Houston Astros Minors Update: The Rise of Bregman with the JetHawks

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This week’s Astros Minors Update focuses on the high-A Lancaster JetHawks.  This team is a far cry from the bashing Jethawks of May and June.  That team sported the likes of A.J. Reed and the now Milwaukee farm hand Brett Phillips.  Today, Lancaster still boasts some great talent, but not the power that was getting this team to victory through the California League.

The biggest name on the roster these days is the number 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Alex Bregman.  Sitting atop the latest prospect rankings for the vaunted Houston organization, Bregman has moved quickly to high-A.  His maturity, makeup, and leadership seem to be what the organization likes best about him.  He certainly hasn’t been promoted because of his numbers on the field.  The young shortstop is hitting an even .200 with 0 r.b.i. in his last 15 professional games.  I won’t beat him up too much, though.  He is in his second month of pro ball.

Derek Fisher might be the best overall hitter on the team.  He is batting .293 with three homers and nine r.b.i. over his last 15 competitions.  Fisher is primarily batting third in the order these days, although he might be better suited in the leadoff or second spot with his skill set.  Apart from his hitting, he is also a speedy base runner who has 24 stolen bags against just five busted attempts.

J.D. Davis had a great night in last night’s 10-2 victory over Bakersfield.  The slugging third baseman was 3 for 5 with his 17th long ball of the year.  He now has five homers in his last ten games, so watch out for the man who figures to be in the mix for Houston’s hot corner future.  After slumping in the middle of the season, he now has his batting average up to .278.  I had suspected that he was battling an injury at one point, but if that was the case, he’s healthy now.

I would also beg you not to overlook the talented arms down in Lancaster.  I preach it every week.  These numbers are inflated because of the hitter-friendly parks and league.  Do not worry too much about the inflated E.R.A.s and WHIP numbers.  Instead, focus on the “stuff.”

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A good example of this would be Akeem Bostick.  The righty has a 6.32 E.R.A in 6 starts for the JetHawks.  Is it more likely that this is the true reflection of who he is?  Take into account that in 8 starts for Quad Cities earlier this year, he had a 1.50 E.R.A.  The true Bostick lies somewhere between, but he is a tall, lanky right-hander with a deceptive throwing motion.  When he’s ready to move on to Corpus, we’ll get a better read on his abilities.

Hopefully, the team can put together a few more hits to support their pitching staff.  Lancaster dropped 4 of its last 6 and needed to be more consistent to get back to their winning ways.  I don’t expect too much movement from this roster in the next couple of weeks, but general manager Jeff Luhnow may decide to move up an outfielder after trading away Phillips in the Carlos Gomez deal.

Stay tuned to Climbing Tal’s Hill for all of your Houston Astros organizational information and follow us at @astrosCTH.

Next: Houston Astros Cribs: Exclusive Look at Jose Altuve’s Casa.

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