Welcome to the inaugural Astros Blogger Minor League Awards.
I grabbed Astros bloggers from Astros County, Climbing Tal's Hill, Farmstros, What the Heck, Bobby? and more to vote on nine categories involving Astros Minor League players. These are the results.
Best One Game Performance Of The Year - Chris Devenski's no-hitter
Jeff Luhnow said the player to be named later in the Brett Myers deal was going to be a significant piece. Boy was he ever right. In five starts with the Astros Devenski posted a 3.07 ERA in 29.1 innings. Prior to his acquisition by the Astros he had posted a 4.23 ERA in 61.2 innings in the Chicago White Sox farm system. Several of us were simply unimpressed, but we were soon to find out why Luhnow considered him a significant piece.
On September 1, Devenski's final start of the season, he threw nine innings of no-hit ball while striking out 16 batters. The only blemish on his pitching line was one walk. Overall, Devenski finished his second season in pro-ball with a 3.86 ERA in 91 innings pitched between the White Sox and Astros farm system. He wasn't considered a significant piece when the trade happened, but he is now and we'll be keeping a close eye on him going forward.
Also receiving votes: George Springer's 4 homeruns in a row and Nolan Fontana's 1-1, one stolen base and five walk game.
The Prospect Most Likely To Prove Everyone Wrong - Jiovanni Mier
Seven other prospects got votes for this award, but Mier was the only one to get multiple votes. Drafted in the first round of 2009 MLB draft with the 21st selction, Mier got off to a great start in his professional career batting .276/.380/.484 in 229 plate appearances at Greeneville. He has since struggled to produce offensively and also stay healthy. In 2009 and 2010 he struggled to adjust to both Lexington and Lancaster, the Astros A and high A Minor League affiliates. Both years he batted in the .230's, had decent walk rates, but hit for very little power.
This season he was in .280/.385/.400 territory which was a huge improvement over his previous two years. The only problem with those numbers were that they came in only 220 plate appearances because of injuries. It should also be mentioned that those numbers came in the high octane offensive environment of Lancaster. The one positive consistent thing Mier has done is walk at a higher than average rate and play solid defense at shortstop. It's easy to forgot he's still only 21 and if he's promoted to Corpus Christi he'll be right where he needs to be age wise.
Still the high draft status -- and I'm sure Mike Trout being drafted four slots later -- raises expectations for him as a prospect. Has everyone given up on him? No, and that's evident because he won this award.
Prospect With Hardest Last Name To Spell - Asher Wojciechowski
Easily the victor in this award. I thought Foltynewicz would have gotten some votes but it was almost a clean sweep for Wojo. The ironic thing is that aside from one Wojo vote everyone else that voted for Wojciechwoski got the spelling right.
Others getting votes were Oberwacky (Brett Oberholtzer) and for some reason George Springer.
Best Prospect Twitter Account To Follow - Austin Wates
Yup the guy that won the twitter account award got into a fight with one of writers a couple years back. Ironically, David is a huge supporter of Austin Wates.
Breakout Prospect of the Year - Delino DeShields Jr.
Coming off a season in which he hit .220/.305/.322 in 541 plate appearances we ranked Delino DeShields 11th overall in the Astros farm system last year. He should improve his stock significantly this year in our prospect rankings after a year in which he hit .287/.389/.428 and oh by the way stole 101 bases, setting the Astros Minor League mark between Lexington and Lancaster. It's been hinted that he'll likely start the year at Corpus Christi for his 20 age season.
Also receiving votes was Nicholas Tropeano.
Prospect With The Highest Floor - Jonathan Singleton
I thought this was a weird selection but after review this makes sense. He's playing well and he's been playing well his entire Minor League career. The knock against him was his power, which he began to show more of this year, and power is usually the last to develop anyways. Maybe there's someone else that would be a better fit for this position, but I can't think of another prospect more worthy of this award.
Also receiving votes was Nolan Fontana.
Prospect With The Highlest Ceiling - George Springer and Carlos Correa
Both Springer and Correa split a majority of the vote evenly and rightly so. Both are having good starts to their professional careers, but still have question marks surrounding their development.
Best Pitching Prospect - Jarred Cosart
No surprise here, the scouting report on Cosart is that he's got good stuff, but lacks the statistical evidence to back it up. The one thing to note with Cosart is that his groundball rate is well above average, but with that comes a lower strikeout rate. I don't think there's any complaints here with Cosart as the best Astros pitching prospect.
Also receiving votes was Michael Foltynewicz.
Best Position Player Prospect - Jonathan Singleton
Singleton walks away with his second award. Not much else you can say about him. He's awesome.