Let’s take a look at an unfamiliar prospect in the Astros’ minor league system.
The 26-year old outfielder is no where near a household name, but he has found a way to stand out in the Astros organization. He was picked in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 out of a Florida High school and he has dealt with injuries, struggles at the plate, and the death of his father. It’s a low-risk move for Houston and who knows he might pay off big for the Astros after producing in Spring Training.
Goetzman was born in 1992 and grew up about 23 miles from Tropicana Field and grew up loving the game of baseball. He quickly became a fan of the Rays and in high school he was named Bradenton Herald All-Area Player of the Year and was committed to Florida Gulf Coast University before being drafted. 2014 was his best year in the minors he was named a mid-season All-Star in the Midwest League where he batted .315 with 20 doubles, 7 home runs, and a .864 OPS.
Goetzman goes down under
At 21-years old he found himself playing in the Australian Winter League and was one of four Rays players chosen to be a part of the team. He struggled with consistency early on ended up batting .293 in 45 games. It seemed like Goetzman was ready to take the next step and in 2015 he began with the Rays Advanced-A team. He took his biggest leap the following year in 2016 going up to Double-A and with a promising season ahead he ended up missing most of the year due to injury. Injuries continued to nag the outfielder and in 2017 he started the year in Triple-A Durham just one step closer to the big leagues but injuries plagued him again and he found himself back where he started in the Gulf Coast Rookie League.
A year ago he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and started with the Double-A Springfield team. He hit .244 and was demoted late in the season that ended up foreshadowing his release from the team. Now comes the Houston Astros, a team built off of second chances. Names like Will Harris, Charlie Morton, and many others come to mind when thinking about players turning around their careers in Houston. He was signed on July 9th after working out for the Team in West Palm Beach and finished last year with the Tri-City Valley Cats.
A new beginning
Goetzman finally got a taste of the “big leagues” by playing this past Spring Training with the Astros. He only received 10 at-bats, but batted .600 while slugging three doubles. He is currently starting the year with Double-A Corpus Christi, Goetzman realizes his time to play this game is running out and he’s going to need a strong season if he wants to find himself playing at Minute Maid Park.