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2(0) for Tuesday: 2017 Astros’ prospect report


With the big team coasting into the All Star break with a huge lead in the division and a 19-1 shellacking of the Blue Jays under its belt, it is time to glance downward at the top prospects in the minors and how they have done to date.

Prospect ranking based on latest mlb.com prospect list….

  1. Francis Martes RHP (21 years old, FA out of Dominican). Fans don’t have to look down for the Astros #1 prospect as Martes has spent a few weeks at the major league level. Observations – he looks like a player who should come to spring training next season after a diet and workout change in the offseason and a 25 lb. weight loss. He has a good lively arm, but has had the same problem at the major league level as at AAA – control. At the majors, he posted a 2-0 record, 5.18 ERA, 9.6 K/9 IP and 4.4 BB/ 9 IP line. So are the Astros going to send him back down when their wounded return, put him in the bullpen or dangle him in a trade for a big time pitcher?
  2. Kyle Tucker OF (20, 1st round/5th overall pick 2015). KTuck is arguably the #1 prospect now. He has had a swift rise through the minors and has put up very strong and similar numbers in 2017 at Buies Creek A+ (9 HR/43 RBIs/13SB. .288 BA/.379 OBP/.932 OPS) and Corpus AA (8 HR/20 RBIs/6 SB/.288 BA/.349 OBP/.902 OPS) . ETA to the big club – Late 2018
  3. David Paulino RHP (23, FA out of Dominican). Probably the only number worth considering for Paulino is the number 80. That represents the 80 game PED suspension handed to the big right hander recently. Can the Astros trust him going forward? How far down the list does this suspension drive him in the Astros’ plans? In a couple short stints with the Astros he has shown a big arm and a propensity to give up home runs. Will he ever climb back up again?
  4. Derek Fisher OF (23, 1st round supplemental pick in 2014). A big spring with the Astros paired with a solid 5 game cameo with the big club has moved Fisher up the ladder in fan awareness and possibly in the trade bait pecking order. His performance at AAA has shown improvement in his one weak spot (K%) and his numbers to date (19 HR/56 RBI/14 SB/ .306 BA / .945 OPS) highlight a player who is just an opportunity away from a MLB career. He will be playing with someone at the major league level by the end of 2017.
  5. Forrest Whitley RHP (19, 1st round/17th overall pick in 2016). Whitley has been as good as advertised as he has hopped all the way up to A+ ball after being picked out of high school last year. In two stops in 2017 he has a 3-3 record, 2.56 ERA, 1.225 WHIP and an impressive 12.6 K/9 IP. ETA – 2019 or so
  6. Franklin Perez RHP (19, FA out of Venezuela). After a strong 2016 at A ball, Perez has followed up with an impressive performance at A+ Buies Creek. His 4-2 record, 3.22 ERA, 8.6 K/9 IP and microscopic 0.974 WHIP have moved him into the top 10 prospects quickly.  ETA – See Whitley above
  7. Teoscar Hernandez (24, FA out of Dominican). His 100 ABs to date at the major league level were OK, but nothing special (4 HR/11 RBI/.230 BA/ .724 OPS). He has put up solid but not eye catching numbers at AAA in 2017 (8 HR/32 RBIs/.265 BA/.791 OPS). The problem at this point is that he has fallen behind Mr. Fisher in the pecking order and will probably fall behind Mr. Tucker when he gets promoted to AAA.
  8. Ramon Laureano OF (22, 16th round 2014). After a blazing 2016 at hitter friendly Lancaster A+ and not so friendly Corpus AA, Laureano has fallen to earth in 2017. His 37 Runs and 37 RBIs are decent, but his .232 BA and .667 OPS are lacking. However, as Mr. Bill pointed out in the previous post, Laureano is on a recent very hot run which may bode well for the season as a whole.
  9. Daz Cameron OF (20, 1st round/37th overall in 2015). Daz has struggled a bit in his short Astros minor league career, but he has also struggled in comparison to 5th overall pick and same age OF Kyle Tucker, who has flourished while rising up through the minors. Cameron is only 20 and he’s playing better (but not great) in his second go round at A ball. His 48 runs/9 HR/41 RBI/19 SB are all good numbers, his .231 BA/.728 OPS – not so much. He is playing above his age and hopefully he will turn the corner in the next year or so.
  10. Miguelangel Sierra 2B/SS (19, FA out of Venezuela). In 2016, Sierra put up strong numbers in rookie ball and was promoted to Tri-City A- ball where he played like an 18 y.o. Repeating A- ball in 2017 has not resulted in any improvement as his numbers to date reflect (.154 BA/.574 OPS). Does he need to be dropped back to rookie ball or does the teenager just require patience?
  11. Garrett Stubbs C (24, 8th round 2015). At 24 y.o., Garrett seems like a creaky old uncle next to all these youngsters on this list. His strong 2016 season at both A+ and AA ball positioned him to be the next catcher up in the organization. His repeat at AA Corpus this season has not been as impressive (4 HR/21 RBI/.242 BA/.679 OPS), though he has a very solid 37% caught stealing rate. Right now he is not making enough noise to push through Max Stassi or Juan Centeno at AAA.
  12. Gilberto Celsetino OF (18, FA out of Dominican). Tough to be too hard on a true 18 y.o. just getting his feet wet a rookie ball in Greeneville. Nothing is standing out yet as in 15 games, he has 10 runs, 1 HR, 3 RBIs and a .246 BA with a .693 OPS. Check back in a year or two.
  13. J.D. Davis 3B (24, 4th round in 2014). Davis, who was impressive this spring training with the big club has followed up a good 2016 with a very good 2017 (.284 BA/.860 OPS/19 HR/52 RBIs). With Alex Bregman manning the hot corner in Houston and Yuli Gurriel and Marwin Gonzalez there as insurance, and with Colin Moran ripping up AAA, third base would seem to be a likely trade chip spot for the team.
  14. Yordan Alvarez 1B/OF (20, FA out of Cuba). Alvarez started 2017 by ripping apart A ball (9 HR/33 RBIs in only 32 games). After a promotion to Buies Creek A+ he has been solid (.268 BA/.365 OBP/.780 OPS) in 12 games there. He should be knocking on the MLB door around 2019 or 2020.
  15. Freudis Nova SS/3B (17, FA out of Dominican). The kid has played 16 games in the Dominican Summer League – hitting .293 BA/.793 OPS and committing 8 errors (7 at shortstop). Stop back in about 3 seasons.
  16. Cionel Perez LHP (21, FA out of Cuba). The young man has jumped from Cuba to A ball with the Astros and has been good, but not spectacular. 4-3 record, 4.39 ERA, 1.247 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 IP are all decent numbers. Considering the dearth of left-handers in the Astros organization he should be on the rise.
  17. Elian Rodriguez RHP (20, FA out of Cuba). He has a 10.13 ERA, but he’s only pitched 5.1 IP in the Dominican Summer League. He obviously is just starting off, so tune in later.
  18. Anibal Sierra INF (23, FA out of Cuba). He has moved up from A to A+ ball in 2017, though his hitting has been fairly suspect at both spots (3 HR/20 RBI/.208 BA/.565 OPS overall). After killing it in rookie ball in 2016, he has leapt over A- ball and A ball (only 9 games) and perhaps A+ is a little much for him.
  19. Jonathan Arauz SS/2B (18, part of Ken Giles trade from Philly). He’s an 18 y.o. light hitting middle infielder playing at A ball. His .228 BA / .623 OPS is as expected.
  20. Ronnie Dawson OF (22, 2nd round 2016 draft). The youngster is showing decent flashes at A ball (46 runs/10 HRs/32 RBIs) but needs to lift up his .235 BA/.718 OPS. He only has about one pro season under his belt, so patience is needed.

One of the striking things about this particular list is the large quantity of Latin American free agents. Eleven of the twenty (5 from the Dominican, 4 from Cuba, 2 from Venezuela) have been picked up that way, which has been reflected in how aggressively the Astros pursued these FAs in the past few years.

In general the top 20 is a mixed bag of guys excelling, guys competing and guys trying to stay afloat. There is no way of knowing how many will actually make it to the big leagues, get traded off or fall by the way-side, but there is a good chance a few of these players will be important to the big club in the next five years.

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

107 comments on “2(0) for Tuesday: 2017 Astros’ prospect report

  1. Dan P
    July 11, 2017

    Mr. Bill worked hard on this (I think) – so I am copying over this songbook post from him:

    This bites . . . but its what our Astros always do;
    We’ll be ridin’ high at All-stars,
    licking our wounds at 162!
    Are we finally gonna break that curse?
    Can we stay on top, stay up on top straight through?

    this bites . . . but as funny as it may seem
    sometimes we just can’t help
    bein’ paranoid ’bout our home team!
    Please guys, don’t let it, don’t you let it make you frown!
    Keep those BAs goin’ up, and those WHIPs a-comin’ down!

    You’ve been leadin’ in BA and runs-scored and dingers and doubles
    and ERA and K per 9;
    You’ve embarrassed the A’s and the Rangers and Cano and Pujols
    And others that I won’t even name.
    Each time you’ve started a day a little flat with the bat,
    You’ve picked each other up and and found a way to win the game!

    This bites . . . that’s what the rest of the baseball thinks!
    All our starters have been on the DL,
    and yet we’re still up by sixteen!
    And with the Captain takin’ names and kickin’ tails,
    who in the world gonna take the wind outa this team’s sails?

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 11, 2017

      Sinatra (who was in at least one baseball movie – and no it was not the Man with the Golden Arm) would be proud…..

      Like

  2. Mr. Bill
    July 11, 2017

    Some eagles just flew over and told me there are some new kids in town. They said:

    There’s a buzz on the blogs: “Hey, how ’bout those Astros?
    After years of frustration, everybody’s watchin’ you!
    Teams you once lost to keep fallin’ before ya.
    Even OTBGs wonder what you’re gonna do!
    You’re the Bombers come lately; the new kids in town;
    Chipalatta loves you – so don’t let us down!

    Look at those box-scores, the hits just keep coming.
    It ain’t just sabermetrics – you’re winning on the field!
    And though there for awhile, the bullpen it faltered;
    you just dug a little deeper, til some starters could heal.
    With a dragon come lately; you’re the new kids in town;
    now carry it forward . . . to the World Series crown!

    All the hype about Aaron Judge – it’s just there to remind you.
    There’s someone behind you, comin’ after everything you’ve got.
    Keep pullin’ away! Put ’em further behind you.
    They cannot overtake you as long your big three stay hot!

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1oldpro
      July 11, 2017

      Joe Torre: There’s a new kid in town.
      Rob Manfred: I don’t wanna hear it!
      Joe Torre: Everybody’s talkin’
      Rob Manfred: I don’t wanna hear it
      Joe Torre: Forget about the home run derby. That’s not real baseball There’s a new kid in town.
      Rob Manfred: We’ll just flyover him to LA. Did you see that NYY kid bomb those baseballs? That’s baseball.
      Joe Torre: That’s not baseball. There’s another new kid in town.
      Rob Manfred: I don’t wanna hear it.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        July 11, 2017

        Let’s finish it out with that sweet harmony. One! Two! Three! Four! Ahhh- ooooh . . . ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh! Ahh- ooooh . . . ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh! Where are you with that guitar riff, Daveb?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 1oldpro
    July 11, 2017

    Remember back in the spring of 2014, when it was Springer, Santana and Singleton we were waiting to see. We needed to see them because the previous three years was like being a dog without a home. We were eating dreams.
    Santana’s gone, but the guy we traded him for, Mike Fiers, kept the Astros glued together when the Astros rotation was pretty much in the hospital this year.
    Springer is an All-Star for us, and Singleton is a rich minor leaguer.
    A look at the current Astros prospects is the same thing, but from a completely different perspective. Now, the team is winning. Some of these guys will be Astros, some will help other teams and some will be minor leaguers.
    Two prospects that I like are Moran and Valdez and I think they will be major league players for quite a while. The big questions are when and where.
    Astros prospects have two sides of the coin to look at. They play for an up and coming organization that seems to have arrived, but will there be room in Houston for these guys when they are ready. Hernandez, Preston Tucker, Kemp and White are guys who can see first hand what I am talking about. The Astros are riding high and there is little room at the top right now.

    Like

  4. Kevin
    July 11, 2017

    Wow a lot of work there Dan TY. Just focusing on the top 10 I hope to see Fisher, Tucker, and Whitley at MM. The rest if traded Good luck young men..

    Like

  5. 1oldpro
    July 11, 2017

    Dan P, this is perfect timing. After his fine performance as a starting reliever/relieving starter in the tandem last night, 19 year old Frankin Perez was promoted to AA Corpus Christi. This officially makes Kyle Tucker just another older guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      July 11, 2017

      If Franklin Perez throws to Garrett Stubbs, can we call them Franklin Stubbs?

      Like

      • Billy Castillo
        July 11, 2017

        Awesome op

        Like

    • Dan P
      July 11, 2017

      That is really quick for a 19 y.o. – kind of Correa-like

      Like

  6. Mr. Bill
    July 11, 2017

    I really like, and personally hope we can keep, KTuck, Whitely, Yordan Alvarez, Cionel Perez, Franklin Perez, Ronnie Dawson, and of course, Stubbs, because he is a catcher who can both throw and hit, and those are in extremely short supply in our system.

    You are so right that there appears to be no room – absent an unmentionable situation occurring, which it MUST NOT – for other guys I like a lot such as Davis, Kemp, Fisher, Teoscar, Laureano, and Cameron.

    I am still not sold on Martes [Stuff? Wow; Control and command? Ouch!], nor am I excited about the MLB potential of either of the Sierras or of Jonathan Arauz. I don’t pretend to have a feel yet for any of the 18 and 19 year olds who haven’t even made it to state-side rookie league ball yet.

    My approach to the minor leagues is that the goal is to have at least one potential major league TOR prospect and at least one potential major league MOR prospect, at least one above-average catching prospect, at least one potential MLB outfield prospect, at least one potential MLB middle infield prospect, and at least one potential superstar corner infielder, AT EVERY LEVEL of the minors. That allows the F.O. flexibility to trade a player or two – or a prospect cluster, for that matter – from the system when it really needs to. I think we are there.

    Like

    • Grayson
      July 11, 2017

      Agreed on all these comments, but would add Rogers as another catcher candidate to keep. He hits the ball real hard. I still like Centeno, though, to emerge as the backup in 2018.

      My one criticism is the “book on Martes.” I’m less concerned about his chubbiness, or control issues. Under Strom, those are changeable. You cannot take away the raw strength, and c’mon now – he’s 21. Patience, Cricket.

      The one guy I keep losing it with is Bregman. https://www.google.com/amp/www.chron.com/sports/astros/amp/RIP-to-Astros-Alex-Bregman-deleted-Twitter-account-11280024.php. I don’t find his penchant for avoiding hard grounders, or lack of killer instinct to be inspiring. He’s a guy that is still young also, but I’ve come to dislike watching him more and more. Between his clanky glove and seeing arrogance on the field, I’m ready for the interchangeability of a Gurriel/Marwin show (3B/1B), or to give Davis or Moran their chance! Marwin at 1B is what I call “good chemistry.” You can see it with Correa and Altuve’s respect for Gonzales. Now that Marwin works counts, and hits the ball – why take him off the field?

      It seems obvious though that the Astros disagree, as they’ve specifically avoided putting Yuli back at third, which in my mind only makes sense because of lesser range, and that they’ve groomed him this long at first with the logjam that exists at the hot corner. The last hurdle after getting his footwork down is the adjustment of using a first baseman’s mitt. Both are improving.

      Re Archer, or Quintana – I don’t see it happening for HOU. TB is the leading WC team, and the Quintana asking price is unreasonable. Neither have shown fantastic results in a season they’d be incentivized to perform optimally.

      Like

    • Dan P
      July 11, 2017

      I frankly like what they did better than I did – though I would like them to include the ages on these guys – it helps to judge them looking at age and level.

      Like

  7. 1oldpro
    July 11, 2017

    I guess this is appropriate in a prospect blog. Laureano went 5 for 5 on Sunday and Stubbs went 4 for 5 last night for CC.

    Like

  8. Mr. Bill
    July 11, 2017

    Who would you want starting the first game after the ASB – Morton or McCullers? Morton is projected to – probably because McCullers might possibly pitch a little in the AS Game.

    Like

  9. 1oldpro
    July 11, 2017

    Not McCullers. I think he had something wrong with one of the fingers on his pitching hand in his last start and I would rather see him pitch against Seattle.
    Totally my opinion based on what I saw during his last start.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 11, 2017

      Don’t tell me that he’s got another blister…….oh Lord.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        July 11, 2017

        The Astros web site has our starters listed for this weekend as Morton, Musgrove and Fiers.
        If LMJ did pitch an inning tonight, he would be ready for this weekend. But he’s not.
        All I know is that I saw McCann go out to the mound and LMJ fiddling with his finger. I saw him fiddling with his finger later and again as he left the mound at the end of the inning. He had a very rough outing and was pulled in the fifth inning. That was five days ago and yet yesterday he said he might not pitch in the ASG, but would be ready if they “need” him.
        Then, the Astros don’t schedule him for the weekend and don’t have anyone listed for the Seattle series.
        It’s all a little mysterious to me.

        Like

  10. Becky⚾
    July 11, 2017

    I’m so looking forward to tonight’s game! Mills has Altuve leading off, and I just hope our boys show up with their bats! I’ve only seen Martes pitch once, but I’m in agreement with a personal trainer and taking off some blubber. We are gonna need him to how up next spring with a new body, and working on his command! I’m still not counting on McHugh coming back to pitch like he did in 2015-2016. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if he does! One chemo treatment in the books…..3 more to go!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dan P
      July 11, 2017

      Way to go Becky – said a Chaplet of the Divine Mercy for you on the bus this morning.

      I think back to so many All Star Games through the years, where I was just hoping that the Astros one representative would get a shot in the game. Many years it was a single at bat as a late sub or maybe just playing in the field.

      Then I look at this year where we know that Altuve (leading off), Springer (cleanup) and Correa (5th) will probably all get a couple at bats at least. I would like Devenski to get a shot, but if McCullers sits it is not hurting my feelings (though it may hurt his).
      Whole new world.

      Like

    • Diane
      July 11, 2017

      First one down, batter up ! How apropos you get the big game tonight after your big day today. Tell your hubby he has his own All-Star !

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky⚾
        July 11, 2017

        Thank you so much Diane ❤!! We are each others biggest supporters…even started keeping up with our boys! I’ll make him a baseball husband if it’s the last thing I do on this earth!!

        Liked by 2 people

    • sandy
      July 11, 2017

      Said a prayer for you last night.

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        July 12, 2017

        Thank you Sandy you and Diane are very sweet to me! I’ll be ok…..just gotta get through the next 6 weeks or so.

        Like

  11. videoidgetcom
    July 11, 2017

    They need to move prospects for another TOR hurler to succeed in the post-season, as previously mentioned. Doing so, it’d be great if we can hold on to Tucker, Whitley and Perez. Yes, I do think the upper brass should consider parting with Martes and Fisher and Paulino. I think Forrest Whitley might be a hidden gem.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 11, 2017

      Well I think another starter would probably be a good thing. But I’m not so sure trading Fisher is the way to do it.
      Assuming Aoki is not tendered next year, I want Fisher in LF to replace Aoki. If he works out as a left fielder, then you don’t need Tucker for another three years, when Springer and Reddick’s contracts are up because you have Springer, Reddick, Marisnick and Fisher. That makes Tucker more valuable to the team as the means to get a TOR pitcher, with more than a year or two on that pitcher’s current contract. We have Morton and Keuchel under contract through 2018, so we are going to need proven starting pitching before we need outfielders.
      I know they say Tucker is practically untouchable. But if there is a pitcher they feel they must have and Tucker is the guy they need to trade to get that, so be it.
      Besides, I’ve seen Fisher do well in his debut, I’ve seen him do fantastic in AAA and I have not seen Tucker do those things.
      Given the Astros current situation, and the fact that Laureano has taken a step back this year, I think Fisher is the guy we need to keep.
      If they can get the TOR pitcher they need without giving up either of them, that’s even better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky⚾
        July 12, 2017

        If this is indeed our year, they need to do everything possible to make it happen.
        I watched Brad Hand tonight and all I can say is *WOW*! We sure could use that arm in the back of our bullpen! These guys have to know when they are in the minors the probability of getting traded is a fact of life. Because I haven’t seen any of those guys play, I’m not personally invested in any of them. So if Luhnow got the chance for a premier pitcher to bring to Houston…..you gotta pull the trigger, just no Scott Kazmir types! The fans AND ownership are soo ready for a championship it’s not funny, so if I’m Jim Crane I’m telling Luhnow to get on the phone and do what he has to do to bring in another front line pitcher. PERIOD.
        Sorry our boys didn’t have any hits in those bats tonight…but it sure was nice to see that double play Correa and Altuve pulled off, and I felt kinda sorry for George, he looked lost in left field. How ’bout that Devo!! That was actually a pretty good game!

        Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        July 12, 2017

        Yep

        Like

  12. Diane
    July 12, 2017

    Well, if there was ever any doubt about hitting vs pitching, which there hasn’t been, last night settles it. Can we steal Mad Max Scherzer away from the Nats? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan P
    July 12, 2017

    Was the All Star game another reminder of how top line pitching can shut down top line hitting? Or does the one (inning) and done use of pitchers preclude being able to really judge this as no hitter sees a pitcher more than once?
    My son texted me on this saying – do they really want to face Scherzer more than once?
    The Astros should be interested in chasing a top of the line controllable pitcher as a last piece to put them over the top. Is there such an animal truly available?

    I wish the guys had gotten a hit or two, but I did enjoy that the Astros were a focus of the conversation in the booth and that they miked up Springer in the field, so folks could get a feel for him. Our team is not an anonymous also ran outside the national mind set anymore.

    Like

    • Devin
      July 12, 2017

      I think AS game struggles are more attributable to factors like guys swinging out of their shoelaces (Springer) or being too aggressive (Altuve). Also, give a guy one or two innings who usually tries to conserve to make it 100 pitches in a game and he’ll give you his best stuff.

      The national broadcast crew (who my wife pegged as Yankees fans) made an interesting comment last week – it used to be you worked the starter to try to get into the bullpen early. Enough teams have experienced success with 3 studs in their bullpen that now offenses are trying to be aggressive against starters to get runs before being forced into the power arms of the bullpen.

      I’m not concerned with anyone in the NL at this point. I think the key is to get/stay healthy and be able to matchup your starters for the opening round of the playoffs.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 12, 2017

      It’s all about using pitchers for one inning so they can shut down the other teams first batters and then bring in another pitcher to pitch to same handed batters in the next inning. etc, etc, etc. Batters managed to luck out in only three of the 20 half innings.

      Like

  14. sandy
    July 12, 2017

    Houston should be very proud of our AS representatives. 6 classy guys.

    Like

  15. Mr. Bill
    July 12, 2017

    First order of business – finding a way to beat Twins right-hander Jose Berrios. He went 8-2 in the first half, with an ERA of 3.53, a WHIP of 1.08, and a BAA of .221. He averaged over 6 and 1/3 innings per start. He is a fly-ball pitcher, though, and that makes him vulnerable in MMP. Now it begins. Let’s finish strong!

    Like

    • daveb7
      July 12, 2017

      Didn’t we knock him out early up in The Twin Cities?

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        July 12, 2017

        When he first came up, in August, 2016, we knocked him around. In his 7th MLB start overall, he only made it 2 innings against us, and allowed six runs (five earned), eight hits, and one walk. He only struck out one.

        Earlier this year, in Minnesota, he lost to us a second time. This time he managed to pitch 5 innings, over which he gave up 4 runs on 5 hits, with 4 walks and 5 strikeouts.

        Like

      • daveb7
        July 12, 2017

        So we’ve got a pretty good history against an excellent young pitcher. I hope we continue to have his number.

        Like

  16. 1oldpro
    July 12, 2017

    Some random thought about the Astros and their prospects.
    -The promotion of Franklin Perez may reflect a conscious effort on the team’s part to see where the wall might be for top prospects in advance. In the past it was impossible to look knowingly at an advanced A pitcher in Lancaster and figure him out because of the conditions in Lancaster.
    Now, when those conditions are not in play, a player excelling at High A can be moved to AA to quickly see if he can handle the jump in talent at that level. This allows the club to get an idea if their young, top five prospects like Perez and Tucker are able to play above AA and gives them a much better plan as to who they might be able to count on in a couple of years. The Astros knew what was coming at the deadline, they know who other GMs are asking for in trades, and they also know what players on their 25 man roster are going to be free agents after this season ends and next season ends.
    -It wasn’t easy to maneuver Derek Fisher on to the 40-man roster so early in the year. The Astros had Kemp, PTuck and Teoscar available for a five game trip onto the roster. But they wanted to know about Fisher. Again, if GMs want Tucker so badly, the Astros wanted to know if Fisher could possibly handle major league pitching.
    But, also, GMs might have been not asking about Fisher and the Astros wanted to give them someone else besides Tucker to think about.
    – Whitley’s promotion to High A might fall into the same realm. In the past, very young high pitching prospects in our system would spend a lot more time in one place. But there is more movement now as the Astros are in a winning mode and they want to see what the younger pitchers can do, because in the next two years the Astros will either have inject young pitchers from their system into their mix in the majors or go out into the free agent market and put out a ton of money for their rotation versus being able to tie up guys like Altuve and Correa with that money and depend on Perezes, Valdezes, Whitleys and Armenteroses and other young pitchers for their rotation.

    Like

  17. Mr. Bill
    July 12, 2017

    I note that there have not been a lot of comments on this excellent ‘prospect’-oriented post. I suspect the fact that the Astros MLB roster is set, and that most on that roster are making really nice contributions to the 2017 campaign, makes the fanbase a little less interested – and hence a lot less invested – in our ‘prospects’ than is usually the case. Last year we were sucking wind in the standings, and that caused many of us to pay a lot of attention to promising-looking guys like Musgrove, Devenski, Paulino and Gustave, like Kemp and Hernandez, and like Moran and Reed. We saw our regulars performing badly, and we dreamed that one or more of the named guys get a call-up, take advantage of the opportunity, set the league ablaze, and kick-start the team out of its funk. With the exception of Devenski – and to a lesser level Musgrove – it did not happen. Everybody else we brought up pretty much bombed.
    Que sara sara!

    This year, for the first time in a very long time, there is not a sense that anybody playing in AAA or AA could do more for our team than the guys Hinch is currently playing. Barring an injury, which, of course, no one wants to think about, it is clear that there is simply no room on the big club this year for anybody presently in the minors – with the possible exception of Derek Fisher – to score any playing time at all. So, the ‘prospects’ seem farther off – less important in the short term – and hence more disposable and replaceable.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      July 12, 2017

      I should have mentioned Alex Bregman in the list of guys who were hopefuls last year. He started horribly for the Big Club, then finished really strong.

      Like

    • Dan P
      July 12, 2017

      One guy who has dropped off the radar/ hardly ever mentioned is A.J. Reed. He has put up a good 56 Runs/15 HRs/52 RBIs in the first half with a not so good .242 BA/ .779 OPS. Maybe someone else to throw into a trade offer?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Bill
        July 12, 2017

        His horrid start last year, with the emergence of Gurriel as a 1B and as a hitter this year, and the continued contributions of Marwin Gonzales, have combined to make Reed lose a little of his luster, at least to the ‘this year is all that matters’ kind of Astro fan. His HRs and RBIs still look interesting [uh, so do Jon Singleton’s], but slashing FAR below his minor league career numbers this year at .242/.332/.779, when the Fresno team slash line is .291/.346/.802, does not do much to impress anyone. He is also still striking out too much [over 27% of his plate appearances this year are resulting in SOs – against rather a relatively unimpressive batch of PCL pitchers].

        Like

      • daveb7
        July 12, 2017

        Yuli has allowed us to quit looking around for a first baseman. It’s been awhile! And that’s got to be a bit discouraging for AJ, who got a taste but now has to hope for an injury. Got to be harder to be pumped up for your AAA game every night.

        Like

  18. Mr. Bill
    July 12, 2017

    How do our states-side minor league teams look in competition?

    Rookie League Greeneville; The G-‘stros are 12-6 and in 2nd in their league; they are just one-half a game back. It is kind of hard to figure how they are doing so well, since they are squarely in the middle of the pack as a team in virtually every important pitching and hitting statistic.

    Rookie League Tri City; The Valley Cats are 8-12 and in last place in their league; they are 5.5 games behind the league leaders. They are heavily dependent on the HR for their offense, as they are last or near to last as a team in every other offensive category. Their pitching has been pretty atrocious as a team, finding them last or next to last in all important categories.

    Low A Quad Cities; The River Bandits are 14-5 and in 1st place in their league to start the 2nd half; they are 3 games ahead of the 2nd place team.

    High A Buies Creek: The BC Astros are 13-6 and in 1st place in their league to start the 2nd half, they are 3.5 games ahead of the 2nd place team.

    AA Corpus Christi: The Hooks are 9-9 and tied with Frisco for 2nd place in the 2nd half race for the Texas League South. They are 2 games behind the league-leading San Antonio Missions. They have some good hitters in J.D. Davis, Jack Mayfield, James Martin, Garrett Stubbs, KTuck, Antonio Nunez, and the recently resurgent Ramon Laureano. They also have some really good looking young pitchers in Yoanys Quiala, Akeem Bostick, and Framber Valdez.

    AAA Fresno: After a big burst, the Griz find themselves at 49-41 and in 2nd place in the PCL North. They are 5.0 games behind the Reno Aces. As we all know, Fresno has plenty of offense. They just have not had any pitching. The arrival of Armenteros and the expected soon return from the big club of Martes could really help them out in that regard. Of course, if they lose someone like Derek Fisher [.306/370/.945, with 19 HRs, 22 DBLs and 56 RBI] due to a trade, they are going to need all the help they can get!

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 12, 2017

      Thanks Mr. Bill – nice job bringing us up to date on the farm teams. When I looked at Fresno’s pitching this morning – I realized that Armenteros after only 2 starts is likely their best starting pitcher.

      Like

      • daveb7
        July 12, 2017

        Yes, and he’s the guy who does not have a top 20 slot. At 23, he’s hopefully wiser than some of the young guys. He’s played against some pretty good older talent and has 4 pitches. I’m wondering if he becomes a secret weapon for us THIS post season.

        Like

  19. Billy Castillo
    July 12, 2017

    Amazing how different things can be in a few years. Remember when we sucked at the major league level, and our hopes rested on people like Singleton, JR Towles was our up and coming catcher,Bud Norris was our ace, Tommy Manzanella was our SS…yikes.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Becky⚾
    July 12, 2017

    I’m old so I can’t remember, but didn’t Luhnow trade for Kazmir, and Gomez right after the ALL Star game in 2015? If not then, when was it?
    Daveb….I sincerely hope your nephew gets another cup of coffee with the Astros again this year! And…..if it were up to me, I’d pat Aoki on the head and and try to trade him…..and bring back Fisher!! Aoki gets one hit for every 10 times he comes to bat….that ain’t gonna cut it, if he and Marisnick are our everyday outfielders.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      July 12, 2017

      I’d take Marisnick over Aoki in a heart beat; these days him and Jake are going to have around the same BA, but Jake adds speed, power (this year), and much MUCH better D.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Devin
        July 12, 2017

        Marisnick’s performance has decreased across the board every month. Aoki has alternated good months and bad months.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Devin
      July 12, 2017

      2015 All Star game was on July 14th. Kazmir trade was July 23, 2015. Gomez/Fiers trade was on July 30, 2015.

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        July 12, 2017

        Thanks Devin!! So it’s just a matter of time for Luhnow to make a trade!!!
        Sooner, rather than later!!

        Like

    • Mr. Bill
      July 12, 2017

      Becky, I know it sometimes seems like Aoki only gets one hit every ten plate appearances, but fortunately that really is not the case. He is actually hitting .264 [which is significantly higher than the BA of Bregman, McCann, Marisnick, or Beltran]. The problem that I see with Nori is that his batter’s eye seems to be leaving him. He is not hitting for any power [1 HR, 9 DBLs] which means to me that he is just not getting the barrel of the bat on the ball. I don’t expect HRs from him anyway, but I do expect doubles, triples, and sac flys. He is also not walking as much as he used to, and while he still does not strike out much, he has been striking out a little more than in the past. He also has not good in the few clutch opportunities he’s had. He is not horrible – like some of the guys we’ve had in LF over the past few years; but on a team brimming with excellence, his lack thereof really stands out.

      Like you, I would therefore not be upset at all if the FO decided to give his position on the roster to Fisher. But I have no illusions about trading him – at least unless the FO agrees to eat 80% – 90& of his 2017 salary.

      And in candor, I have to say that I personally have been a WHOLE lot more disappointed thus far by the poor performance of guys like Alex Bregman and Carlos Beltran than I am by the regression of Aoki.

      Like

      • Grayson
        July 12, 2017

        Boy, has this blog come around since I took a good shellacking over Fisher as an everyday player. That was prior to his call up, mind ya.

        So, add my two cents: Martes as a starter to keep up, Bregman as trade bait, and my new man to add to our squad (don’t ask me how we’re going to do it) — Tony Kemp deserves a chance!

        I’d figure out a way to get a front line starter for Bregman and bring up Moran, Davis or Kemp.

        Also, talking about trade bait without an actual player in mind seems like moonshine. But the two lefty relief possibles I like are SD’s Hand, or A’s Doolittle. Get it done, Jeff!

        Like

      • daveb7
        July 13, 2017

        Mr. Bill, we have grown to have remarkable expectations from our offense because our club has simply been remarkable offfensively. Has Alex really been a poor performer? Sure, compared to our present Murderers Row, yes. But I will state again that Bregman has shown better offensive numbers career to date than Altuve did in comparison at the time. And is his 1.3 OWAR to date embarrassing? No, that’s upper middle of the road in MLB at third. Heck, he’s a guy playing the toughest position on the baseball field. And they gave him 13 minor league games to figure it out. You ever see a kid volunteer to play the hot corner?

        Heck he’s the smelly mutt in a kennel full of racing doghounds. And why does every GM in the business seem to want Alex when we want to make a deal for a high end mound guy?

        Bill, watch Alex raise his OPS to something over .800 during the second half of the season. He’s a keeper. As for Papa Beltran, his bat looks slow.

        Liked by 1 person

    • daveb7
      July 13, 2017

      Becky, you really do kick my ass with your toughness. Thank you so much for still thinking of me and sharing your life with us. I hope Tyler gets a real shot somewhere. But I think we’d be rooting for an injury to get him home to Houston. The cool thing is that most big winners tend to have a guy that shows up out of the orange, when a boost is really needed. And we do have guys standing by to play the infield corners. Might it be White?

      Like

  21. Dan P
    July 12, 2017

    I’m not saying never trade Alex Bregman, but I would like to defend the young man a bit. Here is what his career numbers look like compared to Jose Altuve at the end of June 2012…..

    Category Jose Altuve Alex Bregman
    ABs 506 490
    Runs 71 71
    HRs 7 16
    2Bs 28 34
    RBIs 35 61
    BA .294 .259
    OBP .345 .328
    OPS .756 .771

    I know that Altuve was two years younger at the time, but he also had about 2.5 times as many minor league games under his belt at that time.
    Not saying Bregman is going to be another Altuve, I’m just saying he is not the awful player is being made out to be. He only has 146 minor league games and 133 major league games under his belt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      July 12, 2017

      Sorry this did not format correctly, but basically the first number is Jose, the second is Bregman

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        July 12, 2017

        Your point is made and it is certainly valid, as your stats back it up.

        Like

    • Grayson
      July 13, 2017

      I cannot defend a player who calls a fan of his team, “a flee on the ***sack of society,” as someone I want around much longer, firstly. He’s obviously not here because he can spell, and so to your point…

      Many HOU fans say we need another good starter. If that guy isn’t Martes, or an Armenteros (and now, not Paulino), we have to start somewhere in those trade talks. Who are your choices, then? That’s one gist of this prospects article, no?

      Thank you for the stat work, Dan. What it proves to me, other than it is history and no guarantee for the future, is that Bregman is worthy in the conversation of a top of rotation starter, if another team deems him the same. We recall, it was going to take more than Bregman to land Sale, or Quintana. It will certainly take more to get fan fave DeGrom, or my dream, Bumgarner. I’ve made the case based on Alex’s poor D, and his lack of clutch play. A small aside – Bregman has less RBI than Beltran, perhaps a better avg with RISP, but they haven’t been game winners. Is he improving – yes. Is he going to be a star – probably. Are we trying to land a star – absolutely.

      I won’t be happy if we trade someone who figures heavily into our 2018 team. I’m not of the opinion we leverage our future for an unknown. What I assume about Bregman is that he’s unlikely to be an X-factor in a ’17 playoff series, but somehow we’re trying to parlay for that kind of player this season. Op wrote he sees Fisher ahead of Tucker [agreed], contrary to Tim’s past post where he asserted the Astros think more favorably of the latter. We shall see if either of them are actually on the table of discussion.

      I can see both of them pushing Jake next season, since we’ll be without Aoki and (seldom used defensively) Beltran. There is very little current value to Reed, and teams will basically be taking flyers on Kemp and Davis. Whereas, we have a pretty good idea what they’re all about.

      What I didn’t know was that Bregman sought out that fan. It tells me he needs to get a life, focus himself on the field. I’m extremely proud to say Springer represents my favorite team, and what a contrast he is to the punk at 3rd! If his agent or the team doesn’t see to it an apology is made for the disgraceful use of language, it will be a PR gaffe is my opinion.

      Like

      • daveb7
        July 13, 2017

        Yes, assuming Alex was indeed the person who made those Twitter posts, it was a very young thing to do. But we’ve got other loose lipped youngsters, doing the same thing right now, far more antagonistic, in far hotter corners than third base. You ready to throw a 23 year old kid under the bus when considering the grand scheme of things? Heck, at 23, I did much dumber things.

        .282 BA, .386 OBP, .864 OPS. That’s his last 28 days. Watch it stay that way in the second half. And is his D at third all that bad? Not if you are comparing him to all the other 3B guys in MLB statistically. He’s better than most, with very little experience at third. Like I noted above, I think he had 13 minor league games there. He’s a work in progress. It’s a tougher job out there with so many switches.

        I sure hope we can land that 1/2/3 rotation guy without having to give Bregman up. I think he’s ready to break out now and be a big factor in post season 2017. Bregman is already a good ML player.

        Grayson, you ever have a 23 year old son and call him a punk?

        Like

      • Grayson
        July 13, 2017

        You might make a good point about the grand scheme, and reviewing the many tweets the fan made all year about his desire to land TOR, singling out Bregman so often – hey, maybe Alex just snapped and thought the better of it later. Granted.

        But.

        “Assuming he wrote the comments?” Is that supposed to mean you think he may not have written them? Besides that naïveté, how would you explain his deleting the account, and many media outlets picking up the story (Yahoo, Chron, Deadspin, etc)? His immaturity and classless behavior go further than that, according to the fan.

        But besides your criticism of my post, and the revelation that he is 23 (tongue in cheek), do you have a suggestion about the pitcher who will fill our needs, and the player(s) you would be willing to trade?

        I’m just curious how we’re going to get a 1, much less a 2 or 3 without an everyday player as a headline in return?

        I agree that at 23 we all made mistakes, but neither of us represented a billion dollar organization in the public eye. He threw himself under the bus – what an apologist you are!

        His batting numbers allow us to get a healthy return. But Marwin at a 164 OPS+, 16 HR’s.. We have plenty of help if Bregman is gone, take a deep breath & relax.

        No, 3B is not for the faint of heart. I’ve watched countless plays in slo-mo of his defense (especially those which weren’t charged errors), and I can say with certainty that his first step is tentative at best, glove imprecise with alligator arms on hard liners.

        Our team is insulated enough to go on with his present course. But if our belief is “don’t mess with what’s working,” then why are we continually asking for more pitching? We have to give to get, and I start with him.

        You did not list the loose-lipped, far more antagonistic players … who are even relevant. Along those lines, I don’t think his actions are congruent with what we’re trying to foster here.

        I do have a teenage son, and I’d tell him the same as I’m saying here. Let your actions on the field speak for themselves. Can you imagine Dallas Keuchel engaged in this behavior, (or maybe a 21-year old Correa), and what do you think his father would say if he had?

        The headlines today should read Alex Bregman is hitting .282 in the last 28 days. But they do not.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 13, 2017

        Grayson,

        Why do we need another starting pitcher, especially a top of the rotation pitcher? We have Keuchel and McCullers. The Indians got to the WS last year with Kluber and a bunch of 3s and 4s in their rotation, but had one of the best bullpens in baseball and rode that to the A.L. title. They nearly won the entire thing except for a great rally by the best team in baseball that also had a great bullpen. I would rather upgrade the bullpen than trade away a haul for a TORP that, maybe, improves our chances of winning by 2-3%. The cost should be less and it improves our odds the same.

        Also, what Bregman did was dumb. The guy he sent the DM to was trolling him, but he has to be smarter than this and just leave it alone. I am not going to condemn a 23-year old kid for this mistake. He is very talented and I’m not ready to give up on him because of one mistake. How soon we forget that just over a year ago he was rated as the top prospect in baseball and is still just completing his first full season in the major leagues? Patience is the key with young players and I think if we show it with Alex we will be rewarded.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Grayson
        July 13, 2017

        Hi Tim,

        If you’ll note, the only pitchers I did advocate are relievers, except for those we might get by way of blockbuster type trades. My true belief is that Martes is enough, with the addition of an improved Morton and Musgrove. Really the answer is going to depend on “full strength.” I have my doubts about McCullers’ health for some reasons mentioned on this blog, and stemming throughout his career.

        To your point, we’re one of the few teams with two aces already!

        If asked today, I’d only add a lefty reliever. We may not have the luxury of time however before we should act. One thing I’ve noticed about Luhnow however, as opposed to say, Purpura – he doesn’t blink. He is swift, decisive and he targets strike zone savvy players. We’re on the verge of doing what no other team in history has done – lead baseball in runs scored and least allowed. Like you, I trust him.

        And that goes for Bregman, if the Astros are willing to let the incident go. I know he’s talented. I hope he learns from it and improves where needed. Maybe I’ve over reacted, but the nature of his language for some reason, in addition to what I perceive as unbecoming of a champion, lingers.

        Like

      • Grayson
        July 13, 2017

        Conventional wisdom is that Martes will go back to Fresno, and Peacock will return to the pen. I’m in favor of neither of these at present. I still consider our rotation spots 1-5 pretty much up in the air. And I will be very surprised if McHugh returns in 2016 form. I’m learning, though, not to discount this team in any way!

        Like

      • daveb7
        July 13, 2017

        Grayson, I’m in the minority here in that I’d probably give up any of our highly regarded prospects, but I can’t honest say how many I’d give up. I’d want to know who we were getting in return first.

        From my angle, we’ve great a great bunch of young ball players. No denying that what Bregman did was foolish and I’m sure there are plenty of guys in the clubhouse willing to school him on his transgression, before patting him on the back and telling him that they’ve got his back. And then giving him a hefty fine in Kangaroo court.

        I was actually breaking Chipalatta rules and was referring to the adolescent in the White House and his own use of poor Twitter protocol. And I would not call him a punk either.

        Like

    • daveb7
      July 13, 2017

      Dan, Bregman will be the second best second baseman in the industry one day.

      Like

      • Grayson
        July 13, 2017

        Kemp would do just fine.

        Like

      • daveb7
        July 13, 2017

        Then let’s put Kemp in that package for the rotation guy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Billy Castillo
        July 13, 2017

        Have I mentioned that you’re awesome, Dave? Cause you are…

        Like

  22. Tim
    July 12, 2017

    Colin Moran with a HR in his first AB in the AAA All-Star game. He looks much bigger than he did last year and his swing looks stronger. A year ago I thought he might be a nice throw-in trade piece, but he may end up worthy of being the #6 pick in the draft.

    Like

  23. Becky⚾
    July 12, 2017

    Remember this name…Jacob deGrom. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Luhnow trying to make a trade for him. Just a little feeling I have…Becky⚾

    Like

    • Grayson
      July 13, 2017

      It’ll take a haul, and Mets fans won’t like it one bit. A real coup, it would be.

      Like

  24. Dan P
    July 13, 2017

    Well – so I take an evening off to watch a couple movies with the family and all sorts of fun is happening on the blog here….Thoughts….
    – I was not arguing against trading Bregman – as I stated in number 13. J.D. Davis above – between Gurriel, Marwin, Moran and Davis – 3B has a lot of options.
    – I was saying that folks who act like Bregman is playing terrible are just not right. He is not hitting at the same level as a lot of the other guys in the lineup, but he is hitting at the AL average for 2017. AL average this season is .256 BA/.325 OBP/.752 OPS. And as daveb says he is hitting better than that in the last month. Sure he doesn’t have as many RBIs as Beltran – of course Beltran is batting 4th or 5th behind some of the best producers in the majors. Bregman is farther back in the lineup.
    – I am not naïve enough to think that every one of these players are saints or that what we see of them in public reflects their true self (think of Don Johnson in Tin Cup). I would hope that Bregman will learn from his stupidity. If he does more of this crap I am sure he will be gone.
    – I really can’t talk intelligently about who should be available for trading without knowing the target and even then I am just a fan – I do not know how exactly the team values its trading chips. Is a Bregman who has proven to be average at the major league level more valuable than a Moran or Davis who are raking below? Sure. Is Martes who has pitched up and down at AAA and mlb worth more than a Whitley who has pitched well in lower minors? Heck I don’t know.

    Anyways – I know the Astros need bullpen help. I think they don’t necessarily “need” rotation help if the guy they are getting is not that much better than what they have.

    Like

    • Grayson
      July 13, 2017

      It’s exciting times to be an Astros fan! Lots of possibilities (pregnant word) to consider.

      Like

  25. Tim
    July 13, 2017

    I am not sure what it would cost, but I would love to see if we could make a deal with the Tigers to get Justin Wilson and J.D. Martinez in a package. The Tigers were very interested in Derek Fisher, according to reports, during the off-season so maybe we can work a package around him being the centerpiece. Any thoughts on this?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tim
      July 13, 2017

      I’m spitballing here, but would a package of Fisher, Martes, Y. Alvarez, C. Perez and J.D. Davis be enough? Could you live with this for Wilson and JD Martinez?

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 13, 2017

      I’d be OK making a deal for Wilson, as long as it didn’t include Fisher. Not interested in paying for a rental outfielder.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tim
        July 13, 2017

        I wouldn’t pay for a rental OFer by himself, but if packaged with a controllable pitcher I would consider it. J.D. is a beast and would just make our offense unstoppable this year. Wilson is controllable for several years so consider Fisher and Martes (I am the opposite of you in that I would rather trade Fisher over Tucker the Younger) part of the package for acquiring him. Martinez would be acquired for the other prospects, which are still good, but expendable.

        Like

    • daveb7
      July 13, 2017

      JD is no gazelle, but he’d manage left when not the DH.

      Like

  26. Dan P
    July 13, 2017

    As far as trading chips go – a guy who has increased his value a lot this season is Brad Peacock. When all the pitchers come back he will move back to the pen where he has value but not as much as maybe as a guy who gets an every 5 day starting gig with another team.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 13, 2017

      I am so on the other side of the fence with you on this one.
      Peacock has been a blessing as a starter this year, but his numbers as a reliever are insanely good. If we go far in the playoffs we need to have guys who can come in and get Ks in long and short relief and Peacock fits that description to a T. My goal for the bullpen for this year is to have every guy the Astros have out there to be a guy with great stuff and the ones who have spent the season coming in and giving up more runs and making the situation worse, like Hoyt and Sipp and even Feliz, sitting out the playoffs. I remember too well the bullpen failure in the 2015 playoffs where guys like Neshek were not good and Hinch couldn’t put him in when the chips were down, thus wearing out the rest of the good guys by game 7.
      That is one of the reasons why I am for getting a TOR starter in a trade and perhaps trading away Martes and Tucker to get him. If I have Keuchel. LMJ, new TOR starter and McHugh as playoff starters, then I can have Giles, Gregerson, Harris, Morton, Peacock, the new lefty, Fiers and Devenski in the bullpen and that is as good as it gets for us.. Getting a TOR starter with team control in trade also makes us stronger next year and the year after.

      Liked by 2 people

      • daveb7
        July 13, 2017

        Assuming Peacock, Devenski, Harris, Gregerson, Giles, the lefty that Luhnow will pick up, Morton or Fiers are all around and healthy, that s pretty good pen. But I’m not ruling out Rogelio either. He’d be a guy that no one has seen.

        Like

      • Grayson
        July 13, 2017

        Hey, awesome post, Op. In a perfect world, I agree on many points.

        Here’s where I differ. What do we know now about the health of this pitching and/or rotation?

        I’ve said all along that we’re jammed up with pitching, and reading Neshek’s recent comments about having a sit down with Luhnow at his release, he said they parted ways cordially and that he understood that in essence it was a salary dump. I’m sure you saw his stats this year and his all-star appearance, so the point I’m making is what a difference a year can make, a change of scenery, and the context of being on another team changes everything.

        I’ve felt that releasing Pat allowed us to explore guys like Gustave, Peacock, Feliz to name just a few. I’ve felt like the Astros have rested heavily our pitchers, as opposed to their so-called injuries being extensive. Heart of hearts says they’re all ready to go, with the exception of McHugh. And so, I look at it now as a glorified Free For All for the order of rotation. We have 4 or 5 guys who could either start, go extra relief innings, or close! What a luxury.

        Regarding who goes where will depend not on what we have seen, but what will develop. There will be ups downs, more injury and hot hands. Each of those things will determine matters come playoff time.

        The fact that we’ve made no moves speaks volumes to Jeff’s attitude of letting our current roster settle itself.

        I don’t say we absolutely need anything, but I don’t exactly know the extent of health as yet either. I do think it’s actually radical to pull Peacock out now, the same as limiting Marwin. They’ve truly “earned” it. Your premise relies on everyone being what you think they are, when so much is yet to be determined. I’ll end with my belief also that Feliz will excel beyond expectations. Armenteros won’t be a weapon this year because Martes is well past his experience and talent.

        You see what it took to get Quintana? Prospects #1and #2? According to Hahn’s reasoning (cough, cough), we weren’t in the ballpark with our offer (without Bregman and Co.). My untouchables are Martes Tucker and Fisher. There are others who would hurt, but those are my picks.

        Like

  27. 1oldpro
    July 13, 2017

    Jose Quintana just traded from the White Sox to the Cubs!

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 13, 2017

      Saw it was for the #5 prospect in all of baseball plus quite a few others.

      Like

    • sargeh
      July 13, 2017

      WOW!!

      Like

  28. 1oldpro
    July 13, 2017

    Cubs #1 and #2 plus two non-ranked prospects.

    Like

  29. 1oldpro
    July 13, 2017

    I just listened to Luhnow on a podcast that lasted an hour and it was interesting.
    But, the most interesting thing I heard is Luhnow summing up his thinking based on all he has learned about baseball and being a GM. He was asked to say one thing summing it all up and his one thing was: “Trust the Math.”
    I think you can apply that to Quintana and anything else that Luhnow does or doesn’t do from here on out.

    Like

  30. daveb7
    July 13, 2017

    The Cubs are getting to work. They will make a run.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 13, 2017

      It was about a week ago that I said that if the Cubs did not think that their top pitchers were not going to get the job done, they would go after one of the big ones.
      Lester gave up ten runs in less than one inning in his last outing and the Cubs made their starting pitcher move. I don’t think they are finished. I see them making a move for a reliever and an outfielder.
      They were $18 million under the soft cap and I think they will spend. I believe they think they can catch the Brewers and catch fire by October.

      Like

      • Devin
        July 13, 2017

        Recall in 2015 that we suffered a slump in late summer after the surprising start. The Brewers just got a bit more heat under their heels from Theo and company. It will be interesting to see how they handle it.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 13, 2017

        They don’t have much left to trade. They don’t have one prospect ranked in the top 100 after acquiring Quintana.

        Like

  31. 1oldpro
    July 13, 2017

    The Brewers trade a 26 yo 1B AAA prospect, Garrett Cooper, to the Yanks for a young lefty reliever, Tyler Webb. Both teams thus taking players from stregnth of depth and trading them for a definite area of need.

    Like

  32. Becky⚾
    July 13, 2017

    I personally think the Astros made the right decision by not trading for Quintana.
    He’s not pitching so well to warrant giving up what Chicago wanted. Now, he might pitch lights out next year…..but we are concerned with 2017 not 2018. If Luhnow does nothing, it will be because he couldn’t pry away the pitcher he REALLY wants, rather than thinking we have the guys here to win a championship. Now……if we go belly up and miss the playoffs (I don’t think that will happen) because Luhnow didn’t pull the trigger on a trade…..there’s gonna be some mighty pi$$ed off fans in Houston. I imagine his fingers are getting sore making calls to every single club about a starting pitcher, as well as a lefty reliever. But for right now….Quintana is a moot subject.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. astrocolt45
    July 13, 2017

    So in the end, we traded Quintana to the Cubs and kept KTuck (along with 3 others). I likey that trade.

    Like

    • Grayson
      July 13, 2017

      Lol! Good one!

      Like

  34. 1oldpro
    July 13, 2017

    Colby Rasmus has decided to step away from baseball for now. He has been placed on the restricted list by the Rays and is not expected back this season.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      July 13, 2017

      Saw that. ..I knew he had been out with a hip injury but the statement made it sound like there was something else going on

      Like

  35. 1oldpro
    July 13, 2017

    – Luhnow didn’t like the math when it came to Quintana.
    – He didn’t like it in the offseason and he didn’t like it now. I’m ok with that.
    – The Cubs’s math is different. They’re 5 games behind and we’re up by 16.5.
    – There might be a desirable starting pitcher out there that the math is right on.
    – Ditto on a reliever.
    – I’m not sure what having JB Bukauskas in our corner does to our math, but it can’t hurt, getting a top 10 player at #15 when it comes to evaluating our stable of prospects at trade time. Having him might make losing a top pitching prospect in a trade more tolerable.

    Like

  36. Dan P
    July 13, 2017

    Feels strange looking for sports tonight – what shows up? A minor league game with no Astro affiliates, the X games, two summer league basketball games and a Conacaf soccer game without the US.
    So just jelling out…..

    Like

  37. 1oldpro
    July 13, 2017

    Less than a week after getting bombed out in the first inning against Syracuse, Mark Appel is back on the DL with shoulder problems.

    Like

  38. daveb7
    July 14, 2017

    Can anyone answer this question: Why do guys go on the Temporarily Inactive List? Just before Armentero left CC, he was on the list. after two starts in Fresno, he’s back on the list. Is iit a secret club?

    Like

  39. daveb7
    July 14, 2017

    I think I answered my own question. If he was taking part in the AA All Star game, he would have gone on the Temp Inactive List.

    Like

  40. Dan P
    July 14, 2017

    Hey folks – there is a new post up, but there is a technical glitch where it is posted in the “second” position – so if you can move over one you can enjoy a new one. We will fix as soon as we can

    Like

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This entry was posted on July 11, 2017 by in Astros.
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