H-Town Sports

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

Friday, June 16, 2006

Notes from the Farm

AAA: Round Rock clings to a one-game lead in the PCL American South. Luke Scott continues to mash (18 HR, 49 RBI in 242 ABs, .310/.414/.587 including a 41/48 K/BB ratio), making him the prime target for a call-up in the outfield. Charlton Jimerson continues to play well, but his astonishing 97 K in 259 ABs renders him nothing more than a 5-tool project for the forseeable future.

On the mound, Jason Hirsh has run his record to 7-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.02, allowing only 69 hits and 4 home runs in 83.1 IP. Control is a bit of an issue, but if I'm Wandy, Buchholz, Nieve or Backe, I'm looking over my shoulder at this kid because he is clearly not too far off. Of course, this is the Astros, so he's likely at least four years away per the terms of the "Daryl Ward Rule". Ask Jason Lane and Chris Burke for further details.

I almost forgot - The Rooster has allowed two runs in seven innings of work for the Express. See you in September, Mikey-boy.

AA: The Hooks have already clinched the Texas League's first-half title. Hunter Pence continues to destroy the ball (.556 SLG), and SS Ben Zobrist (.320/.418/.447) and C J. R. House (.345/.389/.496) have also posted solid first half numbers, though Zobrist's 14 errors are a cause for concern. All three of these guys better be in Round Rock sometime this season.

The pitching is stellar as well, led by Matt Albers (7-2, 2.23 ERA), Juan Guiterrez (7-3, 3.20 ERA) and closer Jailen Peguero (0.78 ERA, 14 saves and 40 K in 34+ IP).

High A: Salem has struggled so far this season, currently seven games below .500. The offense has been awful, with only SS Drew Sutton and OF Beau Torbert posting respectable numbers. OF Frankie Caraballo tore up Lexington but has had difficulty handling High-A pitching. On the mound, Chad Reineke has been the Avalanche's most consistent starter (5-5, 2.89 ERA) with Troy Patton (1-7, 3.92 ERA) and Felipe P. Del Guice (3-3, 3.75 ERA) not far behind. The SAL's Pitcher of the Year, Jimmy Barthmeier, has struggled to start the season. One positive from Salem's slow start is that these pitchers will be quite adapted to losing 1-0 games when they get to the bigs after a full season like this one.

Low A: Lexington has also clinched their first-half divisional title at EIGHTEEN games over .500 thus far in 2006. A three-headed offensive monster of Ole Sheldon, J. R. Towles and Mark Ori have led the way, which is surprising since these guys are all considerably lesser prospects than Josh Flores, Eli Iorg and Koby Clemens, who have all three struggled thus far this season. Keep an eye on Tom Fairchild, a 12th round pick in 2005 who is 8-3 with a 1.85 ERA and 79 Ks in 87 innings pitched.


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