Word from the Dallas Morning-News' Rangers blog that the Astros have claimed, just in the nick of time, 24-year old 2B German Duran.
The Rangers had hoped to sneak Duran through waivers, and almost did. He had only a few more hours to clear and stick with the organization. Instead, the Astros got him and will have to place him on the major-league disabled list as he recovers from an appendectomy.
Duran was a 6th round pick out of Weatherford College. In 2007, Duran hit .300/.352/.525, 32 doubles/22 homers, 77K:34BB - all in 480 at-bats. In 2008
Minor League Ball:
Duran projects as a solid hitter, a .260-.280 guy at the major league level. He won't draw a ton of walks, which will keep his OBP at mediocre/adequate levels. But he'll provide more pop than the average utility infielder: If someone gave him 500 at-bats he could hit 30 doubles and 15 homers. His versatility is also a plus. Duran isn't a future star, but he should have a long career as a really good bench guy who could be better than some players with regular jobs.
UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal gets in on the commentary:
Long-term, Duran could figure into the mix for the Astros at second and third base and in a utility role.