Astros Double-A Report: Corpus Christi Hooks (June 30-July 5)
The Corpus Christi Hooks lost another good hitter on July 1 when Tyler White, DH/3B, was promoted to Triple-A Fresno. Star Hooks pitcher Chris Devenski was the starting pitcher in the Texas League All-Star game on June 30, throwing two perfect innings. Seven Hooks players took part in the League showcase held at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Hooks went 2-2 this week (through July 5) and yet again another prospect moved up. It is obviously a testament to the rest of the guys on this team and Manager Rodney Linares that they continue to win while steadily bleeding talent to the Grizzlies and the Astros. Every time a player gets the call to Fresno or Houston, someone else steps up and produces, keeping the winning attitude strong in Corpus Christi.
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White won the Double-A All-Star Home Run Derby in front of an appreciative crowd at Whataburger Field, one day before he was promoted. Devenski was dominant in his two opening innings, striking out two and not allowing a base runner while the South Division scored two runs. The host team was well represented in the game, as along with White and Devenski, fellow Hooks C Roberto Pena, 1B Conrad Gregor, pitchers Jandel Gustave, Travis Ballew, and Aaron West all appeared in the loss to the North Division. Hooks Manager Rodney Linares and his staff handled the South Division team.
Several former Hooks were also listed as All-Stars, but were promoted either to the Astros or to Fresno and were replaced, including Tony Kemp, Lance McCullers, Jr., Vincent Velasquez, and Michael Feliz (who returned to the Hooks).
White’s promotion could well open up a spot in the Hooks lineup for slugger A.J. Reed. Reed, playing for High-A Lancaster, is among the leaders in all of professional baseball in RBI and home runs. Like Brett Phillips before him, Reed is prime material for a promotion, and would likely continue his hot hitting in the Texas League.
Before Reed though, JetHawks infielder, and California League All-Star Jack Mayfield, from Del Rio, Texas, got the call to Double-A. Mayfield was a big part of the strong Lancaster team, batting .303, with seven home runs and 43 RBI in 66 games. Mayfield played shortstop primarily, with some second base experience.
Although the Hooks are 53-27 overall, they are only 5-5 to begin the second half. The team has scored more than five runs only six times since Tony Kemp was promoted to Fresno, and aside from Kemp, no Hooks hitter leads in any league category.
Active team batting leaders include Brett Phillips (.345 average and .424 OBP), Teoscar Hernandez (52 runs and 20 stolen bases), Conrad Gregor (67 hits, 16 doubles, two triples), Jon Kemmer (nine home runs, 39 RBI, 99 total bases, .514 slugging percentage, and .914 OPS).
As a team, Corpus still leads the Texas League in batting (.274), runs (406), RBI (367), stolen bases (105), and on base percentage (.354).
Chris Devenski leads the Hooks in wins (7), although he hasn’t won a game since June 10. He leads the team in ERA (1.32), and innings pitched. Michael Feliz leads in WHIP (0.84), and Jandel Gustave tops the team in saves (10).
Gustave’s ten saves is first in the Texas League. Hooks team pitching leads the league in ERA (3.03), saves (26), fewest runs allowed (260), fewest earned runs (235), fewest walks allowed (216), and lowest WHIP (1.22).
The biggest offensive output of the week came on successive nights, July 4th and 5th, when the Hooks scored five runs on eight hits each night. The weakest game was on July 3rd, when they managed only five hits and no runs against Tulsa. Clearly, the Hooks need to start scoring more runs to maintain their position at the top of the league.
The strongest team pitching performance was the July 4 win over Tulsa. Feliz, Chris Cotton, and Travis Ballew combined to allow the Drillers only one run on three hits and one walk. The toughest pitching performance was the July 5 loss to the Springfield Cardinals, who scored seven runs on eight hits (Tulsa scored five runs on ten hits in the July 3 loss). Overall though, Hooks pitching continues to keep the team in most games; a great pitching staff that needs more run support.
Corpus Christi finishes the road trip in Springfield on July 7th and then heads home for three games against Tulsa and three against Springfield.
- C Alfredo Gonzalez was promoted on June 30 from Lancaster to Corpus Christi. Gonzalez was batting .340 with two home runs and 15 RBI in 27 games for the JetHawks.
- RHP Joe Musgrove was placed on the seven-day disabled list on July 1. Musgrove is 2-0, with a 3.32 ERA in three games and 19 innings since being promoted from Class-A Lancaster.
- RHP Michael Feliz was optioned by the Astros back to the Hooks on July 1. The Astros called RHP Dan Straily from Fresno to replace Feliz.
- LHP Reymin Guduan was promoted on July 2 from Class-A Lancaster to the Hooks. Guduan was 0-3, 3.12 ERA in 13 games, 17.1 IP at Lancaster. He started the year at Low-A Quad Cities where he was 3-0, 0.75 ERA in six games and 12 innings.
- OF Brandon Meredith was activated on July 2 from the seven-day disabled list.
- Of Jon Kemmer was named Hooks’ June Player of the Month. Kemmer hit .403 with four home runs, 14 RBI, and 1.062 OPS.
- RHP Aaron West is the June Pitcher of the Month. West was 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA, 13 strikeouts, and only one walk in seven games.
- Houston’s Scott Feldman made a rehab start for the Hooks on July 5. He pitched three innings, gave up four hits, two earned runs, walked three and struck out three, throwing 68 pitches (38 strikes).
- Chad Qualls was also expected to pitch for Corpus this week in a rehab assignment.
- LHP Josh Hader and C Roberto Pena will play in the Pan American Games in Toronto, July 10-19.
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