HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced several 2016 non-roster invites to Major League Spring Training today, which includes seven pitchers, two catchers, seven infielders and three outfielders for a total of 19 players. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.
Luhnow also announced today the signing of two minor league free agents: OF Eury Perez and RHP Cesar Valdez. Both players have received invites to Major League Spring Training.
Joining Perez and Valdez in Major League camp will be IF Alex Bregman, RHP Jake Buchanan, IF J.D. Davis, RHP Chris Devenski, OF Derek Fisher, C Tyler Heineman, RHP James Hoyt, RHP Jordan Jankowski, OF Jon Kemmer, IF Tony Kemp, RHP Brendan McCurry, IF Colin Moran, C Roberto Pena, IF A.J. Reed, RHP Brady Rodgers, IF Joe Sclafani and IF Tyler White.
Bregman, 21, was the No. 2 overall selection in this year's draft and is currently ranked by MLB.com as the Astros No. 1 prospect. The shortstop played at two levels in the Astros system in 2015, combining to hit .294 (80x272) with 13 doubles, four triples, four homers, 34 RBI, 13 steals and a .366 on-base percentage in 66 games between Class A Advanced Lancaster (37g) and Class A Quad Cities (29g).
Buchanan, 26, made five appearances in the Major Leagues with Houston in 2015, posting a 2.00 ERA (2ER/9IP) and a .161 opponent batting average. He spent the majority of the season at Triple A Fresno, where he made 30 appearances (seven starts), posting a 5-5 record with three saves and a 4.76 ERA (43ER/81.1IP). Buchanan was originally a seventh-round selection out of North Carolina State by Houston in the June 2010 draft.
Davis, 22, was Houston's third round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Cal State Fullerton University. In two seasons in the Astros system, Davis has established himself as one of the organization's top power hitters, posting 44 doubles, four triples, 39 homers and a .515 slugging percentage in 193 career minor league games. Last season at Class A Advanced Lancaster, Davis hit .289 (140x485) with 28 doubles, 26 homers, 101 RBI and an .889 OPS (.370 OBP/.520 SLG) in 120 games. Following the season, Davis played in 17 games in the Arizona Fall League where he hit .279 (19x68) with two homers. This marks his first invite to Major League Spring Training.
Devenski, 25, had a standout season at Double A Corpus Christi in 2015, taking home Texas League Midseason and Postseason All-Star honors. The right-handed pitcher went 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA (40ER/119.2IP), 104 strikeouts and 33 walks in 24 outings (17 starts) with the Hooks, ranking second in the Texas League in ERA. Devenski is entering his fifth season in the Astros organization since being acquired from the White Sox in 2012 as part of the return in the Brett Myers trade. This marks Devenski's first invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Fisher, 22, received his first invite to Major League Spring Training following a 2015 season in which he hit .275 (136x495) with 21 doubles, eight triples, 22 homers, 87 RBI, 31 steals and an .847 OPS (.364 OBP/.483 SLG) in 123 combined games between Class A Advanced Lancaster (84g) and Class A Quad Cities (39g). Ranked by MLB.com as the Astros No. 7 prospect, Fisher was taken by Houston with the 37th overall selection (competitive balance round A) in the 2015 draft.
Heineman, 24, hit .285 (79x277) with 17 doubles, three homers and 30 RBI in 78 games with Triple A Fresno (56g) and Double A Corpus Christi (22g) last season. This marks his third consecutive season as a non-roster invite to the Astros Major League Spring Training. The switch-hitting catcher is entering his fifth professional season, and just his fourth full season, after being selected out of UCLA in the eighth round of the June 2012 draft.
Hoyt, 29, completed his first season in Houston's organization last year with Triple A Fresno, putting up a 3.49 ERA (19ER/49IP) and nine saves to go along with 66 strikeouts and 11 walks in 47 total appearances. Hoyt was acquired from Atlanta along with Evan Gattis on Jan. 14, 2015. This marks his second consecutive invitation to Astros Major League Spring Training.
Jankowski, 25, spent the entire 2015 season at Triple A Fresno, posting an 8-3 record with a 3.18 ERA (22ER/62.1IP) and 77 strikeouts in 55 relief outings. Originally a 34th round pick by the Astros in the June 2012 draft, Jankowski will be a non-roster invitee at Spring Training for the second consecutive year.
Kemmer, 25, led the Double A Texas League in batting average and OPS while being named a Texas League Postseason All-Star and the Hooks Player of the Year last season. A 21st round pick by the Astros in the 2013 draft out of Brewton-Parker College, Kemmer hit .327 (119x364) with 28 doubles, four triples, 18 homers, 65 RBI and a .988 OPS (.414 OBP/.574 SLG) in 104 games with Corpus Christi last season. This year will be his first appearance at Major League Spring Training.
Kemp, 24, split his 2015 season between Triple A Fresno (71g) and Double A Corpus Christi (50g), combining to hit .308 (143x464) with 19 doubles, four triples, 48 RBI, 35 steals and a .388 on-base percentage. Kemp was selected by Houston in the fifth round of the 2013 draft out of Vanderbilt University following a junior campaign when he was named the SEC Player of the Year. A Texas League Midseason All-Star last year, Kemp also appeared in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. This marks his first invite to Major League Spring Training.
McCurry, 23, was acquired earlier this offseason from Oakland in exchange for Jed Lowrie on Nov. 25. McCurry had outstanding numbers at two levels in the A's minor league system in 2015, posting a 1.86 ERA (13ER/63IP) with 27 saves in 28 chances while tallying 82 strikeouts and 17 walks in his 63.0 innings of work. He was originally selected by Oakland in the 23rd round of the 2014 MLB Draft after starring at Oklahoma State University.
Moran, 23, hit .306 (112x366) with 25 doubles, nine home runs, 67 RBI and an .840 OPS (.381 OBP/.459 SLG) in 96 games at Double A Corpus Christi last season. He was named the MiLB.com Texas League Player of the Month for August after clubbing six homers with a .919 OPS in 27 August games. Moran was acquired from the Marlins as part of the Jarred Cosart, five-player trade with Miami prior to the 2014 trade deadline. He was originally the fifth player taken in the first round of the June 2013 draft. This marks Moran's second invite to Astros Major League Spring Training.
Pena, 23, played in 74 games with Double A Corpus Christi in 2015, batting .237 (61x257) while leading all Texas League catchers in caught stealing percentage (49%) by throwing out 25-of-51 runners attempting to steal. Pena was originally a seventh-round selection by Houston in the June 2010 draft, and will make his second appearance in Astros Major League Spring Training.
Perez, 25, has played in the Majors in each of the last four seasons with Atlanta (2015), the Yankees (2014) and Washington (2012-13). Last year with Atlanta, he played in a career-high 47 games, batting .269 (32x119) with a .331 on-base percentage while appearing in 29 games in left field, six in right field and three in center field. He also played 64 games at Triple A Gwinnett where he hit . 297 (70x236) with a .370 on-base percentage.
Reed, 22, was one of the top players in the minors in 2015, receiving a number of accolades after leading all of minor league baseball in home runs (34), RBI (127) and OPS (1.044) while batting .340. Reed was named the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, ESPN.com Prospect of the Year, Astros Minor League Player of the Year, California League Most Valuable Player and MiLB Offensive Player of the Year in what was his second season with Houston after getting selected in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Kentucky. This marks Reed's first invite to Astros Major League Spring Training.
Rodgers, 25, posted a 4.51 ERA (58ER/115.2IP) in 21 starts at the Triple A level last season, striking out 89 and walking 25. Rodgers is entering his fifth professional campaign since being drafted by Houston in the third round of the June 2012 draft. Rodgers is a native of nearby Richmond, TX, and attended Arizona State University. This year will be his second stint at Astros Major League Spring Training.
Sclafani, 25, combined to hit .292 (68x233) with a .370 on-base percentage in 75 games between the Triple A (72g) and Double A (3g) levels last season. Sclafani was drafted by Houston out of Dartmouth in the 14th round of the June 2012 draft. This marks his second consecutive invite to Astros Major League Spring Training.
Valdez, 30, made 23 starts for Tabasco in the Mexican League last season, going 11-6 with a 2.63 ERA (47ER/160.2IP), 161 strikeouts and 28 walks. A veteran of nine professional seasons, Valdez made nine Major League appearances with Arizona in 2010, including two starts.
White, 26, maintained his torrid offensive pace in 2015, batting .325 (131x403) with 25 doubles, 14 homers, 99 RBI and a .939 OPS (.442 OBP/.496 SLG) in 116 games between Triple A (57g) and Double A (59g). White was named a Texas League Midseason All-Star and was named the MiLB.com Fans' Choice for Best Offensive Player in all of minor league baseball. Following the regular season, White was named the Most Valuable Player of the Dominican Winter League after batting .297 (47x158) and leading the league in homers (7) and OPS (.914) while ranking second in RBI (31) in 44 games for the Estrellas de Oriente.
With Houston's 19 non-roster invitees scheduled to attend camp, the overall Spring Training roster total is at 57 players (28 pitchers, 29 position players). The 40-man roster is currently at 38. The report dates for Spring Training are Feb. 18 for pitchers and catchers and Feb. 22 for position players.