Astros Midseason Report

Astros Midseason Report






Best Player: Jordan Lyles could be called up to the majors at any point this year or any point next year and still not be able to celebrate with a cold one. That's how young this tall righthander who's been terrorizing the Texas League really is.
Lyles, who won't turn 20 until October, has had his way in Double-A as one of its youngest arms. He ranked fourth in the league with a 2.60 ERA and second with 85 strikeouts and 22 walks in 93 innings of work.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Lyles, a 2008 supplemental first-round pick out of Hartsville (S.C.) High, features a good but not overpowering fastball and devastating breaking stuff.

Biggest Leap Forward: J.D. Martinez didn't have a big leap in terms of production, just in terms of getting one big step closer to showing that he's for real.
The 2009 20th-round pick out of Nova Southeastern (Fla.) proved too good for the Rookie-level Appalachian League and short-season New York-Penn League in his professional debut last year, and he hasn't stopped hitting since arriving at low Class A Lexington.
The outfielder was hitting .353/.416/.562 with 10 home runs and 53 RBIs in 306 at-bats for the Legends, ranking first in average and slugging percentage.

Biggest Disappointment: Jiovanni Mier has struggled to meet expectations after an all-around outstanding season in his professional debut last year. The 2009 first-round pick  was hitting just .222/.318/.287 in 261 at-bats. He had 17 doubles but had yet to hit a home run or triple.

SPACE SHOTS

Jason Castro, the first pick that general manager Ed Wade and scouting director Bobby Heck made, is also the first to make his major league debut. Castro, the No. 10 overall pick in 2008, joined the Astros on June 22 after shaking off a slow start at Triple-A Round Rock.

• The Astros signed infielder Ramon Vazquez, who played nine major league seasons for six different teams, to a minor league deal, and placed him on the roster at Round Rock.