Catching up with pitching prospect Ross Seaton

Ross Seaton, the Astros’ third-round draft pick in 2008, was at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, getting a tour from Mike Burns, the Astros coordinator of amateur scouting. Not that the Second Baptist High School product had never been to Minute Maid before, but Seaton got a behind the scenes tour of the clubhouse before watching batting practice from the field.

“It would be great to play here,” said Seaton, who turns 19 later this week.

Seaton recently wrapped up his first full season in professional baseball at Class A Lexington. He went 8-10 with a 3.29 ERA in 24 starts, throwing one complete game. In 136 2/3 innings, he allowed 137 hits, 69 runs (50 earned), 11 homers, 39 walks hit 12 batters and struck out 88.

He was part of the young and talented rotation at Lexington that included Jordan Lyles (7-11, 3.24 ERA), Robert Bono (10-8, 3.20 ERA), Kyle Greenwalt (8-13, 4.20) and Brad Dydalewicz (8-5, 3.93 ERA).

“It went really fast,” Seaton said. “I was gone seven months, and it doesn’t even seem like seven months. There’s a great group of guys down there and we fed off of each other, I’m sure.”

Seaton, who pitched in only three games last year at rookie-league Greeneville after signing with the Astros, didn’t know what to anticipate this season.

“It is completely different, but it’s better than I was expecting because you’re out on your own, you’re having fun and you get to play baseball every day,” he said. “You do it every day for five months. That was an adjustments, but it was a lot of fun.”

But there’s no rest for Seaton. Later this week, he will head to Kissimmee, Fla., to participate in the instructional league.

“I’m going to work on polishing things up, getting my command and getting the slider and curve over and all that stuff,” he said. “I’m going to keep working on the same stuff I’ve been working on all season, and now that we’re out of it this season, I can work on it a little bit more and tinker wit hstuff more than I could during the season. Hopefully, I’ll keep making progress.”

It will be interesting to see where the Astros start Seaton and the other pitchers who played in Lexington this year. Do they put them in the hitter’s paradise that his high Class A Lancaster, or do they ship them up to Double-A Corpus Christi? I’m guessing they’ll start at Lancaster but could wind up in Corpus by the end of the year. It would be nice to see one of these guys in the majors at 21 or 22 years old.






Wouldn’t they go to Lancaster if they were going to stay in Class A ball?

It would be nice to see the Astros move quickly with their prospects for a change and get them straight into AA, with mid-2011 as the (admittedly optimistic) target for their MLB debut.

You forgot to mention David Duncan. He pitched pretty good after he got out of the Califirnia League. I think we need to go to another low “A” ball league. That league is so full of launching pads that you simply cannot evaluate pitchers and hitters with any degree of confidence. Clemens had a great year, no doubt about that, but can he do again somewhere else? Is Jonathan Gaston really THAT good? I know it argues against my point that Brian Pelligini hit better at Lexington once he left California, but isn’t that called “the exeption that proves the rule?”

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