Baby Astros have certainly been developing winning records this season. In the past week, the Double-A Hooks have continued such ways. A 4-game series at home ended up being a three gamer versus San Antonio due to a rainout. They also played host to the Midland Rockhounds (OAK AA) over the weekend. The Hooks took 2 of 3 against the Missions and won 3 of the four against Midland to improve to 29-14 and extend their lead over the Rockhounds to 7.5 games.
Telvin Nash and Daniel Minor have been victims of the Astros’ growth as an organization. Both of them were granted their unconditional release despite solid track records in the minor leagues. Nash had 102 homers in bits of 7 MiLB seasons (461 games) along with a .241 batting average. A native of Dripping Springs, Minor was in his 4th season in the minor leagues. He had worked in a 3.57 ERA in 221 2/3 innings pitched. Best wishes to both of these young men for future opportunities in the game.
There was a handful of other roster moves for the Hooks. Mitchell Lambson and Tyler Heineman were both promoted to AAA Fresno. While Luis Flores (C), Trent Woodward (C), Michael Feliz (P) and Chris Cotton (P) were added to the roster.
Michael Feliz is the most significant transaction this week. Many people remember the curious moves, or rather a near lack of moves, to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft late last year. Feliz had a 4.41 ERA in 32 2/3 innings with 33 strikeouts and 12 walks. Lancaster is known to not be the friendliest of environments for pitchers and likely skewed his ERA the wrong way. In my opinion, these numbers are pretty solid for a promotion from the California League. Feliz is the Astros’ #5 prospect, according to the MLB Pipeline.
Speaking of the Rule 5 Draft, Jandel Gustave was returned to the Astros system earlier this year. He has been working as the Hooks closer so far and has generally done well in that role. Jandel has recorded five saves in 7 opportunities, striking out 11 while walking eight batters and allowing a .237 batting average.
Jon Kemmer enjoyed a solid week. His batting average is now up to .258 on the season with five home runs and 18 RBI. In last weeks 12-8 win over San Antonio, Kemmer had a strong 4 for five effort including 4 RBI, and two runs scored. Jio Mier recorded two homers in that game.
Tyler White is an unranked prospect who has hit at each level in the Astros system. A 33rd round pick of the 2013 draft, White has a .304/.417/.498 slash line in parts of 3 MiLB seasons. He is listed as the Hooks current DH and excelling in that role with a .908 OPS through 27 games.
Be sure to check back into Climbing Tal’s Hill daily for updates on the other Astros farm teams. Also, this week writers are hosting a “Trade for Starting Pitcher” series, so be sure to check into those pieces and give us your feedback! Go Stros!
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