farmstros can be reached at farmstros@yahoo.com

Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Farmstros on BA's 32nd Team

I haven't received my Baseball America Prospect Handbook yet, so I don't know who the Astros' top 31 prospects are according to that publication. However, I do know that two Farmstros have been named to BA's 32nd Team.

David Duncan, LHP will spend the year at Lancaster and Jose Vallejo, IF who was part of the Pudge Rodriguez trade, will be at Round Rock in 2010 according to BA.

Astros May be Leaving Round Rock

Thanks to David at The Crawfish Boxes for the link to this article by Kirk Bohls with the Austin-American Statesman. Bohls discusses the possible ramifications of Nolan Ryan's recent purchase of the Rangers. Most notably, the Rangers may move their AAA affiliate from Oklahoma City to Round Rock, necessitate a new home for Houston's Triple A club.

Baseball America Prospect Chat All Day

Baseball America is hosting a chat about prospects all day long. The chat is being held to celebrate the release of BA's Prospect Handbook.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jason Castro #31

Jason Castro was the only Houston prospect named to the MLB.com Top 50 prospect list which was announced tonight. According to Ed Wade in this article Castro will go to Spring Training next month with a "legitimate chance to be standing behind the dish when the national anthem is played on Opening Day."

Top 50 Prospects to be Revealed Wednesday Night

MLB.com is scheduled to unveil their top 50 minor league prospects tonight at 7 p.m. Houston time. Here's a link to a story about the event. I am curious if Jason Castro and Jordan Lyles have a chance to sneak in to the top 50. MLB.com's blog has posted seven guest prospect lists in the last few days leading up to this event, and no Houston prospect appears on any of them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Farmstros Needs a little Help

I recently started working at Kroger as an overnight stocker. In the next six weeks, I am planning to propose to my store manager a marketing project that combines Farmstros with Kroger during the 2010 season. As a part of this project, I am trying to get an idea of who reads this blog in the Houston area, and who among that group shops at Kroger. If you are willing to help, please look at this list of Houston area Kroger stores.

Again, I would appreciate it if you could send the following information to farmstros@yahoo.com

1) Do you live in the Houston area?
2) How often do you shop at Kroger?
3) At which listed Kroger stores, if any, do you shop?

All of your email information will remain confidential.

Thanks for your help. I will do my best to not let my job interfere with Following the Astros of the Future

Saturday, January 23, 2010

And, Finally in Just 75 Days...

...These guys are likely to be wearing Lexington Legends' uniforms:

First Game: April 8 at Charleston, S.C.

C- Luis Alvarez
1B- Aaron Bray
2B- Jose Altuve
SS- Jio Mier
3B- Jonathan Meyer/Erik Castro
OF- J.D. Martinez
OF- Grant Hogue
OF- Brian Kemp
UTL- Enrique Hernandez
Starter- Dallas Keuchel
Starter- Tanner Bushue
Starter- Jose Cisnero
Starter- Colton Pitkin
Starter- Wander Alvino
Bullpen- Antonio Noguera
Bullpen- Kirk Clark
Bullpen- J.B MacDonald
Bullpen- Mike Modica

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Interview with Bobby Heck

Keith Elkins the play-by-play voice of the Lexington Legends interviewed Bobby Heck this week. They discussed mainly what Heck is doing at this time of year to prepare for the upcoming draft. You can hear the interview here.

Follow the Astros of the PAST

For those readers of Farmstros who are in the Houston area (or who are planning a visit between now and April 4), the Houston Heritage Society offers a chance to Follow the Astros of the Past. The Society located in downtown Houston is hosting an exhibit that traces the history of baseball in Houston from the Buffs, to the current Astros. As an added bonus, this Sunday from 1-4 admission is free and families are invited to enjoy a scavenger hunt with prizes and a visit from Junction Jack. Thanks to Alyson Footer for bringing this information to my attention.

The Last Time the Astros had Three First Round Picks

Bobby Heck and his staff will have three picks between the first round and the supplemental round of this June's draft. Zach Levine at Chron.com takes a look at what happened the other two times in history that Houston had this many early picks.

Let the Home Run Hitting Resume

Here's a look at who may be suiting up for the JetHawks at Lancaster's Clear Channel Field:

First Game April 8 at Bakersfield

C- Federico Hernandez/Jonathan Fixler/Jordan Comadena
1B- Phil Disher
2B- Andrew Simunic/Albert Cartwright
SS- Brandon Wikoff
3B- David Flores/Ebert Rosario
UTL- Michael Diaz
OF- T.J. Steele (Hopefully, he can stay healthy all season)
OF- Jay Austin
OF- Brian Pellegrini (He needs to show he can hit at High A)
Starter- Brad Dydalewicz
Starter- David Duncan
Starter- Chris Hicks
Starter- Shane Wolf
Starter- Leandro Cespedes
Bullpen- Pat Urckfitz
Bullpen- Brian Wabick
Bullpen- Matt Nevarez
Bullpen- Kyle Godfrey

*It will be interesting again this season to see how the organization handles pitchers in consideration of the hitter friendly ballparks in California.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 Draft Order

A rundown of the 2010 draft order is available

Houston drafts #8, #19, #33, and #59, to start off the festivities.

Meanwhile in the Shadow of the USS Lexington...

...a large number of these players should be starting for your Corpus Christi Hooks:

First Game: April 8 @ Tulsa

C- Jonathan Fixler/Brian Esposito (I am interested to see if Clemens catches at all this year)
1B- Mark Ori/Matt Weston (NOTE: Based on comments posted below, it looks as if Clemens will be at first base)
2B- Craig Corrado/Drew Meyer
SS- Marcos Cabral
3B- Jhonny Florentino (If Florentino moves up, David Flores could get a shot)
OF- Jack Shuck
OF- Jon Gaston (Can he hit HRs in Whataburger Field, too?)
OF- Collin DeLome
Utility- Koby Clemens (If he keeps hitting, he'll play somewhere, 1B)
Starter- Jordan Lyles
Starter- Fernando Abad
Starter- Doug Arguello
Starter- Kyle Greenwalt
Starter- Ross Seaton (He may start the season lower, but I expect AA by July or August)
Bullpen- Dan Meszaros
Bullpen- Henry Villar
Bullpen- Jordan Powell

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Starting for Your Round Rock Express?

A few free agent signings are still to come to complete Houston's AAA roster; however, the main line up seems to be in place.

First Game: April 8 @ New Orleans
Catcher- Jason Castro (Up to Houston by mid-season)
1B- Jimmy Van Ostrand (Any chance RR can play a few games in Midland?)
2B- Jose Vallejo (Pudge trade pick-up gets full season in Round Rock)
SS- Wladimir Sutil (26 errors in AA in 2009)
3B- Chris Johnson (Feliz signed, Johnson will spend year in AAA)
Utility- Edwin Maysonet (Will probably bounce between Dell Diamond and Minute Maid)
OF- Drew Locke (Can he do in AAA what he did in AA?)
OF- Yordany Ramirez (Will bat catch up with glove?)
OF- Brian Bogusevic (Second full season as a position player)
SP- Polin Trinidad (Looking for big league precision)
SP- Yorman Bazardo (Called up at 1st big league injury)
SP- Wilton Lopez (Ended 2009 on fire)
SP- Wesley Wright (Continues transition to starter)
SP- Sergio Perez (5th man in rotation)
Bullpen- Chia-jen Lo (Moving up fast. May see Houston before September)
Bullpen- Casey Daigle (Veteran presence, could see the big leagues this year)
Bullpen- Evan Englebrook (Impressed in Arizona Fall League)

Levine Blogs on the Minors

Zachary Levine blogs about his interview with CC manager Wes Clements. He includes a profile on Fernando Abad.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let's Get Together See Jordan Lyles Pitch

Provided that Fox Sports SW shows a few Round Rock and Corpus Christi games this season, I am tentatively planning a Farmstros viewing party at an establishment TBA on Houston's near Northwest side. Last year the broadcast schedule wasn't announced until near the start of the season. I will post more info. once I have it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Castro and Lo Headed to Big League Camp

Catcher Jason Castro and Reliever Chia-jen Lo are among five more players who have been invited to Houston's Major League Spring Training next month. These invites bring the total number of the Astros' non-roster invites to 14.

Puerto Rican Winter League Regular season Closes

The winter league in Puerto Rico finished its regular season Thursday. A few players on the Astros 40-man roster competed in Puerto Rico this off-season:

Brian Bogusevic, .231, 52 at bats (Bogusevic didn't play since December 2.)

Chris Johnson, .313, 67 at bats, 17 RBI (Johnson didn't play since December 15.)

Edwin Maysonet, .338, 77 at bats, 10 RBI

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haitian Farmstro was out of the country... is safe

Brian McTaggart passes on information that LHP Dieudone Paul a member of the Astros organization from Haiti was in the Dominican Republic with his family when the earthquake struck this week.

A note on the earthquake. There seems to be no shortage of avenues to contribute to the relief efforts for the people in Haiti. I, personally have been a supporter of an organization called Compassion International for more than 15 years. Compassion allows people to sponsor children around the world who are in need. This organization serves over 60,000 children in Haiti including many in the parts of the nation hit most hard by the earthquake. If you are looking for a way to help with the relief efforts, I recommend this organization.

The Valverde Effect

I'm not sure what effect a butterfly flapping its wings in South America will have in Houston in five months, but I do know the effect of Jose Valverde writing his name on a piece of paper in Detroit will have in Houston five months from now, more draft picks for the Astros. Valverde has signed with Detroit as a free agent, which means the Astros will get Detroit's first pick in June's draft (#19 over-all). Houston also receives a pick between the first and second round as compensation for the loss of a type A free agent. With these extra picks, Bobby Heck and company will have four selections in approximately the first 45 picks on June 7.

Jeremy Johnson back on the Farm

A recent article by Brian McTaggart at Astros.com discusses some of the minor league free agents the Astros have signed for the 2010 season. I had already logged most of these signings on the Off-season transaction page. However, one name came as a surprise to me. According to McTaggart, RHP Jeremy Johnson has re-signed with the Astros. Johnson, who has never been higher than Triple A, spent the first half of last season with Round Rock. However, he was released in July and finished the year playing in Korea.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bourgeois Designated

According to the Astros website, outfielder Jason Bourgeois has been designated for assignment to make room for Brett Myers on the 40-man roster. Bourgeois was picked up when Milwaukee waived him in October 2009.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Relying on Felix

In a recent article discussing the Astros decision not to pursue Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, Ed Wade indicated that rather than spending a large chunk of cash on one player, Houston wanted to allow Felix Francisco and his staff to sign numerous players from the Latin market.

Felix Francisco has been the club's director of Latin American Scouting since November 2007. His time with Houston reaped its first tangible rewards for the big league club in December. Luis Bryan, IF, 19 was part of the trade that added Matt Lindstrom to the Astros bullpen. Bryan had been one of the first players that Francisco signed in November of 2007.

With 2010 being Francisco's third full season, his signings may start making noise in the lower part of the minor league system. Five to keep an eye on:

Jose Cisnero, RHP, 20. Cisnero was signed 12/2007. He spent 2009 at short season Greeneville where he posted a 3.56 ERA in 55 2/3 IP.

Jose Perdomo, RHP, 18. Perdomo signed 12/2008. In his first season with the DSL Astros, Perdomo posted a 3.64 ERA in 47 IP.

Leandro Alayon, RHP, 17. Alayon signed 8/2008. Alayon had a 2.32 ERA in 50 1/3 IP for the DSL Astros.

Dieudone Paul, LHP, 22. Paul signed 6/2009. After signing in June, Paul posted a 1.65 ERA in 54 2/3 IP for the DSL Astros.

Francis Ramirez, RHP, 18. Ramirez signed 11/2008. Ramirez had a 4.03 ERA in 29 IP for the DSL Astros.

Who Does Myers Push Out? Part II

The Astros have not officially announced any move to add Brett Myers to the 40-man roster. After further consideration, I am guessing that Yorman Bazardo will be the odd man out being outrighted to Triple A or released. With Myers giving the rotation an extra proven arm, Bazardo becomes expendable.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Who Does Myers Push Out?

The signing of starter Brett Myers as a free agent means someone will need to be removed from the 40-man roster to make space for him. The top candidate to be outrighted or released would be OF Yordany Ramirez.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010