Taylor, 3 Legends picked for SAL all-star game

June 8, 2009

Lexington Legends pitchers Robert Bono and Ross Seaton, along with third baseman Ebert Rosario, were named Monday to the South Atlantic League’s Southern Division all-star team.

Charley Taylor

Charley Taylor

Pitching coach Charley Taylor, who has been unable to join the team this season due to bladder cancer and subsequent surgery to remove his bladder and prostate, was honored by being named to the coaching staff.

Ebert Rosario

Ebert Rosario

The 50th SAL All-Star game is schedule for 7:35 p.m., June 23 at Appalachian Power Park, home of the West Virginia Power in Charleston.

Rosario will start at third base. Through Sunday, he is batting .304 with four homers and 20 RBI.

Robert Bono

Robert Bono

Ross Seaton

Ross Seaton

Bono is 5-2 and third in the league with a 1.93 ERA. Fellow right-hander Seaton is 6-5, 10th in the league with a 2.49 ERA and the only pitcher in the league to have thrown a nine-inning complete game shutout. (Two other pitchers threw seven-inning complete game shutouts.)

Former Eastern Kentucky University pitcher Christian Friedrich was selected for his work with the Asheville Tourists. However, Friedrich was promoted from Asheville to the High-A Modesto Nuts on May 20.

In eight starts for the Tourists, the left-hander was 3-3, ninth in the league with a 2.18 ERA and second in the league with 66 strikeouts. The Colorado Rockies selected Friedrich in the first round of the 2008 draft. In two starts for Modesto, he has no decisions and a 2.77 ERA.

Christian Friedrich

Christian Friedrich

Greenville leads the Southern Division with five all-stars, including starting pitcher Casey Kelly and first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Greenville’s Kevin Boles will manage the squad, assisted by Charleston (S.C.) manager Torre Tyson and pitching coach Jeff Ware, Greenville hitting coach Billy McMillon and pitching coach Bob Kipper, and Taylor.

Asheville, Charleston and Savannah each have four players on the Southern roster, with two starters each: catcher Jordan Pacheco and center fielder Scott Robinson for the Tourists; right fielder Melky Mesa and designated hitter Daniel Brewer for the RiverDogs; and second baseman Joshua Satin and left fielder Sean Ratliff from the Sand Gnats.

Bowling Green and Augusta have two all-stars each. Bowling Green’s Tim Beckham will start at shortstop.

The Hickory Crawdads and Lakewood BlueClaws lead the Northern stars with six players each. Greensboro has four players and host West Virginia has three.

Lakewood’s Dusty Wathan will manager the Northern team, assisted by BlueClaws coach Tim Gradoville. Also assisting will be managers Gary Green of West Virginia and Ernie Young of Kannapolis, plus West Virginia pitching coach Jeff Johnson.

The 27-player rosters were selected by a vote of league managers and coaching staffs, media and front-office executives. 

 

2009 SAL ALL-STAR ROSTERS

 

 

 

POSITION

NORTHERN DIVISION

MANAGER

Dusty Wathan

Lakewood

COACH

Gary Green

West Virginia

COACH

Tim Gradoville

Lakewood

COACH

Ernie Young

Kannapolis

COACH

Jeff Johnson

West Virginia

PITCHERS

Richard Zagone

Delmarva

 

Tyler Cloyd

Lakewood

 

Justin DeFratus

Lakewood

 

Johnny Dorn

Greensboro

 

Rudy Owens

West Virginia

 

Yoon-Hee Nam

Hickory

 

Peter Andrelczyk

Greensboro

 

Dan Remenowsky

Kannapolis

 

Alexander Perez

Lake County

 

Marcos Frias

Hagerstown

 

Brian Rosenberg

Lakewood

 

Martin Perez

Hickory

CATCHERS

Derek Norris

Hagerstown

 

Doug Hogan

Hickory

 

Travis D’Arnaud

Lakewood

FIRST BASEMAN

Ben Lasater

Greensboro

SECOND BASEMAN

Karexon Sanchez

Lake County

THIRD BASEMAN

Paul Gran

Greensboro

SHORTSTOP

Chase D’Arnaud

West Virginia

UTILITY INFIELDER

Erik Morrison

Hickory

UTILITY INFIELDER

Harold Garcia

Lakewood

RIGHT FIELD

Michael Bianucci

Hickory

CENTER FIELD

Anthony Gose

Lakewood

LEFT FIELD

Tyler Kuhn

Kannapolis

UTILITY OUTFIELDER

David Paisano

Hickory

UTILITY OUTFIELDER

Ronnie Welty

Delmarva

DESIGNATED HITTER

Calvin Anderson

West Virginia

TRAINER

Keito Homma

West Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSITION

SOUTHERN DIVISION

MANAGER

Kevin Boles

Greenville

COACH

Torre Tyson

Charleston

COACH

Billy McMillon

Greenville

COACH

Jeff Ware

Charleston

COACH

Bob Kipper

Greenville

COACH

Charley Taylor

Lexington

PITCHERS

Casey Kelly

Greenville

 

Jeffrey Kaplan

Savannah

 

Robert Bono

Lexington

 

Hector Noesi

Charleston

 

Christian Friedrich

Asheville

 

Ezekiel Spruill

Rome

 

Pat Venditte

Charleston

 

Ross Seaton

Lexington

 

Daniel Runzler

Augusta

 

Jimmy Johnson

Savannah

 

Armando Zerpa

Greenville

 

Chris Andujar

Bowling Green

CATCHERS

Jordan Pacheco

Asheville

 

Tim Federowicz

Greenville

 

Jesus Sucre

Rome

FIRST BASEMAN

Anthony Rizzo

Greenville

SECOND BASEMAN

Joshua Satin

Savannah

THIRD BASEMAN

Ebert Rosario

Lexington

SHORTSTOP

Tim Beckham

Bowling Green

UTILITY INFIELDER

James Cesario

Asheville

UTILITY INFIELDER

Juan Perez

Augusta

RIGHT FIELD

Melky Mesa

Charleston

CENTER FIELD

Scott Robinson

Asheville

LEFT FIELD

Sean Ratliff

Savannah

UTILITY OUTFIELDER

David Mailman

Greenville

UTILITY OUTFIELDER

Luis Sumoza

Rome

DESIGNATED HITTER

Daniel Brewer

Charleston

TRAINER

James Petra

Augusta

 

 

  

 


SAL baseball: Asheville at Lexington for 3 games

June 7, 2009

South Atlantic League baseball

Coming up

Lexington Legends vs. Asheville (N.C.) Tourists

What: Three-game series

When: Monday through Wednesday (7:05 each night)

Where: Applebee’s Park

Tickets: Call    (859) 422-7867   

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, RH Robert Bono (5-2, 1.93) vs. RH Parker Frazier (1-5, 6.48); Tuesday, RH Kyle Greenwalt (3-5, 3.10) vs. RH Juan Nicasio (0-0, 1.00); Wednesday, RH Jordan Lyles (2-5, 3.13) vs. RH Dan Houston (1-4, 5.03).

David Christensen

David Christensen

Tourist to watch: RF David Christensen (6-foot-1, 195 pounds, from Margate, Fla.) is among the top 10 in the league in triples (5), homers (9), RBI (31), total bases (94), slugging percentage (.540) and OPS — on-base plus slugging percentages (.854). Also, he is hitting .259, has scored 27 runs and stolen nine bases over 47 games. Selected by the Rockies in the second round of the 2006 draft, Christensen played the past two seasons with the Casper Ghosts of the Pioneer League. He led the club last season with nine homers and 62 games. He also stole seven bases.

Eric Suttle

Eric Suttle

Legend to watch: RF Eric Suttle (6-0, 190, from Marietta, Ga.) is hitting .333 (8-for-24) in seven games since joining the Legends last Monday. He also has drawn five walks, boosting his on-base percentage to .448. Suttle played the last two seasons for the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League, hitting .271 with six homers and 54 RBI over 144 games in 2008. He led the team with 47 walks last season and, just as in 2007, he totaled five outfield assists. The Astros purchased his contract rights March 11. Suttle began this season in extended spring training and was promoted in mid-May to High-A Lancaster of the California League. In 12 games with the JetHawks, Suttle was 12-for-32 (.375) with seven RBI and four runs. He has reached safely in all seven games with the Legends and takes a six-game hitting streak into Monday’s game.

Radio: WLXG AM-1300


Legends make first trip to Bowling Green

June 1, 2009

South Atlantic League Baseball

Coming up

Lexington Legends vs. Bowling Green Hot Rods

What: Three-game series

When: Tuesday through Thursday (7:05 Central each night)

Where: Bowling Green (Ky.) Ballpark

Tickets:   (270) 901-2121  

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Tuesday, RH Robert Bono (5-1, 1.98) vs. pitcher to be named; Wednesday, RH Kyle Greenwalt (2-5, 2.98) vs. LH Frank De Los Santos (3-3, 3.38); Thursday, RH Jordan Lyles (2-5, 3.31) vs. RH Joe Cruz (1-2, 2.08).

Joe Cruz

Joe Cruz

Hot Rod to watch: Thursday’s starter, RHP Joe Cruz (6-foot-4, 190 pounds, from Baldwin Park, Calif.), hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his seven starts, and he’s only allowed two runs once. Over 30 1/3 innings, he has 34 strikeouts to eight walks, holding opponents to a .280 average. Selected by Tampa Bay in the 30th round of the 2007 draft, out of East Los Angeles Junior College, Cruz appeared in 16 games over the last season-plus (three games in 2007) for Princeton of the Appalachian League, where he went 3-3 with a 2.71 ERA, 75 strikeouts and 17 walks. Baseball America rates him 23rd among Tampa Bay prospects, noting that he has “demonstrated a live arm with above-average control.” He comes armed with a 90-94 mph fastball, a curveball and changeup.

Brian Pellegrini

Brian Pellegrini

Legend to watch: 1B/OF Brian Pellegrini (6-1, 240, from Willoughby, Ohio) joined the Legends on May 16 after starting the season with High-A Lancaster. He was Lexington’s primary power hitter last season, when he hit 21 homers and drove in 69 runs over 87 games. He hit .226, with a .331 on-base percentage and .503 slugging. Selected by the Astros in the 12th round of the 2007 draft, out of St. Bonaventure University, he was Atlantic 10 player of the year and an all-star in 2006. At Lancaster this season, Pellegrini hit .171 with seven homers and 15 RBI over 30 games. In 15 games with the Legends, he is hitting .294 with four homers and 12 RBI. He also has drawn nine walks and struck out 14 times. Monday, his three-run homer in the first inning fueled a 5-0 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets.

Jay Austin

Jay Austin

Also of note: The Legends made a roster change Monday. CF Jay Austin was placed on the disabled list. He suffered a concussion when he collided with SS Jorge De Leon during the first inning of Saturday’s game. Taking Austin’s spot on the roster is OF Eric Suttle, who comes from Lancaster. In 12 games with the JetHawks, Suttle hit .375 and drove in 12 runs. He played for Southern Illinois of the Frontier League last season. He made his Legends debut Monday, batting second and playing in left. Suttle was 0-for-2, but drew two walks and scored a run in a 5-0 win over Augusta.

Radio: WLXG AM-1300


Lexington Legends vs. Savannah Sand Gnats

May 23, 2009

South Atlantic League baseball

Coming up

Lexington Legends vs. Savannah Sand Gnats

What: Four-game series

When: Sunday through Wednesday (6 p.m. Sunday, 2 Monday, 7 Tuesday and Wednesday)

Where: Grayson Stadium, Savannah, Ga.

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first: Sunday, RH Jordan Lyles (1-4, 3.16) vs. RH Eric Beaulac (2-1, 3.25); Monday, LH Brad Dydalewicz (2-0, 0.47) vs. RH Elvin Ramirez (2-2, 2.90); Tuesday, RH Ross Seaton (4-4, 3.00) vs. Jeurys Familia (3-2, 1.52); Wednesday, RH Robert Bono (5-1, 2.25) vs. RH Jeffrey Kaplan (4-1, 1.23).

Joshua Satin

Joshua Satin

Sand Gnat to watch: 2B Joshua Satin (6-foot-2, 200 pounds, from Hidden Hills, Calif.) leads the Sand Gnats in batting average (.353), on-base percentage (.434) and walks (20) through Friday. Selected out of Cal-Berkeley by the Yankees in the sixth round of last year’s draft, Satin also has a homer, 22 RBI and 22 runs over 38 games. He took an eight-game hitting streak (13-for-29) into play Saturday. Last year, over 48 games with Brooklyn and Kingsport, Satin hit .303 with five homers and 15 RBI.

Steve Brown

Steve Brown

Legend to watch: OF Steve Brown (6-0, 180, from Barranquilla, Colombia) went on the disabled list after suffering a quadriceps injury in the fifth game of the season. He returned to action Wednesday to knock his first homer of the season. Through Friday, he has played eight games this season, hitting .360 with a homer, six RBI and five runs. Last year, also with the Legends, Brown hit .212 with 10 homers and 31 RBI over 102 games.

Radio: WLXG AM-1300


Lexington Legends visit Charleston RiverDogs

May 19, 2009

South Atlantic League baseball

Coming up

Lexington Legends vs. Charleston RiverDogs

What: Four-game series

When: Wednesday through Saturday (7:05 each night)

Where: Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, Charleston, S.C.

Probable pitcher (Legends listed first: Wednesday, LH Brad Didalewicz (2-0, 0.00) vs. RH David Phelps (3-1, 3.07); Thursday, RH Ross Seaton (3-1, 1.59) vs. RH Andrew Brackman (0-4, 4.01); Friday, RH Robert Bono (4-1, 2.08) vs. LH Manny Banuelos (1-1, 3.38); Saturday, RH Kyle Greenwalt (2-3, 2.50) vs. RH Brett Marshall (1-3, 5.35).

Brandon Braboy

Brandon Braboy

RiverDog to watch: RHP Brandon Braboy (6-foot, 195 pounds, from Kevil, Ky.) is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA over 11 relief outings. In 22 innings, he has struck out 20 and walked three, holding opponents to a .212 average. Out of Heath High School and the University of Indianapolis, Braboy was selected by the Yankees in the 18th round of last June’s draft. After going 8-3 with a 3.61 for his college team, Braboy was 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA for the Yankees’ rookie team at Staten Island.

Marques Williams

Marques Williams

Legend to watch: OF Marques Williams (6-0, 185, from Los Angeles) joined the Legends last weekend, promoted from extended spring training. After going hitless in his first two games, Williams doubled. He wound up scoring the decisive run in a 2-1 victory over Savannah, swiping home on a delayed double steal. Williams, 23, was selected by the Astros in the 43rd round of the June 2007 draft, out of Compton Community College. He played seven games for Greeneville in 2007 and 46 for Tri-City last year, batting a combined .212 with 11 RBI and five stolen bases.

Radio: WLXG AM-1300

 


Savannah Sand Gnats to visit Lexington Legends

May 14, 2009
South Atlantic League baseball

Coming up

Lexington Legends vs. Savannah Sand Gnats

What: Four-game series

When: Friday through Monday (7:05 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2:05 Sunday; 10:05 a.m. Monday)

Where: Applebee’s Park

Tickets: Call   (859) 422-7867  

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Friday, Arcenio Leon (3-1, 3.26) vs. RH Jeffrey Kaplan (3-1, 1.13); Saturday, RH Robert Bono (4-1, 1.91) vs. LH Robert Carson (2-3, 2.20); Sunday, RH Kyle Greenwalt (2-3, 2.38) vs. RH Eric Beaulac (2-1, 2.81); Monday, RH Jordan Lyles (1-4, 4.04) vs. RH Elvin Ramirez (2-2, 3.41).

Sean Ratliff

Sean Ratliff

Sand Gnat to watch: LF Sean Ratliff (6-foot-3, 185 pounds, from Oklahoma City) was a fourth-round draft pick of the Mets last June, out of Stanford. With Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League last season, the left-handed hitter and thrower batted .229 with seven homers and 22 RBI over 59 games. He hit . 208 before the all-star break, .288 the rest of the way. This season, through Wednesday, Ratliff is hitting .346 with four homers and 18 RBI. Of his league-leading 45 hits, 19 have been for extra bases. He also leads the league in total bases (74) and ranks in the top 10 in average, doubles, homers, slugging percentage and OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentages).

Jorge De Leon

Jorge De Leon

Legend to watch: SS Jorge De Leon (6-0, 168, from Azua, Dominican Republic) burst onto the Lexington scene Monday, when he made his team debut against Charleston. All he did was go 3-for-5 and drive in the winning run with a two-out single in the 14th inning. (He also reached base when hit by a pitch.) De Leon, 21, hit .235 with a homer and 14 RBI over 32 games last season with Greeneville of the Appalachian League. He hit .343 over 43 at-bats in July. He spent the previous two seasons playing for the Dominican Summer League Astros. De Leon reported to the Legends from extended spring training to plug the hole left when Ricardo Bonfante (dislocated shoulder) went on the disabled list.

Radio: WLXG AM-1300


Charleston RiverDogs visit Lexington Legends

May 10, 2009
South Atlantic League baseball

Coming up

Legends vs. Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs 

What: Four-game series

When: Monday through Thursday (7:05 each night)

Where:  Applebee’s Park

Tickets: Call   (859) 422-7867        

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, RH Robert Bono (4-1, 1.61) vs. RH Andrew Brackman (0-4, 4.55); Tuesday, RH Kyle Greenwalt (2-2, 1.86) vs. RH Brett Marshall (0-3, 6.66); Wednesday, RH Jordan Lyles (1-3, 4.11) vs. RH Hector Noesi (0-0, 0.00); Thursday, RH Ross Seaton (4-2, 1.51) vs. TBA.

RiverDog to watch: Pat Venditte (6-foot-1, 180 pounds, from Omaha, Neb.) is second in SAL saves, behind only Legends right-hander Daniel Meszaros. What

Pat Venditte

Pat Venditte

makes Venditte unusual is that he pitches with both hands, and well. Over his 12 appearances, Venditte is 2-1 with seven saves and a 0.61 ERA. He has allowed three runs, one earned, while holding opponents to a .204 batting average over 14 2/3 innings. The Yankees selected Venditte in the 20th round of last June’s draft, out of Creighton University. With Staten Island of the New York-Penn League last summer, Venditte was 1-0, 23-for-23 in save situations, with a 0.83 ERA and was named the league’s Reliever of the Year.

Legend to watch: 2B Andy Simunic (6-0, 175, from Collierville, Tenn.) joined the Legends last week, called up from extended spring

Andy Simunic

Andy Simunic

training after Albert Cartwright suffered a broken forearm. In his first five games, Simunic is 5-for-18 (.278), with a double, walk and stolen bases. He comes home with a four-game hitting streak. Selected by the Astros in the 17th round of last June’s draft, out of Tennessee, Simunic hit .234 and drove in 14 runs over 53 games with Tri-City last summer. He was the team’s Defensive Player of the Month in July.

Also of note: What happens when an ambidextrous pitcher encounters a switch-hitter? Rules state that the pitcher must declare which arm he will use to throw. Each side is then allowed to switch once. . . . The Legends expect to have a roster addition Monday, as SS Ricardo Bonfante suffered a dislocated left shoulder when he attempted a head-first slide Friday at Rome.

Radio: WLXG AM-1300


Meet the 2009 Lexington Legends

April 9, 2009
The 2009 Lexington Legends at a glance

PITCHERS

Robert Bono

Robert Bono

Robert Bono
Bats/throws
:  R/R              Height/weight:  6-2, 175
Birthdate: 12-12-88         
Hometown: Waterford, Conn. 

Notes: Will open the season as No. 4 in the starting rotation, looking for his first professional victory.  Selected by the Astros in the 11th round of the 2007 draft, out of Waterford High School. Went 0-4, 7.34 for Greeneville in 2007; 0-4, 4.68 for Tri-City last year. Walked 20 and struck out 18 at Greeneville. Corrected that at Tri-City, with 11 walks to 46 whiffs. He was Tri-City’s  Pitcher of the Month in July.

Brad Dydalewicz

Brad Dydalewicz

Brad Dydalewicz

B/T:  L/L                              Ht./wt.:  6-1, 180
D.O.B.:  3-24-90                  
Hometown:  Spicewood, Texas

Notes:  Opens the season at No. 3 in the starting rotation. An eighth-round draft pick out of Austin High School last June, Dydalewicz is listed by Baseball America as the 14th-best prospect in the Astros system, armed with the “best changeup.” BBA notes that he signed for an above-slot $425,000 bonus and “throws a live fastball and plus curveball, with enough arm strength to suggest his heater will consistently sit in the low 90s as he advances. He was 90-94 mph in the spring, an encouraging sign considering he tore his ACL in 2007 while playing football.”  He worked 10 innings over four appearances with Greeneville last year, with no decisions, a 2.70 ERA, six strikeouts and three walks.

Kyle Greenwalt

Kyle Greenwalt

Kyle Greenwalt
B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-0, 200
D.O.B.:  9-29-88                  
Hometown: Sellersville, Pa. 

Notes:  Scheduled to start the Legends’ fifth game of the season, the April 13 home opener vs. Kannapolis. Selected by the Astros in the 20th round of the June 2007  draft, out of Souderton (Pa.) Area High School. Made his pro debut with Greeneville,  going 0-7 with a 7.53 ERA, 28 strikeouts and 12 walks. Settled in nicely in 2008, earning team MVP honors at Greeneville by going 6-4, 3.14, 53 strikeouts and 14 walks over 13 starts. Also won his lone start for Tri-City. Has a 90-92 mph fastball with sink, slider and changeup. Ranked by Baseball America as 31st-best prospect in the Houston system.

Arcenio Leon

Arcenio Leon

Arcenio Leon
B/T:
R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-1, 162
D.O.B.:  9-22-86                  
Hometown: Maracaibo, Venezuela

Notes:  Signed as a non-drafted free agent Feb. 7, 2005. Went 3-6 over two seasons with the Venezuelan Summer League Astros, striking out 30 and walking 30. Spent the last two seasons with Greeneville, improving from 0-7, 4.67 in 2007 to 3-1, 3.33 in 2008. Also improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio from 43-27 to 42-19.

Jordan Lyles

Jordan Lyles

Jordan Lyles

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-4, 185
D.O.B.: 10-19-90                 
Hometown:  Hartsville, S.C.

Notes: A first-round supplemental draft pick (38th overall) last June, out of Hartsville (S.C.) High School, Lyles is scheduled to start Thursday’s season opener at West Virginia. Baseball America ranks him sixth among Astros minor-league prospects and projects him as Houston’s No. 4 starter in 2012. Signed for $930,000 on the night of his high school graduation. Baseball America on Lyles: “He shelved his cutter once in pro ball, and saw an immediate improvement in his fastball as it jumped from 86-88 mph in the spring to 90-96 all summer. He had good command of it even with the added velocity. His curveball has rotation and shape to it, and he has show a feel for a changeup.”  Went 3-3, 4.23 with 68 strikeouts and 17 walks over 15 games with Greeneville (13 games) and Tri-City last season.

Daniel Meszaros

Daniel Meszaros

Daniel Meszaros

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-0, 170
D.O.B.: 9-6-85                     
Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla. 

Notes: Selected by the Astros in the 48th round of the June 2008 draft, out of the College of Charleston. Made his pro debut last summer with Tri-City, finishing 1-3, with one save and a 4.44 ERA. He worked 26 1/3 innings over 12 relief appearances, striking out 46 and walking eight. Opens this season as a late-inning reliever. 

Ross Seaton

Ross Seaton

Ross Seaton
B/T: L/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-4, 190
D.O.B.: 9-18-89                   
Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas

Notes: A third-round supplemental draft pick last June, out of Second Baptist High School in Texas, where he was class valedictorian.  With a fastball touching 96 mph, he signed for $700,000 Baseball America ranks him as the Astros’ third-best prospect, armed with “best curveball” in the system.  Starts the season as Lexington’s No. 2 starter. Had no decisions and a 13.50 ERA at Greeneville last season, but that came over a total of four innings.  Baseball America: “He has a smooth and easy delivery that’s repeatable, allowing his fastball to sit consistently at 90-94 mph. His slider can be devastating to young hitters, and his changeup is a nice weapon.”

Jack Tilghman

Jack Tilghman

Jack Tilghman

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-2, 205
D.O.B.: 5-19-87                    Hometown: Telford, Pa.

Notes: Signed to a minor-league contract last Aug. 5, Tilghman finished the 2008 season by making nine relief appearances for the Legends: 1-0, 2.70, five strikeouts, nine walks, 13 1/3 innings. Out of Walters State (Tenn.) Community College, he also worked 13 2/3 innings for the Rookie League Phillies in 2007, going 1-1 with a 2.63, six strikeouts and seven walks.

Jose Trinidad

Jose Trinidad

Jose Trinidad

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 5-11, 150
D.O.B.: 7-13-87                   
Hometown: Sabana Grande de Palenque, D.R.

Notes: Signed as a non-drafted free agent, Feb. 22, 2006, Trinidad led all Astros minor-leaguers last season with a 2.73 ERA at Greeneville. He went 3-2 over 10 starts and 56 innings, striking out 40 and walking six. He spent 2006 and 2007 with the Dominican Summer League Astros, going a combined 6-6, with 69 strikeouts and 41 walks. 

Patrick Urckfitz

Patrick Urckfitz

Patrick Urckfitz

B/T: L/L                               Ht./wt.: 6-3, 190
D.O.B.: 7-21-88                   
Hometown:
Rochester, N.Y.

Notes: Signed as non-drafted free agent out of Monroe (N.Y.) Community College last June 29. Worked 15 games in relief for Greeneville, going 1-0 with one save and a 1.40 ERA. Had 23 strikeouts and nine walks over 19 1/3 innings. Starts this season as a late-inning reliever. 

Henry Villar

Henry Villar

Henry Villar

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 5-11, 150
D.O.B.: 5-24-87                   
Hometown: Bonao, Dominican Republic

Notes: Signed as a non-drafted free agent, July 19, 2005. Made 13 relief appearances with Greeneville last season. Over 65 1/3 innings, he went 3-6 with a 4.41 ERA, 65 strikeouts and 12 walks. His 2006 and 2007 seasons were spent with the Dominican Summer League Astros, where he was a combined 5-5, with 101 strikeouts and 21 walks. 

Brian Wabick

Brian Wabick

Brian Wabick

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-0, 180
D.O.B.: 8-3-87                     
Hometown: Des Plaines, Ill.

Notes: Selected by the Astros in the 34th round of the June 2007 draft, out of Oakton (Ill.) Community College.  Pitched the last two seasons at Greeneville, going 1-3 over 28 games (one start), with six saves, 44 strikeouts and 22 walks. Also spent part of 2008 with Tri-City, where he was 2-1 with two saves and a 2.14 ERA over 11 relief outings. Over 21 innings with Tri-City, he struck out 23 and walked only one.

CATCHERS

Jonathan Fixler

Jonathan Fixler

Jonathan Fixler

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.:  6-1, 205
D.O.B.: 6-13-86                   
Hometown: Park Ridge, Ill.

Notes: Among six players who spent all or part of last season with the Legends. Hit .248 with eight homers and 50 RBI over 80 games. Also played three games for 2A Corpus Christi, going 1-for-7 with an RBI. Selected by the Astros in the 19th round of the June 2007 draft, out of Indiana University. Played seven games for Tri-City in 2007, with one double in 16 at-bats. 

Federico Hernandez

Federico Hernandez

Federico Hernandez

B/T: S/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-0, 170
D.O.B.: 2-9-88                     
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Notes: Hernandez is rated by Baseball America as 20th among Astros prospects. Over three seasons – two with the Venezuelan Summer League Astros and last year with Greeneville – Hernandez hit .291 with six homers. Defense is what impresses Baseball America, though: “A cousin of Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez, he was regarded by Rookie-level Appalachian League managers as the top defensive catcher in the league last year. That’s an impressive feat, considering he did not take up the position until signing. He has a good arm and good accuracy, and he showed 1.95-second pop times consistently in instructional league. His receiving skills, feet, soft hands and ability to call a game also got hit marks. Hernandez also blocks balls well, with good range behind the plate, and always shows good hustle.”

INFIELDERS

Ricardo Bonfante

Ricardo Bonfante

Ricardo Bonfante

B/T: S/R                               Ht./wt.: 5-9, 140
D.O.B.: 10-21-88                 
Hometown: Cartegena, Colombia

Notes: Signed as a non-drafted free agent, July 2, 2005.  A shortstop, he hit .261 (36-for-138) with 12 RBI, 19 runs scored and 10 stolen bases over 43 games with Greeneville last season. Hit .308 versus left-handers and batted .361 for the month of June.  Played for the Venezuelan Summer League Astros in 2006 and 2007. 

Albert Cartwright

Albert Cartwright

Albert Cartwright

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 5-10, 180
D.O.B.: 10-31-87                 
Hometown: Winter Haven, Fla.

Notes: A June 2007 36th round draft pick, out of Polk (Fla.) Community College. Second baseman played 57 games over the last two seasons at Greeneville. Last year, over 39 games, hit .306 (37-for-121) with three homers, 17 RBI, 23 runs and 13 stolen bases (caught four times). Had a .410 on-base percentage over the last 39 games. Batted .373 against lefties and .333 at home. In August, hit .351 and had an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.019.

Phil Disher

Phil Disher

Phil Disher
B/T:
R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-2, 215
D.O.B.: 6-17-85                    Hometown: Cary, N.C.

Notes: With Justin Smoak (11th overall draft pick) at first base, Disher played catcher for the University of South Carolina. The Astros selected him in the 15th round last June and moved him to first. He played 71 games for Tri-City, hitting .304 (85-for-280) with 13 homers, three triples and 20 doubles. He drove in 56 runs and scored 40, with a .381 on-base percentage and .536 slugging percentage. Baseball America, which pegs him as the 27th best prospect in the Houston system, says the Astros also may want to look at Disher in left field.

Kody Hinze

Kody Hinze

Kody Hinze

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-0, 225
D.O.B.: 7-29-87                    Hometown: Houston

Notes: Signed as a non-drafted free agent, Oct. 5, 2007, out of Angelina (Texas) College. First baseman made his pro debut last season with Greeneville, hitting .269 (53-for-197) with eight homers and 32 RBI over 55 games. Had 34 walks (second in the Appalachian League), 46 strikeouts.  His first game, against Kingsport, he drew four walks, scored three runs and drove in two. 

Kyle Miller

Kyle Miller

Kyle Miller

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-1, 200
D.O.B.: 9-1-86                     
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.

Notes: Selected by the Astros in the 21st round of the June 2007 draft,  out of Central Florida Community College. Third baseman broke in with Greeneville in 2007 (.234, 7 HR, 23 RBI, team-leading 74 total bases and team second-best 22 runs), then split 2008 between Greeneville and Lexington. Played 32 games for the Legends, batting .234 (30-for-128) with seven homers and 24 RBI, but also with 50 strikeouts to only eight walks. 

Ronnie Ramirez

Ronnie Ramirez

Ronnie Ramirez
B/T:
R/R                               Ht./wt.: 5-11, 165
D.O.B.: 1-30-86                   
Hometown: Cartegena, Colombia

Notes: Middle infielder signed as a non-drafted free agent Jan. 13, 2003. Played three years in the Venezuelan Summer League, then came to the U.S. in 2006 with Greeneville (.314, all-star and team MVP over 57 games) and Lexington (2-for-10, three games).  Split last two seasons between Tri-City and the Legends. Minor-league career totals: 310-for-1,248 (.248), 10 HR, 135 RBI and 43 SB. 

Ebert Rosario

Ebert Rosario

Ebert Rosario
B/T:
R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-3, 165
D.O.B.: 5-27-87                   
Hometown: La Romana, Dominican Republic

Notes: Third baseman was Greeneville’s Defensive Player of the Month last July. In his second season with Greeneville, hit .304 (51-for-168) with two homers and 18 RBI. In 2007, led Greeneville in average (.273), RBI (26), hits (60), total bases (86), games (59) and tied for the lead in doubles (14).  Signed as a non-drafted free agent Aug. 31, 2005, then spent one season in the Dominican Summer League. 

OUTFIELDERS 

Jay Austin

Jay Austin

Jay Austin
B/T:
L/L                               Ht./wt.: 5-11, 170
D.O.B.: 8-10-90                    Hometown: Atlanta

Notes: Now 18, Austin cranked out 50 homers in high school and committed to Southern Cal, but a $750,000 bonus swayed him to sign with the Astros, who took him in the second round of last June’s draft. Broke in with Greeneville last summer, hitting .198 with 14 RBI and no homers. Baseball America, which rates him the 10th-best prospect in the Astros system, notes that he was one of the youngest players in the league. BBA continued: “While Houston has a few toolsy outfielders in its system, none have the same all-around potential as Austin. A left-handed hitter and center fielder, he has the range to patrol the middle garden, the bat to handle leadoff and speed that could make him a major base-stealing threat.” BBA also designates Austin as “Best Athlete” and “Fastest Base-runner” among Astros prospects. 

Brandon Barnes

Brandon Barnes

Brandon Barnes

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-2, 210
D.O.B.: 5-15-86                    Hometown: Orange, Calif.

Notes: A June 2005 draft pick out of Cyprus College, Barnes was the Legends’ Defensive Player of the Month last July. Over 87 games, he hit. 241 (75-for-311) with two homers, 19 RBI and seven stolen bases. Barnes began his pro career with two seasons at Greeneville, then moved up to Tri-City in 2007. There, he was the ValleyCats’ MVP and team leader in homers (10) and RBI (41). His 10 homers ranked second in the New York-Penn League. 

Steve Brown

Steve Brown

Steve Brown

B/T: R/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-0, 180
D.O.B.: 9-3-86                     
Hometown: San Andres Island, Colombia

Notes: Signed Dec. 1, 2003 as a non-drafted free agent, Brown was Legends Defensive Player of the Month last June. Over 102 games with Lexington, he hit .212 (72-for-340) with 10 homers, 31 RBI and 15 stolen bases. Began his pro career in the Venezuelan Summer League (2004, ’05), then a season at Greeneville and one at Tri-City. Five-season totals include a .267 average, 19 homers, 128 RBI and 55 stolen bases. 

Russell Dixon

Russell Dixon

Russell Dixon

B/T: L/R                               Ht./wt.: 6-2, 205
D.O.B.: 8-28-85                    Hometown: Houston

Notes: Selected by the Astros in the seventh round of the June 2007 draft, out of Auburn, Dixon hit .237 (96-for-405) for the Legends last season, adding three homers, 33 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 19 attempts. Hit .278 before the all-star break, .185 after that. Broke in with Tri-City in 2007, hitting .256 (57-for-223) with 40 RBI, five homers and four stolen bases. 

FIELD STAFF

Travis Driskoll

Travis Driskill

Tom Lawless

Tom Lawless

Pete Rancont

Pete Rancont

Manager: Tom Lawless

Pitching coaches: Charley Taylor and Travis Driskill*

Hitting coach: Pete Rancont

Trainer: John Patton

Strength and conditioning: Dan Barmantje

* Driskill is interim pitching coach while Taylor is on medical leave.

 PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARY LAY