Astros Triple-A Notes: Round Rock Express win division, begin playoffs

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 11: Nick Tanielu #81 of the Houston Astros is congratulated by Garrett Stubbs #77 after hitting a home run against the New York Mets during the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game at Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 11, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Astros defeated the Mets 6-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 11: Nick Tanielu #81 of the Houston Astros is congratulated by Garrett Stubbs #77 after hitting a home run against the New York Mets during the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game at Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 11, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Astros defeated the Mets 6-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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The Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express won their division and advanced to the postseason.

The Round Rock Express have finished the regular season atop their division and advanced to the playoffs. They will play Iowa in a best-of-five series beginning Wednesday at Dell Diamond as they seek to bring back a championship for the Astros organization.

The Express end the regular season with an 84-56 record, good for a .600 winning percentage and the best record in the Pacific Coast League. The team’s playoff starting rotation will be Kent Emanuel, Brandon Bielak, Rogelio Armenteros and Cristian Javier. Forrest Whitley is joining the team to pitch out of the bullpen.

CTH will keep you updated on Round Rock’s progress through this postseason. Here are some standout performances from the regular season’s final week, most of which were by Express pitchers.

Big Time Finishes

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The aforementioned Emanuel was named PCL Pitcher of the Week for the season’s final week. He threw eight scoreless innings on Aug. 27, allowing only one hit and no walks with six strikeouts. The southpaw finishes with an 8-2 record and 3.90 ERA in 101.2 innings for the Express this season.

Jose Urquidy‘s final start in Triple-A this year went well. The right-hander tossed 5.2 scoreless innings on Aug. 26, allowing three hits and striking out eight. He finishes his season with a 4.63 ERA in 70 innings for the Express. He was already added to the big league roster, so he will not factor in to Round Rock’s playoff plans.

Bielak’s final start also went well, as he hurled six scoreless innings on Thursday, allowing three hits and a walk and striking out six. The Astros No. 11 prospect had an up and down campaign but showed flashes of serious potential. The righty finished with an 8-4 record and 4.41 ERA.

Javier’s final start, which was just his second after recently making his Round Rock debut, saw him fan eight hitters across five innings of two-run ball. The team’s No. 10 prospect climbed from Class-A Advanced this season and put up sterling numbers everywhere he went. Overall, he went 8-3 with a 1.74 ERA in 113.2 innings with 170 strikeouts this season.

Myles Straw finished on a high note as well. He’s sporting a nine-game hitting streak, during which he’s hit .395. He finishes his Round Rock season with a .321/.391/.394 line and 19 stolen bases in 23 attempts. He’ll be back with the Astros soon.

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Finally, first baseman Taylor Jones has hit safely in six straight games, including a pair of homers and seven RBIs. He concludes the season with a .291/.388/.501 line with 22 homers and 84 RBIs.

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