Astros Minors Update: Bregman Joins JetHawks

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In this week’s Astros Minors Update, I’m going to delve into the new look of Houston’s high-A affiliate, the Lancaster JetHawks.  We’ve seen some great talent come and go in Lancaster this year, and that trend continues with a flurry of moves this week that see some new talent come in and others promoted out.

The highest profile move made was the promotion of shortstop, Alex Bregman from Quad Cities.  The second overall pick in this year’s draft appears to be on a fast track through the ranks of Houston’s farm system.  Having shown a ton of maturity and experience in his time with the US National Team and his subsequent college career at LSU, Bregman is thought to be close to big league ready.

Jun 18, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers infielder Alex Bregman (8) slides into first base against the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

In 31 games at the Quad Cities A-ball club, Bregman batted .246 but had an impressive .353 OBP.  It’s important to remember that six weeks ago, the 21-year-old was playing in the college world series.  Expectations are that he’ll settle in fine.

Bregman wasn’t alone in his call-up to the JetHawks.  Left fielder Sean McMullen also joins the club from the River Bandits.  McMullen hit .239 with a .322 OBP in 66 games this year before his promotion.  There is not a ton of power here, but if Derek Fisher is moved in a deal or promoted to Corpus Christi, that may explain the addition of McMullen to Lancaster.

The JetHawks also gained big right-hander, David Paulino from Quad Cities.  The 21-year-old is 6’7″ and 215 pounds.  Naturally, that type of body lends itself to producing a great fastball.  Paulino can touch triple digits on occasion.  He was originally acquired by Houston in the Jose Veras deal with Detroit in 2013.  In 5 starts at Quad Cities this year, he was 3-2 with a 1.57 E.R.A. and 0.98 WHIP.  It will be interesting to see how his stuff plays in the California League.

While the High-A affiliate gained some talent, they also lost some.  The second baseman, Jose Fernandez, who had started the season strong with Lancaster, was sent to the River Bandits this past week.  In his last ten games, he was batting .088.  The middle of the infield got a little crowded with the addition of Bregman, so Fernandez was the odd man out.

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Finally, Edison Frias got the call from the Corpus Christi Hooks this past week.  The talented young righty will likely enjoy getting out of the hitter-friendly California League, even if it means facing much better talent.  Frias was 8-4 with a 4.18 E.R.A and 1.288 WHIP at Lancaster.  As is the case with most pitchers in that league, it’s hard to know what those numbers really mean.  I guess we’ll find out a lot more about Frias as he joins the Hooks.

Stay tuned to Climbing Tal’s Hill for all Minor and Major League coverage concerning the Astros organization and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @astrosCTH.

Next: Astros Rumors: Will Luhnow go ‘All-In’ for Cole Hamels?

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