H-Town Sports

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Walk through the Minors: AA Corpus Christi

After 30 games, the AA Corpus Christi Hooks are 17-13 and 0.5 games behind Midland (Oakland) in the South Division of the Texas League. Offensively, all eyes are on OF Hunter Pence, who has destroyed every level of pitching leading up to this season, but many felt that Double-A would be Pence's first true test. So far, Hunter has earned an A+. In 125 ABs at Corpus, Hunter has put up splits of .344/.399/.656 and leads the Hooks in doubles, triples, home runs and RBI. SS Ben Zobrist and C J. R. House are also hitting the ball very well. Additionally, CF Josh Anderson is having his best season to date (.346/.387/.449 with 10 steals and 27 runs scored). The Hooks' offense is certainly an exciting one and provides Astros' fans with hope for a couple of years down the road.

The pitching staff has been solid as well, led by Sugar Land's own Matt Albers, a 23 year-old RHP who was a 23rd round pick in 2001 by the Astros. Albers is 4-1 with a 2.19 ERA through six starts, and among his most impressive numbers are a 1.19 WHIP, a 30:12 K/BB ratio and a HR allowed rate of only 0.24/9 IP. The other notable is closer Jailen Peguero, a 25 year-old RHP from the Dominican Republic. Peguero was very good for the Hooks in 2005 (2.94 ERA in 50 appearances, 12 saves and 63 K in 64+ IP), but was a little bit wild (25 BB). Jailen has been even better thus far in 2006 (1.32 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 10 K/2 BB in 13+ IP). If Peguero continues to pitch near his current pace, the Astros should be moving him up to Round Rock mid-summer.


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