SINCE JULY 4, THE ASTROS HAVE ACQUIRED 15 PLAYERS (AND TWO PLAYERS TO BE NAMED LATER) IN FIVE TRADES AS PART OF THE CLUB’S ONGOING PLAN TO INFUSE YOUNG TALENT INTO THE ORGANIZATION. THIS SEASON, THE ASTROS FARM SYSTEM HAS HAD THE MOST DRAMATIC TURNAROUND IN BASEBALL. THE CLUB’S TOP FOUR MINOR LEAGUE AFFILIATES ARE CURRENTLY A COMBINED 243-195 (.555), AFTER GOING 180-251 (.418) AT THIS POINT LAST SEASON. BELOW IS A SCOUTING REPORT ON THE PLAYERS ACQUIRED IN THE RECENT TRADES.
July 4: Acquired IF Matt Dominguez and LHP Rob Rasmussen from MIA in exchange for IF Carlos Lee.
Matt Dominguez...IF...B-T: R/R...22...6-1, 215...currently the everyday third baseman at Triple A Oklahoma City...is hitting .292 (21x72) with 6 doubles, 1 homer and 18 RBI in 19 games with the RedHawks...went 2x8 in 4 games with Houston immediately after being acquired by the club...was a 2010 Southern League All-Star... entering 2012, was ranked as Miami’s No. 4 prospect by Baseball America, who reports: “Possesses Gold Glove ability, with good anticipation, quick feet, smooth hands and a strong, accurate arm”...selected by the Marlins in the 1st round (12th overall) of the 2007 June Draft out of Chatsworth HS (CA).
Rob Rasmussen...LHP...23...5-9, 161...is in the starting rotation at Double A Corpus Christi...has made 5 starts with the Hooks...in his most recent start on 7/30, hurled 7.1 innings and allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits with 7 strikeouts...made 16 starts earlier this year with the Class A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads, going 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA (38ER/87.2IP) and 75 strikeouts...made 28 appearances (27 starts) with Jupiter in 2011, posting a 12-10 record with a 3.64 ERA (60ER/148.1IP) and 118 strikeouts...ranked by Baseball America as the Marlins’ No. 7 prospect... Baseball America reports: “Owns four solid-average pitches with a 90-93 mph fastball, a slider, a curveball and a changeup...84-87 mph slider is his best secondary pitch...may not need much more than another year in the minors”...selected by Miami in the 2nd round of the 2010 June Draft out of UCLA...his uncle, Neil, was a 1st round selection (12th overall) by the Astros in 1971.
July 20: Acquired RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez, RHP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco and a player to be named later from TOR in exchange for RHP David Carpenter, LHP J.A. Happ and RHP Brandon Lyon.
Joe Musgrove...RHP...19...6-5, 230...assigned to Rookie Level Greeneville...in 2 games (1 start) this year with the Rookie Level Bluefield Blue Jays, posted a 1.13 ERA (1ER/8.0IP) with 9 strikeouts...spent the majority of the 2011 season with the GCL Blue Jays where he went 0-1 with a 4.57 ERA (11ER/21.2IP) in 8 games (7 starts), striking out 16 and recording 1.75 ground balls per fly ball...ranked by Baseball America as the No. 20 prospect
in Toronto’s system entering 2012...Baseball America reports: “Heavy fastball sits at 90-94 mph and touches 98...stands out for his combination of life and velocity...curveball shows some power too...uses a splitter as a changeup...has an easy delivery...projects to be a workhorse starter thanks to his big, durable body and stuff”...selected in the supplemental 1st round (46th overall) by the Blue Jays out of Grossmont HS (CA) in the 2011 June Draft.
Asher Wojciechowski...RHP...23...6-4, 235...currently a starting pitcher at Double A Corpus Christi...in 2 starts with the Hooks, is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA (3ER/12.0IP) and 11 strikeouts...started the year with the Class A Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays where he went 7-3 with a 3.57 ERA (37ER/93.1IP) in 18 starts...was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week on 5/29...played in 25 games (22 starts) with Dunedin in 2011, going 11-9 with a 4.70 ERA (68ER/130.1IP)...ranked by Baseball America as the No. 10 prospect in the Blue Jays’ system...Baseball America reports: “Worked at 89-93 in 2011...his 80-85 mph slider has hard break and can be a plus pitch at its best...has the ceiling of a No. 2 starter”...taken in the supplemental 1st round (41st overall) by the Blue Jays out of The Citadel in the 2010 June Draft.
David Rollins...LHP...22...6-1, 195...is in the starting rotation at Class A Lexington...has spent the majority of the season with the Class A Lansing Lugnuts, where he went 6-1 in 18 starts with a 2.78 ERA (24ER/77.2IP) and 75 strikeouts...posted a 4-0 record and a 1.77 ERA (7ER/35.2IP), walking just 3 batters and striking out 29 in 7 combined starts last year between Rookie Level Bluefield and Short Season Class A Vancouver...selected by Toronto in the 24th round of the 2011 June Draft out of San Jacinto Community College North.
Carlos Perez...C...B-T: R/R...21...6-0, 193...currently playing catcher at Class A Advanced Lancaster...in his first 6 games with the club, is hitting .364 (8x22) with 2 doubles, 2 walks and 6 RBI...spent 71 games this season with the Class A Lansing Lugnuts, posting a .275 average (75x273) with 22 doubles, 5 triples, 5 homers and 35 walks...played 95 games for the Lugnuts in 2011, where he hit .256 (98x383) with 26 extra base hits...has a career .280 batting average and .373 on-base percentage in parts of 5 minor league seasons...has 176 walks as opposed to 207 strikeouts in his career...was a 2010 New York-Penn League All-Star...was named his team’s Most Valuable Player in each of his first 3 seasons...joined Carlos Delgado, Adam Lind and Luis Lopez as the 4th Blue Jay to receive 3 minor league MVP awards...ranked by Baseball America as the No. 14 prospect in Toronto’s system heading into 2012...Baseball America reports: “Has solid catch-and-throw skills...solid arm strength with a quick release...handles the bat well...controls the strike zone”...is a product of the Blue Jays’ Dominican Academy...signed as a non-drafted free agent on January 2, 2008.
July 21: Acquired RHP Matt Heidenreich, LHP Blair Walters and a player to be named later from CWS in exchange for RHP Brett Myers.
Matt Heidenreich...RHP...21...6-5, 190...currently a starting pitcher at Double A Corpus Christi...in 2 starts with the Hooks, is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA (3ER/13.0IP)...has struck out 11 and issued 1 walk...tossed 8.0 innings and carried a shutout into the 9th in his first start with the Hooks on 7/26...has spent the majority of the season with the Class A Advanced Winston-Salem Dash where he posted an 8-2 record with a 3.57 ERA (37ER/93.1IP) in 15 starts...recorded 2 complete games and 1 shutout with the club and walked just 13 batters in his 93.1 innings...selected by Chicago in the 4th round of the 2009 June Draft out of Temescal Canyon HS (CA).
Blair Walters...LHP...21...6-0, 200...is in the starting rotation at Class A Advanced Lancaster...previously made a combined 18 starts this season with the Class A Kannapolis Intimidators and Class A Advanced Winston-Salem Dash...in 13 starts with Kannapolis, posted a 3-3 record and a 2.88 ERA (23ER/72.0IP)...recorded 69 punchouts and walked just 18 batters...was a South Atlantic League All-Star this season...named the 2011 Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year after leading the league with 9 wins as a member of the Rookie Level Great Falls Voyagers...in 14 appearances (13 starts) with the club, posted a 4.03 ERA (33ER/73.2IP) with 17 walks and 72 strikeouts...entering 2012, was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 26 prospect in the Chicago system...Baseball America reports: “Works mostly off a low-90s fastball with natural sink...hitters in Rookie ball were baffled by his breaking ball, a combination cutter/slider with late bite...mixes pitches well and rarely makes mistakes up in the zone...limits damage by throwing strikes and not putting men on base”...drafted by the White Sox in the 11th round of the 2011 June Draft out of the University of Hawaii.
July 24: Acquired LHP Rudy Owens, OF Robbie Grossman and LHP Colton Cain from PIT in exchange for LHP Wandy Rodriguez.
Rudy Owens...LHP...24...6-3, 230...currently a starting pitcher at Triple A Oklahoma City...has made 2 start with the RedHawks...went 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 3 strikeouts in his first start with the club on 7/26...made 19 starts with the Triple A Indianapolis Indians earlier this year...posted an 8-5 record and a 3.14 ERA (41ER/117.1IP) with the club, striking out 85 batters and issuing 25 walks...spent all of last season with Indianapolis where he made 21 starts...was named Pittsburgh’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and 2010...was the 2009 MLB.com Class A Starting Pitcher of the Year after going 10-1 with a 1.70 ERA (19ER/100.2IP) in 19 starts with the West Virginia Power...ranked by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in the Pirates’ system...taken by the Pirates in the 28th round of the 2006 June Draft out of Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ).
Robbie Grossman...OF...B-T: S/L...22...6-0, 205...is playing centerfield for the Double A Corpus Christi Hooks...in 7 games with the club is hitting .286 (8x28) with 4 runs, 1 triple, 5 walks and 2 stolen bases...has spent the majority of the season with the Double A Altoona Curve, where he was batting at a .266 clip (93x350) with 20 doubles, 4 triples, 7 homers and a .378 on-base percentage...after a slow start to the season with Altoona, hit .312 (24x77) in June and .346 (27x78) in July...was Pittsburgh’s 2011 Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .294 (144x490) with 127 runs, 34 doubles, 13 homers and 104 walks with the Class A Advanced Bradenton Marauders...became the 1st minor league player to score at least 100 runs and walk at least 100 times in one season since Nick Swisher accomplished the feat in 2004...his 100 runs scored were the most by any minor leaguer since 2005...ranked by Baseball America as the Pirates’ No. 8 prospect heading into the season...rated by the publication as having the best strike-zone discipline in the entire Pittsburgh system...Baseball America reports: “Took off after he improved his selectivity at the plate, putting him in hitter’s counts where he can do damage...has slightly above average speed and even better instincts on the bases”...selected by the Pirates in the 6th round of the 2008 June Draft out of Cypress-Fairbanks HS in Houston.
Colton Cain...LHP...21...6-3, 256...joined the starting rotation at Class A Advanced Lancaster where he has made 1 start for the club...made 16 starts for the Class A Advanced Bradenton Marauders this year, going 3-5 with a 4.20 ERA (35ER/75.0IP)...spent the entirety of the 2011 season with the Class A West Virginia Power...went 6-8 with a 3.64 ERA (43ER/106.1IP) in 24 appearances (19 starts)...ranked as the Pirates’ No. 13 prospect by Baseball America, who reports: “Throws a fastball that sits in the low 90s with good movement...what separates Cain from many young pitchers is his fearlessness, as he attacks hitters inside and will throw any pitch in any count...does a good job of keeping the ball down and hides the ball well in his delivery”...selected by the Pirates in the 8th round of the 2009 June Draft out of the Waxahachie HS in Texas.
July 29: Acquired IF Bobby Borchering and OF Marc Krauss from ARI in exchange for IF Chris Johnson.
Bobby Borchering...IF...B-T: S/R...21...6-2, 207...currently playing for Double A Corpus Christi...is hitting .250 (2x8) with 1 home run, 4 RBI and 1 stolen base in 3 games for the Hooks...played 81 games this year for the Class A Advanced Visalia Rawhide before being promoted to the Double A Mobile BayBears...hit at a .277 clip (85x307) with 23 doubles, 18 homers, 60 RBI and a .534 slugging percentage with Visalia...hit 29 doubles and 24 homers for Visalia in 2011...ranked by Baseball America as the No. 10 prospect in the Arizona system...Baseball America reports: “Has as much raw power as anyone in the (Arizona) system...started to make adjustments and lay off offspeed pitches in the dirt...equally effective from both sides of the plate”...selected by the Diamondbacks in the 1st round (16th overall) of the 2009 June Draft out of Bishop Verot HS (FL)...Baseball America rated him as the Best High School Power Hitter in their 2009 Pre-Draft Best Tools Rankings.
Marc Krauss...OF...B-T: L/R...24...6-2, 234...has hit 2 homers in 2 games for Double A Corpus Christi...homered in his very first at-bat with the Hooks on 7/31...had spent the entire 2012 season with the Double A Mobile BayBears...hit .283 (98x346) with 29 doubles, 15 homers and 61 RBI in 104 games with the club...drew 73 walks with 25 doubles and 16 homers for Mobile in 2011...has been a Southern League Mid-Season All-Star in each of the last two seasons...ranked by Baseball America as the Diamondbacks’ No. 16 prospect...Baseball America reports: “Has above-average on-base skills and raw power”...selected by Arizona in the 2nd round of the 2009 June Draft out of Ohio University.