Down on the Farm: Minor League Opening Day Recap

While the Astros were busy securing their first win of the season today was opening day for the minor league season. The Astros system opened the season with a split. The Oklahoma City RedHawks and the Lancaster JetHawks opened their season with wins, while the Corpus Christi Hooks and the Lexington Legends suffered the loss. Here is your brief re-cap of how it went on opening day. 

Oklahoma City RedHawks (1-0)

The Astros Triple-A affiliate got off on the right foot for their first game as the Oklahoma City RedHawks since switching affiliates from Round Rock Express by opening the season with a win over the Memphis Redbirds 8-7. Top pitching prospect Jordan Lyles got the start for the RedHawks and lasted just 4 innings surrending 3 runs on 7 hits while walking 2 and striking out 1. It took Lyles 81 pitches to get through 4 innings. Offensively the RedHawks faired much better wasting no time getting on the board by scoring early and often. With the exception of J.B. Shuck every starter got a hit. Here’s a look at the RedHawks box-score for the game:


1.)    J.B. Shuck (CF) – 0-5, 1 BB – The speedy outfielder who almost made the club out of spring training struggled in game 1.

2.)    Anderson Hernandez (2B) – 2-6, 1 2B, 2 SO – Not a bad start

3.)    Brian Bogusevic (RF) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB – The former 1st round draft pick had a great day at the plate to open the season. Hopefully this continues.

4.)    Koby Clemens (1B) – 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB – Also off to a nice start. No strikeouts which is something nice to see from Koby. His career strikeout numbers are very high.

5.)    Carlos Corporan (C)1-4, 1RBI

6.)    Drew Locke (LF) – 2-5, 2 RBI, 1 SO – Trying to make a comeback after a down year at Corpus Christi last season

7.)    Tommy Manzella (SS) – 2-5, 1RBI, 2 SO – Solid line if it weren’t for the strikeouts

8.)    Oswaldo Navarro (3B)1-2, 1 SO

9.)    Jordan Lyles (P) – 1-2, 1 SO – Lyles is an athlete and also carries a decent bat

10.)                        Brian Dopirak (PH) – 0-1

11.)                        Casey Fien (P) – 0-1


1.)    Jordan Lyles – 4 IP, 7 Hits, 3 Earned Runs, 2 Walks, 1 Strikeout – Not his best outing, but it was good enough to get the job done tonight

2.)    Gustavo Chacin – 1 IP, 1 Hit, 0 Earned Runs – Picked up the victory with his scoreless outing

3.)    Casey Fien – 2 IP, 1 Hit, 2 Walks, 1 Strikeout – Norris’ college roommate whom the Astros signed based on Bud’s recommendation. Good outing

4.)    Ross Wolf – 0.1 IP, 4 Hits, 3 Earned Runs, 1 Strikeout – Yikes!

5.)    Sergio Escalona – 0.2 IP, 1 Walk, 1 Strikeout – Earned his first hold of the season

6.)    Jose Valdez – 1 IP, 1 Hit, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk – Earned his first save of the season, but made things very interesting. Sound familiar anyone “I’m talking about you Mr. Lyon”

Corpus Christi Hooks (0-1) 

The Hooks opened the season with a 3-2 loss to Tulsa. All runs were scored in the 5th inning. The Hooks managed to bang out 10 hits, but only 1 of those hits, a home run by catcher Federico Hernandez, was for extra bases. Here’s your box score for the Hooks: 


1.)    Wladimir Sutil (SS) – 3-4, 1 BB – The 26-year old shortstop started the season hot

2.)    Jimmy Parades (2B) – 1-4 – The second part in the Lance Berkman trade

3.)    J.D. Martinez (LF) – 1-4, 3 SO – Top hitting prospect in the system. 3 strikeouts in this game.

4.)    Jon Gaston (RF) – 2-4 – Gaston and Sutil were the only 2 with a multihit game tonight

5.)    T.J. Steele (CF) – 0-4, 2 SO – The oft-injured prospect is off to a slow start

6.)    Van Ostrand (1B) – 0-4, 3 SO – 3 strikeouts = OUCH!

7.)    Federico Hernandez (C) – 1-4, HR – The non-drafted free agent adds to the Astros starting catching depth

8.)    David Flores (3B) – 1-4 – 3rd base is one of the weaker positions in the Astros system

9.)    Xavier Cedeno (P) – 0-1

10.)                  Brandon Barnes (PH) – 1-1 – Pinch hit single


1.)    Xavier Cedeno – 5 IP, 4 Hits, 3 Earned Runs, 4 Walks, 2 Strikeouts – Starting pitching appears to be the Hooks Achilles hill this season

2.)    Shane Wolf – 1 IP, 1 Strikeout – The Astros have plenty of Wolf’s in their system

3.)    Pat Urckfitz – 2 IP, 1 Hit – One of my personal favorite players in the Astros system. Hopefully he finds his way back to the starting rotation.

Lancaster JetHawks (1-0) 

The JetHawks received very strong pitching performances today from Jose Cisnero and Wes Musick to shutout the High Desert Mavericks 5 – 0. Leading this charge was the 9 strikeout performance by the 22 year old Jose Cisnero. Wes Musick followed Cisnero’s strong pitching performance by going 4 innings and striking out 5 of his own to pick up the save. Offensively the JetHawks broke the game open by scoring 4 runs in the 6th inning. 


1.)    Jay Austin (CF) – 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB – Very fast promising centerfield prospect

2.)    Jonathan Villar (SS) – 2-4, 1 RBI – Good start for Villar. Received in the Roy Oswalt trade

3.)    Jake Goebbert (RF) – 0-4, 1 SO

4.)    Kody Hinze (1B) – 0-4, 1 SO

5.)    Austin Wates (LF) – 1-4, HR – Possesses a great bat, and could be a breakout candidate this year

6.)    Jonathan Meyer (3B) – 3-4, 2 2B – Trying to recover from a down year last season. Looks like he’s off to a good start

7.)    Erik Castro (DH) – 1-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO

8.)    Rene Garcia (C) – 1-4, 1 SO – Solid defensive catcher, but questions surround his offensive game

9.)    Jose Altuve (2B) – 2-4, 1 3B, 1 SO – The 5 foot 5 inch second base can hit.


1.)    Jose Cisnero – 5 IP, 2 Hits, 1 Walk, 9 Strikeouts – 1BB to 9 SO. Can’t say enough about this performance. I’m already waiting for him to take the mound again.

2.)    Wes Musick – 4 IP, 4 Hits, 0 Walks, 5 Strikeouts – Musick came over in the Matt Lindstrom trade, and I was really hoping that the Astros would keep him in a starter’s role. Here’s hoping that he doesn’t stay in the bullpen too long.

 Lexington Legends (0-1)

Mike Foltynewicz, a promising young pitcher drafted last year by the Astros struggled in his opening day start for the Legends. The Legends struggles extended past Foltynewicz as the whole team was limited to 5 hits with only 1 of those being for extra bases. 


1.)    Delino DeShileds (2B) – 0-4, 2 SO – Last years top draft pick struggles in game 1.

2.)    Jiovanni Mier (SS) – 2-3, 2B – Mier struggled mightily last year, and could be another comeback player this year.

3.)    E Hernandez (DH) – 0-4

4.)    Jhonny Medrano (1B) – 0-4

5.)    Mike Kvasnicka (3B) – 1-3, BB – Another 1st round draft pick last year, Kvasnicka is said to be a polished hitter, and could given his college background could advance through the organization pretty quickly.

6.)    Daniel Adamson (CF) 1-4 – Could turn into the next J.D. Martinez. Definitely a player to watch this season

7.)    Adam Bailey (RF) – 0-3

8.)    Roberto Pena (C) – 0-3

9.)    Bryce Lane (LF) – 1-3, 1 SO


1.)    Mike Foltynewicz – 5 IP, 6 Hits, 5 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 2 Strikeouts – Still has a ton of upside.

2.)    G. Garcia – 3 IP, 2 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 4 Strikeouts – Like the 4 strikeouts in only 3 innings of work.

3.)    Chowning – 1 IP, 1 Hit, 1 Strikeout

 Well that’s the opening day recap. Tune in next time to see if the RedHawks and JetHawks can keep it rolling, and if the Hooks and Legends can get in the win column before their parent club did.

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  • bringhimin

    Love seeing minor league recaps. Not too bad for a season starter. Even though CC lost it was close, Steele and Van O will come around and glad to see Urkfitz with a couple of good innings. Lancaster’s pitchers were fantastic, especially in a place that Astro’s hesitate sending prospect pitchers due to the batter friendly atmosphere. Strike ‘em out and you don’t have to worry about the long ball!!!

  • bringhimin

    Sorry, little long winded today, just excited. OKC end was a little dicey but they pulled it off. Had to chuckle at the Fien comment-”Bud’s recommendation”. Wow, didn’t know a 4th started had that much influence with the Astro’s dollars. It couldn’t have been Fien’s last year stats at Toledo, could it. Bit of trivia from California fan here, Norris, Van O, and Fien all drafted from Cal Poly SLO in 2006. Maybe it was Van O’s recommendation…..

    • Jesse Pawalowski

      I wasn’t aware that those three were all drafted from the same area like that. Interesting. In regards to Lancaster I agree that the Astros are usually pretty hesitant in bringing pitching prospects into that environment. Jordan Lyles skipped that level, and Tanner Bushue is repeating Lexington right now instead of being promoted to Lancaster. This is probably due to the fact that Bushue is a fly ball pitcher and that definitely would not translate well in that hitter-friendly environment. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bushue was promoted straight to Corpus when that time comes.