Norris, Bazardo All-Stars at Round Rock
Round Rock pitchers Bud Norris and Yorman Bazardo have been elected to represent the 2009 Pacific Coast League All-Star Team when it takes on the International League All-Stars at PGE Park in Portland on July 15.
Norris, 24, led the PCL with a 2.17 ERA entering Wednesday and ranked first with 88 strikeouts against 44 walks. He had also limited hitters to a .224 batting average – best among active Round Rock pitchers — before getting roughed up Wednesday.
Rated as the Houston Astros’ top pitching prospect by Baseball America, Norris fanned 84 batters in 80 innings of work with Double-A Corpus Christi in 2008 despite battling an elbow strain. He has made 15 starts for the Express this season, allowing more than two runs three times.
Norris was roughed up by Nashville in a 6-3 Express loss Wednesday. He allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in the loss – both season highs for the right-hander.
Bazardo, 23, ranks third among PCL pitchers with a 2.79 ERA and is tied for second with seven wins. He has limited hitters to a .236 batting average and carries a 1.06 WHIP – best among active Round Rock pitchers.
Bazardo is 4-0 in eight appearances at The Dell Diamond and has limited hitters to a .222 batting average on the road. He was 4-0 with 28 strikeouts against seven walks over six May starts, including a complete game shutout in New Orleans on May 31. He has not lost a start since April 30.
The international signing period begins Thursday and runs through the end of the season. The Astros, of course, have been more active in global signings since general manager Ed Wade was hired near the end of the 2007 season.
Wade said director of Latin American Scouting Felix Francisco has his eyes on a few players who could be signed by Houston.
“He thinks once the feeding frenzy ends and when the crazy money flutters back to earth, there are a couple of guys he has some strong interest in, and we have given him some budget flexiblity to go after some guys,” Wade said.