Welcome to another opening day of Hooks baseball! It has been quite the year in the Astros organization, and many changes have occurred. Announced yesterday, all the over the Hooks website, is their new and improved roster. Led by second year head coach Rodney Linares, the Hooks have many notable standout prospects. Starting tonight’s game, on the mound is #8 prospect in the Astros organization, Joe Musgrove. Musgrove, called up to the Hooks on June 1st of last season, pitched in a total of 19 games (14 started) last year, and accounted for 99 strikeouts in 100 1/3 innings pitched. He spent a total of two months on the disabled list last year, however, was able to bounce back each time. Around the infield this year, we will most likely see Conrad Gregor and first base, Jack Mayfield and Mott Hyde will split time at second, Alex Bregman at shortstop, and J.D. Davis rounding it off at third base, respectively. Gregor, who recently turned 24 years old in February, will be entering his second season with Hooks.
He is a career .279 hitter in the minors, and looks to improve his 10 home run streak from last season. J.D. Davis is entering his 3rd year in the minors, and first season in Corpus Christi. Coming off a career high year, with 26 home runs and 101 RBI’s in Lancaster, Davis will be making his case on why he should be the starting third baseman, come opening day next year in Houston. #1 prospect, and most anticipated among them all, is shortstop Alex Bregman – yes, I ensured that I spelt it right this time. Bregman, drafted just last season in June of 2015, is screaming through the minors. Last season, he hit .294 between Lancaster and Quad Cities. In just 272 at-bats, Bregman was able to amass 80 hits, and almost a 1:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (29 walks and 30 strikeouts). Bregman was able to get some action in spring training, and it would not be surprising to see him in the major leagues as soon as this season.
Notably, in the outfield, the Hooks will put Derek Fisher in left, and Teoscar Hernandez in right. Hernandez, ranked #26 in the Astros organization according to mlb.com, will enter his second season in Corpus Christi. He struggled last season, however, hitting just over the Mendoza line at .219, although, Hernandez has the ability to hit out of the ballpark at any time.
Derek Fisher, ranked #9 in the Astros organization, has proven himself in every level he has played. Even in just 1 game at Greenville, he hit .667 (2-for-3) with a double. After that, he was called up to spend 41 games in Tri-Cities. To begin last season, Fisher was placed in Quad Cities, where he hit .305 in 39 games. He was then called-up to Lancaster, the last class-A stop in his minor league career thus far. Though, his average fell to .262, Fisher still hit 16 home runs, scored 74 runs, and stole 23 bases, the most of any team he has played for, to this point. In his short minor league career, Fisher has played in 165 games (650 at-bats), stolen 48 bases while being caught only 11 times (81.4%), has 24 home runs, and 105 runs batted in. If he continues at this pace, we may see him in Fresno before this season’s end. Joining the Hooks for opening weekend is Evan Gattis, who is unfortunately on his rehab stint. Don’t get used to it, he won’t be there too long.
That’s not all. There are 5 pitchers on the roster that crack the top 25 prospects in the Astros organization. Already mentioned Joe Musgrove, and the four joining him are Michael Freeman, Francis Martes, Brendan McCurry, and David Paulino. Paulino is getting the nob for game two of the series, and Martes, the #3 prospect, will climb the hill for game 3, on April 9th.
The Hooks are looking to return to the championship, this year, for the first time since 2006, when Hunter Pence was with the team.
Stay tuned for all things Hooks, right here, as I will wrap up the opening weekend, on April 13th.
To see a full list of the new 2016 roster, visit the link below: