For the first time in years, the Houston Astros are enjoying some success at the major league level. They have built their roster with mainly with major league veterans via trades and free agency. They signed Colby Rasmus to a one-year deal, Jed Lowrie to a three-year deal and brought in Luis Valbuena, Hank Conger and Evan Gattis via trades. These moves have not only provided solid results on the field but have created solid depth at the top of the minor-league system that the Astros can now call on should the need arise. While most of the top prospects dwell in Corpus Christi, the first players to get the call to the big club this year will be from the AAA affiliate. The AAA team is now located in Fresno, California and competes in the Pacific Coast League. The Grizzlies are off to an 8-6 record.
There are a lot of familiar names on this roster this year. Many of the position players on this team have already donned an Astros uniform, such as:
1B Jon Singleton, .308 BA, 8 BB, 11 Ks, 3 HRs, 1.015 OPS;
OF Alex Presley, .344 BA but only with a .708 OPS;
OF L.J. Hoes, .439 BA, 1.111 OPS;
OF Domingo Santana (#3 on Astros Top prospect list), .286 BA, .933 OPS but 5 BB to 19 Ks;
C Max Stassi, .265 BA, .762 OPS; and
3B Matt Dominguez, .209, .558 OPS.
Other top prospects include on-base machine, Nolan Fontana, and Preston Tucker, who seemingly has hit at every level. Tucker is the older brother of one of the Astros targets in the amateur draft this June, Kyle Tucker. Other bats that could be of some benefit to the Astros are 3B Matt Duffy and recently demoted Jonathan Villar. Preston Tucker leads the Grizzlies in runs (12), home runs (5), RBI (18) and total bases (35) while batting .327 with an OPS of .1020.
The pitching is not quite as loaded as the position players in Fresno but has already provided several additions to the Astros in Brad Peacock and Josh Fields. We will update the pitching prospects next time once they have had more turns through the rotation.
The Grizzlies continue a series with Salt Lake City this week.
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