Astros Minors: Reed, Kemmer, Musgrove Among Award Winners


Astros Double-A Report: Corpus Christi Hooks

The Hooks took a number of post-season honors, confirming their status as one of the best in Minor League baseball. Although they did not win the Texas League Championship, individual and team accomplishments mark the 2015 season as a high point in team history.

The Hooks are the first team in twenty years to win as many as 89 Texas League games. Their 89-51 record topped the league, and all of minor league baseball (the Astros’ Class-A Midwest League Quad Cities River Bandits were second with 88 wins). Only the 2011 San Antonio Missions won more games (94).

More from Prospects

Rodney Linares won the Texas League’s Manager of the Year award in his first season in Corpus Christi. Obviously, Linares had plenty of talent to work with, however, talented players do not guarantee success, and Linares did an exceptional job keeping all of the moving parts working together.

“Congrats to @RondeyLinares for being named Manager of the Year in the Texas Lg! Job well done,” tweeted Astros Manager A.J. Hinch. (via Twitter).

A.J. Reed’s spectacular season won him several awards. The slugging first baseman who began the season at High-A Lancaster, and then moved up to Corpus, led the minor leagues in home runs (34), earning him the Joe Bauman Home Run Award. Reed also led the minors with 127 RBI, while hitting .340/.432/.612 between the JetHawks and the Hooks. Reed was named the MLB Pipeline’s Astros’ Organizational Prospect of the Year for position players.

“I want to thank the Astros organization and my teammates in both Lancaster and Corpus Christi,” said Reed in this story.

Jon Kemmer was a stalwart for the Hooks in 2015, having the best season in his three-year professional career. He won the Texas League batting title, hitting .327, ten points higher than second place. He led the league in OPS (.988), slugging (.574), earned a post-season All-Star spot, and is Corpus Christi’s Player of the Year, making him a strong candidate to make the Astros’ Top 30 Prospects list.

“I don’t care if I’m not on a top prospect list. I’m going to show up and do my job every day,” said Kemmer in this Matt Rogers story from August.

Joseph Musgrove had an exceptional season and was named the MLB Pipeline’s Astros’ Organizational Prospect of the Year for pitchers. Musgrove was 12-1, with a 1.88 ERA for Quad Cities (Low-A), Lancaster (Advanced-A), and Corpus (AA). In 100.2 innings, he struck out 99 and allowed only eight (yes, eight) walks.

Chris Devenski was 7-0 by mid-June and was the starting pitcher for the South Division in the Texas League All-Star game at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi. Although he didn’t win another game the rest of the season (7-4), his performance during the year was enough to garner the Hooks’ Pitcher of the Year Award, as well as League post-season All-Star honors.

Other notable accomplishments for Hooks’ players include Kyle Westwood, who tied for the league lead in wins (11) and complete games (2), and post-season All-Star honors for 3B Colin Moran, and reliever Jandel Gustave. As a team, the Hooks lead the league in runs (742), OBP (.356), saves (46), and fewest walks allowed (409).

Many of these players will likely move on next year; Hooks’ fans will have to wait to get an idea of what the 2016 team will look like. Whatever happens with the roster, Whataburger Field should again see a dynamic group of talented players looking to have a great season.

Photo courtesy Tammy Tucker.