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View Full Version : Why don't the Astros have a rookie ball team?



Blitz Dorsey
05-27-2008, 01:00 AM
As an OSU football fan, it was interesting to read that sophomore DB/WR Devon Torrence is getting ready for another year with Houston's low-A team because "Houston doesn't have a rookie ball team." (Link below.)

Torrence was drafted out of high school last year and would have been best suited for a rookie ball team. The Reds have two rookie teams and Houston has zero? Can anyone explain that one to me? We didn't think Mesoraco, a 2007 first-round pick, would be ready at class low-A Dayton this year. (However, he is proving everyone wrong.) And Mesoraco had to play rookie ball last year and struggled (low rookie ball at that). However, Torrence, a 15th round OF out of high school, had to play A ball right away? That seems foolish for the Astros not to have at least one rookie ball team when organizations like the Reds have two. Even this year a guy like Torrence should probably be playing "high-rookie" with a team like Billings instead of low-A IMO:

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2008/05/25/osufb25.ART_ART_05-25-08_C9_P1A9U1K.html?sid=101

dougdirt
05-27-2008, 01:07 AM
Thats not really accurate.

They have the Greensville Astro's which are in the Appalachian League.
They also have Tri-City Valley Cats which are in the NY-Penn League.

Both of those are short season leagues, while the Appy league is considered rookie ball the NY Penn League is considered short season, which falls between high rookie and low A..... basically, its high rookie ball.

Blitz Dorsey
05-27-2008, 11:44 AM
OK, that makes more sense. Thanks.

Ken Gordon is pretty solid (used to cover the Bengals for the Dispatch) so I'm surprised he mixed up such an important piece of information.

Blitz Dorsey
05-27-2008, 11:51 AM
Thats not really accurate.

They have the Greensville Astro's which are in the Appalachian League.
They also have Tri-City Valley Cats which are in the NY-Penn League.

Both of those are short season leagues, while the Appy league is considered rookie ball the NY Penn League is considered short season, which falls between high rookie and low A..... basically, its high rookie ball.

And that does beg the question as to why the Astros would draft a kid in the 16th round out of high school and then put him right in low-A ball instead of rookie ball. Torrence was extremely overmatched last summer as his numbers indicate. He would have been the perfect candidate for rookie ball.

I mean, take a guy like Todd Frazier. The Reds draft him in the supplemental first round (basically a second round pick) out of college and where did they put him? High rookie Billings. He then earned his way to Dayton for a cup of coffee to end the season, but the point is here was this 21 year old man straight out of college as a high draft pick and the Reds put him in rookie ball. The Astros must have a screwed up farm system if they are putting 18-year-old, low draft picks in A ball right away.

dougdirt
05-27-2008, 12:07 PM
And that does beg the question as to why the Astros would draft a kid in the 16th round out of high school and then put him right in low-A ball instead of rookie ball. Torrence was extremely overmatched last summer as his numbers indicate. He would have been the perfect candidate for rookie ball.

I mean, take a guy like Todd Frazier. The Reds draft him in the supplemental first round (basically a second round pick) out of college and where did they put him? High rookie Billings. He then earned his way to Dayton for a cup of coffee to end the season, but the point is here was this 21 year old man straight out of college as a high draft pick and the Reds put him in rookie ball. The Astros must have a screwed up farm system if they are putting 18-year-old, low draft picks in A ball right away.
Sometimes guys can make quick fixes to their games. Maybe he struggled so much because of a loopy swing or something and they have worked on that with him. While his numbers likely dictate rookie ball, numbers aren't everything in the minor leagues.

As for Todd Frazier's placement.... only the Reds would do such a thing like draft a polished college player and place him in rookie ball. Some teams would have put him in high A and started him in AA this year.

Blitz Dorsey
05-27-2008, 12:16 PM
Yeah, you're right... that is a trend Krivsky started that hopefully Jocketty is in the process of ending. Frazier should have started at A ball last year.

_Sir_Charles_
05-27-2008, 01:11 PM
You're still correct BD...the Astros farm system is a nightmare. Talk radio and local media have been blasting the Houston minors for a few years now down here.

It's pretty similar to where the Reds system was about 10 years ago.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-27-2008, 03:47 PM
They did pay Torrence in the neighborhood of 125K, so even though he was drafted in the 16th round, they probably felt pretty highly of his abilities.

He probably dropped in the draft due to football.

With with the ridiculous amount of talent they are bringing in for the WR position (Fields, J. Jackson, Posey, D. Carter), plus his little brother (Devoe) getting his scholarship revoked, I could I could see the kid going the baseball route if he has a decent summer.

Blitz Dorsey
05-27-2008, 08:47 PM
They did pay Torrence in the neighborhood of 125K, so even though he was drafted in the 16th round, they probably felt pretty highly of his abilities.

He probably dropped in the draft due to football.

With with the ridiculous amount of talent they are bringing in for the WR position (Fields, J. Jackson, Posey, D. Carter), plus his little brother (Devoe) getting his scholarship revoked, I could I could see the kid going the baseball route if he has a decent summer.

Oh I agree completely. He dropped because of football and they paid him A LOT more than your usual 16th round kid out of high school. Most kids don't have options like Torrence did. Before the draft last year he said he was planning on playing baseball at OSU too. But he made the right choice obviously to get paid (and still play football).

However, the fact that the Astros think highly of him is even more reason not to rush him IMO. You would think they would have wanted him to build some confidence last year. Instead, all he's thought about the last several months is his .120 batting average and he probably has people in his ear telling him he can't play and he should just pick football.

Oh well, this isn't a Reds discussion, but I found this interesting considering this is a kid from Ohio who is currently playing football for Ohio State and minor league baseball. And I think it's a very interesting "loophole" that kids are allowed to get paid to play minor league baseball, but can still be amateur athletes in football. For all the Nazi-like rules of the NCAA, it really surprises me. But it makes perfect sense so for once they got it right.

IslandRed
05-28-2008, 12:00 AM
Yeah, you're right... that is a trend Krivsky started that hopefully Jocketty is in the process of ending. Frazier should have started at A ball last year.

Frazier's skills were obviously too advanced for Billings once we saw him play there.

Krivsky's logic seemed to be, you already played a whole season of college ball and now you're going to be tossed into the everyday grind of pro ball, that's a big enough adjustment for that first sliver of pro experience. Let's just let you dominate for a couple of months and then properly slot you the next spring. Sure doesn't seem to have hurt Frazier at all. I'm not sure there's a right or wrong answer here, just differing opinions.