Houston Astros Farm Report: Hoes, Presley, and Straily Producing at Fresno


The Houston Astros have several players on their current 25-man roster that contributed to the Fresno Grizzlies comfortable first-place lead in the PCL. Preston Tucker, Domingo Santana, Carlos Correa, and Jon Singleton were big-time contributors for the Grizzlies at some point this year, but production leads to promotion and ultimately a loss of talent for the minor league club.

Only a few days removed from the latest promotion of Jon Singleton, the Grizzlies struggled to produce much offense last week – going 2-6. This includes a current 4-game losing streak while averaging only 2.5 runs per game. A week that also saw a disappointing AAA debut from Mark Appel (7 earned runs in 3 innings) and a human Tony Kemp as he struggled through a 5 game, 1-for-20 stretch before collecting two hits on Sunday.

Nonetheless, this is the nature of the game below the major league level as players work on their weaknesses and managers find themselves working with less as the year goes on. Although the team may not return to its early season dominance, the Grizzlies are currently 44-34 and still hold a 6-game lead in the PCL.

Potential trade targets

On the bright side, Alex Presley (.312/ .347/ .390) and L.J. Hoes (.338/.419/.467) continue to produce and put together valuable seasons as potential trade pieces.

Both Presley, 29, and Hoes, 25, struggled in 2014 with the Astros and seemed to have a lower ceiling than most of the other young outfielders above and below them in the organization. Their strong performance thus far and the approaching trade deadline will likely allow Luhnow to play his hand, even if it’s not part of a deal to acquire a veteran pitcher.

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Straily still a bright spot

Dan Straily has bounced back from a few rough starts in early June, posting three consecutive starts without allowing more than 2 earned runs and going at least six innings to close out the month. On Saturday, though, his six inning, 2-run effort was for naught as the Grizzlies only managed a single run, and he took the loss.

Is there a possibility that Straily gets a spot start in the Astros’ rotation in place of Brett Oberholtzer? Straily’s most recent outing lines up with Oberholtzer’s spot in the rotation, and the two could essentially switch roles in the organization. The other possibility, though, is that the Astros go with four starters this week as they are off on Thursday. They could essentially skip that spot in the rotation without the other starters losing a day of rest.

The Grizzlies are traveling to El Paso for a 4-game set, which should include Appel’s second start, before returning home on Saturday to take on Tacoma.

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