Results tagged ‘ Houston Astros ’

AFL Report: Astros and a Yankee Star

The Houston Astros are up next, with intrepid reporter Brian McTaggart writing about new manager Bo Porter’s visit to his prospects in the AFL.

As always, here’s the video report, focusing on Jonathan Singleton, George Springer and Jarred Cosart.

Now, a look at Tuesday’s Star of the Day:

The Yankees’ Slade Heathcott hasn’t had the easiest path as a professional. No. 5 on the New York’s Top 20, the former first-rounder has had some issues on and off the field. Injuries have really hampered him (2 shoulder surgeries) and his career high in at-bats is just 351. So he’s really trying to make up for some lost time with Scottsdale this fall. He certainly did that on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with a double, two triples and five RBIs. He’s hitting .275/.408/.400 over 11 AFL games (40 ABs). He’s really enjoyed hitting from the leadoff spot, with a .471 average in four games. And yes, he was in that slot on Tuesday.

AFL Star of the Day, Vol. 4 and 5

Hey all –

We’ll cover two days with one post, as long as there aren’t any objections.

First, for Friday’s action:

I’m declaring it a draw, an all-UConn day. There was shortstop Nick Ahmed of the Braves. The 2011 second round pick out of UConn went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and four RBIs. He’s gone 5-for-9 in two AFL games to date after a solid first full season in the Carolina League that saw him steal 40 bases.

Then there’s the Astros’ George Springer. A 2011 first-round pick (No. 11 overall) also drove in four runs with a homer and a triple, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Springer was  a California League All-Star, putting up some big numbers, albeit in Lancaster (22 HR, 28 SB, .557 SLG). He earned a promotion up to Double-A, where he struggled a bit.

Ahmed, in case you were curious, is No. 10 on the Braves’ Top 20 Prospects list. Springer is No. 3 on the Astros’ Top 20 and No. 48 overall.

Now on to Saturday’s action:

 

It’s tempting to go with Mike Zunino of the Mariners. After all, how often does a catcher hit two triples in one game. But the real Start of the Day has to be Brock Kjeldgaard of the Brewers. The outfielder hit two homers and drove in three runs.  Kjeldgaard clearly has some pop — he hit 24 homers in 2011 — but took a step back in 2012. Could he be righting the ship in Arizona? He’s 4-for-7 with three homers and 4 RBIs in two games.

 

AFL Star of the Day, Vol. 2

It’s pretty clear that the Star of the Day comes from the Surprise Saguaros, who beat Peoria, 8-4.

Rangers first base prospect Chris McGuiness went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, falling just a triple short of the cycle (in over 1,500 professional plate appearances, McGuiness has just one triple, so this isn’t exactly shocking). McGuiness, a product of the Citadel, came to the Rangers from the Red Sox as part of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia deal. He’s coming off a solid 2012 campaign in Double-A where he finished fourth in the Texas League in homers and seventh in slugging percentage.

He’s playing in Surprise with some of his former organization-mates from Boston. Bryce Brentz, the Red Sox’s No. 4 prospect (and No. 70 overall), drove in a pair of runs in Wednesday’s game as well.

Elsewhere… Rays OF Kevin Keirmaier stole three bases as his Phoenix Desert Dogs lost in 11 innings to the Scottsdale Scorpions, 6-5. And Salt River homered three times. The Diamondbacks’ No. 4 prospect Matt Davidson hit one, and two of the Nationals’ Top 20 went deep as well:  Matt Skole (No. 12) in the first inning, going back-to-back with Davidson, and Brian Goodwin (No. 3 and No. 67 overall) in the 9th.

Jonathan Singleton, ranked No. 1 on the Astros’ Top 20 (and No. 25 overall), also went deep in that game.

‘Tis the (Draft) season

As I’m hoping you already know, Draft season officially started on MLB.com yesterday. Yes, I know, Draft season started long before that in terms of scouting, etc., but I meant in terms of our coverage.

In case you missed it, 2012 Draft Central is up and running (and sponsored by CenturyLink). It’s going to be the place to go for Draft news and features leading up to the June 4-6 event.

So far, there are two newer stories up there, written by yours truly, to get the ball rolling. One is a general preview on how the new rules could change things, especially for teams with multiple early picks. The other is a look at what the new Top 100 looks like.

Oh, and yes, that means the Top 100 list is alive and well. Keep in mind, this is a list based on talent, not a projection. So while Byron Buxton is No. 1 on this list, that doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily going to be taken by the Houston Astros. More on this to come in a story on Friday about who the candidates to go No. 1 are (along with a story from the Astros by our intrepid beat writer Brian McTaggart), but most seem to think the Astros won’t take the high school outfielder from Georgia.

We will have much, much more — mock drafts, chats, you name it — in this month run-up to June 4. So check back early and often.

 

OMG: Houston Astros

Here’s your Houston Astros’ Top 10 prospects list and now, here’s OMG (One More Guy) from their system:

kvasnicka.jpgMike Kvasnicka, C: Initially an outfielder at the University of Minnesota, Kvasnicka moved behind the plate and became a much more intriguing prospect. He ended up going at the front of the sandwich round (No. 33 overall) and was in many first-round conversations as the Draft approached.

Kvasnicka has a good approach at the plate, from both sides of the plate. He hasn’t shown much power to date, though he has a very good line-drive stroke. He should hit for average and some power will come as he develops. He’s got a very strong arm, his best defensive tool that should work well behind the plate, especially if he learns the nuances of catching. That being said, it looks like he’s mostly going to play third this year. He’s not bad athletically and probably should adjust to the position eventually (and that arm will play just fine there, too).

Hopefully, the Astros will settle on a defensive home for Kvasnicka soon. He might have the most value behind the plate, though perhaps he’ll be able to advanced faster if he doesn’t have to worry about learning that craft. His bat should allow him to move fairly quickly.

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