Houston Astros MiLB Players Of The Month: April
The first month of the minor league season in the books, Let’s take a look at the best performances in the Astros system in April.
*Just a note, these are my picks for the month*
AAA: Fresno Grizzlies
HITTER: Preston Tucker, OF
- April Stats: 20 G, .367 BA/.388 OBP/.532 SLG, 10 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 16 RBI
Tucker seems to be the forgotten man in the Astros system. After contributing in 2015 and helping the Astros make the playoffs, he struggled in 2016 with Houston eventually hurting his shoulder in August. Tucker was optioned to Fresno following Spring Training but has been on fire recently hitting .367 with an OPS of .920 in April.
PITCHER: Brady Rodgers, RHP
- April Stats: 2-0, 1.10 ERA, 16.1 IP, 14 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO
Rodgers was dominant in Fresno last season earning a call-up to Houston where he struggled, though in a small sample. He was back to his dominant ways in 2017 with a 1.10 ERA and just 1 walk in 16.1 innings. Unfortunately, he left his last start after an elbow injury and is currently being evaluated.
AA: Corpus Christi Hooks
HITTER: J.D. Davis, 3B
- April Stats: 23 G, .280 BA/.350 OBP/.505 SLG, 13 R, 3 2B, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 10 BB/16 SO, 2 SB
A little surprising that Davis was assigned to Double-A after having a good season last year, but of course there was room for improvement. This April he has improved in every category and really cut down on his strikeout rate (from 26.5% to 15.5%), increased his walk rate (8.3% to 9.7%), and increased his OPS from .818 to .855.
PITCHER: Rogelio Armenteros, RHP
- April Stats: 1-0, 1.40 ERA/2.56 FIP, 19.1 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 7 BB, 27 SO, .149 BAA
Armenteros has a breakout season in 2016 where he struck out 140 over 127.1 innings between three different levels. Rogelio is off to a hot start in 2017 too. In 4 outings he has a 1.40 ERA (2.56 FIP) and 27 K in 19.1 innings good for 12.6 K/9. This was a tough choice with Deetz right on his tail.
A+: Buies Creek Astros
HITTER: Kyle Tucker, OF
- April Stats: 23 G, .301 BA/.372 OBP/.566 SLG, 6 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 6 SB
The Astros top position player prospect if off to a great start in 2017. Tucker is just 20 years old and is 2.5 years younger than the average player in the Carolina League but you wouldn’t know it from looking at his numbers. He has been an RBI machine with 23 RBI in 23 games and showing the development of his power with the .566 SLG.
PITCHER: Alex Winkelman, LHP
- April Stats: 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 15.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 21 SO
Winkelman showed some last season with 77 K in 76.1 innings. He was fantastic in April and while he had a solid 3.00 ERA, he had a phenomenal 1.59 FIP and 2.16 xFIP. Add this with his 12.6 K/9 and a K-BB% of 34.5% and we are looking at one of the best pitching performances of the month.
A: Quad Cities River Bandits
HITTER: Jake Rogers, C
- April Stats: 17 G, .258 BA/.370 OBP/.565 SLG, 164 wRC+, 5 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 7 BB/18 SO
Rogers was drafted as a defensive first catcher, with the bat behind the glove. Rogers has got off to a nice start with the bat showing some power with 10 XBH and a .306 ISO. Given how good he is defensively, if he continues to show power and continues to hit like he is, he will fly up the prospect rankings.
PITCHER: Brett Adcock, LHP
- April Stats: 0-0, 1.02 ERA/1.58 FIP, 17.2 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 26 K, .177 BAA
Adcock was drafted fairly high (4th round) but didn’t pitch much last season leaving a lot to be desired. It has came together for him so far this season. In 4 outings he has a 1.02 ERA (1.58 FIP) with 26 K in 17.2 IP (13.3 K/9). He is also pitching in his age 21 season, a year younger than the majority of the college players drafted in 2016.
Jon Kemmer, OF (AAA) – .339 BA/.391 OBP/.542 SLG, 4 2B, 2 HR, 13 RBI
Garrett Stubbs, C (AA) – .341 BA/.413 OBP/.634 SLG, 3 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI
Dean Deetz, RHP (AA) – 2-0, 0.66 ERA, 13.2 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 13 K
Akeem Bostick, RHP (A+/AA) – 2.21 ERA, 24.1 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 19 K
Myles Straw, OF (A+) – .291 BA/.367 OBP/.354 SLG, 3 2B, 1 3B, 12 RBI, 6 SB
Yoanys Quiala, RHP (A+) – 3-0, 2.24 ERA, 17.2 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 21 K
Franklin Perez, RHP (A+) – 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 14.1 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 14 K
Hector Perez, RHP (A/A+) – 1-1, 2.14 ERA, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 13 BB, 30 K
Randy Cesar, 3B (A) – .306 BA/.314 OBP/.571 SLG, 5 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI
Carson LaRue, RHP (A) – 2-0, 0.90 ERA, 20.0 IP, 12 H, 7 BB, 18 K
Jorge Alcala, RHP (A) – 2-0, 2.29 ERA, 19.2 IP, 10 H, 9 BB, 21 K
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**Photo Credit: Richard Guill**