Astros honor Minor Leaguers with monthly awards
HOUSTON -- Even with a recent rash of callups from Triple-A Oklahoma City, the Astros' farm system might be healthier than ever.
The club announced its Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Month for July, with two of the organization's most touted leading the way for the Redhawks.
Slugger George Springer was the Player of the Month after showing all five tools last month, hitting .347 with nine homers and 27 RBIs and four doubles. For good measure, he also added 10 steals and two triples.
"He's an amazing athlete, truly capable of flashing all five tools," Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart said of Springer, his former Triple-A teammate. "When I was there, he was hitting everything. Everything they're touting him to be is true."
Ranked the club's No. 3 prospect by MLB.com, Springer is currently tied for the Minor League lead in homers (29) and is the only player in professional baseball with more than 25 homers and 25 steals this year.
Meanwhile, righty Asher Wojciechowski, who is the organization's No. 14 prospect, took home Pitcher of the Month with a 3-0 mark and a 2.00 ERA over 27 innings.
"He's a fastball-slider guy, just working on that changeup right now," Cosart said. "That's the biggest thing they want him to work on. He's as consistent as you could ask for. The velocity isn't amazing, but he locates them all. The numbers don't lie on him. He gets guys out."
The former first-round pick currently leads the Pacific Coast League in WHIP (1.08) while ranking second in ERA (2.81) and opponent's batting average (.208)
At Double-A Corpus Christi, righty starter David Martinez won Pitcher of the Month for the second straight month, and catcher Max Stassi earned the Hooks' Player of the Month honors. Martinez's 2.01 ERA is second in Double-A among starters, and Stassi took home the Topps Texas League Player of the Month award for July.
Lefty Tommy Shirley and infielder Matt Duffy were July's best at Class A Advanced Lancaster. Righty Jordan Jankowski and infielder Rio Ruiz were the River Bandits recipients at Class A Quad Cities.
Overall, the Astros' combined Minor League mark of 369-270 (.577) is the best of any team in the Majors, a far cry from the last-place spot the affiliates aggregated for the 2010 and '11 seasons.