The Astros have added a former top prospect on a minor-league deal.
On Monday, Apollo Media reported that the Houston Astros signed former Texas Longhorn C.J. Hinojosa. Robert Murray and Chandler Rome confirmed the signing after the report. The Houston native has spent his career in the minor leagues since 2015 with the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers.
Hinojosa, 26, played high school baseball for Klein Collins in Houston. After being drafted by the Astros in 2012, he decided to attend the University of Texas. While mainly playing shortstop, the right-hander has experience at second base and third base. At 5-foot-10, Hinojosa is great defensively and has been a trap for hard hit balls in the infield.
In 1742 minor league at bats, the newly signed Astros minor leaguer hit .274/.335 /.387 with 29 home runs. Hinojosa hits a lot of singles and doesn’t strike out as much. He also has short stints of speed as seen in the field and the base paths.
Hinojosa will mainly play the middle infield, and while never playing past Double-A, he will contend with Jeremy Pena this spring and for the MiLB season. Pena and Hinojosa both play differently in the infield, but both could contend for the AAA lineup this summer.
The last transaction dealing with Hinojosa was in 2019 when the Giants traded him to the Brewers for catcher Erik Kratz. Hinojosa has been downgraded in the minor leagues due to under development before and after being released in 2019, he signed with the Sugar Land Lightning Sloths of the Constellation Energy League in 2020. While only having 63 at bats, the right-hander struggled at the plate: .222/.306/.302.
Much like Jose Siri, who was signed in December after a long minor league career, the future is unknown. Possibly starting in AAA with the Sugar Land Skeeters could make sense as well as he has played in the stadium, has a lot of AA experience, and is from the Houston area.