A total of 537 minor league players, including 16 Astros, were granted Free agency on Wednesday. The complete list can be found at the Baseball America website. The biggest names on the Astros list have to be Koby Clemens and Anderson Hernandez. I am a little surprised that the Astros chose to keep Brian Bixler over Hernandez. Koby Clemens, the son of Roger Clemens, posted decent power numbers in the minors but didn’t hit for a good average at the higher levels.
Anderson Hernandez had a good season at AAA Oklahoma City in 2011. The switch-hitting middle infielder posted a .300/.366/.400 slash line and enjoyed a 30 game hitting streak late in the season. Bixler was claimed off waivers from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. Primarily a shortstop, Bixler appears to have a leg up at winning a spot on the Astros 2012 roster as a utility player.
The Astros have stated that they will not be a player in the Free Agent market this off-season. The minor league Free Agent pool could provide an affordable alternative for the club. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Astros add a couple of players from this list.