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9/23/2013 3:48 P.M. ET

Houston Astros 2013 Minor League Season Recap

Overall Minor League Record: (476-360, .569) - 2nd out of 30 MLB organizations; Six Domestic Playoff Teams - Most in Major League Baseball since 2003

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AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks 82-62 (1st)
AA Corpus Christi Hooks 83-57 (1st)
A+ Lancaster JetHawks 82-58 (1st)
A Quad Cities River Bandits 81-57 (2nd) - League Champion
SSA Tri-City ValleyCats 44-31 (1st) - League Champion
R Greeneville Astros 38-30 (2nd)
R GCL Astros 27-33 (3rd)
R DSL Astros 39-31 (3rd)

The following players are set to participate in the Arizona Fall League this year: IF Japhet Amador, OF Delino DeShields, RHP Jonas Dufek, IF Nolan Fontana, RHP Matt Heidenreich, IF Jonathan Meyer, RHP Andrew Robinson, LHP Alex Sogard

PLAYOFFS!: Six of the Astros eight minor league clubs qualified for the playoffs this year, which set a franchise record…Oklahoma City, Corpus Christi, Lancaster, Quad Cities, Tri-City and Greeneville all participated in the postseason, making the Astros the first organization since the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003 to have 6 domestic minor league clubs qualify for the playoffs.

CHAMPS!: The Quad Cities River Bandits and Tri-City ValleyCats both won their league championship titles…marked the 6th title in River Bandits history and their 2nd in the last 3 seasons (were affiliated with STL from 2005-12)…for Tri-City, it marked their 2nd title in the last 4 seasons…the Astros were 1 of 3 orgs to have multiple championship teams (also SEA, KC).

30/30 CLUB: OF George Springer became the first minor leaguer since Grant Desme in 2009 to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season…Springer was 1 of just 9 position players named to Baseball America's minor league All-Star Team, and was also named to MLB.com's All-Prospect Team…he finished the regular season with a combined 37 homers and 45 stolen bases between Triple A OKC and Double A Corpus Christi…he finished among the top 5 players in all of the minors in runs (106), total bases (295), HR, RBI (108), SLG (.600), and OPS (1.010).

BEST IN THE MIDWEST: Even though SS Carlos Correa spent the 2013 season as the 2nd-youngest player in the Midwest League at 18-years-old, he still led the league in OPS (.872) while finishing 2nd in on-base percentage (.405) and 3rd in batting average (.320)…he also led all MWL shortstops in fielding percentage (.973)…in what was his first full minor league season, he was the youngest player in the MWL to receive Postseason All-Star honors.

PRO DEBUT: After being taken by the Astros with the #1 overall selection in the 2013 draft, RHP Mark Appel had a strong pro debut…went 3-1 with a 3.79 ERA, 33 K's and 9 walks across 38.0 combined innings with Class A Quad Cities (8g) and Class A Short Season Tri-City (2g)…Appel gave up 1 earned run or less in 6 of his 8 outings with QC, and pitched the team to a 5-1 victory on Aug. 25 at Burlington that clinched a playoff berth for the Bandits (5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 SO).

YOUNG GUNS: The Astros system saw unprecedented success this year despite fielding some of the youngest rosters in the minors…the Triple A RedHawks and Double A Hooks each won the most games in their respective leagues while fielding the youngest rosters in their leagues…the Lancaster JetHawks were one of the three youngest teams in their league, while the Midwest League Champion Quad Cities River Bandits trotted out the 4th-youngest group of position players in their league.

VIVA MEXICO: On August 18, the Astros made a splash by announcing the signings of 2 of the top hitters in the Mexican League: 23-year-old Leo Heras and 26-year old Japhet Amador…Heras went 8x39 with a homer and 5 RBI in 10 games for the Double A Hooks… Amador went to Triple A OKC and posted a .302 average (13x43) in 10g.
FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR: A number of the Astros top prospects arrived in Houston this year and found success in the Majors…RHP Jarred Cosart's 1.95 ERA was the lowest in the AL from his ML debut on 7/12 until his final start on 9/9…over his first 7 career starts, LHP Brett Oberholtzer led the American League with a 1.91 ERA…after getting recalled to Houston on August 4, RHP Brad Peacock posted a 3.38 ERA in 7 starts…OF Robbie Grossman has hit in 29 of his 35 games at a .322 clip since his most recent recall from Triple A…SS Jonathan Villar has hit .272 with a .354 OBP in his 49 games with the Astros, while leading all MLB rookies with 17 steals.

DEADLINE DEALS: The Astros made 4 trades to acquire young talent during July of 2013:
July 29 *Acquired OF Danry Vasquez and a PTBNL (RHP David Paulino) from DET in exchange for RHP Jose Veras.
July 31 *Acquired RHP Kyle Smith from KC in exchange for OF Justin Maxwell. *Acquired LHP Josh Hader, OF L.J. Hoes and a 2014 competitive balance pick (A) from BAL in exchange for RHP Bud Norris and international pool space.
July 2 *Acquired Double A IF Ronald Torreyes from CHC in exchange for international pool space.

TRADE REVIEW: Here is how MLB.com slotted the newly acquired prospects among the Astros top 20 prospects: Hader (#12), Smith (#15), Hoes (#18), Vasquez (#19)…prior to the trades, Hader and Hoes were rated by MLB.com as the Orioles #5 and #7 prospects respectively…Smith came in as the Royals #11 prospect while Vasquez was listed as the Tigers #6 prospect.

THE FUTURE: Along with the Mets, the Astros had more prospects participate in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game this year than any other MLB organization…CF George Springer, 2B Delino DeShields and SS Carlos Correa each played in the game, while Corpus Christi Hooks manager Keith Bodie served on the coaching staff for the U.S. Team.

BEST PARKS: Modern Woodmen Park, the home of the Quad Cities River Bandits, was voted as the Best Minor League Ballpark after 4 weeks of nationwide voting by fans and readers of 10Best.com and USA TODAY…2 other Astros affiliates home stadiums also made the top 10: Corpus Christi's Whataburger Field (#6) and OKC's Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (#9).

SUPERB STAFFS: A number of the Astros managers, coaches and trainers were recognized by their respective leagues for their excellence during the 2013 season: California League Manager of the Year Rodney Linares (Lancaster)…Appalachian League Manager of the Year Josh Bonifay (Greeneville)…Texas League Coach of the Year Gary Ruby (Corpus Christi pitching coach)…California League Coach of the Year Darryl Robinson (Lancaster hitting coach)…California League Trainer of the Year Grant Hufford (Lancaster).



ESPN.COM (Keith Law)
7. Carlos Correa SS
9. Mark Appel RHP
29. George Springer CF
33. Jon Singleton 1B
46. Mike Foltynewicz RHP

9. Carlos Correa SS
20. George Springer CF
22. Jon Singleton 1B
31. Mike Foltynewicz RHP
46. Lance McCullers RHP

16. Carlos Correa SS
18. Mark Appel RHP
30. George Springer CF
36. Jon Singleton 1B
49. Mike Foltynewicz RHP

8. Carlos Correa SS
21. Jon Singleton 1B
26. George Springer CF
28. Mark Appel RHP
63. Lance McCullers RHP
65. Mike Foltynewicz RHP
72. Jarred Cosart RHP
78. Delino DeShields 2B

1. RHP Mark Appel (Stanford)
2. RHP Andrew Thurman (UCI)
3. LHP Kent Emanuel (UNC)
4. IF Conrad Gregor (Vanderbilt)
5. IF Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt)
6. C Jacob Nottingham (HS)
7. OF James Ramsay (USF)
8. OF Jason Martin (HS)
9. C Brian Holberton (UNC)
10. LHP Austin Nicely (HS)

Here is how the Astros minor league system stacked up against every other MLB organization:

OPS - 1st (.731)
On-base Pct - 1st (.342)
Intentional Walks - 1st (79)
Walks - 2nd (3208)
Homers - 2nd (611)
Runs - 2nd (4101)
HBP - 3rd (476)
Slugging - 4th (.389)
BB/9 - 2nd (3.1)
SO/BB - 2nd (2.53)
Saves - 3rd (248)
Innings - 5th (7375.1)
Fewest Walks - 5th (2539)


This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.