We Don’t Stink! We Don’t Stink!

The Astros are definitely a work in progress, but with a current record of 22-27 (a .449 win percentage) despite the team’s road woes, they aren’t the worst team in baseball either.  During Monday’s double-header against Colorado, someone had mentioned what the Astros record was this year vs. last year. Through 49 games last season, they were 18-31 (.367 win percentage) and on the way to an abysmal 56-106 record (.346 win percentage).

Which got me to thinking about how the Astros minor league teams were faring vs. last season. Since I follow them closely, I knew that they were doing better but the question was how much better. In most cases, the answer turns out to be much better. Let’s take a look at the four full season teams, their records (through May 28th) and some of the players who have helped them get there.

2012 AAA Oklahoma City through 51 games – 28-23 (.549 W%)

2011 AAA Oklahoma City through 51 games – 21-30 (.412 W%)

Overachiever: 3B Scott Moore has a .336/.419/.586 batting line with 18 doubles, a triple and six home runs.

Pleasant Surprise: After struggling with power numbers both at the minor league level and major league level in 2011, 1B/3B Brett Wallace has seven home runs through 45 games this season while only hitting six in all of 2011.

2012 AA Corpus Christi through 50 games – 23-27 (.460 W%)

2011 AA Corpus Christi through 50 games – 18-32 (.360 W%)

Overachiever: CF Brandon Barnes had a .317/.377/.567 batting line with 20 doubles and seven home runs after hitting only .238/.313/.426 in 2011. He was promoted to AAA Oklahoma City last week.

Pleasant Surprise: 2B Jose Martinez had only played in six professional games since 2008. In his last full season, he hit .253/.292/.348. This year he is hitting .318/.379/.497 and only has two errors through 47 games.

2012 HiA Lancaster through 51 games – 25-26 (.490 W%)

2011 HiA Lancaster through 51 games – 20-31 (.392 W%)

Overachiever: CF George Springer is hitting .314/.362/.572 with eight doubles, six triples, ten home runs and 12 stolen bases in 46 games.

Pleasant Surprise: RHP Bobby Doran has probably surprised a number of people with his improvement over last season at the tough pitcher’s venue of Lancaster. Last season he appeared in 22 games (13 starts) over 66.2 innings with a 9.04 ERA, a 2.010 WHIP and 41 strikeouts to 32 walks. This season, he has been used exclusively as a starter. In 10 starts over 62 innings, he has a 3.48 ERA, a 1.258 WHIP and 47 strikeouts to 17 walks.

2012 LoA Lexington through 50 games – 27-23 (.540 W%)

2011 LoA Lexington through 50 games – 25-25 (.500 W%)

Overachievers: 1B Zach Johnson has been the league RBI leader for most of the season with an eye-popping 52 RBIs over 48 games, but he couldn’t have done it without teammate 2B Delino DeShields Jr. getting on base and stealing bases in front of him. DeShields has stolen a gaudy 31 bases over 48 games and he is also a league leader in that category.

Pleasant Surprise: 3B Matt Duffy hit well last season so it’s not a particular surprise that he is doing so again this year, although his .330 batting average definitely surpasses his .298 mark from last season. The pleasant surprise from Duffy is his developing power. In 63 games last season, he hit only two home runs. This year, he has eight home runs over his first 49 games.

Collectively, the Astros minor league system had a .510 win percentage through Monday’s games. Through the same number of games last season, they had a .416 win percentage. Guess what? We don’t stink anymore.

For more on the Astros minor league system, visit What the Heck, Bobby or follow me on twitter @whattheheck57.


As someone who also follows the Astros and their minor league affiliates very closely I definitely agree we are much better across the board! Lots of non “Top Prospects” are playing well and most of the Top 20 guys are doing extremely well. Quite the bounce-back year for Foltynewicz in Lexington and a nice year for Nick Tropeano in Lexington as well. I’m not sure I would consider Springer overachieving with how high he was drafted in the first round although he is playing extremely well. Jio Mier was really starting to have a coming out party in Lancaster until he got hurt; hopefully he can continue once healthy. My vote for A+ overachiever would have to go to Erik Castro: .312 with 7 HR’s and was a 10th Rounder in 2009. Hopefully the entire system can keep it going!

That was the great part of this exercise. It was actually tough to come up with just one overachiever per team (and I cheated on Lexington and picked two). I could have gone with a number of different players — that it was difficult is a great problem to have!

One guy I really have high hopes for and I think is having a breakout season is Ruben Alaniz.He is still very young and I think saw some action in a couple of spring games which usually means the front office likes him.

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