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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.


The Morning Coffee Mix - KFEE Digital Radio said...

Another good comparison is seeing how many Texas kids are on the roster. They too see the atvantage of playing close to home.

farmstros said...

There are quite a few Texas and/or Houston guys on the roster. However, my focus is just on the guys with Houston org. background. I'll leave the specific Houston angle to the Houston media.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the update; perhaps Van Ostrand or one of the others can do repeat of our friend Mark Saccommano's fantasy rise to the big leagues.....

The Astros release of Pendleton is a little surprising, i n that he pitched in the bigs for the Astros and yankees just last season....on the other hand, the new brain trust appears to be more interested in looking at players with possible upside than at stopgaps, as the release of players like Pendleton and Livian Hernandez would seem to indicate

farmstros said...

Pendleton might just be a matter of getting let go so late and there not being a convenient opening. If he pitches well in Sugar Land, I assume he'll be back somewhere in AAA or MLB soon.