Houston Astros MiLB: Corpus Christi Hooks Loaded With Talent
Ever since Jeff Luhnow became the General Manager of the Astros in late 2011, an emphasis has been placed on building a strong minor league system full of teams that win, and this has certainly happened. One of the most talented teams in the last few years has been the Corpus Christi Hooks.
Since Luhnow took over, the Hooks have a combined record of 328-244. To give some perspective this is equivalent to 93-69 over 162 games. Not only is the record staggering, the amount of talent that has gone through there is impressive. Some of the past hooks to play there in the last few seasons are George Springer, Matt Duffy, Domingo Santana, Preston Tucker, Chris Devenski, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Vincent Velasquez, Tyler White, and more. Now not all of these guys are products of Luhnow but still a great accumulation of talent.
2016 is no different. The Hooks are once again loaded with talent and it has already shown leading to their 8-4 record. Let’s look at some of the prospects playing for the Hooks this season.
Alex Bregman, SS
The Astros #2 overall pick in 2015 really doesn’t need an introduction to Hooks fan. In 11 games this season he is hitting .395 with 5 HR, 14 RBI. In his short minor league career he has hit .308 with 9 HR, 48 RBI, 35 BB/33 SO, 15 SB in 77 games. He has lived up to the #2 pick so far and I am sure there is still more to come. Just 22 years old.
Derek Fisher, OF
Another high draftee placed in Corpus this season. Fisher was drafted by the Astros with the 37th pick in 2014. A high upside college outfielder, he showed the tools last season. In 2015, Fisher hit .275 with 22 HR, 31 SB between two levels. He has started slow this season but has put together good at bats. Like Bregman, Fisher is only 22 years old.
Teoscar has been in the Astros system since 2011 after being signed out of the Dominican Republic. Teoscar had a breakout season in 2014 where he hit .292 with 21 HR, 33 SB for Lancaster. Unfortunately things didn’t go as well for him last season but he still managed to hit 17 HR with 33 SB. He is off to a nice start in 2016 and has as much upside as anyone in the Astros system.
JD Davis, 3B
Davis was drafted in the third round by the Astros in 2014. He spent all 2015 in Lancaster and dominated. He hit .289 with 26 HR, 101 RBI in 120 games. Davis has some swing and miss but also has a ton of raw power. Another guy to watch in 2016.
Joe Musgrove, RHP
Musgrove is a big right hander who was acquired by the Astros in 2012. He has a semi breakout in 2014 before really breaking out in 2015. Musgrove finished 12-1 with a 1.88 ERA and won the Astros minor league pitcher of the year. So far in 2016 he his line for CC is 12.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 14 K. He probably won’t be in Corpus much longer.
Francis Martes, RHP
Martes may have the most upside of any starter in the Astros sytem. He was acquired in the deal that sent Cosart to Miami. Martes also had a breakout 2015 pitching in three levels totaling an 8-3 record with a 2.04 ERA, all at 19 years old. He features a high 90s fastball and a power curve. This season he has gone 10 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 9 K for Corpus.
David Paulino, RHP
Another guy acquired in trade by Luhnow. Paulino was brought over from the Tigers in the Jose Veras deal. He missed all of 2014 due to TJS but pitched in 2015 and made a name for himself. He also pitched in three levels posting a 2.81 ERA with 72 K in just 67.1 IP. He has allowed 3 ER in 9 IP this season while striking out 10.
Cy Sneed, RHP
Lastly, another pitcher traded for by Luhnow. Sneed is a recent acquisition, traded for this winter. He was a third round pick by the Brewers and is an advanced pitcher. He in his AA debut this season he went 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K for Corpus.
With all the talent that the Hooks have, a Texas League Title doesn’t seem out of the question. The biggest hurdle for the Hooks will be overcoming the talent that gets promoted and continue to win. Either way, it has been an exciting last few years for Hooks fans.
The future is bright and go Astros!
**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**