Myles Straw Brings A Unique Skill
When the Astros convene each year for spring training in West Palm Beach, Fla., non-roster invitees are often given one directive to accelerate their path to a major league roster.
"Bring something to the team that someone else doesn’t,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
Outfielder Myles Straw chooses his speed.
A 12th-round pick in 2015 with just 13 games of Double-A experience prior to this season, Straw enjoyed an eye-opening breakout, garnering a September callup and the realization of a goal he envisioned before he began play.
The 23-year-old Straw saw Derek Fisher placed on the Astros’ 2017 postseason roster solely for his speed. Fisher scored the game-winning run in Game 5 of the World Series, the 13-12 marathon win.
"Coming out of Day One, I knew I had a shot at that,” said Straw, a product of St. John's River (Fla.) JC. "In my head, I knew I was going to run a lot this year. I put that to task and I accomplished it. Toward the end of the year, I had a good shot of coming up.”
Between 131 games at Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno, Straw stole a minor league-leading 70 bases while hitting .291/.381/.353. Catchers caught him stealing just nine times. He credited heightened competition and a new approach to playing baseball as he ascended to the upper minors.
"Just have the games taken more seriously instead of more developing,” Straw said. "You want to learn how to win as a team more, so little things like that kind of (teach you) how to play the game the right way and show you how you go about the game at a higher level.”
Straw continues to hit for average—he hit .290 last year—but does not possess much in the way of power. He stands just 5-foot-10, after all.
Speed can atone for that.
Jose Urquidy Takes A Giant Step Forward
A post-Tommy John surgery velocity boost had helped push Urquidy toward the top of the Astros' depth chart.
>> Outfielder Kyle Tucker and righthander Josh James were named the Astros’ minor league player and pitcher of the year. Tucker’s .989 OPS led all Triple-A players. James’ 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings led all minor league pitchers. Both are with the major league club during September.