Friday, April 13, 2012
Farmstros Reunion at Constellation Field
Seven former members of the Astros' organization are getting ready to play baseball just down the road from Minute Maid Park for the Sugar Land Skeeters. Canadian Olympian and member of the 2012 class of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Jimmy Van Ostrand(pictured above) spent six years in the Astros' system before being released at the end of this year's spring training. The Skeeters are an expansion team in the Atlantic League, which is the highest level independent league in baseball. Van Ostrand pointed out that playing for the Skeeters gives him a chance to play for all 30 teams, rather than just one. Players in the Atlantic League are eligible to sign with affiliated teams throughout the season.
Drew Locke(pictured above) spent the last three seasons in the Astros' organization in Corpus Christi, Round Rock, and Oklahoma City. He became a minor league free agent for the first time after the 2011 season. Playing for the Skeeters gives Locke a chance to play games close to his hometown of Boston for the first time since he left Boston College. The Skeeters play all their road games on the east coast.
Lance Pendleton(pictured above) is the newest member of the Skeeters. He is joined in the Farmstros reunion by Colton Pitkin, LHP, Gary Majewski, RHP, Ryan Houston, RHP, and Ryan McKeller, RHP. The reunion will continue as seven other former Astros' organization members are on the rosters of other Atlantic League teams. These seven are Kody Kirkland(Lancaster), Gustavo Chacin(Long Island), Santo Luis(York), Raymar Diaz(Bridgeport), Gilbert de La Vara*(Bridgeport), Lou Santangelo(Somerset), and Douglas Arguello(Somerset). *de La Vara never played in the regular season for the Astros or any of their affiliates, but he was a Rule 5 Draft pick who went to Spring Training with the team in 2009.
The Skeeters will head to York, Pennsylvania Monday for Spring Training. They return to Sugar Land for Opening Day on April 26.