Fast Start Positions Drew Ferguson As Possible Callup

Outfielder Drew Ferguson’s brief pro baseball career has been largely unseen, unnoticed amid bigger names from bigger schools who’ve ascended the Astros’ farm system rapidly.

He attended Belmont, a Nashville liberal arts college not quite known for its athletics, and walked on to its baseball team.

He was a 19th-round pick in 2015, when Houston nabbed starting third baseman Alex Bregman and uber-prospect Kyle Tucker in the first round.

Now, the 25-year-old Ferguson plays for Triple-A Fresno on a roster littered with players who have had a taste—and success—in the big leagues. J.D. Davis made the 2018 Opening Day roster. Tyler White did the same in 2017. Tony Kemp was in fierce contention to make both, too.

Then there is Ferguson, a righthanded hitter who zoomed to a fast start in the Pacific Coast League. Through 17 games he hit .362/.457/.580 with two home runs and 14 RBIs.

He began his season on a 10-game hitting streak, too, a far cry from one season ago, when he hit .223 in 29 games at Fresno.

Early in the big league season, each of the Astros’ extra outfielders—Jake Marisnick and Derek Fisher—have been beset by huge strikeout numbers.

Ferguson’s strikeout numbers have never been an issue. He had struck out 13 percent of the time in the early part of 2018 while walking 11 percent of the time. However, his power is not pronounced, but a focus on driving the baseball is evident with nine extra-base hits.

Ferguson can play all three outfield positions—he was a center fielder in college—but now has gained experience at the two corner spots.

>> Outfielder Yordan Alvarez earned an Opening Day assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi after playing at two Class A levels last year. Seven of his first 16 hits went for extra bases, and he has slugged .500 through his first 15 games. His power is the best in the Astros’ farm system.

>> With a breaking ball that’s wowed many in the organization, righthander Corbin Martin, a 2017 second-rounder out of Texas A&M, struck out 21 and allowed just three hits across his first 14 innings at high Class A Buies Creek.

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