By Chris Buck
Farmstros Five Week 10- June 9-15, 2011
Dallas Keuchel, 23, LHP, Corpus Christi
Why? -- 0.64 era, 2 GS, 14 IP, 6H, 1 R, 2BB, 9 SO
Dallas, who was born in Oklahoma, went to college at Arkansas, and pitches for Corpus Christi, was drafted by the Astros in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. He has been described as a polished lefty that can command both sides of the plate.
In the Astros organization, lefties have a tendency to get compared to Wandy Rodriguez. Like Wandy, Dallas does not have overpowering stuff. Also like Wandy, he is able to repeat his mechanics and command his stuff so well that his stuff plays up as batters seem to have trouble squaring his pitches up. UNLIKE Wandy, he does not have a top scale curve. His best secondary offering is a solid change up that produces a high number of ground balls. Following a week with two excellent starts his season numbers have dipped to a 2.99 era and a 1.23 WHIP. Maybe we’ll see Dallas in Houston in September? Maybe?
Brian Bogusevic, 27, OF, Oklahoma City
Why? -- 12-for-32, 5 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB
Brian did not perform well after being sent down to AAA. But, he has picked up his play over the last week with a .375/.412/.438 line. Selected out of Tulane University as a pitcher in the first round of the 2005 draft, Bogusevic has since taken up playing every day. He has just two full professional seasons as an everyday player, and has had a couple of opportunities with the big league club. The jury may still be out on whether he can become a solid everyday regular at the major league level. However, at worst, he appears ready to be an excellent fourth outfielder. For now, he continues to get at-bats at AAA while waiting for his turn to come in Houston.
Juan Santana, 16, SS, DSL Astros
Why? – 11-fo-30, 4R, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 6 BB, SB
I don’t know what you were doing during the summer at age 16, but I wasn’t playing professional baseball. Santana has gotten off to a loud start down in the Dominican. He has a .346/.433/.481 line through 13 games and 52 at-bats. Scouting reports indicate that he is a young man with some line-drive power and the athletic ability to stick at shortstop. At just sixteen years of age, and way down on the farm, it is anyone’s guess as to where Santana will end up. But, it is exciting to think about the Astros having a 16 year old, at a premium defensive position, having success; no matter what the level.
Jose Altuve, 21, 2B, Corpus Christi
Why? – 10-for-29, 4 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 3B, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB.
For the second week in a row, Altuve makes the Farmstros Five. The little guy continues to play well at Corpus, and he added six extra base hits this week. For the week, Altuve had a .345/.387/.690 line and continues to impress. With the recent promotion and the continued success, Altuve appears to be at the front of the line for the long-term second base job in Houston.
Mike Foltynewicz, 19, SP, Lexington
Why? – 2.25 era, 2 GS, 12 IP, 14H, 3R, 5BB, 2 SO
The walks and hits were a little bit higher than you would like to see, but posting back-to-back quality starts gets Folty the nod. Foltynewicz was the Astros' second selection in the first round of the 2010 draft. He is a tall projectable right-hander. He is one of the few high ceiling prospects in the Astros system, and he has the ceiling of front-line starter in the big leagues. Being just 19 from a cold weather part of the country (Illinois), Mike has a lot of baseball between him and that very high ceiling. For now, he throws a hard fastball with heavy sink to go with a good change-up with quality movement and a developing curve. He needs to continue to develop the breaking ball and work on command to both sides of the plate. On the season, Foltynewicz has a 4.61 ERA in 13 starts this season.