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Astros Minor League Notes: Week One

May 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; A general view of gloves and Houston Astros hats prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The first couple weeks of baseball is in the books. Let’s look at some news and notes. I will start with a few players who have been hot in the Astros system and then look at some numbers for each team.

Who’s hot?

Will Wagner – Wagner’s stock has been soaring recently. The 18th round pick in 2021 had a great Arizona Fall League and followed that up with a good spring. He has been hot to start the season slashing .429/.478/.810 with 2 2B, 2 HR including a 5-for-5 game on Sunday.

Scott Schreiber – Schreiber missed a lot of time last year due to injury but has quickly made up for it with a great start. The 27-year-old is hitting .387 with 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI in 8 games for the Hooks this season.

Ryan Clifford – Cliffordf signed for a big bonus last year and he is showing why so far. At just 19 years old, he is hitting .357 with a .550 OBP in 8 games. He also has 7 RBI and 9 BB in those 8 games. Great start for him this year.

Shay Whitcomb – Whitcomb has shown some hot stretches over the past couple years and he has started out this year hot. The 24-year-old is hitting .323 with 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI in 8 games. Nice to see him show that pop.

Zach Cole – Cole was drafted in the 2021 draft, and has as much upside as any of the outfielders in the system. He is off to a great start with Fayetteville hitting .320 with 2 HR, 9 RBI and 3 SB in just 7 games this season.

Sugar Land Space Cowboys

The Space Cowboys have started out the season going 509. The pitching has been up and down but got some good performances. This week, J.P. France tossed 5 no-hit innings with 7 strikeouts. He was up to 96 MPH with the fastball. Forrest Whitley has 11 K in 8 innings, allowing just 2 hits and 1 run. Shawn Dubin has started well too allowing 6 hits in 11 innings while racking up 12 strikeouts. Enoli Paredes and Blake Taylor have yet to allow a run in relief. Overall the team has a 5.08 ERA.

The offense has struggled a bit. J.J. Matijevic has started hot hitting .333 with 4 HR, 6 RBI in 8 games. Grae Kessinger has a .744 OPS so far this year including 10 BB in 14 games. Justin Dirden has 4 XBH in 12 games and Pedro Leon leads the team with 13 hits this season. Overall the team has a .696 OPS. The Space Cowboys are back in action tonight at 6:35 CT.

Corpus Christi Hooks

The Hooks have started a little slow going 3-6 so far. The staff has struggled so far. Colton Gordon had a solid outing his second start striking out 6 in 5 innings. Angel Macuare has a 3.38 ERA in 8 innings with 10 strikeouts. Matt Ruppenthal and Cesar Gomez have pitched well in relief in the early going. The staff ERA sits at 6.69.

The offense had some bright spots so far. Will Wagner crushed hitting .429 with 2 2B, 2 HR so far. Scott Schreiber has 3 HR, 9 RBI in the early going. Shay Whitcomb has also been hot with 3 HR, 9 RBI and 2 SB. Quincy Hamilton is hitting .346 with 5 2B in 7 games. Overall, the team has a .850 OPS. The Hooks are back at it today at 6:35 CT.

Asheville Tourists

Asheville has started a bit slow going 3-4 in the first week. The pitching has been up and down. Edinson Batista‘s first start was rough but he struck out 7 over 5 innings in his second start. Valente Bellozo allowed 1 hit and 1 run over 5 innings in his one game. Bryan De Paula struck out 10 over 4.2 innings in relief in his one appearance. Overall the staff has an ERA of 5.00.

The offense had some good performances. Drew Gilbert is off to a nice start hitting .320 through the first 6 games. Kenedy Corona has picked up where he left off last year hitting .360 with 2 HR, 4 RBI in 6 games. Tim Borden has also started hot hitting 7-for-14. Jacob Melton and Logan Cerny also homered this week. The overall OPS is at .663. The Tourists start a new series today at 5:35 PM CT.

Fayetteville Woodpeckers

The Woodpeckers have played the best in the system sitting at 6-2 right now. The pitching had some dominant performances. DeVos struck out 9 in 4 innings in his season debut. Dombroski has a 3.24 ERA with 10 K in 8.1 innings this season. Jose Fleury has a 2.08 ERA in 8.2 innings. Michael Knorr allowed 1 run over 4 innings in his pro debut. Joey Mancini struck out 8 over 4 scoreless in his pro debut. Alimber Santa has 13 K in 7 innings this season. The staff ERA is 2.96.

The offense was good too. Ryan Clifford led the way hitting .357 with a .550 OBP. Zach Cole is hitting .320 with a 1.125 OPS including a go-ahead grand slam this week. Rolando Espinosa is hitting .400 with 3 2B and 2 SB in 5 games. Narbe Cruz has 8 RBI in 6 games. Kobe Kato, back from injury, has 6 BB/0 SO and is hitting .600 in 5 games. The overall OPS for the team is .932. The Woodpeckers are back tonight at it at 6:05 CT.

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