farmstros can be reached at farmstros@yahoo.com

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Levine a Legend

Zach Levine from the Houston Chronicle is on his way to see Tanner Bushue and all his Lexington teammates play on Monday night at Applebee's Park.

Astros' Draft in Review... 2006

There is not much left in the system from the 2006 Draft. The top product of the year is Bud Norris.

Houston
Bud Norris, P

Round Rock
Chris Johnson, 3B
Sergio Perez, P

Corpus Christi
James Van Ostrand, 1B/OF

June 1- Review of Astros' 2007 Draft
June 3- Review of Astros' 2008 Draft
June 5- Review of Astros' 2009 Draft
June 7- Draft begins with first round and supplemental picks
June 8- Farmstros Baseball Listening/Twitter Experience during Lexington game at 10 a.m Houston time. Draft coverage to be included.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Products of the Caribbean

The youngest Astros of the Future start their season today as the Dominican Summer season begins at the club's new facility on the Caribbean island.

With that in mind, here is a look at the players currently playing full season baseball for the Astros who are products of their scouting and development in Caribbean nations. There are several players who are preparing for short season baseball with Greeneville, Tri-City and the Gulf Coast League Astros not included in this listing.

Houston
Felipe Paulino, P (Dominican Republic)
Wandy Rodriguez, P (Domincan Republic)

Round Rock
Sammy Gervacio, P (Dominican Republic)
Polin Trinidad, P (Dominican Republic)

Corpus Christi
Fernando Abad, P (Dominican Republic)
Doug Arguello, P (Nicaragua)
Jhon Florentino, IF (Dominican Republic)
Wladimir Suti, IF (Venezuela)
Henry Villar, P (Dominican Republic)

Lancaster
Leandro Cespedes, P (Dominican Republic)
Federico Hernandez, C (Venezuela)
Ebert Rosario, IF (Dominican Republic)

Lexington
Jose Altuve, IF (Venezuela)
Wander Alvino, P (Dominican Republic)
Miguel Arrendell, IF (Dominican Republic)
Jose Cisnero, P (Dominican Republic)
Arcenio Leon, P (Venezuela)
Juan Minaya, P (Dominican Republic)
Jose Trinidad, P (Dominican Republic)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Astros Drafts in Review... 1996-2005

As the draft approaches, Farmstros will look at what has become of the Astros' former draftees

THE SCHEDULE:

May 29- Review of Caribbean products in the Astros' system
May 30- Review of Astros' 2006 Draft
May 31- Dominican Astros season begins
June 1- Review of Astros' 2007 Draft
June 3- Review of Astros' 2008 Draft
June 5- Review of Astros' 2009 Draft
June 7- Draft begins with first round and supplemental picks
June 8- Farmstros Baseball Listening/Twitter Experience during Lexington game at 10 a.m Houston time. Draft coverage to be included.

THE 1996-2005 Drafts:

Houston
Lance Berkman (1997)
Tommy Manzella (2005)
Roy Oswalt (1996)
Hunter Pence (2004)
Chris Sampson (1999)

Round Rock
Brian Bogusevic (2005)
Evan Englebrook (2004)
Edwin Maysonet (2003)

Corpus Christi
Koby Clemens (2005)
Lou Santagelo (2004)

Lancaster
Brandon Barnes (2005)
Josh Flores (2005)
Mark Ori (2005)

Disabled
Chris Blazek (2005)
Brad James (2004)
J.R. Towles (2004)

Traded
Eric Bruntlett (2000) traded to acquire Michael Bourn
Brad Lidge (1998) traded to acquire Michael Bourn
Jordan Parraz (2004) traded to acquire Tyler Lumsden (Corpus Christi)
Tim Redding (1997) traded to acquire Humberto Quintero
Drew Sutton (2004) traded to acquire Jeff Keppinger

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2010 Farmstros Five- Week Seven

Corpus Christi (22-23, over-all) and Round Rock (21-25) led the way with 4 and 3 records for the week. Lexington, 4-4 (23-24); Lancaster, 1-6 (15-30).

The Farmstros Five for the week of May 19-26, 2010: (Please note the extra day as personal schedules forced me to do last week's Farmstros Five a day early)

The Top Performer of the Week:

Doug Arguello, 25, LHP, Corpus Christi. Arguello pitched a nine-inning complete game allowing only four hits and 0 earned runs. He lowered his ERA to 2.45.

The Other Four:

Robert Donovan, 22, RHP, Lexington. Donovan pitched seven scoreless innings allowing six hits and no runs while striking out four. He has not allowed an earned run in 21 1/3 innings to lower his ERA to 2.63. He is scheduled to pitch again Friday. Donovan and his Legend teammates are covered by Mark Maloney at Kentucky.com.

Chris Johnson, 25, 3B, Round Rock. Johnson was 11/29 with two doubles, one triple, three home runs and 10 RBI.

Jason Bourgeois, 28, OF, Round Rock. Bourgeois was 15/35 with two doubles, one triple, one home run, five RBI and one stolen base.

Albert Cartwright, 22, IF, Lancaster. Cartwright finished the week 13 for 29 with two doubles, three triples, one home run, four RBI and two stolen bases.

THE QUEST FOR 3000 SYLLABLES to pass 1000 Tonight

Farmstros' QUEST FOR 3000 SYLLALBES is slated to pass the 1000 mark tonight at about 10 p.m. Houston time. Track the QUEST on Twitter.

June Transactions

T.J. Burton, RHP sent from Round Rock to Corpus Christi

Tanner Bushue, RHP placed on Lexington's Disabled List; activated from Lexington's Disabled List

Lee Cruz, OF signed and assigned to Lancaster

Casey Daigle, RHP contract purchased and promoted to Houston

Robert Donovan, RHP placed on Lexington's Inactive List

David Duncan, LHP promoted from Lexington to Lancaster

Brad Dydalewicz, LHP sent from Lancaster to Lexington

Evan Englebrook, RHP designated for assignment; cleared waivers and assigned to Round Rock

Michael Garciaparra, IF placed on Round Rock's Disabled List

Jandel Gustave, RHP signed and assigned to DSL Astros

Josh Flores, OF released

Edwin Maysonet, IF activated from Round Rock's Disabled List

Gary Majewski, RHP activated from Round Rock's Disabled List

Drew Meyer, IF activated from Round Rock's Disabled List

Daniel Meszaros, RHP placed on Corpus Christi's Disabled List; activated from Corpus Chrisit's Disabled List

Matt Nevarez, RHP placed on Corpus Christi's Disabled List

Jailen Peguero, RHP acquired in a trade with Texas and assigned to Corpus Christi

Chris Shelton, IF placed on Round Rock's Disabled List

Brad Thompson, RHP signed and assigned to Round Rock

Kelvin Vizcaino, OF, signed and assigned to DSL Astros

Brian Wabick, RHP promoted from Lancaster to Corpus Christi; sent from Corpus Christi to Lancaster

Brandt Walker, RHP activated from Lexington's Disabled List

MLB Bonus Baby Visits with Farmstros about the Draft



Many thanks to Andy Seiler from MLB Bonus Baby who took some time Thursday to share his insights on the Astros' draft, which begins Monday, June 7. My apologies for the brief glitch at the start of the intervies. MLB Bonus Baby is a "community obsessed with the MLB draft." NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, I had to record a second short clip of the end of the interview. The ending is included below:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Farmstros Draft Coverage Launches Tomorrow

With the 2010 draft less than two weeks away (June 7-9), Farmstros will be launching coverage of the event tomorrow. Andy Seiler from MLB Bonus Baby will visit Farmstros' headquarters and give some insight into what Bobby Heck and the gang might be thinking as the draft approaches. I hope to have the full interview available to listen to by 11 a.m Houston time.

May 27- Interview with Andy Seiler of MLB Bonus Baby
May 28- Review of Astros' 1996-2005 Drafts
May 29- Review of Caribbean products in the Astros' system
May 30- Review of Astros' 2006 Draft
May 31- Dominican Astros season begins
June 1- Review of Astros' 2007 Draft
June 3- Review of Astros' 2008 Draft
June 5- Review of Astros' 2009 Draft
June 7- Draft begins with first round and supplemental picks
June 8- Farmstros Baseball Listening/Twitter Experience during Lexington game at 10 a.m Houston time. Draft coverage to be included.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Levine's Minor League Notebook

Zach Levine at Chron.com posted his lastest Astros minor league notebook yesterday. The notebook includes some insight into the club's preparation for next month's draft.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Draft Interview in the Works

With the Major League draft less than three weeks away (June 7-9), I am scheduled to interview Andy Seiler this Thursday morning. Seiler is the man behind a site called MLB Bonus Baby, "A Community Obsessed with the MLB Draft." I am hoping to get some insights from him about what is going on inside Bobby Heck's head concerning the Astros' draft. If you have any questions you'd like answered, please leave a comment and I will do my best to fit them into the interview.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Legends Learn English

Thanks to Astros County for finding the following information about Lexington's foreign born players taking ESL classes at Applebee's Park. A highlight of the article is Lexington reliever Jose Trinidad talking about a misunderstanding with one of the seven words you used to not be able to say on television.

Interestingly, this class has a blog as well.

Friday, May 21, 2010

THE QUEST FOR... a Limerick

I was driving around Houston today at about 3 p.m. when I heard Charlie Pallilo on Sports Talk 790 put out a request for Astros-themed limericks. I always enjoy a good poetry challenge and it was nice to get out of my QUEST FOR 3000 SYLLABLES haiku rut for a bit. By the time I made it home at 6, I had my limerick to send to Mr. Pallilo. Thanks to Charlie for reading it on the air. He did a nice interpretation of my work.

Here it is:

The season is so bad it seems
That the present is parked in obscene
But I can't help but smile
When I think of young Lyles
And the future, 2013??

I did include a note in my email to Pallilo that I am confident Lyles will be contributing before 2013, although the over-all rebuilding will take that long.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How About Shuck!

The JB Shuck PR machine is alive and well in, I am guessing, Ohio. One of the Corpus Christi outfielder's fans pointed out to me that Shuck is the first Hook since 2007 to be named the Texas League Player of the Week. He won the award for the week of May 10-16. During that time he was 11 for 27 with three doubles, one triple, one stolen base, four runs scored and seven RBI.

Bennett has Been Busy

In less than a week, twenty players in the Astros system have changed status in one way or another. Astros County has been on top of most of the transactions. I will get all the rosters updated over the weekend. For now, here is a listing of all the moves. As best I can tell, Lancaster is one player short and Corpus Christi is two players short, so some more moves may still be coming after Ricky Bennett takes a little break, I suppose.

Erick Abreu, RHP moves up from Corpus Christi to Round Rock

Barry Butera, IF moves up from Lancaster to Corpus Christi

Marcos Cabral, IF moves up from Corpus Christi to Round Rock

Jordan Comadena, C after being placed on Lancaster's Inactive List, he is sent down to Lexington

Luis Cruz, LHP moves up from Extended Spring Training to Lexington

John Curtis, C signed and assigned to Lancater

Jonathon Fixler, C moves up from Lexington to Corpus Christi

Michael Garciaparra, IF moves up from Corpus Christi to Round Rock

Sammy Gervacio, RHP placed on Round Rock's Disabled List

Kyle Greenwalt, RHP activated from Lancaster's Disabled List

Jose Lopez, C is released from Lancaster

Gary Majewski, RHP placed on Round Rock's Disabled List

Drew Meyer, IF placed on Round Rock's Disabled List

Ozzie Navarro, IF moves up from Round Rock to Houston after his contract is purchased

Matt Nevarez, RHP is placed on the Corpus Christi Disabled List

Sergio Perez, RHP moves up from Corpus Christi to Round Rock

Daniel Sarisky, RHP placed on Lexington's Disabled List

Erik Stiller, P signed and assigned to Corpus Christi

J.R. Towles, C is placed on the Corpus Christi Disabled List

Brian Wabick, RHP moves up from Lancaster to Corpus Christi

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Navarro on the way to Minute Maid Park

Ed Wade wasn't joking around this afternoon. When the Astros' general manager was on Matt Thomas' show on Sports Talk 790 Wednesday afternoon, he indicated that moves may be made soon, and that the club had their eyes on Ozzie Navarro who has been playing well at Round Rock. In a post-game tweet this evening, Alyson Footer indicates that the Astros have purchased Navarro's contract and that they are in the process of releasing Kaz Matsui.

Navarro was batting .312 with three home runs and 19 RBI in 77 at bats for Round Rock. He has a .667 career major league average. (He was two for three in a four game stint with Seattle in 2006.)

2010 Farmstros Five- Week Six

Yes, it is Wednesday, a day early. However, the way my schedule stacks up, if I don't do the Farmstros Five today, it won't get done until Saturday most likely. Lexington (19-20, over-all) and Corpus Christi (20-18) both finished 4-2 for the week. Round Rock, 3-3 (17-22) and Lancaster, 1-5 (14-24) round out the organization.

The Farmstros Five for the shortened week of May 13-18, 2010

The Top Performer:

Dallas Keuchel, 22, LHP, Lancaster. Keuchel followed up nine scoreless innings to end last week with an eight inning complete game. He allowed one run and six hits while striking out 11. Unfortunately, the opposing pitcher carried a perfect game into the ninth inning and the JetHawks fell 1-0.

The Other Four:

Jordan Lyles, 19, RHP, Corpus Christi. Two starts, 16 IP, one complete game, 10 hits and two runs allowed. With Lyles' 2.29 ERA at Corpus Christi, I am assuming the bears around Dell Diamond are getting nervous.

Tyler Lumsden, 27, LHP, Corpus Christi. Lumsden pitched seven scoreless innings allowing five hits and striking out four. He lowered his ERA to 2.39.

David Duncan, 23, LHP, Lexington. Duncan allowed one hit and no runs while pitching five innings in his first game of the season.

Kody Hinze, 22, 1B, Lexington. Hinze continues to mash against the South Atlantic League. He was 11 for 22 with two doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI.

David Duncan, Kody Hinze and all the Lexington Legends are covered by Mark Maloney at Kentucky.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The New Media Guides are Here!!

My Astros' Media Guide arrived Saturday. I was able to update some birthdays and signing dates in the database with the newest book in my library.

Links to Prospect Blogs

I just came across this link at INDIANS PROSPECT INSIDER. It includes links to blogs that cover prospects of other MLB teams.

Keuchel Solid Again, yet JetHawks Lose

Last week, Lancaster lefty Dallas Keuchel pitched nine scoreless and got a no decision. Monday night, he allowed a allowed one run in an eight inning complete game. Unfortunately, his mound opponent, Lake Elsinore's Juan Oramas carried a perfect game into the ninth inning. The JetHawks got two hits in the ninth, but no runs, and Keuchel was saddled with a 1-0 loss.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Curtis Up to Lancaster

Kudos to Astros County for tweeting that catcherJohn Curtis has been promoted to Lancaster, apparently from Extended Spring Training. He replaces Jordan Comadena who has been placed on the inactive list for the JetHawks.

Curtis is not listed in the Astros 2010 media guide. Nor was he on the extended spring training roster I received. He was drafted by the White Sox in 2007. He spent 2009 with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Congratulations, Brian McTaggart



Brian McTaggart at Astros.com recently passed 2000 followers on Twitter. In a previous post, I mentioned a song I wrote to Alyson Footer in which I attempted to convince her to follow me on Twitter. In that song, I promised to write a song for Brian McTaggart when he hit 2000 followers. This is the promised song.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2010 Farmstros Five- Week Five

In the two plus seasons I have posted a Farmstros Five, I can't remember the Astros system finishing eight games over .500 in a week until this week. Corpus Christi led the way a 5-1 (16-16, over-all); Lancaster, 5-2 (13-19); Round Rock, 4-3 (14-19); Lexington, 3-3 (15-18)

The Farmstros Five for the Week of May 6-12, 2010:

The Top Performer:

Tanner Bushue, 18, RHP, Lexington. Bushue had his best start as a pro pitching seven scoreless innings, striking five and allowing only two hits. Tanner Bushue and all the Lexington Legends are covered by Mark Maloney for Kentucky.com.

The Other Four:

Doug Arguello, 25, LHP, Corpus Christi. Arguello picked up a complete game victory for the Hooks. He pitched nine innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out five.

Oswaldo Navarro, 25, IF, Round Rock. Navarro was 9 for 21 with two doubles, one home run and seven RBI.

Freddy Parejo, 25, IF, Lancaster. Parejo was 10 for 21 with three doubles and four RBI.

Tyler Lumsden, 27, LHP, Corpus Christi. Lumsden started twice and picked up two wins. He pitched 13 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs.

Keuchel throws Nine Scoreless, JetHawks Lose

Lancaster Left-hander Dallas Keuchel did his best Harvey Haddix impersonation Wednesday night; however, it wasn't enough for the JetHawks. Keuchel became the first JetHawks pitcher since 2006 to throw nine scorelesss innings in a game accomplishing that feat at Rancho Cucamonga. The Quakes knocked off Lancaster 1-0 in 11 innings in the pitchers' duel.

In case you are looking for Dallas Keuchel in this week's Farmstros Five, he didn't make it because his first start of the week was not quite as impressive (6 1/3 IP, nine hits, and five runs allowed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thanks to Alyson Footer

Special Thanks to Alyson Footer of Astros.com for helping out with an idea I'm working on to have a correspondent in the Dominican Republic following those Astros of the Future. For the record, the DSL Astros season is scheduled to begin May 31.

Listen to a new Farmstros song, "If Alyson Footer were following me."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Profile on Bogusevic

Thanks to Astros County for posting this link. It is to an article by Ryan Metz at MiLB.com profiling Brian Bogusevic.

Preview of the Tri-City Valley Cats

David Coleman of THE CRAWFISH BOXES answered some questions for a blog that covers the Connecticut Tigers in the New York-Penn League. Coleman addressed the Tigers' division rivals, Tri-City, which is the Astros' affiliate.

Baseball in the Dominican Republic

At the same time the Astros opened their new academy facilities in the Dominican Republic yesterday, I read rumors that they had signed a 16-year old shortstop named Jean Carlos Batista from that country. I have seen no confirmation of his signing. However, I was tweeted a link to an interesting article about baseball in the Dominican. The article, written by Sarah Braunstein for Sports Illustrated Teen chronciles a crew that is filming a documentary about Dominican baseball entitled PELOTERO. By coincidence, there is a picture of Batista in the article.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Astros Open New Academy in Dominican

The Astros opened their new academy in the Dominican Republic today. Brian McTaggart covered the event for Astros.com. Astros of the Future will be playing there beginning this summer.

Red Hot Austin playing Monday Morning in California

Jay Austin, the early leader in the race for Farmstros' May Player of the Month Award, and his Lancaster teammates are playing a Monday morning game in California. In eight games so far this month, Austin has 18 hits, 14 runs scored, one triple, three home runs and seven stolen bases. The Lancaster centerfielder is batting .500 with an .861 slugging percentage, and a 1.386 OPS in May.

The game started at 1 p.m. Houston time and can be listened to here

Jordan Lyles- Farmstros' April Player of the Month

Jordan Lyles received 32 of 84 votes to claim the Farmstros' Player of the Month Award for April. J.D. Martinez was the runner-up with 17 votes. Koby Clemens had 15.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rojo Rides into the Sunset

I think I was hooked on minor league baseball when I won a "Mr. Meat Smoker" by playing baseball bingo at Ray Winder Field in Little Rock, Arkansas. The crazy promotions, the players who you might see in the big leagues some day, the cheap seats where you can sit and still see the players without binoculars. My guess is that many regular readers of this blog share my admiration of this part of America's national pastime.

When I was approached by Clint Musselwhite of the Round Rock Express a week ago Thursday to see if I'd be interested to be a part of their little project involving Rojo Johnson, it took me about a half a second to respond "That sound like fun!"
As Clint explained to me what they were planning to do it sounded like minor league baseball at its finest and I was excited to have been asked to be a part of it.

I mentioned in a previous post that the nine days between the time I was let in on the joke and Friday morning when I saw the video of Johnson's appearance in the game were by far the most fun I have had in 2.5 years with Farmstros. A few highlights:

Writing the song allegedly sung by Venezuelans when Johnson pitches (El Tira La Pelota) while carting my kids home from school. My son (1st) and daughter (Kindergarten) attend a dual language school in Houston ISD. I had the idea for a song, but obviously it had to be in Spanish, not only did the kids provide a translation, they provided one that rhymed and had a good beat. Take that public school critics.

Hearing that Reid Ryan among others in the Round Rock office love what I am doing with Rojo Johnson. It was a highlight to be appreicated for what I was doing. Yet, I told the Express staff numerous times, if you really love what I am doing, tell your friends colleagues and anyone you meet on the street who needs creative marketing ideas all about me.

Falling out of my chair when I heard a caller to Sports Talk 790 in Houston on Thursday say that he was going to buy a Rojo Johnson jersey. The host at the time, Matt Thomas, had no idea who Johnson was or if he did, he is pretty good actor). Needless to say, it took me about five seconds to call in ready to give him and 790's listeners the skinny.

Having to put the phone down to save my daughter's cookies. My daughter's birthday was Thursday and I was in the middle of baking cookies for her. At the exact moment Thomas was going to my call...the timer went off! I couldn't have made this up! I decided to save the cookies. Fortunately, I was able to get a call through several minutes later and add my part to the story.

My son getting injured while impersonating Rojo Johnson Wednesday afternoon. He was working on his best Billy Ray fastball in the front yard and singing the song he helped write when his push-off ankle collided with a stake and was lacerated. After a trip to the urgent care center and two stitches, he was ready for the big Finale! To clarify, my son getting hurt was not a highlight, but in retrospect, now that his ankle is well on its way to healing, that part of the craziness was quite memorable.

Seeing the video from the game Friday morning. The whole family gathered around the computer before school on Friday watching Billy Ray Johnson enter Dell Diamond from the bullpen. I got goosebumps when the song we had written started playing in the background.

Perhaps when the South Houston High School Class of 1987 voted me Most Likely to Succeed, this is what they were talking about.

Thanks for Following the Astros of the Future with me

Friday, May 7, 2010

Rojo Takes the Hill



Rojo Johnson took the mound for Round Rock Thursday night at Dell Diamond. I am working on my post-mortem of the week with Rojo. I will say that the past week "covering" this story has been the most fun I've had in 2.5 years of Farmstros' existence.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2010 Farmstros Five- Week Four

Round Rock was the only club to post a winning record in the organization this week going 4-3 (10-16). Corpus Christi, 2-5 (11-15); Lancaster, 2-4 (8-17); Lexington, 1-5 (12-15).

The Farmstros Five for the week of April 29- May 5, 2010:

The Top Performer:

Brian Bogusevic, 26, OF, Round Rock. Bogusevic went 13 for 27 with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI.

The Other Four:

Jay Austin, 19, OF, Lancaster. Austin went 10 for 26 with two doubles, two home runs, three RBI and six stolen bases. Austin spent last year with the Lexington Legends who are covered by Mark Maloney for Kentucky.com.

Shane Wolf, 23, LHP, Lancaster. Wolf allowed seven hits and one run in seven innings in his one start.

Chris Shelton, 29, 1B, Round Rock. Shelton was 12 for 29 with one double, three homer runs and seven RBI.

Billy Ray "Rojo" Johnson, 31, RHP, Round Rock. Without even playing in a game during the week, Rojo Johnson brought excitement to a thus far bland baseball season in Central Texas.

Rojo Johnson Page

With Rojo Johnson's debut for Round Rock scheduled for tonight, here are links to all of Farmstros coverage of him:

Get Your Rojo Johnson Card

Rojo Rides into the Sunset

Rojo Takes the Hill

A Chant for Rojo Johnson

Express Sign Rojo Johnson

Scouts Talk About Rojo Johnson

Venezuelans Sing about Rojo Johnson

More on Rojo Johnson...Possibly Becoming a Farmstro

Who is Rojo Johnson?

A chant for Rojo Johnson



My friend who coached against Rojo Johnson in Venezuela in the 90s, contacted me again Wednesday night. He was talking Tuesday night to a colleague who also spent some time in Venezuela in the late 90s. That former coach remembered a chant that the fans in Venezuela created especially for Johnson. Apparently the volatile Johnson used to get quite a bit of motivation from the chant when he was on the mound. Also, the colleague remembered that Johnson seemed to be extra focused on his pitching when he heard the cowbells that were prevalent in Venezuelan baseball stadiums. He said, "We did an unscientific study, and it appeared that Johnson threw at least six or seven miles per hour faster and with much more accuracy when he heard the cowbell."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Express sign Rojo Johnson

The Round Rock Express announced today that they have signed former Venezuelan phenom Rojo Johnson. The right-hander will be in uniform for Thursday night's game against Nashville at Dell Diamond.

Listen to the song Venezuelan fans sang about Rojo Johnson.

Scouts Talk about Rojo Johnson

The Express website has video of scouts from Boston and Cleveland talking about Rojo Johnson.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sapp Released; Towles demoted

In a sad note, Brian McTaggart reported today that the Astros have released 2006 first round pick catcher Max Sapp. The catcher is still recovering from a life-threatening battle with meningitis over two years ago.

Also, the club has demoted J.R. Towles to Corpus Christi. Kevin Cash's contract has been purchased and he will called up from Round Rock to replace Towles.

Finally, the club has released 2004 draft pick outfielder Mitch Einertson. Einertson has been serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's substance abuse policy.

Astros to Open New Domican Academy May 10

The Astros will be opening a new academy in the Domincan Republic.

Astros' Announce THEIR minor league players of month

While voting continues for the Farmstros' Player of the Month, Brian McTaggart's latest blog post reveals the Players of the Month for April throughout the Houston organization.

Venezuelans Sing about Rojo Johnson



A friend of mine has been a missionary in Central and South America for many years. He is currently in the Dominican Republic, helping out with Haitian earthquake relief. However, he was stationed in Venezuela in the late 90s where he served as a youth director. One of his roles was coaching a high school baseball team. My friend was excited to read the post on Farmstros about Rojo Johnson possibly coming to Round Rock.

The team he coached in Venezuela faced Rojo several times over a two year period. He will never forget Johnson's over-powering fastball. He also has a clear recollection of the song (El tira La Pelota) that the Venezuelan fans sang whenever Johnson pitched.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Express Interested in Rojo Johnson

The word out of Round Rock is that the club is interested in former Venezuelan pitching phenom turned illegal reptile importer Billy Ray "Rojo" Johnson.

More on Ro Jo Johnson...possibly becoming a Farmstro?



I did a little searching around and found this video on Billy Ray "Ro Jo" Johnson. I also read a rumor that Johnson may be on the verge of signing with Houston, and possibly being assigned to Lexington to see if he has anything to offer as a professional pitcher.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Who is the April Farmstro Player of the Month?

Now that we are into May, take a moment to read a recap of the candidates' stats. and then vote for the Farmstro April Player of the Month.