Down on the Farm: Catching Up


It’s been a week now since our last recap, and to all the Climbing Tal’s Hill members who enjoy catching up on their favorite Astros prospects I apologize, but was busy serving a short stint on CTH’s 7-day DL with a strained left index finger. I’m better now, and have been reactivated from the DL retroactive yesterday. Now that the lame joke is out of the way we can get back to business. A week’s time has passed since our last update, so I decided that this would be a good time to recap the season and see who is off to hot starts and who is slow out of the gates. First up is the RedHawks:

Oklahoma City

Off to a hot start

J.B. Shuck (CF) – .340 avg., 16 hits, and 8 walks.

Tommy Manzella (SS) – .320 avg., 16 hits, 3 doubles, 9 RBIs.

Carlos Corporan (C) – .306 avg., 11 hits, 2 homeruns, 5 RBIs.

Brian Bogusevic (LF) – .271 avg., 13 hits, 6 RBIs, 6 stolen bases in 6 attempts.

Fernando Rodriguez (RP) – 1.08 ERA, 13 strikeouts in 8.1 innings pitched.

Casey Fien (RP) – 2.45 ERA, 8 strikeouts in 7.1 innings pitched.

Jose Valdez (RP) – 2.45 ERA, 4 strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched. (Currently with the Astros)

Slow out of the gate

Can we include all of the starting pitchers here, (Jordan Lyles, Sergio Perez, Fernando Nieve, and Ryan Rowland-Smith) More on Lyles in a second.

Oswaldo Navarro (SS) – .257 avg., 9 hits

Drew Locke (RF) – .242 avg., 8 hits

Koby Clemens (1B) – .238 avg., 2 homeruns, 12 strikeouts

Anderson Hernandez (2B) – .229 avg., 13 strikeouts

Most impressive

This was kind of hard to choose but I guess I am going to have to go with Tommy Manzella with a .320 avg. As good as his start to this season is, it will be tough for him to continue at this rate. Manzella also leads the team in strikeouts with 15, and has a crazy BABIP of .483 that is bound to start to normalize soon so enjoy it while it lasts Mr. Manzella. Bogusevic’s 6 steals in 6 attempts so far this year has been impressive, but he needs to start hitting for more power.

Most disappointing

Here I have to go with Jordan Lyles 0-2 start with a 7.07 ERA. The Astros top prospect has struggled so far to open the season. If you are looking for a bright side in Lyles struggles then look no further than advanced statistics. According to FanGraphs Lyles has a Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) of 4.99 which is about 2 runs lower than his ERA. FIP is a stat that measures only factors that pitchers can control. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his defense played behind him. Hitters also have a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .396. The normal BABIP sits around .290-.310, which means that Lyles has also been unlucky on balls put in play. What this means is that while not great, Lyles has not pitched as bad as his stat line indicates, and we should not worry about our top prospect just yet.

Corpus Christi

Off to a hot start

Wladimir Sutil (SS) – .397 avg., 23 hits, 6 stolen bases

J.D. Martinez (OF) – .347 avg., 2 homeruns, 19 RBIs

Brandon Barnes (OF) – .333 avg., 2 homeruns, 8 RBIs

Jon Gaston (OF) – .304 avg., 14 hits

Jimmy Paredes (2B) – only a .260 avg., but 9 stolen bases in 9 attempts, 6 RBIs

Dallas Keuchel (SP) – 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 14 innings pitched, 8 strikeouts

Pat Urckfitz (RP) – 1.04 ERA, 8.2 innings pitched, 4 strikeouts

Erick Abreu (RP) – 1.04 ERA, 8.2 innings pitched, 9 strikeouts

Arcenio Leon (RP) – 0.00 ERA, 8 innings pitched, 7 strikeouts

David Carpenter (RP) – 1.35 ERA, 6.2 innings pitched, 3 saves

Slow out of the gates

T.J. Steele (CF) – .216 avg.

Ross Seaton (SP) – 1-0, 7.71 ERA, 14 innings pitched, 8 strikeouts

Kyle Greenwalt (SP) – 0-1, 6.10 ERA, 10.1 innings pitched, 6 strikeouts

Cesar Carrillo (RP) – 6.14 ERA, 7.1 innings pitched, 4 strikeouts

Most impressive

How about Wladimir Sutil (23 hits) and J.D. Martinez (19 RBIs in 13 games)

Most disappointing

This would be the oft-injured 5 tool prospect T.J. Steele who was highly touted but has yet to live up to expectations.


Off to a hot start

Jose Altuve (2B) – .393 avg., 1 homerun, 7 stolen bases

Jay Austin (CF) – .369 avg., 2 homeruns, 8 stolen bases, 11 RBIs

Jonathan Villar (SS) – .309 avg., 1 homerun, 8 stolen bases, 13 RBIs

Kody Hinze (1B) – .309 avg., 6 homeruns, 15 RBIs

Jake Buchanan (SP) – 2-1, 1.61 ERA, 22.1 innings pitched, 15 strikeouts

Jose Cisnero (SP) – 6.35 ERA, 22 strikeouts – I know his ERA is high, but that is because of 1 bad outing. He struck out 20 batters in 10 innings in his first two outings.

Kirk Clark (RP) – 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 saves

Slow out of the gates

Jonathan Meyer (3B) – .241 avg., 10 strikeouts

Ben Heath (C) – .265 avg., 3 homeruns – Not horrible but I was hoping for more. He should come around.

Austin Wates (OF) – .230 avg., 2 homeruns

The rest of the starting rotation (Andrew Robinson, Booby Doran, Robert Donovan) – all have ERAs over 5.00.

Most Impressive

This one is a tie between Jose Altuve and Jake Buchanan for me. Buchanan has pitched at least 7 innings in all 3 starts and has been very effective. Altuve can flat out hit.

Most disappointing

Austin Wates – Hopefully he starts to find his groove in his first full season.

Lexington Legends

Off to a hot start

Chris Wallace (C) – .358 avg., 6 homeruns, 19 RBIs

Adam Bailey (OF) – .333 avg., 5 homeruns, 10 RBIs

Michael Kvasnicka (OF) – .313 avg., 5 extra base hits but no homeruns yet

Telvin Nash (OF) – .281 avg., 4 homeruns

Tanner Bushue (SP) – 3-0, 1.80 ERA, 20 innings pitched, 9 strikeouts

Slow out of the gates

Delino DeShields, Jr. (2B) – .213 avg., 13 strikeouts

Most impressive

Chris Wallace has been very impressive at the plate, but is kind of old for this league. Tanner Bushue beats out Wallace with his 3-0 start and 1.80 ERA. Bushue had a good but not great season last year, and the front office decided to start him out in Lexington again this season. So far he is proving that he was ready to advance after all.

Most disappointing

Delino DeShields Jr. – Last years first round pick has struggled mightily at the plate and in the field. At least it’s still early in the season and he has time to turn it around.