The past weekend saw the Corpus Christi Hooks play five games on the road. Carlos Correa has continued his strong start in what could be a very short stint in the Texas League. He and Chris Devenski snagged Texas League player and the pitcher of the week honors. But how did the rest of the team fare?
Like their parent club, the Hooks sit atop of their division with a 3.0 lead. In the Texas League North the Angels’ Class AA has matched the Hooks 12-5 start to the 2015 campaign. They even share similar road numbers with the Hooks having a 9-2 record while the Travelers have won 9 of 10 games.
Baseball America writer Josh Norris recently took the time to compile a list of the Top 10 Most Talented Teams in the minor leagues in 2015. I found this list to be quite surprising. The Texas League only has eight teams and is a pretty small sample of the minor leagues in general. The league is represented well with the Astros(6), Dodgers (4), Royals (9), and Rangers (5) Class-AA affiliates all appearing in this list.
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Hooks sweep Frisco
Only one of those clubs has the Hooks already seen this season. And if the team has seen those rankings, they did their best to try and nullify them. Mark Appel got the ball in game 1. While he did not pitch as well as he had been, I think that he probably grew a little more as a result. The Roughriders got to him for a pair of one-run innings in the beginning. Appel settled down to pitch four innings (part of the tandem system) and maintained a pristine ERA of 1.93. Kyle Westwood pitched in relief and threw 4.0 strong innings to help secure the Hooks’ 8-2 win.
The next three games were more of the same. Great pitching performances followed by a relentless attack of hits and runs by the Hooks. Friday night’s game postponed due to rain; the Hooks won game 1 of a doubleheader with a 10-5 final score. What is interesting is that even though the Hooks had 4 and 5 run innings during that game, Carlos Correa had a rare hitless day…I mean, game. Game 2 on Saturday led to a “HOLY CORREA!!!!!!!” text sent to me from a buddy who was at the ballpark. Carlos, everyone’s favorite shortstop in the Astros’ system, hit one truly out of Dr. Pepper Ballpark.
The day after I sent a text to him asking for his opinion on MLB-readiness. Realistically Luhnow is going to keep Correa in the minor leagues for as long as possible, but my friend is in no rush to see Correa play against the Rangers AA team again. After the 4-game set was over, the Hooks swept Frisco with a combined score of 39-10.
Individual star performers
Everyone knows that this year’s Hooks team is loaded with talent. Carlos Correa and Chris Devenski were rewarded for their fantastic week with Player and Pitcher of the Week Honors. Overall Correa is batting 26 for 68 (.382) with a 1.175 OPS including four home runs and ten doubles. Devenski, a right-handed pitcher, maintains a 0.00 ERA through 15 1/3 innings pitched. Devenski held the Roughriders hitless through 6.1 innings in Saturday’s 16-1 laugher.
But they are not the only ones who are on fire to start the season. Here are some other top Hooks:
- Tony Kemp, 2B: .317/.461/.333 slash-line; 16 BB, 11 SO
- Colin Moran, 3B: .274/.321/.397 slash-line; 8 BB, 21 SO, 16 RBI and 3 HR
- Jio Mier, INF: .323/.432/.516 slash-line; 5 BB, 9 SO, 12 RBI
- Aaron West, P: 0-1, 3.68 ERA, 14.2 IP, 10 SO, 0.89 WHIP
- Lance McCullers, P: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 14.0 IP, 21 SO, 1.14 WHIP
- Kyle Westwood, P: 1-0, 1.38 ERA, 13.0 IP, 6 SO, 1.31 WHIP
Monday loss, the week ahead
Last night the Hooks’ started a 4-game series against the Athletics AA team, the Midland Rockhounds. Unfortunately, the Hooks let one slip away, with the Rockhounds scoring twice in the bottom of the night to walk off with a 9-8 final score.
The Hooks will play three more games in Midland to wrap up the series. On Friday, the Hooks will host the Frisco Roughriders for the beginning of an 8-game homestand, wrapping up with another 4-game set against the Rockhounds.
We hope you’ve enjoyed catching up with the Corpus Christi Hooks! We’re always looking for suggestions on what information you’d like more of in these posts, so if you have an idea, let us know in the comments below! We will be normalizing the format in the coming weeks as we get everything firing on all cylinders. Please check back with Climbing Tal’s Hill later this week for a look at the Jethawks and Grizzles! As always, Go ‘Stros!