Results tagged ‘ 2011 ’

A look back at two years of Astros trades

With the Trade Deadline over, it’s time to reflect on the deals the Astros have made in the past three seasons. Houston has made a flurry of deadline deals in 2010, ’11 and ’12 as it rebuilds and stockpiles prospects.

In that time span, the Astros said goodbye to, among others, Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn, Brett Myers, Carlos Lee, J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, Wandy Rodriguez and Chris Johnson.

In the month of July of this year alone, they acquired 13 Minor Leaguers and two players to be named later and were the most active team when it came to trading.

Here’s a look at the major deals the Astros have made in the last two years (you can click on the players’ names for his current stats):

Date: July 29, 2010.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: LHP J.A. Happ, OF Anthony Gose, SS Jonathan Villar.

Phillies receive: RHP Roy Oswalt, cash.

The skinny: Oswalt had requested a trade after being frustrated with how the Astros were playing. The Astros obliged, getting a low-cost starting pitcher in Happ and a pair of prospects. Gose was immediately shipped to the Blue Jays, and Villar remains one of the team’s top prospects, though he recently broke his hand punching a door.

Date: July 29, 2010.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: IF Brett Wallace.

Blue Jays receive: OF Anthony Gose.

The skinny: After acquiring Gose from the Phillies, the Astros immediately turned around and dealt him to the Jays in exchange for Wallace. Considering Wallace was a first baseman, that began speculation that Lance Berkman was on his way out the door.

Date: July 31, 2010.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: RHP Mark Melancon, IF Jimmy Paredes.

Yankees receive: 1B Lance Berkman, cash.

The skinny: Berkman had the right to approve any trade, and when the Astros came to him and said they possibly had a deal with the Yanks, he didn’t stand in Houston’s way of getting more young players. Berkman didn’t do much with the Yankees, and Melancon wound up taking over as closer in 2011 before later being shipped to Boston. Paredes has moved around the infield, but he’s one of the most athletic players in the system and is putting up stellar numbers in Triple-A this year.

Date: Dec. 23, 2010.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: LHP Wes Musick, RHP Jonnathan Aristil.

Rockies receive: RHP Matt Lindstrom.

The skinny: Lindstrom pitched one year in Houston and was inconsistent while battling to stay healthy, so the Astros spun him to Colorado and took a flier on a pair of Minor League pitchers.

Date: July 19, 2011.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: RHP Henry Sosa, RHP Jason Stoffel.

Giants receive: IF Jeff Keppinger.

The skinny: Keppinger was a solid hitter who performed well in Houston, but with the club in rebuilding mode, the Astros dealt him for a pair of Minor League arms. Sosa wound up pitching in the Astros’ rotation last year, but is now playing in Korea. Stoffel is closing at Double-A and has some potential.

Date: July 29, 2011.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: RHP Jarred Cosart, IF Jonathan Singleton, RHP Josh Zeid, player to be named later (OF Domingo Santana).

Phillies receive: OF Hunter Pence.

The skinny: Pence was Houston’s best hitter and due to receive a big raise in arbitration, which really didn’t make much sense for the Astros considering the direction the club was going. Thus, the popular outfielder was sent to the contending Phillies, who paid a high price. Cosart and Singleton became Houston’s top two prospects, and some scouts believed Santana might wind up being the best player in the deal. Pence was traded by the Phillies to the Giants a year later.

Date: July 31, 2011.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: OF Jordan Schafer, RHP Juan Abreu, RHP Paul Clemens, LHP Brett Oberholtzer.

Braves receive: CF Michael Bourn.

The skinny: Two days after trading Pence to the Phillies, the Astros traded another popular player by sending Houston native Bourn, a Gold Glove outfielder who had come into his own offensively, to the Braves. The haul wasn’t quite as impressive as what the Astros got in return for Pence, but the three Minor League arms have some promise. Schafer hasn’t lived up to potential.

Date: Dec. 14, 2011.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: SS Jed Lowrie, RHP Kyle Weiland.

Red Sox receive: RHP Mark Melancon.

The skinny: Luhnow’s first trade as GM appears to be a good one for the Astros, though both Lowrie and Weiland are on the disabled list (Weiland is out for the year). There were questions about Melancon’s ability to close, and he was a disaster in Boston. Lowrie was one of the most productive shortstops in the NL before he injured his leg in July.

Date: March 21, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: LHP Kevin Chapman, player to be name named later (OF D’Andre Toney).

Royals receive: C Humberto Quintero, OF Jason Bourgeois.

The skinny: Quintero and Bourgeois were back-ups who couldn’t crack the starting lineup of a last-place team, and Luhnow managed to trade them for two Minor Leaguers. Chapman has shown some early promise at Double-A, while Toney could be one to watch years down the road. Bourgeois wound up in the Minors with the Royals, who soon cut Quintero.

Date: July 4, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: IF Matt Dominguez, LHP Rob Rasmussen.

Marlins receive: 1B Carlos Lee, cash.

The skinny: The first of five major trades in July, the Marlins were desperate for first base help and gave the Astros two Minor League players for the aging slugger. The Astros were happy to get him off their roster, and were even willing to pay the bulk of his remaining contract. Dominguez was brought up to the Majors, but was sent back down a few days later.

Date: July 20, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: RHP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, RHP Joe Musgrove, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez, a player to be named later.

Blue Jays receive: LHP J.A. Happ, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP David Carpenter.

The skinny: The Astros acquired seven players, including four Minor Leaguers and a player to be named later, in a 10-player deal with the Jays. Happ had been with the team two years and could never gain consistency, while Lyon was in the final year of his three-year deal. This trade was more about the Minor League arms the Astros received, while addressing a catching shortage in the system, more than it was about the two big league players they received – Cordero and Francisco.

Date: July 21, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: RHP Matthew Heidenreich, LHP Blair Walters, a player to be named later.

White Sox receive: RHP Brett Myers, cash.

The skinny: With Myers having a good shot at vesting his 2013 option that would have paid him $10 million, the Astros sent him to the White Sox and stockpiled a few more Minor League arms. Myers was having a solid season as closer after starting 66 games the previous two years in Houston.

Date: July 25, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: LHP Rudy Owens, OF Robbie Grossman, LHP Colton Cain.

Pirates receive: LHP Wandy Rodriguez, cash.

The skinny: The rebuilding effort continued as the Astros sent Rodriguez – the last remaining member from the 2005 World Series team – to the Pirates for three more prospects. The Astros had to pay a substantial part of Rodriguez’s remaining contract, but they felt getting more prospect was worth the price.

Date: July 29, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive:  IF Bobby Borchering, OF Marc Krauss.

D-backs receive: 3B Chris Johnson.

The skinny: The Astros pulled off their fifth trade of the month. Houston wasn’t actively shopping Johnson, but he had recently gone on a tear and some teams were getting aggressive in their pursuit of the 27-year-old third baseman. Unlike the previous trades in July in which the Astros stockpiled the pitching, the Johnson trade brought a pair of bats, and in the case of Borchering, maybe some much-needed power to the system.

Luhnow, others receive championship rings

Former Cardinals front-office employees Mike Elias, Sig Mejdal and Jeff Luhnow receive their 2011 World Series championship rings on Wednesday.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal and special assistant to the GM/scouting Mike Elias each received their 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series rings prior to Wednesday’s game at Minute Maid Park.

Astros bench coach Joe Pettini, who was former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa’s right-hand man for 10 years, received his in the clubhouse a few moments earlier.

The rings were presented by Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. and general manager John Mozielak in Luhnow’s booth. For Luhnow, it’s 10th ring in either the Minors or the Majors while with the Cardinals.

“We work hard in this industry, we work long hours and the reward is when you get win a championship,” said Luhnow, who was hired from the Cardinals in December and quickly brought Mejdal and Elias to Houston. “The celebration and being able to get hardware like this is why we do this, why we’re in this industry. I was glad to be a part of it, and I can’t wait until we do the same thing here in Houston. That’s my ultimate goal.”

DeWitt, who hired Luhnow into the industry in 2003, was pleased to be able to present his former employees with the hardware.

“We’re really pleased to be herd and these guys did such a great job for us,” Dewitt said. “We’re happy to come up here and personally present it. It’s a great honor for us to come do it, and they deserve it.”

Dewitt expects Luhnow to be successful in Houston.

“He’s had a great start with the Draft,” Dewitt said. “We’re all very impressed with that. We hated to lose all of them, but that will speak well for Houston over the years. I’m sure [the Astros] will have a good team before long.”

Elias worked under Luhnow from 2007-11 and as area scout and later as manager of amateur scouting with crosschecking responsibilities. Mejdal worked with the Cardinals from 2005-11, most recently as director of amateur draft analytics.

“It’s a great reminder of the five years with the Cardinals and everything we exprerineced there,” Elias said. “They gave me my first opportunity in baseball – Jeff, Sig, Mo and Mr. DeWitt – and this is probably the best keepsake you could have from something like that. There’s a lot of pride in wearing it.”

Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr, GM John Mozielak present Astros GM Jeff Luhnow with his 2011 World Series championship ring.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow shows off his 2011 World Series championship ring.

Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr, GM John Mozielak present Astros director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal with his 2011 World Series championship ring.

Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr, GM John Mozielak presented Astros assistant to the GM/scouting Mike Elias with his 2011 World Series championship ring.

Pence reacts to being honored in Houston

Despite playing for the Phillies for the final two months of the regular season, right fielder Hunter Pence was still voted as the Astros’ Most Valuable Player for 2011 by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Pence, who was traded to the Phillies on July 29, hit .308 with 11 homers and 62 RBIs in 100 games for the Astros. It’s the second consecutive year Pence has been named the team’s MVP, but this one caught him off-guard.

“Yes, that surprises me,” he said Friday after the Phillies finished working out in preparation for their National League Division Series against the Cardinals.

“Honestly, I’m very honored and humbled that they would select me for that,” he said. “It’s tough to explain. I know there’s a lot of guys that played the whole season there that had good seasons. I don’t really know what to think about that other than it makes me feel better about my accomplishments there and they recognize how I played the game. That’s cool, I guess.”

Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez was named the team’s Pitcher of the Year after going 11-11 with a 3.49 ERA in 30 starts. Outfielder J.D. Martinez was named Rookie of the Year and outfielder Jason Bourgeois was named the winner of the Darryl Kile “Good Guy” Award for his community efforts and good relationship with the media.

Also winning awards as voted on by the BBWAA were Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman (Houston area Player of the Year) and long-time Astros broadcaster Bill Brown (Fred Hartman Long & Meritorious Service). All award-winners will be recognized at the Houston Baseball Dinner in January.

 

Astros year by numbers

The Astros ended the 2011 regular season with an 8-0 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday to finish a franchise-worst 56-106. Here is the season by the numbers:

Overall record: 56-106

Home record: 31-50

Road record: 25-56

Series record: 12-36-4

Sweeps: 2-14

When scoring 4 or more runs: 44-39

When scoring 3 or fewer runs: 12-67

Shutouts: 6-12

One-run games: 20-28

Two-run games: 9-22

Vs. LH starters: 22-26

Vs. RH starters: 34-80

Day games: 13-37

Night games: 43-69

When scoring first: 36-36

Opponent scores first: 20-70

Outhit opponent: 42-27

Outhit by opponent: 11-70

Equal hits: 3-9

When hitting a home run: 34-35

No home runs: 22-71

Walkoff homers: 1-3

Come-from-behind wins: 26

Largest comeback : 3 runs

Losses after leading: 43

Last at-bat wins: 17

Largest blown lead: 6 runs

Extra-inning games: 5-13

Batting average leader (min. 400 at-bats): Carlos Lee (.275)

Home run leader: Carlos Lee (18)

RBI leader: Carlos Lee (94)

Runs leader: Carlos Lee (66)

Stolen base leader: Michael Bourn (39)

Pitching wins leader: Wandy Rodriguez (11)

ERA leader (min. 100 innings): Bud Norris (3.77)

Strikeouts leader: Bud Norris (176)

Saves leader: Mark Melancon (20)

Looking ahead to 2012

Arbitration eligible players: LHP J.A. Happ, C Humberto Quintero.

Free agents: SS Clint Barmes, OF Jason Michaels.

 

Who will be the Astros’ All-Star

Considering the Astros are 29-54 and have the worst record in the Major Leagues, it would be surprising if they had more than one representative for the All-Star Game, which will be July 12 in Phoenix. The teams will be announced at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday.

Right fielder Hunter Pence, who had three hits Saturday, appears to be the overwhelming choice to be the team’s lone representative. He leads the team in batting average (.323), home runs (10) and RBIs (57), where he ranks among the league’s leaders.

But don’t discount center fielder Michael Bourn, the Astros’ lone All-Star representative last year. Bourn went 4-for-5 on Saturday to increase his batting average to .297 and on-base percentage to .362. He also leads the Majors in stolen bases and appears on his way to winning a third consecutive Gold Glove.

Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (6-4, 2.97 ERA) has had a nice first half, but I can’t imagine him making it at the expense of either Pence or Bourn, assuming the Astros only get one All-Star.

So who’s your Astros’ All-Star in 2011?

Astros Day 2 draft recap

The Astros have selected 30 players through the first two days of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. So far, the Astros have selected nine right-handed pitchers, five left-handed pitchers, eight infielders, seven outfielders and one catcher.

“We accomplished our goal in taking the best talent and just stayed true to our board as much as we could throughout the day,” said Astros assistant general manager/director of scouting Bobby Heck. “We feel good about what we were able to add to our stable here. We’ve made progress today. Even if the grade of this draft is not going to come out for a few years, we’re happy with what we got.”

The Astros selected 23 of their 30 selections so far out of the collegiate ranks.

“We’ve got more pitching depth in the system now and have continued to build that pitching depth through the draft,” said Astros general manager Ed Wade. “Our philosophy is to take the best athlete available at that point in time. The exercise right now is for Bobby and his guys to rank these people, line them up, and make sure we’re getting the best player at the end of the day. So far, as things have gone, we’re pleased.”

Today’s portion of the draft included rounds 2-30 out of a scheduled 50. The final day of the draft will resume tomorrow beginning at 11:00 a.m. CT. and will include rounds 31-50.

ASTROS SELECT SPRINGER WITH FIRST PICK (11TH OVERALL): The Astros selected outfielder George Springer with their first pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft yesterday.

Springer, 21, is hitting .350 (83×237) with 12 home runs, 31 stolen bases and 77 RBI in 64 games this season. He’s the everyday center fielder and three-hole hitter for the Huskies, who advanced to the Super Regionals last night. Connecticut will now face South Carolina for a three-game series beginning on Saturday.

“We’re very pleased,” Heck said. “Throughout the year, he was a priority guy for us. He’s very athletic, he’s strong, he’s big and we think he has a chance to steal bases and hit home runs. As for his makeup, our reports say he’s off the charts, intelligence, solid family background, good teammate, good academics and the great combination of speed and power.”

Springer, a junior, was named the 2011 Big East Player of the Year and was a unanimous selection for the 2011 All-Big East First Team. He currently leads the conference in RBI, while ranking fifth in hitting. Springer has hit at least .337 in his three seasons at Connecticut and throughout his career has also been named to the 2010 All-Big East Second Team, was the 2009 Big East Rookie of the Year and a 2009 Silver Slugger All-American.

“We’re excited for several reasons,” Wade said. “He was our top-rated pick left on our board when it was our turn to pick, so we’re happy we got him. Obviously, first-round picks are important, but our philosophy is that every pick us huge for us. Creating depth in our system is critical to what we are trying to do here.”

Springer becomes the first outfielder selected by the Astros in the first round, not including supplemental selections, since 1988, when the club selected OF Willie Ansley. Springer was scouted by Astros amateur scout John Kosciak.

The following is the complete list of the Astros 2011 draft selections on days 1-2:

Note: All biographical information is compiled from media web sites, MLB.com, school web sites and college sports information departments.
First Round (#11): OF George Springer, University of Connecticut
Year AVG GP/GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
2009 .358 56/54 212 75 76 14 3 16 57 12
2010 .337 64/64 243 84 82 16 4 18 62 33
2011 .350 64/64 237 60 83 23 3 12 77 31
Notes: Ranked 2nd as a centerfielder by Baseball America, 11th overall for position players, entering the 2011 draft…voted Best College Athlete by Baseball America…21-year-old outfielder stands at 6-foot-3, 200 lbs….was the Cape Cod League’s No. 2 prospect in summer of 2010…2010: Played in a UConn record breaking 64 games leading the team in plate appearances with 318…broke Husky records; walking 60 times and scoring 84 runs… led the team in on-base percentage (.491)… had 33 stolen bases in 35 tries…registered only one error and had a .993 fielding percentage…ABCA Northeast Region First Team…All-New England Second Team…All-Big East Second Team…played for the USA Collegiate Team…batted .292 in 18 games with Team USA, while adding 21 hits, 12 runs and two home runs… 2009: First UConn player in the history of the program to be named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year…led the team with 75 runs scored, 16 home runs and 57 RBI, while being third in hits with 76…became one of the Huskies’ most successful freshmen in program history as he climbed atop the UConn single-season record book with 16 home runs, the most in a single-season by a freshman…also earned a spot on the All-BIG EAST First Team, becoming the first UConn player to do so since the 2006 season…holds the school record with the most runs scored in a single-season with 75, while his 16 homers puts him into a three-way tie in third place on the UConn single-season home runs list…he was named BIG EAST Player of the Week on May 3, marking the first weekly honor for the UConn ballclub in 2008 and 2009…he batted .358 in 56 games played… added 75 runs and 57 RBI to his tally as he stole 12 bases…he recorded 14 doubles and three triples…was named a Pro-Line Athletic/NCBWA Freshman All-American and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American….earned a spot on the ABCA Northeast First Team…played in the NEIBA All-Star game…Played for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL)…named to the CCBL Year-End All-Star Team…earned the Silvia Bigelow Award from the Gatemen ballclub…batted .261 with three home runs and 25 RBI… High School: A four year varsity letter winner at Avon Old Farms…All-New England in 2007 and 2008…with Team Connecticut, won the 2008 National Championship in Nashville, Tenn….previously selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 48th round of the 2008 draft but did not sign…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout John Kosciak.

Second Round (#69): RHP Adrian Houser, Locust Grove HS (Oklahoma)
Year ERA W-L IP BB SO
2011 0.62 10-1 62.0 28 125
Notes: Right-hander (6-3, 190) ranked 135th as a pitcher by Baseball America…18-year-old senior recorded 125 strikeouts in 62.0 innings pitched…helped Locust Grove HS to the 2011 Class 4A State Championship in Oklahoma…2011 Rawlings Perfect Game 3rd Team All-American West – All Region 1st Team…2010 Rawlings Perfect Game Underclass All-American and All-Region High Honorable Mention…2010 Under Armour All-America Game participant…participant in 2009 Rawlings Perfect Game South Underclass Showcase…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Jim Stevenson.

Third Round (#99): RHP Jack Armstrong, Vanderbilt University
Year ERA W-L G GS CG IP R BB SO
2011 2.65 0-1 13 0 0 17.0 6 18 17
Notes: Right-hander stands at 6-foot-7, 225 lbs… 21-year-old ranked 152nd as a pitcher by Baseball America…2011: Made his season debut striking out the side around two walks and a hit batter against Purdue 3/15…2010: Went 7-4 with a 4.71 ERA in 16 starts on the mound as a sophomore… 2009: Went 0-0 with a 12.91 ERA in six relief appearances on the season…struck out eight batters in 7.2 innings of work on the season…went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in four at-bats as pinch hitter on the year…named a Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star after going a team best 4-1 with 2.57 ERA while striking out 31 in 35 innings of work for Wareham…recipient of the Albert Bigelow Award, an award given to the team’s most outstanding pitcher…Armstrong’s four wins tied for tops in the CCBL…was named Coca Cola Pitcher of the Week by the CCBL after tossing complete game shutout against Hyannis…High School: Named 2007-08 Second Team All-Conference and AFLAC All-American Team…was also named the 2008 Rawlings Preseason All-American and First Team All-Region Baseball…2008 Homerun Derby winner…helped his team to the 2007 conference championship…played on an All-American Prospects team…ranked among the nation’s top-200 draft prospects by Perfect Game…three-year letter winner and starter in baseball and basketball…named 2007-08 First Team All-Conference in Basketball and also 2008 MVP at Naples Daily Shoot-out Tournament…led basketball team to 2008 District Championship…previously drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 36th round of the 2008 draft but did not sign…father, Jack Sr., pitched seven years in the Major Leagues with Cincinnati, Cleveland, Florida and Texas…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Nick Venuto.

Fourth Round (#130): LHP Christopher Lee, Santa Fe Community College (Florida)
Year ERA W-L G GS CG IP R ER BB SO
2011 2.85 3-3 12 6 0 41.0 25 13 21 42
Notes: Left-handed pitcher stands at 6-foot-2, 165 lbs…18 yr. old recorded 42 strikeouts in 41.0 innings pitched this season…participant in the 2010 and 2009 Rawlings Perfect Games – earning 2010 Florida Region Honorable Mention honors…native of Robinson, FL…previously drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 37th round of the 2010 draft but did not sign…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Larry Pardo.

Fifth Round (#90): RHP Nick Tropeano, Stony Brook University (New York)
Year ERA W-L G GS CG IP R ER BB SO
2011 1.84 12-1 14 14 4 93.0 23 19 24 119
Notes: Right-hander is a native of West Islip, NY…20-year-old pitcher stands at 6-foot-4, 205 lbs…went 12-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 14 starts for Stony Brook…recorded 119 strikeouts in 93.0 innings pitched with four complete games…held opponents to a .191 (63×330) average… 2010: Named America East Co-Pitcher of the Year …selected a third team all-american by College Baseball Lineup…named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Northeast Region first team…a three-time America East Pitcher of the Week …went 8-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 14 starts…struck out an America East best 106 batters in 99.2 innings…ERA mark ranked 22nd in the country…was 17th in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings (6.86)…had the best ERA in the America East during conference play (1.29)…led the conference in strikeouts per game (9.6), complete games (seven) and innings per start (7.1)…went at least 7.0 innings in 10 starts… 2009: Named Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League Pitcher of the Year…named to America East All-Rookie team …went 5-1 in 58.0 innings of work…made 14 appearances including eight starts…hurled team-high four complete games…ranked third in the America East in strike outs per game (7.76) … picked up first collegiate victory with 4.0 innings of relief in win over IPFW (3/7)… High School: Played three years of varsity baseball at West Islip HS…a co-captain as senior…a 2008 All-County and All-Long Island selection…a 2007 All-League pick…led team to a 23-5 record and Suffolk Class AA championship in 2008…went 8-1 with a 1.50 ERA as a senior, striking out 83 in 64.0 innings of work…earned two varsity letters in football at West Islip…a captain and All-County selection as senior…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout John Kosciak and Part-Time Scout Ed Fastaia.

Sixth Round (#190): LF Brandon Meredith, San Diego State University
Year AVG GP/GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI
2011 .272 55/52 191 44 52 15 4 5 38
Notes: 6-2, 225 lbs… named a preseason second-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America … played during summers of 2009 and 2010 for the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League…. was the first high school player to hit a home run at PETCO Park, a feat he accomplished on April 12, 2008, in a contest vs. Eastlake HS … played baseball for three summers (2006-08) with the San Diego Show team that was ranked among the top 15 in the nation … Drafted in the 15th round by the Tampa Bay Rays in June 2008… 2010: A 2010 first-team all-Mountain West Conference selection … led the league in hitting with a .489 batting average and in on-base percentage at .575 … tied for first with 29 runs scored and was third in hits with 43 … his .705 slugging percentage placed ninth in the final MWC-game stats … led the Aztecs in hitting overall with a .383 average … second on the squad in runs, hits, home runs and runs batted in … had a team-leading .484 on-base percentage in all games … had a 10-game hitting streak entering the MWC tourney at the end of the season during which he batted 500 (21-for-42) 17 runs scored and 17 RBI … drove in at least one run in 11 of the final 12 games of the season … tied for second on the team lead with 23 multiple-hit contests and was one of only two Aztecs with a five-hit performance … his 15 multiple-RBI contests led the team … Hitting .432 with runners in scoring position … His five RBI at Air Force on April 9 and his 5 hits on April 10 were both career bests … 2009: Started 63 times as a true freshman … primarily a first baseman who also made seven starts in the outfield (three in left and four in right) … named to the second-team all-Mountain West Conference squad as a first baseman … named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA Regional in Irvine … hit a pair of home runs in the win over Fresno State at the Regional … finished the regular season by hitting safely in 12 of the last 13 games during which he went 18-for-49 (.367) with 15 runs scored and five runs batted in … his 25 multiple-hit games tied for the team lead while his 12 multiple-RBI efforts ranked second on the squad … his 17 doubles, 53 runs scored and 33 walks were the second-most on the team lead while his 44 RBI ranked third … Committed only one error over SDSU’s final 30 games of the season… High School: Won four varsity letters as a baseball player at Montgomery High School in San Diego … batted .516 as a senior, winning first-team all-state honors … as a junior, hit .420 and was a second-team all-state selection … chosen South Bay League player of the year both as a junior and senior … batted .320 both as a freshman and sophomore … scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Brad Budzinski.

Seventh Round (#220): CF Javaris Reynolds, King HS (Florida)
Notes: Outfielder stands at 6-foot-2, 200 lbs…18-year-old native of Tampa, FL…played 2010 summer league ball for the Hillsborough County National 18U team….scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Larry Pardo.

Eighth Round (#250): RHP Brandon Culbreth, Forsyth Country Day School (North Carolina)                                                                                                                                          Notes: Right-handed pitcher stands at 6-foot-3, 200 lbs….2011 Rawlings Perfect Games Atlantic – All Region Second Team…2010 Underclass All-American and All-Region Honorable Mention…participant in the 2009 Rawlings Perfect Game National Underclass Showcase…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout J.D. Alleva.

Ninth Round (#280): RHP Jonas Dufek, Creighton University
Year ERA W-L G GS CG IP R BB SO
2011 2.08 12-1 18 16 2 112.2 28 29 128
Notes: Right-handed pitcher from Omaha, NE…6-5, 210 lbs….22 year old recorded 128 strikeouts in 112.2 innings pitched… 2010: Named second team All-MVC…was Creighton’s number one starter, leading the team in wins (8), games started (15) and strikeouts (65)…started 15 of 16 appearances….earned first win of the season vs. SIU Edwardsville (2/20), striking out seven in 5.0 IP… 2009: Named Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on April 27 for complete game shutout at Bradley (4/25)…had two complete game shutouts…held 14th-ranked Coastal Carolina to just one run in 7.1 innings while striking out four (3/10)…had most innings among 2010 returning pitchers (79.0), good for second overall on team in 2009…second on team in starts (13) and strikeouts (52)…led team in ERA (3.35), innings pitched (51.0), strikeouts (35) and games started (8) in MVC games… 2008: Appeared in one game… High School: Lettered as a junior and senior in baseball at Millard West High School…led team to a runner-up finish in the Class A state tournament as a senior…recorded a 7-2 record as a senior with a 1.35 ERA and 46 strikeouts…named to the All-Nebraska Team by the Omaha World-Herald, first team super-state by the Lincoln Journal Star, and first team all-conference and all-metro…named MVP of the Collin-Orcutt All-Star Game following his senior season…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Troy Hoerner.

10th Round (#310): LHP Kyle Hallock, Kent State University
Year ERA W-L G GS CG IP R BB SO
2011 1.95 10-4 17 16 0 106.1 38 26 88
Notes: Left-hander stands at 6-foot-2, 190 lbs….native of Sandusky, OH…led the team with a 1.95 ERA (23ER/106.1IP) in 16 starts… earned MAC Pitcher of the Week honors on May 17 after leading the Golden Flashes dealing a career-high 8.1 inning shutout vs. Bowling Green… 2010: Made 19 appearances with 15 starts…tallied an 8-5 record with one save and a 5.64 ERA in 83 innings of work…his eight wins rank as the sixth most for a single season in school history and tied for the conference lead…ranked third on the team with 69 strikeouts…competed for the Stark County Terriers of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, earning two victories in four starts and posting a 1.93 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 18.2 innings… 2009: Made 14 appearances with 13 starts…went 4-3 with a 4.57 ERA and a save… 2008: Made 18 appearances with five starts…struck out 38 batters in 42.2 innings and earned two saves… High School: Lettered four times in baseball for Perkins High School, garnering Sandusky Bay Conference and Ohio District VI Player of the Year and First Team All-Ohio accolades as a senior…helped the Pirates to conference, district and regional championships and a state final four berth as a senior…previously drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 27th round of the 2010 draft but did not sign…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Nick Venuto.

11th Round (#340): CF Justin Gominsky, University of Minnesota
Year AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP
2011 .307 189 30 58 8 3 0 18 17 35 8 .367
Notes: Stands at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds…2011: hit .307 with a .367 on-base percentage…2010: Appeared in six games before injuring his knee in early March…2009: Named to Big Ten All-Freshmen Team, Collegiate Baseball Magazine Freshman All-American team and to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team…batted .338 with 35 runs, 25 RBI, 11 doubles and was 11-for-11 on the basepaths…batted .333 with 17 runs, 11 RBI, four doubles and six steals in Big Ten play…High School: Graduated from Mahtomedi High School…coached by John Hardgrove…named All-State in baseball as a junior and senior, and All-State in football his senior season…was an All-Conference performer all four years he played baseball, and in all three years he played football…batted .390 in his junior season…helped lead the football team to a state-runner up finish in football in 2007…batted .426 in Legion play in 2007, and had 19 stolen bases…played for the Minnesota Blizzard Select squad…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Troy Hoerner.

12th Round (#370): C Miles Hamblin, University of Mississippi
Year AVG GP/GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
2011 .259 52/46 158 29 41 7 1 6 26 7
Notes: Rowlett, Texas native stands at 6-foot-3, 200 lbs… senior appeared in 46 of 52 games for Ole Miss…posted a .992 fielding percentage, committing just three errors in 371 total chances… 2010: Appeared in 61 games, starting 54 of those games…played both first base and catcher, while also serving as a designated hitter…also made two appearances on the mound, both in relief…hit .226 with seven home runs, 41 RBI and 22 runs scored … was a perfect 2-for-2 in steal attempts and drew 29 walks … turned in a .985 fielding percentage for the season with only six errors on the year … posted seven multiple-hit games on the year and 12 multiple-RBI games … hit a two-run home run against No. 7 South Carolina (5/26) in a 3-0 win at the SEC Tournament in the opening game … NCAA Tournament: Started all three games for the Rebels, going 2-for-8 with four runs scored and two RBI … went 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk in an opening win over St. John’s … Junior College: Lettered two years under head coach Brit Smith at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas … played catcher and first base … named NJCAA All-America … Rawlings Golden Glove Award winner … helped lead Howard to a 63-1 record and a national championship … won 57 straight games … hit .429 with 17 home runs and 88 runs scored in 2009 …. also added 28 doubles and two triples … High School: Lettered three years at Rowlett High School in Rowlett, Texas … played third base and pitched … posted a 9-1 record on the mound with a 1.61 ERA as a senior … named District 10 Class 5A Pitcher of the Year in 2006 and 2007 … Gale Fields Award recipient from the Garland Sports Hall of Fame … younger brother of former University of Arkansas standout and Oakland A’s minor leaguer Danny Hamblin…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Keith Bogan.

13th Round (#400): 2B John Hinson, Clemson University
Year AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP
2011 .331 245 62 81 12 3 9 41 24 34 23 .388
Notes: Stands at 6-foot-1, 180 lbs…2011: hit .331 as a redshirt-junior…had nine home runs and 12 doubles…stole 23 bases…2010: First-team All-ACC by SEBaseball.com…hit .351 with 60 runs, nine doubles, one triple, 17 homers, 75 RBIs, 26 walks, and a team-high 25 steals in 67 games (57 starts, including 54 at third base and three as the DH)…second in the ACC in steals, fourth in RBIs, and tied for sixth in homers…made at least one start in the batting order at the #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, and #8 spots…had 25 multi-hit games and 19 multi-RBI games…hit .384 with runners on base and a team-high .425 with runners in scoring position…was 7-for-15 (.467) with a grand slam, double, 18 RBIs, and four walks with the bases loaded…was 8-for-17 (.471) in his 10 games off the bench…was 21-for-44 (.477) with five homers, one double, one triple, 13 RBIs, 13 runs, and four walks in 11 NCAA Tournament games; his 21 hits set a school record for a single NCAA Tournament; had nine multi-hit games in the NCAA Tournament…had a 14-game hitting streak from late March to April…named Auburn Regional MVP and a member of the Auburn Regional All-Tournament team after going 9-for-16 (.563) with three homers, one double, five RBIs, five runs, a 1.188 slugging percentage, a walk, hit-by-pitch, a .611 on-base percentage, and no errors in nine chances, including several key fielding plays that saved runs, in four games; he had at least two hits and one RBI in each of the four games…named to the All-College World Series team after going 7-for-16 (.438) with a triple, three RBIs, three runs, and two steals in four games…played for Cotuit in the Cape Cod League in the summer, where he hit .246 with three doubles, one homer, eight RBIs, and six steals in 21 games…2009: Red-shirted…suffered a back injury early in the season and had surgery in March…2008: Hit .264 with 10 runs, one triple, one homer, 11 RBIs, and five steals in 39 games (25 starts, including 20 at third base and five as the DH)…batted .304 in 21 ACC regular-season games…hit .320 in 10 games on opponents’ home fields…hit .306 in his 25 starts…hit .316 with the bases empty…only struck out 12 times in 87 at-bats…missed eight games early in the season due to a back injury…played for Hyannis in the Cape Cod League in the summer, where he hit .222 in 18 at-bats over five games…HIGH SCHOOL: Team MVP as a senior at A.C. Reynolds High School…set the school record for career hits…four-time all-conference honoree…#170 prospect in the nation by Baseball America and #314 prospect by Perfect Game…#13 prospect in North Carolina by Perfect Game…East Coast Professional Showcase selection in 2006…represented North Carolina in the 2006 National Home Run Derby in Delray Beach, FL, where he advanced to the semifinals…set single-season school records for doubles (14) and hits (44) along with totaling nine homers as a junior…lettered four times in baseball at A.C. Reynolds High, where he was coached by Bryan Craig…Drafted out of high school in the 40th round (#1210 overall pick) by the Philadelphia Phillies but did not sign…Drafted in 2010 in the 13th round (#411 overall pick) by the Philadelphia Phillies but did not sign…Scouted by Astros Amateur Scout J.D. Alleva.

14th Round (#430): RHP Horace Stubblefield, Lufkin HS (Texas)
Year ERA W-L S IP BB SO
2011 1.07 6-0 1 39.0 11 42
Notes: Right-handed pitcher stands at 6-foot-5, 190 lbs… helped Lufkin HS to the District 14-5A Championship and Class 5A Region II quarter finals…named a First-Team District 14-5A player…led the way for Lufkin as he earned MVP consideration with a 6-0 record and one save in district play…in 39.0 innings, he allowed 20 hits and 11 walks while striking out 42…also finished with a 1.07 ERA in district play…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Rusty Pendergrass.

15th Round (#460): 1B Zachary Johnson, Oklahoma State University
Year AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO OBP
2011 .356 225 51 80 21 1 13 63 26 22 .424
Notes: Stands at 5-foot-11, 192 lbs…2011: Named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year…hit safely in 46 of the 54 games…opened the season with a 16-game hitting streak…JUNIOR COLLEGE: Led Ohlone to 2009 and 2010 Pacific Coast championships and a state title in 2010…in 92 career games, hit .389 with 24 home runs, 112 RBIs and 25 doubles…also had a .684 slugging percentage…was first-team All-Pacific Conference and All-Northern Cali as a sophomore…was a 48th round draft pick of the Oakland A’s in the 2010 MLB Draft…also recruited by Oregon State and Cal Poly…HIGH SCHOOL: Was a Puma High School All-American at California High School in San Ramon…first-team All-EBAL as a senior…led team to EBAL championship in 2005 and 2006…Drafted in 2010 in the 48th round by Oakland…Scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Jim Stevenson.

16th Round (#490): LHP Scott Zuloaga, Scottsdale Community College (Arizona)
Year ERA W-L S G GS IP R ER BB SO
2011 1.82 3-0 6 28 0 39.2 13 8 10 43
Notes: 21-year-old lefty stands at 6-foot3, 205 lbs…native of Thousand Oaks, CA…sophomore recorded 43 punchouts in 39.2 innings pitched…posted 1.08 strikeouts per inning… played for the Wilmar Stingers of the Northwoods League… 2010: Named an academic all-american for the 2009-2010 academic year by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)… High School: three-time letter winner at Saguaro HS…2008 All-Region Honorable Mention…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Mike Brown.

17th Round (#520): RHP Tyson Perez, Fresno Community College (California)
Year ERA W-L IP SO
2011 3.49 5-3 69.2 63
Notes: Stands at 6-foot-3, 215 lbs…2011: First-team Central Valley All-Conference…HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Hanford High School (California).

18th Round (#550): RHP Kevin Miller, University of California – Berkeley
Year ERA W-L S G GS IP R ER BB SO
2011 2.62 6-4 1 20 9 79.0 30 23 13 84                                                                              Notes: Right-hander stands at 6-foot-0, 195 lbs…native of San Jose, CA… 21-year-old pitcher fanned 84 batters in 79.0 innings pitched for the Golden Bear… 2010: Was 3-3 as a junior with a 4.72 ERA and two saves in four starts and 18 appearances… 2009: Was 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA and a save in 15 appearances and 10 starts…had 43 strikeouts (23 looking) in 50.0 innings… 2008: Was 6-1 with a 2.90 ERA (2nd in Pac-10) in 21 appearances (five starts)…had 68 strikeouts in 71.1 innings…opponents batted .196 (2nd in Pac-10) against him…was selected as the team’s Freshman of the Year… High School: At Valley Christian High School threw two no-hitters as a senior in 2007, including a 16-strikeout no-hitter…finished the year 13-1 with 102 strikeouts in 82.0 innings, earning first-team all-state, first-team All-Central Coast Section and first-team all-league…helped his team to a 33-4 record and the 2007 Central Coast Section title…was a 2006 first-team All-WCAL selection, going 11-3 with a 0.95 ERA, and had 102 strikeouts in 95.3 innings…was selected 2006 first-team All-Central Coast Section by the San Jose Mercury News, and MVP of the North-South series played in Irvine…finished his high school career 29-5 with 251 strikeouts in 218.0 innings…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Joe Graham.

19th Round (#580): LHP Mitchell Lambson, Arizona State University
Year ERA W-L IP SO BAA
2011 4.41 7-3 49.0 59 .276
Notes: Stands at 6-foot-1, 198 lbs…2011: Honorable mention PAC-10 All-Conference selection…7-3 record…59 strikeouts in 49.0 innings…2010: Turned in another dominating season, earning First Team All-Pac-10 honors as well as All-West Region honors from the ABCA…finished the year 8-2 with three saves and 13 holds…fanned 96 batters while walking only 20 in 75.0 innings…opponents hit a measly .160 against him in his 39 appearances, all out of the bullpen…the 39 appearances tied a school record…his 2.16 ERA was second on the pitching staff…2009: Had a stellar debut season, earning First Team Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball, the NCBWA and Rivals.com as well as Second Team honors from Baseball America…named First Team All-Pac-10…pitched in 32 games, third most appearances in the Pac-10…finished the year 9-5 with five saves and 99 strike outs…the nine wins is tied for seventh most by a freshman in school history…his 99 strike outs is the most ever by a Sun Devil pitcher in their freshman year and his five saves is tied for fifth most ever by an ASU freshman hurler…opponents his just .199 against him, third lowest in the Pac-10…tied for the Pac-10 lead with five pick-offs…High School: A 2008 graduate of Tualatin High School in Tualatin, Ore…earned four varsity letters for baseball…holds his high school’s record for career strikeouts and career pitching victories…named Pacific Conference pitcher of the year as a junior and senior…earned first-team all-state honors as a senior, going 8-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 92 strikeouts…was first-team all-conference and second-team all-state as a junior…first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state for his sophomore season…played for the Portland, Ore. team that won the 2008 Babe Ruth World Series (ages 16-18)…Scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Mike Brown.

20th Round (#610): 3B Matthew Duffy, University of Tennessee
Year AVG GP/GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
2011 .312 54/54 189 35 59 15 1 6 39 7
Notes: 6-3, 215lbs…native of Milton, MA…2010: The Vols’ regular third baseman, Duffy played in 55 of UT’s 56 games in 2010, starting 53…hit .304 for the season with a team-high 17 doubles, in addition to collecting four home runs and 41 RBIs…was the team’s leading hitter in SEC play, posting a spectacular .348 batting average…hit .348 (23-for-66) with runners in scoring position…. 2009: was one of the top shortstops and hitters in the Northeast earning America East Player of the Year honors in helping the Vermont Catamounts to a third-place finish in the conference…led the conference in batting average (.388), runs batted in (57), runs scored (57), slugging percentage (.713) and on base percentage (.495)…also tied for third in home runs (13) and was second in doubles (17)…set new Vermont singleseason marks in RBIs and runs scored and his 13 HRs tied the school mark…was the lone America East player named to the PingBaseball.com All-American Team, picking up honorable mention honors…also headed the America East All-Conference First Team and was named to the All-New England First Team along with the ECAC and ABCA Northeast Region second teams…was named America East Player of the Week a league-best three times, was twice named to the College Baseball Foundation National Weekly Honor Roll and was s lected ECAC Player of the Week once…one of 38 finalists named to the Brooks Wallace National Shortstop of the Year Watch List… hit .390 with 10 doubles, 6 home runs, 31 RBIs and a .779 slug pct. in conference games… 2008: One of the top freshmen in the America East, Duffy had an excellent season as the Cats starting shortstop earning conference all-rookie and Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American honors…led the team and America East rookies in doubles with 18, the second most in a season at UVM…tops among conference freshmen in RBIs… High School: graduate of St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Mass., Duffy led the Arrows to a 13-2 record and the Independent School League title in 2007…Headed the 2007 Boston Globe All-Scholastic Team and was the ISL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year…He hit .542 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs…Also posted a 5-0 record on the mound including a shutout victory over Roxbury Latin in the ISL championship game… A standout for the Milton American Legion team, he helped lead them to the 2006 Northeast Regional Championship and a berth in the American Legion World Series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa…He was the MVP of the regionals and hit .485 with 13 RBI in eight games at the National World Series…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Nick Venuto.

21st Round (#640): SS James Howick, Jacksonville University (Florida)
Year AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO OBP
2011 .319 207 37 66 9 2 4 46 15 29 .368
Notes: Shortstop (6’3” 185 lbs.)…2011: Appeared in 54 games, including 51 starts…2010: Played in 53 games, including 47 starts at third base…led the team with two triples…heated up in the final month of the season, batting .310 (18-58) with three doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI…earned A-Sun Academic All-Conference honors and was named to the Dean’s List…2009: Appeared in 18 games, including 16 starts (14 at shortstop, two at third base)…missed 17 games with a dislocated shoulder (3/27-4/18)…returned for series against Lipscomb before reaggravating the injury and missing the remaining 18 games of the season…earned A-Sun Academic All-Conference honors and was named to the Dean’s List…HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year letterwinner as an infielder for Tommy Edwards at Bishop Kenny High School…as a senior, he lead the squad to a state title and its second district title…named second team all-city and was selected to the FACA All-Star Game after batting .410 with two home runs, 11 doubles and 22 RBI…as a junior, he led squad to a district championship after tallying one of the top 10 batting averages in the city (.405)…in AAU play, he batted .430 with three home runs, three triples and seven doubles with Team Mizuno…also selected to play for USSSA Team Florida in the Carribean World Series…as a sophomore, he helped the squad to a second place finish in the state…in AAU action, he was selected USSSA World Series MVP as a member of the Jacksonville Stars…also a three-year letterwinner in soccer…earned scholar athlete honors each year…member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society…Scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Lincoln Martin.

22nd Round (#670): CF Andrew Muren, California State – Northridge
Year AVG GP/GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
2011 .307 55/53 189 38 58 17 1 3 32 9
Notes: Ramona, Calif. native…6-6, 195 lbs…posted a .994 fielding percentage, committing only one error in 2011…his .306 average ranked second best for the Matadors… 2010: started in 51 of the 52 games played this season, hit .290, and improved his numbers at the plate across the board compared to his freshman season … in his 207 at-bats, he scored 47 runs, a total that ranks him second on the team, and finished with 60 hits, nine doubles, two triples, three home runs, and drove in 21 batters … his 13 hit-by-pitches were the most by any Matador, a figure that ranks him tied for fourth in the conference … after stealing only two bases in 2008, the centerfielder stole 13 bases out of 16 attempts to finish with the third-highest number of steals on the team, and eighth-highest total in the conference … finished with 17 multiple hit games… 2009: Was a redshirt during the 2009 season… 2008: In his first season with the Matadors, hit .270 and started in 40 of the 42 games he played in … of his 40 hits, seven were doubles, and one was a triple … hit one home run and drove in 14 batters … in four attempts Muren stole two bases… 2007: Rawlings Perfect Games California All-Region Player… High School: A two-sport athlete (football and baseball) … earned All-Valley League and All-CIF honors as a senior … led football and baseball teams to league championships as a junior … batted .472 with nine home runs and posted a 1.44 ERA as a senior…previously drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 35th round of the 2010 draft but did not sign…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Tim Costic.

23rd Round (#700): 2B Ruben Sosa, Oklahoma City University
Year AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP
2011 .389 239 78 93 15 5 5 42 22 27 44 .446
Notes: Stands at 6-foot-2, 185 lbs…2011: Hit .389 and posted a .446 on-base percentage…stole 44 bases…2010: Hit .372 with eight home runs, 38 RBIs and 37 stolen bases as sophomore for Western…12 doubles, one triple…2009: Hit .466 with one homer, 28 RBIs and 39 steals as freshman for Bunker Hill (Mass.)…11 doubles, two triples…HIGH SCHOOL: Hit .406 with 17 RBIs as senior at Lawrence (Mass.)…all-conference…led region with .575 average as sophomore…lettered three times in baseball, twice in football and twice in track and field…fourth place in 55 meters in New England…track team captain…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Jim Stevenson.

24th Round (#730): 1B Jesse Wierzbicki, University of North Carolina
Year AVG GP/GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
2011 .301 60/60 209 48 63 13 3 7 39 7
Notes: Stands at 6-foot-3, 220 lbs…native of Newnan, GA… posted a .996 fielding percentage this season with the Tar Heels… 2010: Appeared in 59 games with 57 starts spread among catcher, designated hitter and first base…One of six players with a .300 or better average, posting a .307 (65-212) mark…Registered eight home runs to rank second on the team…Scored the third-most runs on the team with 49…Ranked in the top five in slugging percentage (4th, .495), on base percentage (4th, .410), RBI (5th, 52) and total bases (4th, 105)…Led the team with 16 multi-RBI games…Recorded 14 games with at least two RBI and set a season-high with three RBI four times…Ranked third on the team with 21 multi-hit games…Appeared in all 30 games with 29 starts during the ACC season…Registered an average of .288 (32-111) with 10 doubles and 24 RBI…Also scored 25 runs during conference play…Committed just three errors on the year for the 18th-best fielding percentage in the ACC (.992)… 2009: Played two seasons at Walters State Community College…Hit .373 with 12 home runs and 60 RBI in 57 games as a sophomore to lead Walters State to a final national ranking of No. 5… 2008: As a freshman, led team to the Junior College World Series… High School: Four-year starter at catcher at Newnan High School… All-state honoree as a senior… Three-time all-county selection…previous selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 40th round of the 2008 draft but did not sign…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout J.D. Alleva.

25th Round (#760): LF William Flamion, Central Catholic HS (California)
Year AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP
2011 .388 85 39 33 13 5 4 22 22 5 9 .522
Notes: Stands at 6-foot-1, 195 lbs….2011: Hit .388 in his senior campaign with a .522 on-base percentage and four home runs…walked 22 times against five strikeouts…Named to MaxPreps Top 100 List…Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American…Rawlings Preseason All-American…2010: AFLAC All-American…2009: 2nd Team All-State selection as a sophomore…2008: played on the USA Baseball 14U National Team…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Joe Graham.

26th Round (#790): RHP Jared Fisher, Newport HS (Washington)
Year ERA W-L G GS CG IP R BB SO
2011 1.92 8-2 9 9 2 51.0 17 23 64
Notes: Right-hander is a native of Bellevue, WA…6-4, 235 lbs….fanned 64 batters in 51 innings pitched for the Knights this season…Rawlings Perfect Game 2011 West – All-Region 1st Team selection… 2010: Rawlings Perfect Game Underclass All-American and All-Region 3rd Team selection…Rawlings Perfect Game National Showcase participant…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Paul Gale.

27th Round (#820): SS Alexander Todd, Sonoma State University (California)
Year AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP
2011 .332 214 44 71 10 2 5 38 22 33 7 .420
Notes: Shortstop (6’2”, 190 lbs.)…2011: hit .332 with a .420 on-base percentage…hit five home runs, 10 doubles, and two triples with 38 runs batted in…named to the Baseball America Small College Pre-Season All-America squad…also selected to the Tino Martinez Award Watch List (NCAA Division II Player of the Year)…transferred to Sonoma State from Centenary College, an NCAA Division I school in Shreveport, Louisiana…2010: hit .307 with five home runs and 33 RBIs for the Gents in 2010…also attended West Valley Junior College in Saratoga…was a First Team All-State pick at West Valley…guided his team to a fourth place finish in the state tournament…HIGH SCHOOL: graduated from Leland High School in San Jose…was a First Team All-League selection at Leland…led his team to a league championship..scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Joe Graham.

28th Round (#850): LHP Jordan John, Oklahoma University
Year ERA W-L G GS CG IP R ER BB SO
2011 2.35 4-2 20 7 0 61.1 23 16 18 54
Notes: Corpus Christi, Texas, native stands at 6-foot-3, 200 lbs…recorded 54 strikeouts in 61.1 innings pitched… 2011 All-Big 12 freshman team … made first career appearance on Feb. 19 vs. William & Mary with three shutout innings and three strikeouts … made first start on Feb. 23 vs. UAPB with complete game during 12-1 run-rule win (7 IP) … had season-high nine strikeouts and allowed one run (unearned) off six hits (two walks) … named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after start … Made seven starts with 4-0 record and also 1-0 in 13 relief outings (five earned runs) … came out of the pen to toss seven innings against ORU without an earned run in NCAA Tournament… High School: Earned three letters at Calallen HS. … named USA Today First Team All-American in 2009 … named first team Collegiate Baseball All-American in 2009 … finished senior year with 13-0 mark and 125 strikeouts and a 0.26 ERA in 82 innings pitched … named district MVP and all-state … threw two no-hitters, five one-hitters and had nine games with 10 or more strikeouts … finished 11-1 with a 1.47 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings in 2008 … earned all-state honors as a junior and helped lead team to Texas 4A State Championship … finished career ranked in the top 10 in school history for wins…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Jim Stevenson.

29th Round (#880): OF Wallace Gonzalez, Bishop Amat Memorial HS (California)
Notes: 18-year-old outfielder stands at 6-foot-5, 230 lbs…2011 Rawlings Perfect Game 3rd Team All-American and California All-Region 1st Team…went 4×4 with six RBI to lead Bishop Amat to a win over Mountain View St. Francis, advancing to the semifinals of the Hard 9 National Classic… 2010: Rawlings Perfect Game Underclass 1st Team…Sunshine West Showcase participant…Rawlings Perfect Game National Showcase participant…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Tim Costic.

30th Round (#910): 3B Jordan Steranka, Penn State University
Year AVG GP/GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
2011 .323 54/54 217 46 70 14 5 8 57 6
Notes: 6-3, 195 lbs…native of Pittsburgh, PA… 2010: Strong sophomore campaign, hitting .297 with seven home runs and 44 RBI, both career-highs … started all 52 games at third base … his 111 total bases were ninth in single-season school history while the RBI total stands just outside the top 10 … led all Big Ten third basemen in RBI … tied for the team lead with 16 doubles, tied for sixth on the Penn State all-time list… 2009: Had an outstanding freshman season, leading the team in most every major statistical category: average (.365), hits (70), home runs (6), RBI (42) and total bases (103) … was also tied for the team-lead with 192 at-bats and 39 runs scored … the average was good for 10th best in the Big Ten … had nine doubles and three triples, good for the second-most extra base hits on the squad (18) … posted two double-digit hit streaks, including one of 18 games (from Mar. 21 to Apr. 17), tied for fourth longest in program history… had an incredible 33 hits in that span … also had hits in 28 of 29 games extending to May 9 … finished with at least one hit in 40 of his 49 games … also had 22 multiple-hit games … the 70 total hits was a school record for a freshman … named a Third Team All-Big Ten performer…High School: Collected over 100 hits, 16 home runs, 20 doubles, 80 RBI and 25 stolen bases at Mt. Lebanon … Blue Devil team won a WPIAL Title in 2006 … named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s All-Star South Team all three years…scouted by Astros Amateur Scout Everett Stull.

Astros trying to reverse history at No. 11

The Astros will pick No. 11 overall in tonight’s First-Year Player Draft, and the history of the picks that have gone 11th through the years is underwhelming. Here are the players taken No. 11 overall since 1990. See if you recognize any of these names:

2010 – Blue Jays, RHP Deck McGuire, Georgia Tech

2009 – Rockies, Tyler Matzek, LHP, Mission Viejo, Calif.

2008 – Rangers, Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina

2007 – Mariners, Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

2006 – Diamondbacks, Max Scherzer, RHP, Missouri

2005 – Pirates, Andrew McCutchen, OF, Fort Meade, Fla.

2004 – Pirates, Neil Walker, C, Gibsonia, Pa.

2003 – Indians, Michael Aubrey, 1B, Tulane

2002 – Marlins, Jeremy Hermida, OF, Marietta, Ga.

2001 – Tigers, Kenny Baugh, RHP, Rice

2000 – Brewers, Dave Krynzel, OF, Henderson, Nev.

1999 – Mariners, Ryan Christianson, C, Riverside, Calif.

1998 – Expos, Josh McKinley, SS, Dowington, Pa.

1997 – Athletics, Chris Enochs, RHP, West Virginia

1996 – Phillies, Adam Eaton, RHP, Snohomish, Wa.

1995 – Tigers, Mike Drumright, RHP, Wichita State

1994 – Pirates, Mark Farris, SS, Angleton, Texas

1993 – Indians, Daron Kirkreit, RHP, UC-Riverside

1992 – Cubs, Derek Wallace, RHP, Pepperdine

1991 – Mariners, Shawn Estes, LHP, Minden, Nev.

1990 – Expos, Shane Andrews, 3B, Carlsbad, N.M.

Can the Astros turn it around?

The Astros are 15-29 for the second year in a row. Last year, you remember, they were 17-34 before they finally got their act together and finished the season with a 59-52 run that was done largely after the trades of Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt.

Whether this year’s team can pull off a similar turnaround remains to be seen, but if you’re looking for something positive during the team’s current five-game losing streak you can point to starting pitching. The starters were expected to be a strength for the Astros, and it appears the top four spots in the rotation are beginning to get on track at the same time.

J.A. Happ allowed four hits and three runs in six innings Thursday (a loss to the Cardinals) while striking out eight, and Wandy Rodriguez threw eight scoreless innings Tuesday in Atlanta and really has it going. Then there’s Brett Myers, who righted his ship by allowing eight hits and two runs in six innings Monday in Atlanta.

Of course, the offense has been held to six runs in four games during the four-game trip through Atlanta and St. Louis and is looking more like the 2010 offense instead of the club that was so competitive in each and every at-bat and every inning for the first six weeks of this season.

The Astros open Interleague Play on Friday in Toronto, and that’s going to be a tough assignment. The Blue Jays have been playing very well and have one of the game’s best — and most surprising — sluggers in Jose Bautista. This weekend will be the Astros’ last Interleague venture until a 12-game stretch against AL teams beginning June 20, and considering how tough their Interleague schedule is, they can only hope to have the offense clicking and the starters working deep into games when it starts.

Analyzing the Astros rotation

Besides a strong effort from Brett Myers in the April 1 season opener at Philadelphia, the first time through the rotation was a rough one for the rest of the Astros starters: Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris, J.A. Happ and Nelson Figueroa.

Myers has started two of the Astros’ six games and is 0-0 with a 2.03 ERA, allowing nine hits and three earned runs in 13 1/3 innings. He’s given the Astros their only two quality starts and appears to be picking up where he left off last year, when he was one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball and went at least six innings in all but one start.

The Astros’ 8.22 ERA by their starters ranks last in baseball entering Friday, well behind Detroit’s 7.75 ERA. The good news is it can only get better, and I’d be surprised if a couple of those guys didn’t come back with good outings this week. And that brings us to today’s poll question. Which starter, other than Myers, do you think is most likely to have a better season?

 

With the Astros set to play 10 consecutive games at home starting tonight against the Marlins at Minute Maid Park, it will be an important second time through the rotation for Rodriguez, Norris, Happ and Figueroa. The quartet went a combined 0-4 with a 12.98 ERA in their first four starts combined, with only Figueroa pitching beyond the fourth inning. And that was because the bullpen so taxed that manager Brad Mills had to get as much out of him as he could.

The good news is Rodriguez, Norris and Happ — who will face the Marlins this weekend — have pitched better at Minute Maid Park:

  • Rodriguez is 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA in six career starts vs. Marlins and is 38-26 in his career at Minute Maid.
  • Norris is 5-5 with a 4.43 ERA in 14 home starts last year.
  • Happ is 4-1 with a 3.22 ERA in eight career starts at Minute Maid.

The message here is don’t panic. It’s one time through the rotation against a pair of teams favored to win their divisions. Not that the Astros don’t want to one day be able to beat good teams — they did sweep the Phillies last year — but there is plenty of baseball left. The Marlins, Cubs and Padres are coming to town, and if the Astros manage a, say, 6-4 homestand, they’re 7-9 and in much better shape than they were last year at that time.

How many games will the Astros win in 2011?

The Astros are heading to Philadelphia today in anticipation of tomorrow’s season-opener at the Phillies, which is scheduled for a 12:05 p.m. CT first pitch. It should be in the mid 40s with a chance of rain at first pitch.

No matter what you think of the Astros’ chances this season, if you’re a baseball fan you should be feeling some excitement on this day. With the Astros’ 25-man roster now set, we should have a better idea of they’re going to do this season.

Assuming their starting pitching stays healthy, it should have them in better shape than most of the prognosticators and predicting. The two keys for me are getting off to a quick start — which has been a huge problem in recent years — and staying healthy, which has already been an issue. The Astros don’t have much depth.

So, let’s have it. What are your predictions for the upcoming season.

 

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