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Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Walk through the Minors: AAA Round Rock Express

The Express wrapped up their first month at 18-10, 2.5 games behind the Albequerque (Marlins) Isotopes in the PCL American South division and currently in the midst of a nine-game winning streak. Offensively, the real bright spot has been Charlton Jimerson, playing his first season at AAA. Jimerson has posted .300/.328/.592 in 120 AB's thus far, though making contact has still been an issue (5 BB, 47 K). The numbers that Jimerson is posting, regardless of the strikeouts, provide reason for optimism, as he currently leads the Express in runs scored, hits, doubles (tied with Brooks Conrad), triples, home runs (tied with Luke Scott), total bases and stolen bases. Luke Scott has also hit well of late and has shown a good eye, based on his BB/K ratio (16/24). The third catcher on the Astros organizational depth chart, Humberto Quintero (the Astros' return in the Tim Redding trade with SD), has hit six HR and six doubles in only 49 AB's.

On the mound, Chris Sampson has been the most impressive starter, going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 21/4 K/BB ratio in six starts. Sampson will turn 28 years old this summer and has been a slow developer since being drafted in the 8th round of the 1999 draft, taking his first significant shot at AA in 2005 at Corpus Christi where he went 4-12 with a 3.12 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP and 19/92 BB/K ratio. Jason Hirsh has started 1-2 in his first AAA season with a 4.83 ERA. Sidewinding Brandon Puffer is off to a good start out of the pen, allowing only one run in nine innings of relief work.


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