Results tagged ‘ April ’

Astros announce Minor League Players of the Month

The Astros’ player development department has named April’s Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Month at each of their four in-season minor league affiliates. These awards are chosen every month by the field staff of each team.

At Triple-A Oklahoma City, LHP Rudy Owens was named Pitcher of the Month after going 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA in seven games (four starts) in April. Owens struck out 26 batters and walked just two in his 27 1/3 innings while holding opponents to a .233 batting average. The club’s Player of the Month honors went to IF Jon Singleton, who led the Pacific Coast League in homers (nine) and ranked second in RBIs (27) during the month of April. In his 26 total games in April, Singleton hit .293 (29-for-99) while adding six doubles, one triple and a 1.045 OPS.

LHP Tommy Shirley was named Double-A Corpus Christi’s Pitcher of the Month after going 2-2 with a 1.27 ERA and 34 strikeouts in six April games (four starts) as part of the Hooks piggy-back starting rotation. Shirley posted the third-lowest ERA in the Texas League during the month, striking out 34 batters and walking just four in his 28 1/3 innings. OF Preston Tucker earned the Hooks Player of the Month honors after hitting .295 (31-for-105) with nine doubles, six homers, 17 RBIs and a .909 OPS across 26 games in April. The 2012 seventh-round pick shared a tie for the Texas League lead in homers and RBI for the month, and led all league hitters in extra base hits (15) and total bases (58).

RHP Kyle Smith earned Class A advanced Lancaster Pitcher of the Month honors after compiling a 4-0 record with a 2.60 ERA and 31 strikeouts in seven games (three starts). Acquired by the Astros from Kansas City last season in the Justin Maxwell trade, Smith was promoted to Corpus Christi after his strong month in the hitter-friendly California League. Lancaster’s Player of the Month award went to 2B Tony Kemp, who leads all Astros’ Minor Leaguers in batting average (.325) and hits (38). A fifth-round selection by the Astros in last year’s draft, Kemp hit .311 (32-for-103) with seven doubles, three triples, two homers, 11 stolen bases and a .911 OPS in 26 games in April for the JetHawks.

At Class A Quad Cities, RHP Gonzalo Sanudo was named the River Bandits’ April Pitcher of the Month after going 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 14 strikeouts in five games (two starts) during the month. He gave up his first run of the season on April 27, which snapped a streak of 40 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to July 9 of last season. The Mexican-native was acquired by Houston from Minnesota in exchange for OF Mike Kvasnicka on March 25, 2013, and was converted to a starter this season.The Quad Cities Player of the Month award went to OF Brett Phillips, who hit .301 with three triples, two homers and an .840 OPS in 23 games in April. Phillips was a sixth-round Draft selection by the Astros in 2012.


Minor League Players of the month released

The Astros player development department has named the following Players of the Month for April: Oklahoma City: LHP Dallas Keuchel, IF Scott Moore, OF Fernando Martinez; Corpus Christi: LHP Kevin Chapman, OF Brandon Barnes, IF Jose Martinez; Lancaster: RHP Ruben Alaniz, OF Telvin Nash, IF Jonathan Meyer; Lexington: RHP Mike Foltynewicz, IF Zach Johnson, OF Andrew Muren. These awards are chosen every month by the field staff of each team.

Triple A Oklahoma City

LHP Dallas Keuchel, Pitcher of the Month: 4-1, 1.62 ERA (6ER/33.1IP), 16 SO, 7 BB in 5 starts in April

IF Scott Moore, Offensive Player of the Month: .397 (25×63), 12 2B, 2 HR, 21 RBI in 23 games in April

OF Fernando Martinez, Defensive Player of the Month: 22 games in the OF, .976 FP (1E/42TC), 2 OF assists this season

Notes: Dallas Keuchel finished April with a 4-1 record and a 1.62 ERA in five starts, which tied for the organizational lead in wins and ERA…he began his season strongly, winning the first Pacific Coast League’s Pitcher of the Week Award in 2012 after opening the year with two scoreless starts (13IP)…Scott Moore’s current .347 (25×72) batting average ranks second among all Astros minor leaguers…Fernando Martinez has played 22 total games in the outfield this season, 21 in left field, posting a .976 fielding percentage with two outfield assists.

Double A Corpus Christi

LHP Kevin Chapman, Pitcher of the Month: 1-1, 1.38 ERA (2ER/13IP), 19 SO, .260 (13×50) opponents avg. in 9 relief apps. in April

OF Brandon Barnes, Offensive Player of the Month: .353 (30×85), 18 R, 14 2B, 4HR, 21 RBI, .398 OBP in April

IF Jose Martinez, Defensive Player of the Month: 23 games at 2B, 1.000 FP (0E/116TC), 14 double plays turned this season

Notes: Kevin Chapman, acquired this spring in the Jason Bourgeois and Humberto Quintero trade to Kansas City, posted a 1.38 ERA in nine relief appearances, while fanning 19 hitters in 13.0 innings pitched…Brandon Barnes, who currently leads the Texas League in batting average and doubles, has already twice been named the Texas League’s Player of the Week this season…Jose Martinez has not committed an error in 22 games this season, 116 total chances, as Corpus Christi’s everyday second baseman.

Class A Advanced Lancaster

RHP Ruben Alaniz, Pitcher of the Month: 2-0, 2.90 ERA (10ER/31IP), 26 SO, 7 BB in 5 starts in April

OF Telvin Nash, Offensive Player of the Month: .247 (19×77), 14 R, 2 2B, 9 HR, 15 RBI in 20 games in April

IF Jonathan Meyer, Defensive Player of the Month: 24 games at 3B, .952 FP (4E/84TC), 54 assists this season

Notes: Ruben Alaniz, an undrafted free agent signed out of high school in 2009, went 2-0 with a 2.90 ERA in five starts with Lancaster in April…in his two home starts, at the extremely hitter-friendly Clear Channel Stadium, Alaniz is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA (3ER/13IP)…Telvin Nash leads the California League and all Astros minor leaguers with his nine home runs in 22 games this season…Jonathan Meyer has been named a Defensive Player of the Month in the Astros system for the fifth time in his four-year career, after posting a .952 fielding percentage in 24 games as Lancaster’s everyday third baseman this season.

Class A Lexington

RHP Mike Foltynewicz, Pitcher of the Month: 3-1, 1.98 ERA (6ER/27.1IP), 27 SO, 10 BB in 5 starts in April

IF Zach Johnson, Offensive Player of the Month: .275 (25×91), 13 R, 9 2B, 4 HR, 30 RBI in 24 games in April

OF Andrew Muren, Defensive Player of the Month: 21 games in the OF, 1.000 FP (0E/42TC)

Notes: Mike Foltynewicz, the Astros first-round pick and the 19th selection overall in 2010, went 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in his five April starts…Foltynewicz currently ranks fourth in the South Atlantic League in ERA…first baseman Zach Johnson, led all Astros minor leaguers in RBI in April and currently ranks second in the SAL in that category…Andrew Muren has not committed an error in his 21 games in center field this season.


Berkman back in No. 3 hole

Astros first baseman Lance Berkman was shuffling across the clubhouse Sunday morning when told by reporters he was hitting third in the lineup for the first time since May 30.

“It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other,” Berkman said.

The Astros were 16-28 with Berkman in the No. 3 hole heading into Sunday’s game against Detroit and 15-8 when he had hit fifth, which he has done most of June. But with Miguel Tejada out of the lineup for a day off, Berkman was back in his familiar No. 3 spot.

“This is just today,” manager Cecil Cooper said. “Tomorrow he could be hitting eighth.”

When pressed by reporters, Cooper finally gave his thoughts on Berkman.

“He’s a three-hole hitter,” he said. “That’s who he is. He’s the best hitter we have. He’s struggled all year for the most part, but he’s the best hitter we’ve got. That’s where you put your best guy. I’d love to see him get back there because that’s where he belongs.”

Berkman wasn’t so sure.

“I think we have three or four guys who could hit there, and it’s a matter of what works the best,” he said.

Berkman entered Sunday hitting .296 with 11 homers and 34 RBIs since April, when he hit .162 with five homers and 10 RBIs. He was hitting .236 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs in the No. 3 spot and .286 with five homers and 13 RBIs in the No. 5 spot.

“With the exception of the first month, I’ve felt pretty good at the plate,” Berkman said. 



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