Friday, October 24, 2014

A Look at the Astros in Arizona - Part II

The Salt River Rafters continue to dominate the Arizona Fall League, sitting with a leagues best 11-3 record and a 3 game lead in the East Division. And Astros prospects continue to be in the middle of it.

Mark Appel 

Appel continues to impress, as he now has 12 innings with 0 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks and 12 strikeouts, in 3 starts. His last start was his best, going 5 innings, with only two hits and zero walks allowed. Scouts have liked what they've seen with his stuff, for the most part, and he seems to be regaining some of that top prospect sheen. Really, best case scenario for Appel in the desert.

Vincent Velasquez

Velasquez has had two starts, and they could not have been any more different. He was shelled his first go round, going three innings and giving up 5 runs on 6 hits and two home runs. He struck out two, against zero walks, which as the only positive to be gleaned from that outing. His second start was a different story. Against a tough Peoria lineup, he went 4 scoreless innings, allowing only 1 hit, again striking out two. His AFL season numbers are still ugly, but they are trending in the right direction.

Andrew Aplin

Aplin has cooled off considerably, going hitless in his last 4 games. He is still hitting .300/.344/.500, which only looks good if you forget he was hitting .500 just over a week ago.

Rio Ruiz

As Aplin has cooled, Ruiz has taken off, as he is hitting .294 with a .415 OBP in his last 10 games. The power is still not showing up, as he has only two doubles and no other extra base hits. He is showing a good eye, and I'm sure the power is right around the corner.

Tyler Heineman,  Tyson Perez,  Mitch Lambson and Joe Sclafani continue to perform well in limited roles. Perez, in particular, has pitched 7 innings, allowing zero runs on 5 hits with 7 strikeouts, against only 1 walk. Lambson hasn't been quite as good in his 6 innings. He's matched Tyson with 7 strikeouts and allowed two fewer hits, but has been plagued by 5 walks. He's got a 3.00 ERA on the season. Heineman has only appeared in three games, going 2-5 with 2 walks. Sclafani has seen action in 4 games, and has gone 4-14 with two walks and a homer un.

Obviously, these are incredibly small samples, and nothing meaningful can be gleaned from these numbers. But it's still fun to see the Astros prospects perform well. The AFL All Star Game is set for November 4, and I think you can expect to see some Astros prospects take part in that.