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Prospects Phillips, Hader honored for achievements

Astros' Minor League Player, Pitcher of Year recognized in pregame ceremony

HOUSTON -- Brett Phillips and Josh Hader, the Astros' Minor League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, were at Minute Maid Park this weekend and honored Sunday during a brief pregame ceremony.

The 20-year-olds were enthusiastic and excited about meeting the players and thinking about their future with the Astros.

"Meeting all the guys and seeing the whole facility is nice," said Hader. "It gets you excited for what's next."

"It's an amazing feeling being here right now," said Phillips, an outfielder. "The highlight has been meeting these guys, talking to all the coaches.

"It's been awesome talking to the guys. They've been very humbling. They are easy to talk to. They'll sit down with us and basically see how we're doing."

Both players attended Saturday's 10-1 win over Seattle that featured five Houston home runs. For both Phillips and Hader, it was their first look at Minute Maid Park. It made quite an impression.

"[Saturday], it was a bit overwhelming," said Phillips. "I had never been in this park before. It's nerve-wracking but exciting at the same time, to know I could be on the same field with these guys some day in the future."

The left-handed Hader is ranked as the organization's No. 10 prospect by He had a 10-3 record and 3.28 ERA between Class A Advanced Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi with 136 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings.

"Our pitching and hitting [in the Minor Leagues] is unbelievable," said Hader. "To be named and be honored as the Pitcher of the Year is a great feeling. The whole Minor Leagues is stacked up. Everybody plays with their heart and gives 110 percent."

Drafted by the Orioles in the 19th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Hader was acquired from Baltimore in July 2013 as part of the trade of right-hander Bud Norris.

The left-handed-hitting Phillips hit .310 in 130 games between Class A Quad Cities and Lancaster. He had 29 doubles, 14 triples, 17 home runs, 68 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.

Phillips is just one of the talented position players in Houston's farm system. Phillips was selected by Houston in the sixth round of the '12 Draft.

"These guys in the Minor Leagues, we've proved in the last couple of years we know how to win," said Phillips. "That's the mentality and attitude that we're looking forward to bringing to the big league club.

"I'm going to continue to work hard and not get complacent, and hopefully be able to do the same things I'm doing in the Minor Leagues in the Major Leagues."

Richard Dean is a contributor to
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