Astros’ Minors: Luis Santana called up, Toro & Javier tear it down


The Astros AA Affiliate Corpus Christi Hooks look to continue their torrid May into June. Abraham Toro and Cristian Javier top players of the week.

One week has passed for the Astros‘ Minor League team, and to be honest not much has changed. In a good way. More balls being hammered, more opposing hitters waved away, more positive results for a Hooks team that is building on some very solid production.

Last week, the Hooks were only a half game behind the division-leading Frisco Rough Riders, and after splitting a series with them, they now sit a game and half behind. However, that’s not to say they have faltered in any category.  Frisco is a tough team to beat.

Let’s take a look at this past week’s leaders.

Hitter of the Week: Abraham Toro – (Houston Astros #21 Prospect)

After this week, one shouldn’t be surprised if Abraham Toro’s name was spoken in the same breath as Yordan Alvarez. One should also expect him to climb the prospect boards.

After being named the Texas League Player of the Week, Toro responded with even more productivity. Over his past 10 games, he slugged his way to a .526 average, three home runs and 12 RBI’s. That is a collective .410 average, five home runs, and 20 RBI’s in the month of May.

Bringing his season totals to .337 average, .434 OBP, .564 SLG, and a .998 OPS. Add on the nine total HRs, 42 RBIs, and 29 walks, and he is second only to Yordan Alvarez in productivity. The Astros are not hurting for players who can hit.

Pitcher of the Week: Cristian Javier (Houston Astros #29 Prospect)

In Cristian Javier’s stint with the Hooks, he has been dominant. With only his first appearance being a rocky two-inning four-run start, Javier has bounced back with a combined eight innings of work, giving up only two hits and striking out ten across all frames.

That brings his ERA between both the A-Affiliate Fayetteville and the Hooks to a solid 1.60 ERA and 24 strikeouts over 39.1 frames of work. His velocity has increased over those frames as he works in between 94 and 95 mph on his fastball.

Javier looks to continue his scoreless inning work against Frisco on Friday.

Who Got the Call?: Luis Santana – (Astros #19 Prospect)

Back on January 6th, the Astros made a low-key, but fantastic trade, in giving up J. D. Davis to the Mets for outfielder Ross Adolph, catcher Scott Manea, and infield prospect Luis Santana.

Luis Santana finished the 2018 season with a .348 average, .446 OBP, and .917 OPS, along with four home runs, 35 RBIs, and eight stolen bases across 204 plate appearances for the Kingsport Mets.

Once acquired he was sent to Single-A Affiliate Fayetteville, but injury prevented him from starting the season and garner more time at extended spring training.

Now with a clean bill of health, and a fresh start in AA, Santana looks to solidify himself in the infield that already boasts the likes of Joshua Rojas and Abraham Toro.

Santana has managed to break into the squad once, going 0-3 with a run scored on May 24th, but look for him to continue to nibble away at playing time.

Honorable Mentions: Seth Beer, Joshua Rojas, and Bryan Abreu

A couple of honorable mentions this week, as the offense has been that good.

After starting his AA campaign with a bang, Beer went through a bit of a slump, going 0-4 with four strikeouts on May 22nd, and 0-5 with two strikeouts the following day.  He shook off the rust and found himself back in the hit column with a 4-5 night on the 25th with 2 RBIs and a 2-4 night with a two-run home run on the next day.

Joshua Rojas shook off his May slump, collecting a handful of multi-hit games in the last week. Raising his average from .258 to a healthier .317 average. He has also smashed six home runs and seven RBIs in that span. Raising his season total to seven home runs and 29 RBIs. He is also boasting a .400 OBP and .945 OPS.

Abreu would have been the pitcher of the week, had it not been for Javier’s performance on the mound. Over his last three games, Abreu has limited hitters to only two runs and four hits while striking out 18 over 18.1 innings of work.

The Hooks next few games are crucial for their first half of the season. Starting a six-game road series today, the Hooks face the Midland Rock Hounds and then on to the ever imposing Frisco RoughRiders. Look for Luis Santana to make an impact and the other Hooks to continue tearing the cover off the ball.

Next. Astros’ Triple-A Notes: Tucker, Reed lead power surge. dark

Hooks Standings: 25-24 (.540) – 1.5 games behind Frisco
Upcoming Games: Midland Rock Hounds May 28-May 30, Frisco RoughRiders May 31 – June 3rd
Players to Watch: Luis Santana, Cristian Javier