Houston Astros Farm Report: Lancaster Fights for Playoffs

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The minor league season is charging towards its end within the next few weeks and while may Houston Astros affiliates have already secured spots in the playoffs, the Lancaster JetHawks will have to fight for their spot.  The Astros High-A team entered Wednesday with a 3.5 game deficit between themselves and the first place High Desert Mavericks (TEX).  To complicate matters for the JetHawks, Ranco Cucamonga (LAD) is in second place, just 1.5 games back of the lead.

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Lancaster has gone 6-4 over their last ten games and will need some help to go along with some consistency if they want to join the playoff party.

As for the bigger prospects on the team, J.D. Davis cooled off significantly from his recent torrid pace. He is just 1 for his last 19.  The slugging third baseman had brought attention back on himself lately with a consecutive game homer streak that quickly brought his total for the year up to 22.  He was placed on the 7-day disabled list yesterday retroactive to August 16th.

Derek Fisher has hit safely in 8 of his last ten games.  His season average is .273 split between Quad Cities and Lancaster.  He has only hit .255 for the JetHawks in 68 games which are a disappointment, but his total numbers on the year are phenomenal.  He has 21 homers and 26 steals in 2015.  He’ll be worth watching down the stretch and will likely start 2016 at Double-A Corpus.

Jun 23, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Virginia Cavaliers outfielder Derek Fisher (23) drives in two runs in the first inning against the Vanderbilt Commodores during game one of the College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Since last week’s report, where it appeared Alex Bregman had settled in at Lancaster, the 21-year-old shortstop and top-rated Astros prospect is 7-24 with four RBI and a couple of steals.  Bregman now sits at .281 since joining the JetHawks and looks to be continuing his ascent.

Those three bats are the focal point of the Astros California League representatives, but we can’t have an update this week without talking about Chase McDonald.  The slugging first baseman has homered five times over his last ten games and now has 25 on the season.  His OPS for 2015 is an outstanding .950.  He has struck out 100 times in 324 at-bats, but he has still accumulated some impressive numbers when he connects.

All those bats will be needed if the JetHawks want to get into the postseason, but even if they miss it, the experience will be the most important thing.

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