Astros Triple-A Notes: Bielak throws gems, Tucker goes 30-30

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 14: Brandon Bielak #87 of the Houston Astros throws the ball against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at The Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 14, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 14: Brandon Bielak #87 of the Houston Astros throws the ball against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at The Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 14, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /
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Astros pitching prospect Brandon Bielak has put together two straight impressive starts.

Brandon Bielak, the Astros‘ No. 11 prospect according to MLB.com, is on a bit of a roll lately. The 23-year-old left-hander, who was an 11th-round draft pick in 2017, has had some ups and downs, but more ups as of late.

Bielak tossed six scoreless innings on Aug. 17, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out nine. He followed that up with a 10-strikeout performance on Friday in which he went seven innings and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks.

Overall, Bielak is 7-4 with a 4.74 ERA in 13 starts and one relief appearance for Round Rock this season. He was 3-0 with a 3.75 ERA at Double-A Corpus Christi before getting the call to Triple-A. At this point, consistency seems to be his biggest need for improvement. Based on some of his outings, he’s got a bright future ahead of him.

Tucker Hits 30-30 Plateau

Top prospect Kyle Tucker has become just the fifth player in Pacific Coast League history to put up 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season. The feat is so rare simply because players who are good enough to put up those numbers don’t always stay in Triple-A long enough to do it. Tucker, however, is getting plenty of exposure to Triple-A pitching.

Tucker now has 30 steals in 35 attempts to go along with his 32 homers and 94 RBIs. He’s likely to join the Astros in September once Round Rock’s season ends, but his status for next year is still up in the air. I recently suggested the Astros trade Josh Reddick this offseason to open up a spot for Tucker, so we’ll see if his 30-30 feat forces the front office to do just that.

Top-10 Prospect Makes Debut

Cristian Javier, the team’s No. 10 prospect, made his Triple-A debut on Sunday with resounding success. The 22-year-old right-hander tossed six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out eight.

Javier dominated Class-A Advanced to start the year, posting an 0.94 ERA with 40 strikeouts and a .147 batting average against in 28.2 innings. He was similarly effective in Double-A, with a 2.07 ERA in 74 innings with 114 strikeouts and just a .124 batting average against.

His Achilles Heel has been the free pass, as he averaged 4.8 walks per nine innings leading up to his Round Rock debut. Still, he’s shown a lively fastball with a pair of strong breaking pitches, so the Astros could end up reaping the benefits of signing him out of the Dominican Republic for just $10,000 in 2015.

Additional Notes

Infielder Nick Tanielu has continued to play well in an everyday role for the Express. He’s hit .314 over his last 10 games with four homers and eight RBIs. On the season, he’s at .299/.359/.519 with 17 homers, 37 doubles and 81 RBIs while playing first, second and third base.

Next. Valdez pitches gem to complete sweep. dark

Rogelio Armenteros bounced back from an ineffective spot start in the majors with a seven-inning complete game on Saturday (the game was shortened as it was part of a doubleheader). He gave up one run on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts, bringing his record to an even 6-6 at Round Rock this season.

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