Results tagged ‘ Telvin Nash ’

Who’s the DH of the future?

With the Astros headed to the American League West beginning in 2013, there’s going to be a different brand of baseball played at Minute Maid Park. There will be less bunts, fewer pitching changes and almost no double-switches. All of which is thanks to the presence of the designated hitter.

If you grew up a baseball fan in Houston, seeing the designated hitter at Minute Maid Park will take some time to embrace. Beginning in 2013, there will be no more watching pitchers trying to bunt and swing away aimlessly. No more acting shocked when the Gustavo Chacins of the world hit home runs (unless the Astros are playing Interleague Play in a National League park).

OK, now I’m confused.

The bottom line is the Astros are going to have to find a designated hitter. They have a pretty good candidate to be DH in Carlos Lee, but as luck would have it, his contract expires at the end of the 2012 season. The Astros aren’t likely to bring him back after paying him $100 million over six years.

The DH is usually associated with a guy like Frank Thomas or David Ortiz, burly sluggers who have the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark and who aren’t the greatest defenders. But some of the best DH’s have been guys who can flat out hit, but not necessarily hit the long ball as proficiently as the Big Hurt. Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines, two of the best DH’s ever, never hit more than 40 homers in a season, and Baines never hit more than 30.

Could the future DH be Brett Wallace, who has yet to establish himself in the Majors? Wallace will need to find his power stroke first, but if he’s still in the organization in two years he’ll be in the mix.

The two players in the system who appear to have the most potential to be DH’s down the road are Jonathan Singleton and Telvin Nash, who is build like Ryan Howard.

Singleton, acquired from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence deal, is one of the club’s top prospects and has emerging power. A left-handed hitter who plays first base, he hit a combined 13 homers last season between high Class A Clearwater and Lancaster. The kid is bursting with potential.

Nash, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound right-hander, looks more like your prototypical DH. He bashed 14 homers in only 268 at-bats last year at low Class A Lexington, missing two months after breaking a bone in his hand.

If Singleton is indeed the team’s first baseman of the future, Nash is destined for a DH role. Another slugger who push for DH time is Kody Hinze. He’s not a top prospect, but he’s shown some pretty good power and has been playing first base as well.

A quick look at who’s hot in the Minors

By now you’ve probably heard Astros farmhands Telvin Nash, an outfielder, and Chris Wallace, a catcher, each homered three times in the same Sunday for Class A Lexington in n 18-9 win. The entire story, including player reaction, can be found by clicking here.

Both Nash, who was the designated hitter on Sunday, and Wallace went 5-for-6 with four runs scored. Wallace had a club-record nine RBIs, which was one shy of the South Atlantic League record of 10. Nash finished with four RBIs. Both players tallied 15 total bases in the game, which was also one shy of the SAL record of 16.

Nash and Wallace are the first set of teammates ever to hit three home runs in the same game in Lexington franchise his­tory.

Here’s what else is going on around the minors:

OF J.D. Martinez, the Astros Minor League player of the Year in 2010, is hitting .368 in 10 games at Double-A Corpus Christi with two home runs, 16 RBIs, a .422 on-base pct. and a .658 slugging pct. His RBI total is tops in the Texas League. Last season, Martinez, 23, hit a combined .341 at Class A Lexington and Corpus Christi with 18 home runs and 89 RBIs. Martinez has a .344 career minor league average with 32 home runs and 161 RBIs (.405 OBP, .558 SLG) since being selected by the Astros in the 20th round of the 2009 June Draft.

At Triple -A Oklahoma City, OF J.B. Shuck is hitting .353 and OF Brian Bogusevic is batting .324 with a homer and six RBIs. … 1B Koby Clemens is hitting .346 in eight games with two home runs and nine RBIs. … SS Tommy Manzella is hitting .314 with a homer and eight RBIs.

At Double-A Corpus Christi, SS Wladimir Sutil leads the Texas League in hits (20), is second in batting (.455) and is fourth in on-base percentage (.510). … IF Jimmy Paredes (seven), OF T.J. Steele (six) and Sutil (five) are first, second and third in the Texas League in stolen bases.

At Class A Lancaster, 20-year-old IF Jose Altuve ranks seventh in the California League with a.390 average and is tied for first in the league in triples (two). … RHP Jake Buchanan (1-1) is seventh in the California League in ERA with a 1.20 mark after two starts, and 21-year-old  RHP Jose Cisnero has the best strikeouts-per-nine-innings ration (17.47) in the Minor Leagues with 22 strikeouts in just 11 2/3 innings of work.

At Class A Lexington, 20-year-old SS Jiovanni Mier, the Astros’ first pick in the 2009 June Draft, is hitting .343 in 10 games with a .477 on-base pct. … 3B Michael Kvasnicka, 22, is hitting .353 in nine games at Lexington with seven RBIs. … Kvasnicka was selected by the Astros in the supplemental first round (No. 33 overall) of the 2010 June Draft. … RHP Tanner Bushue, 19, is 2-0 in two starts with a 2.57 ERA. He was selected in the second round fo the 2009 June Draft.

Game 18: Norris slowly gaining strength

The Astros’ split-squad team lost the Braves, 7-1, on Sunday afternoon in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The game was pretty uneventul for the Astros until the ninth inning, when Minor League outfielder Telvin Nash hit perhaps the longest homer in the history of Champion Stadium, sending a pitch over the giant scoreboard in left-center.

The Astros had a much better day against the Tigers in Lakeland, where J.R. Towles went 3-for-4 with his second homer of the spring in a 3-1 win. But since I was at Disney here’s the breakdown of the loss to the Braves:

What went right: Aneury Rodriguez, Brandon Lyon, Jeff Fulchino and Mark Melancon each threw one scoreless inning in relief, with Fulchino striking out a pair of batters. He has looked extremely sharp this spring and completely recovered from offseason elbow surgery. He’s likely pitched himself onto the Opening Day roster at this point.

Melancon gave up two hits and a walk, but escaped without allowing a run. The only hits the Astros managed were by Anderson Hernandez, Hunter Pence, Tommy Manzella and a mammoth home run by Minor League outfielder Telvin Nash.

What went wrong: The Astros were held to four hits in 31 at-bats and struck out 10 times against the Braves. Bud Norris started and allowed five hits, five runs and two walks in three innings, but Norris is still working on pitches and his outing shouldn’t be any kind of cause for alarm. The good news, Norris said, is he got his pitch count up and he felt fine.

Carlos Lee made a fielding error in left field, and Arcenio Leon was roughed up in one inning of work, allowing two hits and two runs and one home run.

What they said: “Just the biggest point right now is getting the pitch count up there, and I felt pretty good. The slider wasn’t where I wanted it to be today. The first home run it definitely hung up there and the guy made a good swing on it, so I’m still working on stuff. All in all, I was worried about getting my pitch count up there.” — pitcher Bud Norris, who gave up home runs to Wilkin Ramirez in the second and Chipper Jones in the third inning Sunday.

What’s next: The race for the fifth spot in the rotation heats up when Nelson Figueroa takes the mound for the Astros against his former team, the Philadelphia Phillies, at 12:05 p.m. CT at Osceola County Stadium. Figueroa has won both is his previous Grapefruit League starts, allowing one earned run in five innings. Reliever Wilton Lopez, who has four perfect one-inning outings under his belt this spring, is also scheduled to pitch for Houston.

Injury update: Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has come down with mild tendinitis in his left shoulder and will be skipped Tuesday as a precaution. … Astros general manager Ed Wade said he was pleased with how right-hander Alberto Arias, who’s throwing on flat ground, and infielder Jeff Keppinger, who’s coming off foot surgery eight weeks ago, are progressing from their injuries. 

Here are the pictures:

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Above: Astros players stretch prior to Sunday’s game against the Braves.

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Above: The Astros had been using the designated hitter all spring, but Bud Norris became the first pitcher to hit in a game. He struck out in his only at-bat against the Braves.

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Above: Brandon Lyon is interviewed by MLB Network prior to the game.

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Above: Carlos Lee plays catch on the field prior to Sunday’s game.

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Above: Koby Clemens makes contact during batting practice.

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Above: Hunter Pence is never shy about signing autographs for Astros fans.

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Above: Michael Bourn grabs a bat and emerges from the dugout for Sunday BP.

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.