfield assist.

Compared to the league leaders, he is also tied for seventh in runs scored (11), leads the league in doubles (7), tied for fourth in RBI (12),  and ninth in total bases (27). He has added two more Ks in July tying him for ninth most (15)

Brian Blasik - is fun to watch. He has been good at the plate but more impressive in the field where he has yet to make an error in 50 chances at 2B (8 games) and 3B (1 game).  At the plate, he is hit .372 for June with six of his 16 hits going for extra bases.  He has been at bat with runners on base in 22 of his 43 at bats.  In those situations, he is hitting .591! In 15 at bats with runners in scoring position, he is hitting .600!  Any wonder why I call him "Big Hit Brian"? He is very aggressive at the plate but has only struck out one time.  He puts the ball in play.  His on base percentage is .386 but would rise if he ever took a walk.  He has no walks on the year due to his aggressive approach.

Among league leaders, he is tied for second in doubles (5), tied for fourth in RBI (12), tied for 10th in total bases (24) and is fifth in batting average.

Other league leaders: 
Ernesto Genoves is ninth on OPS (.970) and tied for second in doubles (5).

Mark Wik is third in OBP (.477) and tied for ninth with eight walks.

D'Andre Toney is tied for fifth in runs scored (12).

Josh Magee is tied for sixth with four stolen bases.

Michael Martinez is tied for eighth in HR (2).

As a team, Greeneville is third in runs scored (94), doubles (32), RBI (81) OBP (.357), and OPS (.760). They are second in hits (149), total bases (209), batting average (.288).  They also have the fewest strikeouts in the league (87).

They have been caught stealing (9) more than any other team but they have stolen 14 bases, which places them at fourth in the league.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Altuve the 1st Greeneville All Star

Putting away my objective view and putting on my fan hat.  As I have said before, one of the aspects of living in Greeneville and following the Astros is you get to know the players.  It makes you cheer harder when they make it big and sometimes it hurts worse when they are released. Yesterday was one of those exciting days around the house as we got to watch the video of Jose Altuve finding out he had been named to the National League All Star team. 

He is now the first former Greeneville Astro to make it to the MLB All Star game.  Guys like Altuve don't come along every day. He is a special player and a solid person too.  I wrote about how special he is to fans in Greeneville last year when he got called up. My wife summed it up when when I showed her the video of him talking about his selection.  She said "he's a good kid". 

Our family has known that Jose is an All Star for several years.  Now the rest of the world gets to see what he can do.  Congrats Jose!

Appy Astros Alumni of the Month - June 2012

It has been a fun month of June.  Several former G-Stros are making serious progress and the new bunch is winning games. Let's look at how the former Greeneville Astros did this month.

Tri Cities ValleyCats

Pitcher of the Month - Vincent Velasquez made three starts in June and had a 1.76 ERA in 15 1/3 IP with 16 K.  What makes this more impressive is these were his first three starts after missing all of 2011 with Tommy John surgery.

Honorable Mention - Juri Perez - two scoreless starts to start his second season in the NYPL.  Jamaine Cotton - made five scoreless relief appearances before surrendering two runs on 6/30. 

Hitter of the Month - There are only three former G-Stros on the roster in TriCities, none of which are setting the woods on fire. This months award goes to Jesse Wierzbicki who hit .260 for the first 14 games of the season.

Lexington Legends

Pitcher of the Month - Murilo Gouvea had a stellar month out of the pen.  Allowing just one earned run in 14 1/3 ip (10 games) with 14 strike outs. He only allowed five hits during that stretch but allowed 10 walks.  His June ERA was 0.61.

Honorable Mention - Mike Foltynewicz amassed a 2.97 ERA in five starts.  He had a rough outing to end the month, otherwise, he numbers would have been much stronger.  Still 2.97 is not to shabby.

Hitter of the Month - I think those who follow Astros minor league ball would come after me with pitch forks and torches if I chose anyone but Delino DeShields Jr. as the Lexington hitter of the month.  DDJ hit a solid .303 for the month.  He also took 16 walks which helped boost his OPB to .407.  He showed some pop with seven extra base hits and when he did find him self on first, he often managed to get to second via one of his 25 stolen bases.

Honorable Mentions - Chan Moon  really appears to have put it together at the plate.  The South Korean Shortstop hit .276 in June with a .403 OBP.  Roberto Pena also had a solid June hitting .329 and hitting seven doubles during the month where he turned 20. 

Lancaster JetHawks

Pitcher of the Month - Jose Trinadad had a great month out of the pen. In eight games (seven relief and one start) he allowed 19 hits in 21 innings pitched.  His ERA for the month was .043.  His last appearance of the month was spreading seven hits over seven shut out innings in his third start of the year.  His ERA as as start this season is 1.13

Honorable Mention - Pat Urckfitz who allowed four earned runs in 15 innings pitched for a 2.40 ERA in June. 

Hitter of the Month - I normally put those who haven't played a full month in the Honorable Mention category but what Grant Hogue put together in limited playing time is impressive.  He played the first nine games of the month and then missed about two weeks on the DL returning to get in for the final few games of the month.  During his 11 games, Hogue hit .667 (21 out of 34).  Hard to ignore that production.

Honorable Mention - Rafael Valenzuela hit .298 in 17 games with a .403 OBP.  Rene Garcia hit .321 in 16 games. Ben Orloff hit .283 and had just four strike outs in 99 at bats during the month.

Corpus Christi Hooks

Pitcher of the Month - Jose Cisnero is the easy choice this month.  In five starts, he allowed just eight walks and eight earned runs while striking out 31 in 33 innings pitched.  He allowed no home runs in June.  He pitched a complete game two hitter on June 16th.  He held opponents to a .215 batting average for the month. 

Honorable Mention- Henry Villar pitched in 8 games (16 1/3 IP) in June with a 2.70 ERA.  During that span, he fanned 16 while only issuing two free passes.

Hitter of the Month -  Kody Hinze rebounded from a rough May (.106 in 22 games) to hit for a solid .306 in 24 games in June.  Seven of his 22 hits in the month went for extra bases.

Oklahoma City RedHawks

Pitcher of the Month - Vacant - there were no former G-Stros pitching in Oklahoma City in June except Fernando Abad who was on rehab assignment.

Hitter of the Month - Brandon Barnes is the only RedHawk who played in Greeneville but this award isn't given by default.  Barnes has earned it!  He hit .333 with nine doubles and three home runs in June.  He also walked eight times and struck out just 18 in 108 at bats (28 games).  If the 26 year old Barnes can keep this up, he might get a shot at the bigs in a September call up or as an injury replacement. 

Minors Outside Astros System

Pitcher of the Month - Slingin Sammy Gervacio continues to tear up the Mexican League (unaffiliated AAA). In June, he appeared in 15 games (15 2/3 IP), issued just four walks and nine hits while fanning 23 batters.  He earned 12 saves during the month.

Hitter of the Month - Albert Cartwright had a bounce back month after hitting below the Mendoza line for May, he hit .306 with four doubles and three home runs in the Florida State League (Phillies High A). 

Major Leagues

Pitcher of the Month - While Jordan Lyles and Fernando Abad had good months, the best month by a former Greeneville Astro pitcher in the Majors was by Troy Patton of the Orioles.  Patton appeared in 11 games (14 2/3 IP) in which he fanned 15 batters while allowing only nine hits and four walks.  Opponents hit just .190 off Patton during the month.

Hitter of the Month - While you can debate my list choice, I don't think there is much of a debate when it comes to selecting Jose Altuve as the hitter of the month. During June, he hit .291 with five doubles and two home runs. 

Quick break down of the number of former G-stros in the Astros system:

Tri Cities - 8
Lexington - 16
Lancaster - 17
Corpus Christi - 6
Oklahoma City - 1
Houston - 4