Brian Kemp (5-9, 180, R/R, 21, East Rockaway, N.Y., 19th round June 2009 draft), out of St. John’s University, earned New York-Penn League all-star honors last year. In 66 games with Tri-City, he hit .259 with 11 RBI, 35 runs and 16 SB. He was Tri-City’s Offensive Player of the Month for July. … J.D. Martinez (6-3, 215, R/R, 22, Pembroke Pines, Fla., 20th round June 2009 draft) led the New York-Penn League in batting (.326) and OPS (.920 combined on-base and slugging percentages). Out of Nova Southeastern University, he earned NYPL all-star honors, with seven HR and 33 RBI over 53 games with Tri-City. He began the season at Greeneville, hitting .403 with five homers and 23 RBI in 19 games.
Infielders (Ht., wt., bats/throws, age, hometown, acquired)
Jose Altuve (5-5, 148, R/R, 19, Maracay, Venezuela, non-drafted free agent September 2006) was an Appalachian League all-star and MVP of the Greeneville Astros last season. He batted .324 with three HR, 18 RBI and 21 SB over 45 games. He had more walks (26) than strikeouts (16), and 25 of his 58 hits were for extra bases. He also played 21 games with Tri-City, batting .250 with seven RBI and seven SB. Overall, he led all Astros minor-leaguers with 28 SB. … Miguel Arrendell (6-0, 165, L/R, 22, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, non-drafted free agent July 2006) hails from his manager’s hometown. In 2008, Arrendell was MVP of the Dominican Summer League, hitting .284 with 14 RBI, 37 runs and 20 SB over 57 games. He drew nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts (57-30). Last year, he hit .235 with three HR, 14 RBI, 24 runs and four SB for Greeneville. His .394 on-base percentage ranked No. 5 among Astros minor leaguers. …
Aaron Bray (6-0, 187, L/R, 22, Charlotte, N.C., 27th round June 2009 draft), out of N.C.-Charlotte, was Greeneville’s Offensive Player of the Month last August. Over 48 games with the team, he hit .278 with 20 RBI and 28 walks. … Kody Hinze (6-0, 225, R/R, 22, Houston, non-drafted free agent October 2007), out of Angelina College (Texas), split last season between the Gulf Coast League Astros and the Legends. In 32 GCL games, Hinze hit .262 with a homer and 14 RBI. In 27 games with the Legends, he .175 with four HR and 14 RBI. Including 2008 at Greeneville, Hinze’s career totals: .247, 13 HR, 60 RBI, 114 games. …
Jonathan Meyer (6-1, 195, S/R, 19, Simi Valley, Calif., supplemental third round June 2009 draft), in his first season beyond high school ball, hit .190 with three HR and 27 RBI over 62 games with Greene-ville. Yet, he led the Appalachian League with 36 walks. Baseball America likes his potential, rating him the 18th-best prospect in the Astros system. … Jiovanni Mier (6-2, 175, R/R, 19, Pomona, Calif., first round (21st overall) June 2009 draft) signed out of Bonita (Calif.) High School for a $1.358 million bonus. He played 51 games for Greeneville last season, batting .276 with seven HR, 32 RBI and 10 SB. While earning Appalachian League Player of the Year and all-star honors from Baseball America, he led the league in triples (6). Baseball America also tagged Mier as the second-best prospect in the Houston organization, best defensive player and best pro debut by a high school draft pick. … Andy Simunic (6-0, 170, R/R, 24, Collierville, Tenn., 17th round June 2008 draft) played 1B, 2B, 3B, LF and RF for the Legends last season. He hit .287 with six RBI and eight SB. He finished the year with Lancaster of the High-A California League, playing 21 games, hitting .286, with four RBI and two SB. His combined on-base percentage of .398 ranked fourth among Astros minor-leaguers. The former Tennessee Vol was team Defensive Player of the Month in July of the last two seasons — with Lexington in 2009 and Tri-City in 2008.
Catchers (Ht., wt., B/T, age, hometown, acquired) & Staff
Jonathan Fixler (6-1, 205, R/R, 23, Park Ridge, Ill., 19th round June 2007 draft) divided last season among Lancaster, Corpus Christi and Round Rock. He played 80 games for the Legends in 2008, batting .248 with eight HR and 50 RBI. He was Lexington’s Defensive Player of the Month in April 2008. His three-year totals after leaving Indiana University: .223, 18 HR, 85 RBI, 147 games. … Rene Garcia (6-1, 172, R/R,20, Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, 35th round June 2008 draft) hit .295 for Greeneville in 2008 and .202 for Tri-City last year. Over 70 professional games, Garcia is batting .221 with two HR and 15 RBI. … James Farrar, 28, joins the Legends as strength and conditioning coach. From Templeton, Mass., and a graduate of Lasell (Mass.) College, he has worked five years as a personal trainer. This is his second season in the Astros organization, having been with Tri-City in 2009. … “General” John Patton returns for his third season as Legends trainer and his seventh year in the Astros organization. He served one season with former Astros affiliate Martinsville, then three seasons with Tri-City. Before joining the Astros, he spent one season as an intern in the Baltimore Orioles organization. A graduate of Manchester (Ind.) College, he works during the off-season for Orthopedics Northeast in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Pitchers (Ht., wt., bats/throws, age, hometown, acquired)
Wander Alvino (5-11, 166, R/R, 23, Nizao, Dominican Republic, non-drafted free agent February 2006) spent two seasons with the Dominican Summer League Astros, then one each with Greeneville and Tri-City. Over those four seasons, he is 8-19 with a 4.37 ERA. He has 157 strikeouts to 70 walks over 204 innings. … Tanner Bushue (6-4, 180, R/R, 18, Kinmundy, Ill., second round June 2009 draft), out of South Central High School in Illinois, was named by Baseball America as the ninth-best prospect in the Gulf Coast League last season. In five starts for the GCL Astros, Bushue went 1-0 with a 2.42 ERA, with 19 strikeouts to five walks over 22 1/3 innings. Baseball America rates him the seventh-best prospect in the Astros system. … Jose Cisnero (6-3, 185, R/R, 21, Bajos de Haina, Dominican Republic, non-drafted free agent December 2007) won back-to-back Pitcher of the Month honors (July-August) at Greeneville last season. Overall, he made starts, going 4-2 with a 3.56 ERA, 64 strikeouts and 30 walks over 55 2/3 innings. … Kirk Clark (6-2, 202, R/R, 21, Moline, Ill., free agent August 2009) made 10 relief appearances spanning 19 innings for Tri-City last season. He finished 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA, 24 strikeouts and three walks. …
Robert Donovan (6-5, 195, R/R, 23 next week, Royal Palm Beach, Fla., 23rd round June 2009 draft), out of Stetson University, debuted with Tri-City last season. In 19 games, including four starts, Donovan was 2-5 with four saves, 3.74 ERA, 28 strikeouts and 21 walks over 33 2/3 innings. He was the team’s Pitcher of the Month in August. … David Duncan (6-9, 230, L/L, 23, New Richmond, Ohio, fifth round June 2008 draft), out of Georgia Tech, begins the season on the disabled list due to a sore arm. He split last season between Tri-City, Lexington and Lancaster, going a combined 4-14. With the Legends, Duncan was 4-4 with a 4.29 ERA, 52 strikeouts and nine walks over 56 2/3 innings. … Arcenio Leon (6-1, 162, R/R, 23, Maracaibo, Venezuela, non-drafted free agent February 2005) appeared in 41 games, including four starts, for the Legends in 2009. He finished 4-2 with a 5.86 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 49 walks spanning 70 2/3 innings. He spent the previous two seasons with Greeneville, which came after two years in the Venezuelan Summer League. His five-season totals: 10-16, 13 saves, 4.42 ERA, 167 K, 125 BB, 228 IP. Baseball America pegs him as the 19th-best prospect in the Astros system, noting “He sits at 93-95 mph with his fastball, topping out at 96. He mixes a slider than can be an electric pitch at 86-88 mph, a swing-and-miss offering with sharp, late break and depth.” …
Juan Minaya (6-4, 185, R/R, 19, Maimon, Dominican Republic, non-drafted free agent September 2008) broke in last season with the GCL Astros, making 12 starts. Over 52 2/3 innings, he went 3-3 with a 4.27 ERA, while striking out 18 and walking 30. … Colton Pitkin (6-3, 210, R/L, 20, Baytown, Texas, 41st round June 2007 draft), selected out of Sterling High School in Texas, was Greeneville’s Pitcher of the Month in June and August of 2008. After two seasons with Greeneville, Pitkin moved up to Tri-City last year, compiling a 4-8 record with a 4.21 ERA. In 14 games, including 13 starts and one complete game, he worked 68 1/3 innings, striking out 49 and walking 32. … Daniel Sarisky (6-1, 175, R/R, 21, Duluth, Ga., 40th round June 2009 draft), out of Oglethorpe University, made 10 relief appearances for Greeneville and 10 for Tri-City last season. At Greeneville, he was 2-1 with a 4.73 ERA, 17 strikeouts and four walks over 13 1/3 innings. With Tri-City, he had no decisions, a 3.27 ERA, 24 strikeouts and nine walks over 22 innings. …
Michael Schurz (6-2, 205, R/R, 23, Portsmouth, Va., 44th round June 2009 draft), out of the University of Iowa, sparkled in 23 relief outings last season. In 15 games with the GCL Astros, Schurz was 2-0 with six saves and a 2.25 ERA. He struck out 22 and walked six over 16 innings. Then, in eight outings for Tri-City, Schurz was 1-0 with a 0.66 ERA, 15 strikeouts and seven walks in 13 2/3 innings. … Jose Trinidad (5-11, 150, R/R, 22, Sabana Grande de Palenque, Dominican Republic, non-drafted free agent February 2006) led all Astros minor-leaguers in 2008 with a 2.73 ERA (17 earned runs in 56 innings). With the Legends last year, he was shut down after 13 relief stints and 21 innings due to injury. He was 0-3 with a save and a 4.71 ERA. His four-season minor-league totals, beginning with two years in the DSL: 9-11, 10 saves, 2.92 ERA, 134 strikeouts, 51 walks, 160 1/3 innings. … Brandt Walker (6-1, 165, R/R, 22, Austin, Texas, eighth round June 2009 draft), in his first season out of Stanford University, went 1-7 with a save and 7.92 ERA for Tri-City last season. He pitched in 16 games, including 11 starts, and totaled 50 innings, 39 strikeouts and 36 walks.