What they said, What they meant: The Draft and DDJ


Lots of juicy quotes in the last few weeks in the Astros Organization as we play another round of What they said, What they meant. All quotes are pulled from chron.com (spit!)

Let’s start off with two quotes related to Delino Deshields Jr. getting pulled from a Futures game for dogging it on a pop-up.

  • What DDJ said – “It was just a pop up in the infield, man on first base. I just didn’t run the ball out. That’s all. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but to him it was and he pulled me, so that’s all I got to say.”
  • What he meant – “These minor league managers are such bush leaguers. My dad played in the bigs. I know that 99% of the time the ball will get caught. Why wear myself out by following rules I do not agree with?”

 

  • What DDJ’s manager Keith Bodie said – “I did not remove him from the game. He removed himself. We have rules. When you hit the ball in fair territory, you got to run the ball out. He didn’t run a ball out. He made a mistake. He’s going to learn from it. He’s going to be better from it. But, no, he’s not injured.”
  • What he meant – “These are all kids and they all need to grow up. Some more than others. I don’t care what his dad did – I don’t care what his name is. I don’t care that he thinks he is a big deal. His butt is going to get sat down like everyone of these other players – heck – like my own kids would be if they pulled this on me. He can play the diva all he wants, but he still rides the bus with all these other guys and he needs to eat a big slice of humble pie.”

 

GM Jeff Luhnow speaking on the recent Preston Tucker promotion to OKC.

  • What he said – “He’s done everything we’ve asked and more. When he first got to Double-A last year, he was focused on hitting. The power wasn’t there, but he wanted to make sure he was having the right approach. If you look at what’s happened this year, all of a sudden the power is exploding. But it’s coming at a low strikeout rate and a high walk rate. This is exactly the type of player that we’re hoping to draft and develop in the system.”
  • What he did not say – but no doubt was thinking – “You may have noticed that Delino “I didn’t think it was that big of a deal” Deshields did not get this promotion. DDJ no doubt has more talent, but Tucker is doing everything he can to be a great teammate and a great player. “
  • What he also did not say – but no doubt also was thinking – “Unlike alot of the guys left to us by the previous administration – Tucker is a low strikeout / high walk guy who is hitting for average and power. He is the poster boy for what we want to create around here. Human hitting machines.”

 

Jeff Luhnow on Brady Aiken, the high schooler taken 1st overall in the draft.

  • What he said – “This is the most advanced high school pitcher I’ve ever seen in my entire career. He has command like I’ve never seen before. The reason he was (ranked) so high last year was because of his command and pitchability, and then his stuff took a tick up as he came into this year, and that’s when he just exploded.”
  • What he meant – “People who have been paying attention – like Chip Bailey – may have noticed that we are focusing on command with our pitchers. Our mlb starting rotation is way better this year and that is tied to not walking folks and keeping that ball down in the zone. I could take a kid with a 100 mph arm, but that arm may be hanging by a thread. On top of that – fireballers without control are the source of some of the longest HRs you will ever see.”

 

Astros 2nd round pick – AJ Reed out of Kentucky, who led the NCAA’s in home runs – talking about not having to pitch anymore like he did in college.

  • What he said – “My arm’s not going to hurt every day now, so that’s something that I’m excited about. It’s going to be different not pitching. Just focusing on hitting is a challenge, and I’m looking forward to it.”
  • What he meant – “Did you see how hard it is to hit home runs with the new college bats? How many guys out there are cranking them like me? I loved helping my team with my pitching arm, but I will not miss icing it down and having the pain keep me up half the night. Get me onto a team and I’ll be knocking on the Astros’ door pretty quick.”

3rd round draft choice JD Davis out of Cal State – Fullerton after visiting the Astros’ clubhouse.

  • What he said – “It’s an honor to walk in here, I would say. It’s a dream come true just seeing these big leaguers and this big league clubhouse. It’s probably 500 times better than Fullerton. Fullerton has a nice clubhouse, but it’s nowhere compared to the big leagues.”
  • What he meant – “All those guys who cried when watching Kevin Costner say ‘Hey, dad, you want to have a catch’ know what I’m talking about. How many balls did my dad throw to me – hit to me – never dreaming I would make it to the bigs. This is the real ‘Field of Dreams’. I would never dishonor this opportunity or this game. I would never not run out a pop up just because I thought I was bigger than this game.”

 

Bonus Quote – Dallas Keuchel talking about hitting in upcoming interleague games

  • What he said – “I don’t want to go out there and looking like an idiot, but I’m probably just going to go out there and sac bunt.  That’s all I’m really worrying about. I’m not expecting to do anything with the bat hitting wise. I’m just going to try to go out there.”
  • What he meant – (It is your turn – fill in the blank)

 

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60 comments on “What they said, What they meant: The Draft and DDJ

  1. Last night DDJ came to the plate in the ninth inning with the tying run on second, winning run on first and no outs. Asked to bunt, he popped it up and the runners stayed as CC lost. Heineman flew out and Nash struck out to end the game. Heineman’s fly out would have scored the tying run.

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    • And I’m betting he made a diva non-effort to get the bunt down. A guy with his speed – bunting should be second nature – but you have to want it and you have to practice.

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  2. From Astro fan Betsy in Alabama – what Dallas Keuchel meant – “But I’ll look like a fool trying to sac bunt anyway.”

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  3. What Keith Bodie wanted to say to DDJ: If you can’t run to first base, maybe you can walk all the way back to High A ball.
    What the equipment manager wanted to say to DDJ: Let me get you a new cap, that one is way too small!

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    • Agreed.

      So glad your dad played in the big leagues, DDJ. That and five bucks will get you a “tall” mocha at Starbucks.

      Play the game like you give a damn.

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      • And with tax he might have to pony up an extra nickel here in Texas. (so how many folks when they were growing up thought we would be paying $5 for a cup of coffee – or $10 million for a so-so starting pitcher?

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  4. DDJ might be a prime trade candidate. Its not like our system is bereft of OF candidates. With Fowler, Springer, Tucker and Santana ahead of him I’m not sure his ascension here is certain.

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  5. I have a feeling DDJ ,might be on the farm for while more. Honestly on ability he should be close, maturity could be a long time if ever.

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    • He is young by almost any standard – but I believe he becomes Rule 5 eligible after this season and they might move him rather than put him on the 40 man or lose him.

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      • But on the opposite end of the farm, Tropeano 3rd straight solid start . He is having a solid year so far in OKC

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      • Can I eat some crow on Tropeano. The more he pitches the better he gets.
        By the way, Tropeano is now 5-4 and in his four losses OKC scored a total of 3 runs.

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      • Well he had put up excellent numbers until last season when he was a lot more pedestrian at AA but you never know if they were having him work on something. He has been super this season other than wins which he can’t control as you show

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  6. Whats every ones thoughts on Villar, I know Correa is the superstar of the future, but for the rest of the year. I just forget the SS at OKC but he is having a solid year down in OKC.

    Astros long term OF Teoscar, Santana, Springer, sweet

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    • The only middle infielders on the 40 man are the 3 in the majors – Villar, Gonzalez and Altuve. They will have to make an interesting choice if they send Villar down and bring Gregorio Petit up. Petit has put up good numbers at OKC but he is 29+ years old.
      – They could take Villar off the 40 man – but I don’t think they want to lose him
      – They could drop a position guy like Krauss or Guzman
      – They could drop a pitcher like Farnsworth or Owens
      – They could trade someone off the 40 man including Villar himself

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  7. My thoughts on Villar is that he is like that one $20 piece of fireworks: One big bang at the beginning and then nothing. Was the same last year and this year.

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  8. What Keuchel said: “I’m going up there and swinging for the fences. I know Bo probably wants me to lay one down, but I’ve never even seen second base. I’m going deep before my career is over.”

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    • He does have one double in his minor league career and even batted over .300 for OKC in 2013 – but he is 2 for 22 at the majors (with 5 sac bunts)…

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  9. Yes, I do care. I think Villar will come into his own in another organization. So I am in favor of trading him instead of letting him go. Or optioning him to AAA and letting him show something down there. He is suffering from Lyles Syndrome.

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      • He looked better in April and his overall is still much better than last year – just wonder if he is swooning towards the middle.

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      • Dan, I think I read he broke his glove hand. That has no effect on his ERA or WHIP. Just a piece of news that may have gotten overlooked.

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      • I’d forgotten that Astro 45 – that is not easy – it probably hurts just to catch the catcher’s return throws.

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      • Dan I think he had a very fortunate balls in play stat……what’s it BABIP? Regardless, Fowler has made the deal a moot point. And whether next month of next year, we’ll see another wave of talent for Fowler.

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  10. Rudy Owens is in trouble. He is getting bombed by lefties in AAA. In his one MLB appearance this year he got bombed by lefties. Who is going to push further with a soon-to-be 27 year old lefty who cannot get lefties out?

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  11. I question the statement that DDJ has more talent than Preston Tucker. So far we have seen that DDJ has more speed, but certainly have not seen anything at the plate or in the field that shows better than Tucker. The one other asset he has is youth. As you say, however, requiring a spot on the 40 man may cause him to be dangled. FWIW, I don’t think that will happen.

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    • Hey two seasons ago DDJ as a 19 yr old hit 12 HR knocked in 61 runs scored 113 runs and stole 101 bases in 119 games. Sorry I need to lean his way on talent – but not attitude.

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      • The only season Tucker hit fewer than 12 HR was 2012, when he hit 8 in 165 at bats. I don’t think power potential is a good contest for DDJ unless we base it solely on age. We both agree DDJ has more speed. Fielding is not his forte at this point in time though.

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      • I think we are going to have to agree to disagree Devin. I’m just thinking that DDJ hit about 1/2 as many HRs in one season as Tucker (12 vs 25) while Tucker had 7 total SBs vs DDJs 101 in one season – but since I’ve only seen a handful of highlights of each – I could be totally wrong. I do think Tucker will do more with his talent.

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      • Safe to say that DeShields is the better athlete. But that does not always make for a better ballplayer. I think Phil Nevin reached 30 before he was willing to admit he was a real butt hole when he came up and it hindered his development. Some guys never see the light. If the right deal comes along for DeShields, I take it.

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      • Daveb – this is where the organization will succeed or fail – are they able to fix DDJ or are they able to know when to let him go. Who they keep and who they don’t may define them.

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  12. A few notes on Preston Tucker(please, daveb, I can’t help myself!).
    Tucker has played 1 game at 1B since his callup, and made 2 errors.
    He is batting .333 with all singles, so his SLG is also .333.
    Though I talk about him like he is almost ready to hit the majors, I was stunned to see that he is 3.7 years younger than the average AAA player.
    I would be happy as heck if he got 575 plate appearances at AAA and performed as well as he did in Corpus Christi, which I have always thought was a tougher hitters league than the PCL.

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      • My point is, that although I like him a lot, he is wonderfully young and has all the time in the world to get better, to get ready, to learn a new position and that it takes time to become good enough to be a successful major league player.
        Keuchel did not become a good pitcher overnight. He worked and worked and I never thought he had the stuff to be our Ace. He is a great example to all of us that this is a hard game for almost every player and that it can beat up a 5-tool phenom and give wonders to guys who don’t have a fireball, but can really learn how to pitch. That is why it is the best game EVER!!

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      • One interesting thing – Tucker will be 24 in a couple weeks. When Keuchel was 24 (and 25) he got his feet wet in the majors. Now in his first full season – he is our surprising ace.
        It would be nice if Tucker got a chance to experience the majors in September.

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    • Oldpro, I look for Tucker to be our full time DH by sometime in early 2015. I don’t see him spending much time on the outfield, except for those few games when the skipper wants to load a lineup with lefties. Then you might see him get a start in left. Tucker’s strength is in his ability to do damage against both righties and lefties, so once established, we should see him playing most every day. But we’ll have enough good athletes, more mobile guys, to play the outfield. And I’m hoping there becomes no reason to put him at first.

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      • That would be fun daveb – a DH who is not an all or nothing H – one who can hit HRs and singles and doubles…what a concept

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  13. Kevin, by the way, what’s your take on Villar? I think it’s always more fun if someone tells us what THEY think, and then we can tell them what we think about what they think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol Then i would have tainted the responses, and you all had some great ones I enjoyed reading. I like him, I think he is an awesome athlete, i just don’t think he will ever be a good OBP dude. I’m thinking we get Correa summer of 2015 so my thoughts are if he continues to struggle I would send him down and dump someone on our 40 man roster and bring up either of the guys in OKC the SS or 2nd base dude why not?? I think someone will take a flyer on him because he is a good guy and solid athlete, package him up

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  14. I think Villar has value, but I want that value on another team. I can’t take his crucial errors and Mendoza line batting average any longer. Rudy Owens is a clear release candidtate and Petit should be given a chance. I don’t know much about Petit’s defensive game or range, but as talented as Villar is he doesn’t hit enough to make up for his errors.

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  15. I think Villar will have at least a couple of more months to get his average up. That he is tied for 24th in offensive WAR amongst shortstops in MLB tells us how thin the ranks are. There are several guys starting who are worse.

    But what keeps him on the field is his range factor. He’s 4th best in MLB. Sure he’s made 10 errors, 20th worst in the league, but I’ve seen him take away base hits at least a dozen times so far this year. With him, it evens out. He gets to more balls than most guys. Not many infielders go back on a pop up as well as he does. Overall, his defensive WAR is 12th best in the league.

    If he gets his average up even a bit, and gobbles up ground balls at his present pace, he’ll keep his job. I think the pitching staff will lobby on his behalf.

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    • Thanks for a different angle daveb – He is still young – but may never improve much offensively. His defense – even with the recent errors has been a lot better than last season.

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    • i agree with daveb on villar. seemed as though he had progressed from last year, then fell back. but he is worth some patience for a few more months. i just think his fielding will continue to improve as he matures and maybe a few hundred more at bats will help as well.

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  16. Castro is the most aggravating to me right now. That K with the bases loaded and nobody out has set the tone for the rest of the game to this point. I expect that stuff out of Grossman, but at some point, Castro has to step up. He’s a vet on this squad.

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    • You have to wonder – do they have no video of what Castro looked like when he was good? You would think he could study up and try to do something like last year.

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      • To me it just looks like Castro both at the plate and and behind the plate seems so dis-interested.Sort of like oh well dang is sucked again, I need to get home and walk my dog.

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  17. I’d rather these guys get beat 10 to 0 than the way they played tonight. NO EXCUSE
    for leaving the bases loaded, and scratch out one measly run. Altuve can’t keep carrying this team…….Castro needs to go back and watch film of himself hitting.
    As for Villar……he needs to quit trying to end the game on one play. Maybe a few weeks in OKC will humble him, Marwin isn’t as fast as Villar, but he makes VERY few errors.

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