Double-A Corpus Christi has several of the prospects the Astros brought in through trades to bolster the farm system last year, starting with ex-Phillies first baseman Jonathan Singleton, shortstop Jonathan Villar, and righthanders Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid. Former Braves lefthander Brett Oberholtzer is joined in the rotation by hard-throwing righthander Jose Cisnero and sinkerballer Jake Buchanan, the team’s top-rated homegrown prospect. Outfielders Adam Bailey, Brandon Barnes and Austin Wates are all solid prospects as well.
Leap Of Faith
Outfielder George Springer, the Astros’ 2011 first-round pick, had a strong spring and will go straight to high Class A Lancaster. There, he joins 2009 first-rounder Jio Mier, a shortstop who would just be eligible for the draft in 2012 had he gone to college. The JetHawks should post big home runs numbers thanks to the extremely hitter-friendly environment in Lancaster and the power provided by Springer, DH/first baseman Telvin Nash and outfielder Domingo Santana.
Where Is That Guy?
The Astros are handling several prospects with care. Righthanders Adrian Houser and Vince Velasquez stayed back in extended spring training, as did outfielder Ariel Ovando, who is just 18. Houser’s a 2011 high school draftee and Velasquez is coming off Tommy John surgery. Righthander Jack Armstrong Jr., who had several injuries at Vanderbilt, also wasn’t healthy enough for a full spring and will stay back in extended.
Time Is Running Out
No Astros farmhand truly fits this description, but 2010 supplemental first-round pick Mike Kvasnicka hasn't made much progress. A college draft pick out of Minnesota, he’s repeating low Class A Lexington, and after playing third base last season, he’s listed as a catcher again. He played catcher as well as corner outfield in college, and most organizations viewed him as a catcher. Now the Astros apparently do as well. Righty Ross Seaton is repeating Double-A, but he's nine months younger than the 23-year-old Kvasnicka. Other repeaters include Mier, 2010 first-round pick Delino DeShields Jr. and righthanders Tanner Bushue and Mike Foltynewicz (back to Lexington).
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