Tis the season to follow minor league playoff baseball, especially this season when six of the Astros minor league teams having made or clinched a playoff spot. This Astros farm report will center on the Greeneville Astros, a rookie team in the Houston Astros organization. We have not given that much love to Greeneville this season on CTH, with our primary coverage has been on the top four teams in the system. Let’s change that now by looking at how Greeneville did in its first playoff series.
Before you start thinking about clicking the “x” on the top of the window, this rookie team is important because two first round picks for the Astros play there. The fifth overall pick and brother of Astros outfielder Preston Tucker, Kyle Tucker is on this team along with the 37th overall pick Daz Cameron. There are several other notable players on this team, but we will bring them up as we go.
Greeneville was facing the Mets rookie team who got off to a quick start in the series.
Game One (Thursday, September 3)
On the Mound
Erasmo Pinales (1-0, 1.93 ERA) got the opening game nod by Lamarr Rogers, the Greeneville manager. He pitched the first three innings of the game only allowing one hit and walk each while striking out three batters. After a perfect first inning, Pinales allowed a hit after striking out the first two hitters he faced in the second.
Hector Perez (0-0, 0.00 ERA in one game) came into the fourth inning in relief of Pinales. Perez pitched four innings, only allowing an unearned run on a personal fielding error in the seventh inning. Perez allowed two hits and a walk while striking out two batters.
Samil De Los Santos gave up a go-ahead homer in the top of the ninth to Darryl Night, which put the Mets ahead for good.
At the Plate
The 2015 first round picks Cameron and Tucker went a combined 1 for 8 in the game, with Cameron getting a single but was thrown out trying to steal second base. The 2014 15th round pick and first baseman Connor Goedert was the batting star of the game, despite striking out two times. He hit a solo home run in the fourth inning with two outs. Top shortstop prospect Osvaldo Duarte went 2-3 with a triple.
Game Two (Friday, September 4)
On the Mound
Diogenes Almengo (3-1, 2.31 ERA) got the nod to start the second game, and he did all that Rogers could have asked for. Almengo lasted five innings giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits plus a walk while striking out five. Propelled by an early three runs by his offense, Almengo was able not to stress about giving up two runs.
Edgardo Sandoval (0-0, 1.13 ERA) came into the game in the sixth inning and limited the Mets to two hits over the final four innings while striking out two hitters. Pretty impressive for the 19-year-old pitcher from Panama who got the save.
At the Plate
The offense came alive in game two, led by Tucker, who went 3-4 with a solo homer and driving in two runs. He also stole a base, which was better than Cameron, who went 1-4 in this game. Goedert continues to impress with a 2-4 night with two runs scored and a run batted in. The third baseman Randy Cesar also had two hits in the game. Rodrigo Ayarza had to lone caught stealing in the game after a single.
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Game Three (Saturday, September 5)
On the Mound
We need just to call the 20-year-old lefty Yhoan Acosta (1-4, 4.10 ERA), Ace Acosta, with his performance on Saturday night. Acosta pitched seven shutout innings allowing only three hits while striking out seven. That is what you call domination; I don’t care what level it is.
Pinales came in for the second time in the series and gave up another run in the one inning he pitched. This time he did not allow a home run. Luis Ramirez came in to close out the game in the ninth inning, only allowing a walk.
At the Plate
Take a wild guess as to who was a big part of Greeneville’s offense. Yes, it was Goedert who had another big game driving in the first two runs in the seventh inning of a scoreless game with a double. Goedert was driven in later that inning by a Randy Cesar single. With Ace Acosta on the mound, that’s all the Greenville Astros needed to win the game and the series.
Most of the players are first year or young international players, so there is no guarantee of them reaching the big leagues. However, they are still playing professional baseball and are advancing to the next round. According to Jayne Hansen below, the Astros will face Princeton in the League Championship series.
I hope the Greeneville Astros celebrated last night because they may not be part of this again. But then again, they will still be in the Astros system, so the will probably be good again next year. Goedert has agreed to do an interview with me, so check back with CTH for continued minors playoff coverage.