It has been a great month of August for the minor league system. The top four affiliates all clinched postseason berths as did the the Greeneville squad. The ValleyCats still have a shot at the playoffs with just a few games to go. Here are my minor league players of the month for August.
Note: For the player’s stats I used mlbfarm.com. It is a great site to keep up with all minor league player’s stats both Astros and non-Astros. You can categorize players by team, affiliate, and even MLB.com’s top prospect list. I encourage everyone to bookmark the site and give the founder (@darenw) a follow.
Oklahoma City RedHawks
George Springer – What more could we have asked for? Springer continued his dominant season in the month of August. Springer hit .287 with a 1.009 OPS, eight home runs, and 24 RBI. He posted a 25/23 – K/BB ratio and went a perfect 9-9 in the stolen base category. Springer will need three home runs for a 40/40 season, but whether he gets there or not he’s already posted one of the most dominant MiLB seasons in the last 50 years.
Eric Berger – Berger was acquired for Chris Wallace in April and added great mustache potential to a young RedHawks team. However, Berger doesn’t get the POTM award for his mustache but rather for what he did on the mound. In 22.2 IP, Berger had a 1.59 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. Berger is a key lefty in the RedHawks bullpen and will be called upon in close games during the postseason.
Corpus Christi HooksErik Castro
(photo by Tammy Tucker)
Erik Castro – This was easily the toughest choice for this month but I think Castro was the right choice. Castro batted .340 (lead the team by .42 points) and posted a .980 OPS. His four home runs were tied for third on the team (two with six and two others with four), and his 17 RBI were tied for first. You could make an argument for Matt Duffy or Domingo Santana as the POTM, but in my opinion Castro was the right choice.
Luis Cruz – Carlos Quevedo and Jonas Dufek would have both been great choices for POTM for the Hooks but Cruz was the story in his first month at Double-A. In 30 IP, Cruz had a 1.80 ERA and .767 WHIP, while striking out 36 and walking only seven. Seventeen of the 30 innings came at Double-A including a performance where he allowed just two hits and struck out 14 in a complete game shutout.
Delino DeShields and Tyler Heineman – Whereas with the Hooks I decided that one person separated himself from the others, with the JetHawks I wasn’t able to do the same. Both DeShields and Heineman were great in the month of August. DeShields led the team hitting .365 (1.028 OPS) with one home run, five triples, seven doubles, and 12 RBI. DeShields reached the 50 stolen base mark this month as well converting on 11 of 13 attempts. Heineman also did his damage with the bat, hitting .351 (1.034 OPS) with three home runs, two triples, seven doubles, and and 25 RBI. Both players will be key for the JetHawks playoff run this postseason.
Colton Cain – It’s always tough to pitch in Lancaster though Colton Cain put together a solid month of August. His 3.24 ERA and 1.27 WHIP led all JetHawks starters in 33.1 innings pitched in August. The JetHawks hope Cain can continue his good pitching throughout the postseason.
Quad Cities RiverBandits
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Correa and Rio Ruiz – It’s a good problem for us Astros bloggers when we can’t choose between two players for a POTM award. Correa has been dominant all season and had another great month. Correa led the team with a .336 BA and .930 OPS hitting two home runs, one triple, ten doubles, and 22 RBI. Ruiz on the other hand has struggled most of the season, but put together a really strong and promising August. Ruiz’s five home runs led the RiverBandits this month and his 19 RBI were second on the team. Ruiz hit .298 with a .890 OPS in August, and has improved every month this season.
Mitchell Lambson – Though he was only second on the team this month in ERA and WHIP (Andrew Walter had better numbers in less innings), Lambson helped lead the team to its playoff berth. In 18.1 IP, Lambson allowed just one run, nine hits, and four walks while striking out a team high 25. Lambson will continue to come out of the bullpen and help the RiverBandits hopefully win a title in the postseason.
Conrad Gregor – Gregor led the team in many categories in August. His .324 BA was tops at TC as was his OBP/SLG/OPS. He hit two home runs and had 17 RBI this month, and was a perfect 2-2 in stolen bases. Michael Martinez and Tyler White received consideration as well but Martinez was knocked out when he received a suspension earlier this week.
Gonzalo Sanudo – Michael Feliz was great, Zachary Dando was fantastic, and Kyle Westwood had a great month, but none compare to the month Sanudo just pitched. In 15.1 IP, Sanudo allowed just four hits, while striking out 26 and walking none. His final numbers this month were 0.00 ERA, 0.265 WHIP, on just 105 pitches (seven pitches per inning). Though it comes from a relief pitcher, Sanudo had arguably the best month of any pitcher in the Astros organization this year.
Will George Springer join the 40/40 club with the season ending on Monday?