Tagged: delino deshields jr

Crazy Eight

After eight tries, the Astros finally beat the Giants, though a day too late for Jason Castro’s debut, but c’est la vie. Castro got his first 0-fer and first passed ball, but he did work a walk and score another run. Chris Johnson was the star rookie for Houston on this night, going 2-4 with a double, a RBI, a stolen base and a run scored. 

Bad news for the other of Houston’s rookie trio, Tommy Manzella; he broke his finger in the 9th Tuesday night, and now he’ll be out for about six weeks. Signing Adam Everett didn’t make much sense when he was DFA’d by Detroit early this month, but he’s officially a free agent now and is still available, so is it time to bring him back? It would certainly make more sense now, with Tommy out until at least August, and it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad move… the Astros recalled Oswaldo Navarro from Round Rock to fill Tommy’s roster spot, and of course we’ve got Geoff Blum, but neither of those two are natural shortstops. I’d love to see Edwin Maysonet get another shot in Houston, but he’s been battling injuries this year and is primarily a second baseman himself. Jeff Keppinger could slide over to short, but he earned his starting job this year at 2B, and I’d rather not muck with that. Adding Everett would solve all of those difficulties, but it would introduce another problem, in the question of what do you do with him when Manzella returns? He refused minor league assignment in Detroit, so I doubt that he’d accept it here. There is also potential for intangible benefit by bringing in Everett, as he could help mentor Manzella and other young Astros players; he was evidently valuable in that role for Detroit. But ultimately, I still don’t think it makes enough sense for a struggling and rebuilding team to go out and add veteran parts when you already have younger guys like Navarro or Maysonet who are capable of filling the role. I would smile to hear that Adam was signed, but I don’t expect it to happen.
Other thoughts: It’s rumored that Delino DeShields, Jr. (or DDJ, from henceforth) is close to signing with Houston, and I hope that’s true. The Astros have already signed their other two first rounders this year, and 28 of 52 draft picks overall; I’d like to see DDJ added to that mix sooner than later. Taken at #8, he was of course greeted with the hype of being “Houston’s highest draft pick since Phil Nevin at #1 in 1992.” Jason Castro had that same hype two years ago when he was taken #10, although Chris Burke was also drafted 10th in 2001. The hope with both Castro and DDJ is that they’ll exceed the careers of Burke (currently with AAA Louisville) and Nevin, but only time will tell. Phil did put together a few good years with San Diego, but his Houston career was a bust, and his final totals were disappointing compared against the expectations for a #1 overall draft pick. Looking back, the gem of the ’92 draft was taken #6 by the New York Yankees… I know, hindsight is 20/20 and all that, and the Astros probably would have been criticized back in ’92 had they not picked Phil Nevin #1. But for a franchise whose career home run leader at shortstop is still the aforementioned Adam Everett with 35, just the possibility that Derek Jeter could have been an Astro all this time is a tantalizing “what if?” fantasy. Imagine Jeter in a Houston infield with Bagwell, Biggio and (pre-injury) Ken Caminiti… wow. I should stop now before I cry myself to sleep tonight.
Astros conclude their third Giants series this afternoon, and then they (and I) are off to Arlington for the weekend. In non-MLB news, how about that Landon Donovan? Go USA!! I was fortunate yesterday to catch both the last 25 minutes of the USA-Algeria game, and the last three innings of the TCU-Florida State CWS game, in which TCU scored 8 in the 8th to roar back from a five-run deficit and win 11-7. My (really cool) father-in-law is a TCU alum, so I’m behind the Horned Frogs all the way in Omaha. Go rally turtle!!
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Day 1 Draft is done

So Houston snagged their three first-rounders yesterday, which included one familiar name and two major-league spelling hazards. The most notable of the trio is the first, both by virtue of his draft position and because of his bloodlines.

I’ll confess that when I first read the name “Delino DeShields” in mock drafts yesterday, I thought  it was a typo – another DeShields, perhaps, but another “Delino”? I didn’t realize that there should be a “Jr.” at the end of his name, or that Delino Sr. was old enough yet to have an old-enough son. I was mostly indifferent to Delino Sr. in his playing days – never particularly liked or disliked him – but I am a fan of baseball bloodlines, and from what I gather, Jr. seems to be a pretty good pick. If he at least meets (but hopefully exceeds) his dad’s legacy, then Bobby Heck should be well pleased.
Houston’s other two picks yesterday I knew nothing of before we picked them, but that’s usually the way of the MLB draft. Mike Foltynewicz is a hard-throwing righty from an Illinois high school, and Michael Kvasnicka is a switch-hitting C/3B with some pop from the University of Minnesota. I can’t say much about either one of them without repeating what draft “experts” have said, but both guys seem to have a lot of upside, and they provide some interesting pieces for the Astros’ future. Envision this potential lineup in Houston in three or four years:
C Jason Castro (.285, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 172 AB @ 2010 Round Rock AAA)
1B Koby Clemens (.284, 14 HR, 39 RBI, 197 AB @ 2010 Corpus Christi AA)
2B Delino DeShields Jr.
SS Jiovanni Mier (.276, 7 HR, 32 RBI @ 2009 Greenville Rk)
3B Michael Kvasnicka
LF Jason Bourgeois (.352, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 17 SB, 216 AB @ 2010 Round Rock AAA)
CF Michael Bourn
RF Hunter Pence
SP Jordan Lyles (RHP, 5-4, 2.86, 57K/69.1IP @ 2010 Corpus Christi AA)

SP Mike Foltynewicz (RHP)

SP Tyler Lumsden (LHP, 4-1, 2.68, 19.K/53.2IP @ 2010 Corpus Christi AA)
SP Felipe Paulino (RHP)
SP Ross Seaton (RHP, 8-10, 3.29, 88K/136.2IP @ 2009 Lexington A)
RP Chia-Jen Lo (RHP, 2.31, 39K/39IP @ 2009 Corpus Christi AA)
That doesn’t look too bad, does it? Now of course this list makes a lot of assumptions, not the least of which is that Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee are all out of Houston uniforms sooner than later, either through trade or retirement. I’ve left Bourn and Pence here on the assumption that they’re the kind of younger stars that Ed Wade will hold onto to build the rest of the team around, but it’s possible that one or both of them could be gone as well, in which case you could place Brian Bogusevic (.295, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 220 AB @ 2010 Round Rock AAA) in the outfield, or move DeShields from second to center. Any prospects returned in a trade of Oswalt (or others) would factor in here too, and you could argue for a handful of other pitchers.
Younger, faster. More exciting. And home-grown. I’d take it.
Local (to Houston) high school prospect and local (to Arkansas) college star Brett Eibner slipped by the boards on Day 1, and was snatched up by Kansas City at #54 before Houston’s first pick today.. ah well. So far, the Astros have added #58 RHP Vincent Velasquez (Garey HS, CA), #90 OF Austin Wates (Virginia Tech) and #123 RHP Robert Doran (Texas Tech)… 26 more rounds to go today.
Houston lost to Colorado last night, 5-1… not much to say about that. Brian Moehler vs. Jeff Francis tonight. Looking forward to Friday, when we go to see the Arkansas Travelers play again, and of course the Astros get the Yankees that day. Who doesn’t love to see their team beat the Yanks?