Over the remainder of this week I’ll be recapping each Astros farm team’s season up to this point in their season. Each team is a bit past the half-way point, so I’ll be recapping some of the CURRENT players on each squad above Low-A. I’ll choose five hitters and five pitchers to discuss with a few honorable mentions if necessary. Today I’ll be recapping the Corpus Christi Hooks. On Monday I recapped the RiverBandits, on Tuesday I recapped the JetHawks, and yesterday I recapped the Hooks.
The RedHawks aren’t exactly a strong offensive team, and only lead the Pacific Coast League in stolen bases. Their pitching staff also doesn’t lead in any category, but unfortunately have allowed the most walks in the league. It’s tough choosing the top five with players constantly going up and down between the Astros MLB team and the rest of the system. Here are the top five hitters and pitchers currently on the RedHawks.
1. George Springer – The Astros best hitting prospect this year (sorry Carlos Correa), Springer has given Astros fans a huge reason to believe in this team’s future. Springer’s been ripping it up in his eight games with the RedHawks, and destroyed Double-A pitching during his 73 games with the Hooks. On the whole season, Springer has hit .301 with 21 HR, 21 2B, 61 RBI, 25 SB, .582 SLG, and a .987 OPS. The one concern fans and scouts have is Springer’s 29.7% K rate while with the Hooks. The Astros hope he can cut that down over the next few months, and Springer may be up in Houston by September if everything works out well at Triple-A.
2. Jonathan Singleton – Coming off a 50-game suspension, Singleton has spent his 36 games with the RiverBandits (6), Hooks (11), and the RedHawks (19). Though he’s struggled with the RedHawks (.242/.346/.333), Singleton on the season has hit .256/.371/.472 with 6 HR, 7 2B, and 19 RBI’s. Singleton also has a high K rate with the RedHawks (35.9%), but that’s expected to fall as he receives more at-bats. Singleton could possibly be called up in September, but he is certainly expected to be him Houston no later than opening day in 2014.
3. Jonathan Villar – Though many fans have been calling for a call up for a month already, the 22-year old Villar could still use some time with the RedHawks. In 320 at-bats, Villar has 30 extra base hits (8 HR, 8 3B, 14 2B), with a .281 AVG and .789 OPS, and has also stolen 29 bases while being caught seven times. Villar’s main problem has been his defense where he has racked up 17 errors already. His defense has always been a problem, proven by his 56 errors in 2010 alone. Villar will earn a call up no later than September, and could possible be called up by the deadline if Ronny Cedeno is traded/waived.
4. Brandon Laird – The 25-year old Laird isn’t much of a prospect anymore. After a short stint in Houston, Laird has hit the ball well at OKC. In 252 at-bats, Laird has hit .278 with a .779 OPS including 9 HR, 20 2B, and 38 RBI. Laird has been used as both a first baseman and a third baseman this season and has seven errors on the season. Laird will likely be called up later this season to serve as a utility player for the Astros.
5. Robbie Grossman – Acquired in the Wandy Rodriguez trade, Grossman is quickly falling out of favor with Astros fans. In his 28 games with the Astros, Grossman hit .198 with a terrible .553 OPS. Though he’s fared better with the RedHawks, he still has struggled there with a .243 AVG, .375 OBP, .669 OPS. Grossman’s ability to walk is the only thing going for him, as he provides no power and doesn’t hit for average. It’s been a disappointing season for Grossman, and it will be interesting to see where he starts the 2014 season.
Jarred Cosart during futures game a few years ago.
1. Jarred Cosart – Considered one of the main pieces in the Hunter Pence trade, the 23-year old Cosart has had a pretty good season with the RedHawks. In 87.2 IP, Cosart has a 2.98 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .205 BAA and 90 K’s. The reason for Cosart’s high WHIP is due to his 4.7 BB/9. It’s possible Cosart could have been called up by now, but he has struggled with his command at times. Though he walks a lot of hitters, Cosart has done a great job stranding runners as evidenced by his sub-3 ERA, and he’s also only given up 4 HR this season. Cosart will likely be called up sometime this season, and may see his time as early as August.
2. Asher Wojciechowski – Acquired in the J.A Happ trade, Wojo (for short) has had an excellent season with both the Hooks and the RedHawks. In his 96.1 combined innings this season, Wojo has a 3.08 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .208 BAA, and 88 K’s. Drafted in the 1st round (41st) in the 2010 draft, Wojciechowski is a legitimate prospect for the Astros, and may see some time with the Astros in September, but we will likely see him in Houston no later than early 2014.
3. Brad Peacock – Though Peacock struggled with the Astros, he has been a good SP for the RedHawks this season. In 47 IP, Peacock has a 3.06 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .222 BAA, and 46 K’s. Peacock is one of the three good starters at OKC, and could be a candidate to be called up if an Astros starter is traded.
4. Jason Stoffel – The most dependable reliever on the Redhawks, the 24-year old Stoffel has had a great season with both the Hooks and the Redhawks. In a combined 41.2 IP, (34.1 with OKC), Stoffel has a 2.38 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 24 K’s. Acquired (with Henry Sosa) for Jeff Keppinger, Stoffel is certainly in line for a call up to the Astros who could definitely use some bullpen help.
5. Josh Zeid - Another pitcher acquired in the Hunter Pence trade, Zeid has done a good job at the back end of the RedHawks bullpen. Through 34.1 innings this season, Zeid has as 2.88 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .218 BAA, and 41 K’s. The 26-year old is in line for a call up at any time this season, and should be up no later than September.