Results tagged ‘ Koby Clemens ’

Towles, Clemens file for free agency

First baseman Koby Clemens and catcher J.R. Towles were among the Astros Minor League players to file for free agency, according to a list in Baseball America. The majority of the players are the list are six-year free agents, which means the Astros have used all six of his contract renewals.

“The list, in total, is very interesting to us,” Astros general manager Ed Wade said. “We’ve spent a lot of time – Ricky Bennett, Charlie Norton and Pete Putila here in our office – going through the reports, ranking the six-year free agents and talking to our player development staff and scouting personnel and being aggressive in getting out there and trying to make contact and offers to see if we can do some things to help the club.

“We were very successful in that respect last year when you look at people like Fernando Rodriguez and Carlos Corporan and others. We view it as a vehicle to be able to strengthen the depth at not only the Minor League level, but also help the big-league club as well.”

Wade wasn’t prepared to close the door on bringing back any of the team’s own players who have filed for free agency.

“At the end of the day, if it works out that we feel they’re the right players, we’ll go ahead and pursue them,” he said.

Here is the Astros’ list:

Astros (16)
RHP:
Erick Abreu (AA), Sammy Gervacio (AAA), Brad James (AA), Ross Wolf (AAA)
LHP: Kristian Bueno (SS), Ryan Rowland-Smith (AAA), Andy Van Hekken (AAA)
C: J.R. Towles (AAA)
1B: Koby Clemens (AAA)
2B: Jose Vallejo (AAA)
3B: Jhonny Medrano (Lo A), Oswaldo Navarro (AAA)
SS: Anderson Hernandez (AAA), Wladimir Sutil (AA)
OF: Luis Durango (AAA), Drew Locke (AAA)

Astros announce Minor League Players of the Month

The Astros Player Development Department has named the following Players of the Month for April:

Triple A Oklahoma City

RHP Jordan Lyles, Pitcher of the Month: 1-2, 3.76 ERA, 19 Ks, 6 BBs in 5 starts in April

IF Koby Clemens, Offensive Player of the Month: .284 (21-for74), 5 2Bs, 5 HRs, 18 RBIs in 20 games in April

C Carlos Corporan, Defensive Player of the Month: 17 games at C, .993 fielding percentage (1 error/136TC), 7 caught stealing/12 attempts.

Notes: Jordan Lyles, the Astros 2010 organizational Pitcher of the Year and the club’s No. 1 prospect, finished April by tossing 13 consecutive scoreless innings over two starts…he leads the club in innings pitched and ranks third among qualifying Astros minor leaguers in ERA…Koby Clemens leads the RedHawks in home runs (tied-9th in the PCL) and RBIs while playing primarily 1B this season (20 games at 1B, one game at 3B)…Carlos Corporan, one of the final cuts for the Astros this Spring Training, has thrown out 7 of 12 attempted base stealers, while committing only one error in 17 games behind the plate this season.

Double A Corpus Christi

RHP Arcenio Leon, Pitcher of the Month: 0-0, 0.00 ERA (0ER/11IP), 11 SO, .211 (8-for-38) opponents avg. in 7 relief apps. in April

IF Wladimir Sutil, Offensive Player of the Month: .418 (28-for-67), 16 R, 5 2B, 8 BB, 7 SBs, .480 OBP in April

IF Wladimir Sutil, Defensive Player of the Month: 18 games at SS, .980 fielding percentage (2 errors/100TC), 17 double plays turned this season

Notes: Arcenio Leon, currently on the Astros 40-man roster, did not allow a run and struck out 11 in his first seven appearances this season (11 innings)…Wladimir Sutil ranks among Texas League leaders in batting average (second), hits (tied-2nd), on-base percentage (fifth) and runs scored (tied-7th)…he opened his season with a 16-game hitting streak, which spanned the entire month of April…Sutil’s appeared in 18 games at shortstop this season, committing only two errors in 100 total chances.

Class A Advanced Lancaster

RHP Kirk Clark, Pitcher of the Month: 1-0, 0.93 ERA, 8  saves, 0 blown saves, .182 (6-for-33) opponents avg. in nine relief apps. in April

IF Jose Altuve, Offensive Player of the Month: .435 (40-for-92), 19 runs, 6 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 12 RBIs, 12 SBs, .485 OBP in 23 games in April

IF Jonathan Meyer, Defensive Player of the Month: 22 games at 3B, .943 fielding percentage (3 errors/5 3 total chances), 33 assists this season

Notes: Kirk Clark, an undrafted free agent signed in 2009 out of Creighton, is 8-for-8 in save opportunities this season, and currently leads all Astros minor leaguers and the California League in saves…Clark posted 29 saves for Class A Lexington in 2010…Jose Altuve leads all Astros minor leaguers in hitting and steals and ranks among CL leaders in hits (first), triples (tied-1st), batting average (second), total bases (tied-2nd) and on-base percentage (fifth)…Jonathan Meyer has started 22 of the club’s 26 games at third base, committing only three errors.

Class A Lexington

RHP Tanner Bushue, Pitcher of the Month: 3-0, 2.70 ERA, .214 (21-for-98) opponents avg. in four starts in April

C Chris Wallace, Offensive Player of the Month: .398 (33-for-83), 20 runs, 8 2Bs, 7 HRs, 24 RBIs, .468 OBP, .795 SLG in 22 games in April

IF Jiovanni Mier, Defensive Player of the Month: 22 games at SS, .950 fielding percentage (5 errors/101TC), 13 double plays turned this season

Notes: Tanner Bushue, a second-round pick in the 2009 Draft, went undefeated in four April starts while limiting opponents to just 21 hits and 5 walks in his 26 2/3 innings pitched…Chris Wallace, a University of Houston product, hit seven home runs and drove in 24 RBIs in 22 games in April…he hit three of those home runs in the same game on April 17 at Asheville, en route to being named the South Atlantic League’s Player of the Week (April 7-17)…Jiovanni Mier, the 21st overall selection in the 2009 draft, has started 22 games at shortstop this season, while committing only five errors and turning 13 double plays.

 

A look at the Astros at the Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League gets underway today, giving the Astros and other Major League teams the opportunity see some of their top prospects play in what is considered a graduate school for prospects.

The Astros have eight players in Arizona playing for the Peoria Javelinas: pitchers David Carpenter, Kyle Greenwalt, Matt Nevarez and Patrick Urckfitz; infielder Koby Clemens; and outfielders Jay Austin, Brandon Barnes and Jack Shuck.

In fact, Nevarez will be blogging about his exprerience and you can follow it by clicking here.

Outfielder T.J. Steele and pitcher Sergio Perez were originally scheduled to play, but Steele is still recovering from an injury and Perez had a personal commitment. Carpenter and Barnes are on the taxi squad, meaning they’ll only play on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Each of the six Arizona Fall League teams plays a 32-game schedule through Nov. 18. All Triple-A and Double-A player are eligible to play provided they are on those rosters no later than Aug. 16. Two players below the Double-A level are also allowed to play.

Nearly 60 percent of the players to have played in league’s first 18 years of existence have made the Major Leagues, including more than 70 percent of players from a year ago. Astros catcher Jason Castro played in Arizona last fall.

“It’s a great environment because the competition level is always very high in Arizona,” Astros general manager Ed Wade said. “It’s a different environment than what exists in Latin America in the winter leagues. We’ve got big crowds and the competition amongst the clubs is significant.

“The Arizona Fall League provides an opportunity for top prospects to face top prospects, and all you have to do is look at the history of the Arizona Fall League to see how many outstanding Major League players have come through the program to recognize it’s importance. We’re excited about what we saw in the instructional league, anxious to see kids playing in the Fall League. We’re certainly monitoring what’s coming out of the other Latin programs as well.”

The Astros will scout the entire league with their pro scouts on assignment, with assistant general managers David Gottfried and Bobby Heck among those also going out to check out the league. Wade plans to head to Arizona to see four games later this month.

Here’s a look at the players the Astros sent to Arizona:

  • RHP David Carpenter, 25 years old: Acquired from the Cardinals in the Pedro Feliz trade, he went a combined 6-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 55 games in relief between Class A Palm Beach and Lancaster. He pitched in six games after being acquired from the Astros, going 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA.
  • RHP Kyle Greenwalt, 22 years old: A 20th-round draft pick in 2007, he went 8-7 with a 5.93 ERA in 27 starts in Class A Lancaster. He allowed 191 hits and struck out 90 batters 136 2/3 innings.
  • RHP Matt Nevarez, 23 years old: Injuries slowed him down this year, but he went 2-1 with a 3.76 ERA in 36 relief appearances after appearing in Major League Spring Training with the Astros, who acquired him from the Texas Rangers in the Ivan Rodriguez trade.
  • LHP Pat Urckfitz 22 years old: Spent most of last season at Class A Lancaster, going 5-9 with a 4.13 ERA in 35 games, including 12 starts. He appeared in one game at Double-A Corpus Christi at the end of the season.
  • IF Koby Clemens, 23 years old: Has hit 48 homers and driven in 208 runs in the past two years between Class A Lexington and Double-A Corpus Christi. Last season at Corpus, he hit .241 with 22 doubles, three triples, 26 homers and 85 RBIs.
  • OF Jay Austin, 20 years old: The speedy Austin was the youngest player in the California League to begin last season and wound up hitting .261 with 25 doubles, 13 triples, 10 homers, 59 RBIs and 54 stolen bases in 74 attempts for Class A Lancaster.
  • OF Brandon Barnes, 24 years old:  Taken in the sixth round of the 2005 Draft, Barnes hit .269 with 31 doubles, five triples, 27 homers and 80 RBIs last season at Class A Lancaster. He played six games at Triple-A Round Rock at the end of the year and hit .286 in 21 at-bats.
  • OF Jack Shuck, 23 years old: Spent most of last season at Double-A Corpus Christi and batted .298 with two homers and 28 RBIs. He played in 36 games at Triple-A Round Rock at the end of the year and hit .273 in 139 at-bats. Shuck was taken in sixth round of 2008 Draft.

Astros named Minor League MVPs

The Astros announced their 2010 Most Valuable Players for each of the club’s Minor League affiliates on Friday. The eight MVPs were selected by the field staff of each team:

Triple-A Round Rock – Outfielder Drew Locke hit .279 with 17 homers, 36 doubles and 74 RBIs in 135 games. He was the team’s Offensive Player of the Month three times and Pacific Coast League Player of the Week in August. Locke, acquired in the Rule 5 Draft in 2008, was team MVP at Double-Corpus Christi last year.

Double-A Corpus Christi – Infielder Koby Clemens hit .241 with 26 home runs, 85 RBIs and a .350 on-base percentage in his first year in Double-A. He was a midseason Texas League all-Star and finished third in the league in homers, fourth in RBIs and sixth in runs. He was the MVP last year at Class A Lexington.

Class A Lancaster – Outfielder Brandon Barnes hit .259 with 27 homers, 31 doubles and 80 RBIs. He tied for sixth in the California League in slugging percentage (.517) and had a .326 on-base percentage. The 2005 Draft pick was also Lancaster’s Defensive Player of the Month in June.

Class A Lexington – Outfielder Jacob Goebbert finished his second professional season with a .291 average, 48 doubles, 10 home runs and 98 RBIs. He finished first in the South Atlantic League in doubles, while ranking second in RBIs and sixth in hits (151). He was named South Atlantic League Player of the Week from July 26-Aug. 1, and earned Defensive Player of the Month honors twice for the Legends. He was a 13th-round pick of the Astros in the June 2009 Draft.

Short-season Tri-City – Infielder Ben Orloff hit .307 with 23 steals and a .405 on-base percentage in 63 games for the New York-Penn League champs. A ninth-round pick in the 2009 Draft, he was named Tri-City’s Defensive Player of the Month for July and August.

Rookie-league Greeneville – Outfielder Telvin Nash hit .265 with 12 doubles, 12 home runs and a .348 on-base percentage. The Astros’ third-round pick from the June 2009 Draft led the team with 36 RBIs and tied for the team lead in home runs. Nash earned Defensive Player of the Month honors in August.

Gulf Coast League Astros – Right-hander Jose Perdomo earned went 4-3 with a 1.67 ERA in 11 starts. Signed by the Astros as a non-drafted free agent in July of 2009, Perdomo ranked second in the GCL in strikeouts (69), third in ERA, fifth in innings pitched and third in WHIP (0.98). He was also named GCL Astros Pitcher of the Month in July.

Dominican Summer League Astros — Right-handed pitcher Francisco Baso went 7-3 with three saves and a 1.33 ERA in 16 relief appearances. He also earned DSL Astros Pitcher of the Month honors in June and July. The 19-year-old native Panamanian was signed as a non-drafted free agent prior to the 2008 season.

Day 12: Berkman returns, Koby mashes and pitchers struggle

Short of rain – or sleet – falling from the sky, the conditions couldn’t have been worse for Wednesday’s intrasquad game at Osceola County Stadium. The temperature was in the upper-40s, and the wind was gusting between 15 and 25 mph most of the game.

The Astros’ every-day players didn’t participate in the game, which was for pitchers to get some work in. Bud Norris started for one team, and Brian Moehler for the other. The team led by first-base coach Bobby Meacham - Meacham’s Mashers – beat the team led by third-base coach Dave Clark – Clark’s Crushers – by the score of 16-13.

Norris pitched a scoreless inning and Moehler gave up two runs in one inning, but Yorman Bazardo took some serious lumps on the mound, hitting a pair of batters. Koby Clemens went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer, and Jason Bourgeois had a triple and a homer.

“It was good to see the pitchers throw the ball to live hitters,” Astros manager Brad Mills said. “The biggest thing was to get them out there in a game situation and run through some things. Successes and failures are absolutely nothing today, especially with the weather like it was. But it was nice to get them out there in game situations and throw the ball.

“I thought [Matt] Lindstrom threw the ball real well. He was letting it go there for a while. I know he gave up a couple of balls hit hard, but it was sure nice to see him throw the ball extremely well.”

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The Astros will kick off their 2010 Grapefruit League schedule on Thursday against the Washington Nationals without Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee in the batting order.

Berkman, who is recovering from a knee bruise, will be held out by manager Brad Mills. Lee left Florida on Wednesday to fly to Houston to participate in some cattle-showing activities at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Lee will miss Thursday and Friday and be in the lineup Saturday.

An avid rancher in both Houston and Panama, Lee has 11 entries in the livestock show.

“He has my blessing,” Mills said.

So without Puma and El Caballo, here is Mills’ lineup for Thursday’s game:

Michael Bourn CF
Kaz Matsui 2B
Hunter Pence RF
Geoff Blum 1B
Pedro Feliz 3B
Jason Castro DH
Jason Michaels LF
J.R. Towles C
Tommy Manzella SS

Brett Myers will start on the mound with the goal of pitching two innings. Other pitchers available to throw are Alberto Arias, Chris Sampson, Sammy Gervacio, Roy Corcoran, Gary Majewski, Casey Daigle, Wesley Wright, Jose Valdez and Gustavo Chacin.

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Left-hander Tim Byrdak was originally supposed to miss Wednesday’s workout after waking up with a sore neck. But Byrdak got treatment and convinced pitching coach Brad Arnsberg to let him throw one inning in the intra-squad game, which he did without incident. Byrdak said he wouldn’t have pitched had it been a regular Grapefruit League game.

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Mills said the Astros will use one of their catchers to be the designated hitter more often than not this spring. J.R. Towles and Jason Castro are battling for the starting catching spot and both need at-bats. Humberto Quintero is entrenched as the back-up.

“There’s going to be some times we’re not going to, but for Friday’s game in Detroit we’re going to wait to see if Berkman needs to DH or play first base,” Mills said. “I’m waiting to see how he is [Thursday]. Most of the time, it’s going to be our catchers.”

Mills said Towles will DH on Friday against the Tigers in Lakeland if Berkman isn’t in that spot. Quintero will be the DH for the “B” game scheduled Friday in Lakeland.

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Brandon Lyon, who threw gently off the mound Monday and Tuesday for the first time this spring, threw for eight minutes off flat ground Wednesday. Lyon is working his arm back into shape after having a cyst drained in his shoulder in January. Mills said Lyon will get back on the mound Thursday.

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The official order of selection for the 2010 First-Year Player Draft in June was released today. The Astros have picks Nos. 8, 19, 33, 58, 90 and 123. For rounds 5-50, the club will pick eighth in each round.

 

Astros face 40-man roster decisions

The Astros must have their 40-man roster set by 11 p.m., which is why club officials spent most of this week in meetings at Minute Maid Park going over the roster. Astros manager Brad Mills sat in on the meetings, along with the front office and members of the player development staff. Owner Drayton McLane participated on Monday and Tuesday.

Several spots on the 40-man have been cleared with players filing for free agency, so the Astros have some wiggle room. Any players on the 40-man roster by the end of today are protected from being taken by other club’s in next month’s Rule 5 draft. The roster is at 33 (if I’m counting correctly) entering Friday and will likely be at 37 at the end of the day after they add some Minor Leaguers. That will leave a few spots open for free agents, though they could create more spots by non-tendering contracts to some players.

But what Minor Leaguers will they add?

Among the players up for consideration are outfielder Drew Locke, pitcher Sergio Perez and infielder/outfielder Koby Clemens, who led all of the Minor Leagues in RBIs last season. Clemens appears to be a man without a position and isn’t likely to be added to the roster.

Generally, players drafted out of college have to be protected after their third full season in baseball, which means those taken in the 2006 draft. High school players have an extra year, meaning high school players drafted in 2005 are eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the first time.

The Astros can add these players to the 40-man roster, put them on the Triple-A roster, Double-A roster or Class A roster. Anyone on the Triple-A roster can be drafted in the Rule 5 draft and have to stay on the Major League roster for the entire season or be sent through waivers and offered back to the original club for half the waiver price. Players on the Double-A roster can be drafted in the Triple-A portion of the draft and be placed anywhere in the system.

Last year, the Astros selected Locke in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 draft from the Los Angeles Dodgers after he hit .311 with 11 homers and 85 RBIs at Class A Inland Empire. What a find. Locke hit .338 with 20 homers and 109 RBIs at Double-A Corpus Christi last season.

Clemens hit .345 with 22 homers and 121 RBIs and a .419 on-base percentage in hitter-friendly Lancaster and has been tinkering with playing first base. Perez was 11-11 with a 4.68 ERA in 27 starts at Corpus Christi.

Other first-time eligible players for the Rule 5 draft include:  right-handers Bryan Hallberg (Lancaster) and Casey Hudspeth (Lancaster/Corpus Christi), left-hander Chris Salamida (Lancaster), outfielder Jimmy Van Ostrand (Corpus Christi) and outfielder Nick Moresi (Corpus Christi).

Left-hander Fernando Abad and infielder Wladimir Sutil were added to the 40-man earlier this month.

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