Opening Day in Major League Baseball has come and gone.
The Astros are playing like it’s October already. Jose Altuve is “the modern Tony Gwynn from the right side” according to Craig Biggio. The first series win came against the Rangers. And Josh Reddick finally got a hit!
But now it’s time for Minor League Baseball gets in full swing!
Kyle Tucker is in Fresno waiting his turn with the big boys. Forrest Whitley and Yordan Alvarez are in Corpus Christie.
Meanwhile, the Buies Creek Astros and Quad Cities River Bandits begin their trek through the lower level farm systems.
Buies Creek Will Bring the Heat
Recent draftees like Corbin Martin headline Buies Creek, but he is not the Opening Day starter. That belongs to Jorge Alcala. Alcala is 6’3” right-hander who began his career in Rookie ball in 2016. By the end of 2017, he had advanced to Buies Creek, owning a 2.87 ERA in 49 career games. Hector Perez and Carson LaRue will start the next two games.
The Astros start their season with seven straight road games – beginning in Salem – and play 18 games over the first 18 days! No doubt we will quickly find out about the overall condition of the team.
Quad Cities Has Some Big Time Power
The Quad Cities River Bandits open their season with two games at home against Cedar Rapids and turn around to play two at Cedar Rapids. The River Bandits’ Opening Day starter will be 6’3” left-hander Patrick Sandoval (who had a cumulative 4.09 ERA across three levels last season) followed by Tyler Ivey and then Yohan Ramirez.
The River Bandits play 24 games over the first 25 days of the season.
Some of the prospects you may have heard about for Quad Cities include J.B. Bukauskas, Jake Adams, and J.J. Matijevic. Bukauskas is typically the fourth-ranked prospect for the Astros. Adams has major potential. He hit ten home runs in 48 games last season but only hit for a .170 average. Matijevic can play multiple positions and hit .228 with seven home runs in his first season out of Arizona last year.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the Astros minor league teams this year!
***Stats from MiLB.com***