HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros player development department has named IF Abraham Toro the 2019 Astros Minor League Player of the Year, and RHP Cristian Javier the 2019 Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Both players will be recognized on the field at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Sept. 21 prior to the Astros 6:10 p.m. game against the Angels.
Toro, 22, had a breakout 2019 season that saw him rise from Double A Corpus Christi to the Major Leagues. In 114 minor league games with Triple A Round Rock (16g) and Double A Corpus Christi (98g), the switch-hitter batted .324 with 31 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs, 80 RBI and a .938 OPS (.411 OBP/.527 SLG).
Toro had a strong showing at Major League Spring Training camp before beginning the 2019 season at Double A Corpus Christi, where he received Texas League Midseason and Postseason All-Star honors. Toro was named the Corpus Christi Hooks Player of the Year after leading the Texas League in OPS (.906) and OBP (.393), while ranking among the top-five Texas League players in batting average (2nd, .306), slugging percentage (2nd, .513) and RBI (5th, 70). Following his promotion to Triple A Round Rock on Aug. 1, Toro posted a .424 batting average with a .506 on-base percentage and a 1.112 OPS in 16 games, which spurred his promotion to the Majors.
Toro has quickly become a key contributor for the Astros big league club during their 2019 pennant chase. In 20 games with Houston, he has hit .239 with three doubles, two triples, two home runs, a .753 OPS and a number of strong defensive plays at third base. A native of Longueuil, Canada, Toro was selected by Houston in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Seminole State College in Oklahoma and was signed by Astros scout Jim Stevenson.
Javier, 22, had a dominating 2019 season that was split between three levels in Houston’s minor league system. In 26 games (18 starts) with Triple A Round Rock (2g), Double A Corpus Christi (17g) and Class A Advanced Fayetteville (7g), Javier posted an 8-3 record with four saves, a 1.98 ERA (22ER/113.2IP) and 170 strikeouts. Among all minor league pitchers with at least 100.0 innings pitched in 2019, Javier ranked first in opponent batting average (.130), second in ERA, third in strikeout rate (37.3%), sixth in strikeouts and eighth in WHIP (0.97).
A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Javier began his 2019 campaign with a dominant stint at Fayetteville that saw him strike out 40 batters over 28.2 innings pitched while allowing just three earned runs (0.94 ERA). He found similar success at Corpus Christi (6-3, 2.07 ERA), as his 114 strikeouts ranked eighth in the Texas League despite logging just 74.0 innings pitched at the level in 2019. Javier closed out the regular season at Round Rock, where he struck out 16 over 11.0 strong innings (1.64 ERA) in the Express’ playoff push.
Javier was signed by the Astros as a non-drafted free agent on March 18, 2015, and was signed by Astros scouts Oz Ocampo, Roman Ocumarez and Leocadio Guevara.