I’ll keep today’s entry short and sweet, as I have to prepare for a rather important meeting.
The Astros organization released twenty minor leaguers yesterday. Very few surprises in the mix:
Eduin Ciriaco, LHP (23): Undrafted free agent from the Dominican Republic. Ciriaco spent two years in the Houston organization, with a combined 3-2 record in 33 games (3 starts), 3.82 ERA, 1.13 WHIP between Greeneville and Tri-City. Those are very good numbers, and and thebest ones came in 2008 with Tri-City, where he went 2-0 in 37.1 relief innings, with a 1.13 WHIP, and led the team with a 2.65 ERA.
Colt Adams, RHP (23): 18th Round (549th Overall), 2006 draft. After a forgettable three seasons in the Houston organization, this Dixie State College of Utah product has been released. In those three seasons in Greeneville, Tri-City, and Lexington, he put together a 3-6 line in 24 games (13 starts), 66.1 innings, 8.41 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, and just 39 strikeouts.
Corey Bass, RHP (24): 47th Round (1,408th Overall), 2004 draft from Pearl River Community College.
Anthony Bello, LHP (23): 21st Round (639th Overall), 2006 draft from Nova Southeastern University.
Pascual Juan, LHP (24): Undrafted free agent from the Dominican Republic. Most recently pitched in the San Diego organization; he went 1-2 with a 12.71 ERA and 2.12 WHIP in Short Season Eugene.
Michael Koons, RHP (23): Undrafted free agent from Arizona State University.
Sean Walker, RHP (26): Undrafted free agent from George Mason University.
David Qualben, LHP (23): 7th Round (219th Overall), 2006 draft from Pace University.
Brett Robinson, RHP (24): Undrafted free agent from University of North Carolina – Asheville. Robinson had a great year in 2007, going 1-2 in 21 games with 6 saves, 25 strikeouts to just a single walk, a 3.38 ERA, and a 1.16 WHIP. The promotion to Salem in 2008 did not agree with him.
Tom Vessella, LHP (23): 11th Round (339th Overall), 2006 draft from Whittier College.
The Position Players
Billy Hart, OF (26): 5th Round (164th Overall), 2005 draft from USC. Hart spent three seasons in Single-A ball between Tri-City and Salem, so I suppose it’s no surprise that by the end, he was very good at it. After going .305/.385/.451 in 2007 against players three years younger than he, he faltered slightly in 2008 with a .349 OBP and a .404 SLG. At 26 years old, however, he’s falling far behind, and is getting too old to be in AA, even for the Astros.
Jeff Eure, 1B/3B (28): 18th Round (538th Overall), 2001 draft from Old Dominion University by the Brewers. 28 years old and having never played above Double-A ball, Eure hasn’t played since 2007.
Cat Everett, SS (23): 44th Round (1,312nd Overall), 2007 draft from Tulane University. After a puzzling .229/.367/.253, in which Everett drew 38 walks in 211 plate appearances, he regressed both offensively and defensively at Salem.
Jimmy Goethals, C (26): Undrafted free agent from Menlo College. A career .154 batting average through four minor league seasons. ‘Nuff said.
Josh Pressley, 1B (29): 4th Round (132nd Overall), 1998 from Westminster Academy in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The bad news is that Pressley has spent time in the Devil Rays, Mets, Royals, Marlins, Cardinals, Red Sox, and Astros organizations from 1998-2006, never breaking into the minors for a single at-bat. The good news is he can now return to the Somerset Patriots, where he was the Atlantic League Player of the Year in 2008.
Jason Romano, OF (29): 1st Round (39th Overall), 1997 draft from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida, by the Texas Rangers. Particularly astute fans will recognize Romano, who played in parts of 4 major league seasons, splitting 190 at-bats between the Reds, Devil Rays, Dodgers, Rangers, and Rockies. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2005, or the minors since 2006.
Ole Sheldon, 1B (26): 14th Round (424th Overall), 2004 draft from the University of Oklahoma. Had a great year in 2008 (.282/.383/.820), which was actually something of a regression, but a 26-year-old in AA raises some red flags. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him catch on somewhere.
Jason Tyner, OF (31): 1st Round (21st Overall), 1998 draft from Texas A&M University, by the New York Mets. Easily the most recognizable name on this list. Tyner has played parts of 8 seasons in the majors for the Mets, Devil Rays, Twins, and Indians. He’s also spent time in the minors with the the Mets, Devil Rays, Indians, Braves, Brewers, and White Sox. He was promptly signed by the Milwaukee Brewers organization today upon his release from the Astros organization.