I don’t know how many of you follow the Astros minor league system closely.

I do….it’s something I enjoy and try and look At different numbers as well as see these guys when they make it to the Texas League( Corpus Hooks)and then of course AAA in Sugarland.

When the hooks come to SA I make just about every game and they come often.

I thought I would highlight a player or two every now and then when I have a chance….If anyone has any questions or wants to chime in that would be great.

Not much time tonight but I’ll give you one name that might not be on y’all’s radar.

Ryan Clifford ( OF) he was a high school kid drafted last year in the 11th round….not your typical 11th round kid. Ryan was an over slot signing. I’m sure most of you know what that means….if you don’t it’s when a high school kid is seen as a tough sign because they are pretty solid in their commit to play college ball.
Sometimes, the kids parents will even get the word out to not draft their kid because he is a hard commit.

Clifford was a top 100 prospect and probably would have been drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round on talent but as I said was seen as a really tough sign.

What he was not drafted in one of the top three rounds( teams fear of wasting a high draft choice) most teams figure that’s it….when he got to the 11th round the Astros took a flyer and drafted him……each team has a draft pool of money and depending on how high their choices are determines their money pool. If a team can save enough money by signing players for “under slot” they can use it later in the draft to try entice kids like Clifford….Colin Barber was another example of the Astros doing this successfully.

As I said Clifford is legit guys. He is 19 years old playing at Fayetteville to start the season this year….I won’t get into specific stats because of the SSS but I can tell you he is batting lead off and after tonight’s game is hitting .400….kid is a solid four tool player and if he had just a bit more speed he would be the rare five tool player.

Anyway, that’s it for now guys.


This is the kind of update that I get excited about. My fear, every year, is that this is the year other teams make up big ground on the Astros in the farm system. I’ve always been one that wants to be playoff caliber every year based on organizational strength rather that loading up free agents for a once or twice a decade run at the WS.

The WS is a tough act to pull off every year, but having a franchise that can compete every year makes me plenty happy. Just get on the dance floor and anything can happen.


He’s the one that was almost headed to Vanderbilt right? I remember he came to Minute Maid last year for his press conference with his mom. I saw a video of him a few days ago, where he hit a homerun. He has a nice swing.

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Yes….just like Barber was headed to North Carolina…. Honestly after Gilbert I’m most excited about Clifford.

Melton and Cerny are next in line on my “excited meter” for position players.

And Dana Brown seems more eager to push guys and really challenge them……exciting times.

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I don’t know much about Barber but Gilbert , Nelton and Cerny definitely will look good in Astros uniforms. Hopefully we don’t end up packaging any off them in any trades.

Barber was an over sign like Clifford a few years ago……loads of talent but has been injure more than healthy……Starting him at Corpus this year….kind of a make or break year for him with all the talent directly below him.

Most people don’t know about Cerny.

Whens TMac signing back with the Space Cowboys?

Here’s one I like alot. Needs 2-2.5 more yrs n I think he will be ready. Former Astros Reliever Billy W. is proud Pop.

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I think Billy’s boy may be the steal of that draft….showing he can handle AA which is the biggest step……more talent in AA than AAA overall.


He just looks like he’s ready at young age. Know he needs couple yrs to see Pitching at all levels but i think he will make it

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Wasn’t he like 10-12 rounder Pollard, without looking up. :thinking:

I’ve heard other people say this before. Why is that? Why wouldn’t the better talent be in AAA?

In triple A you have a lot of older guys that have talent obviously but are older now….maybe never quite good enough to make the big leagues….maybe got a cup or went up and down a bit but never stuck….It’s not to say that top prospects don’t come through AAA….most do but the overall talent is not the same as AA….we have seen several Astros go straight from AA to the majors….and many others kinda breeze through AAA for a bit before making the jump.

Give you an example….Take Bielak for instance….been up a down but has never really carved out a role….He has talent but not top, gonna make a difference talent….but someone that can come up to replace an injured player and be serviceable.

In AA , you still have a little of that but all your top prospects are gonna roll through AA at some point….younger, better in many cases….You’ll see the explosive fastballs and future all-stars in this league….they are not all studs by any means but higher ceilings for sure.

The biggest jump ( talent wise) a player will make is from A+ to AA.


Pretty sure he was later than that but since I “can’t look it up that all I got. :relieved:

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I was going to let Pollard answer since it was directed at him. But I’m :100: w his analysis. The top talent coming through should not be at AAA level-- 2 yrs tops n that’s high. The Bregmans, Alvarez, Correa, are going to get more AB’s at the AA Level. Those type might only spend 1/2 yr , 2 mos at AAA level b4 being called up. Anyway that’s just what I’ve seen over the yrs with Minor leaguers coming through the System.
Good ex is someone like McCormick he just trying to get to the Show, so you can easily see those type players spend 4-5 yrs at AAA b4 getting called up. There’s always a different path but for most part, I agree w Pollard your studs so to speak will spend more time at AA , n that’s not always very long. Jmo.

Edit: injuries can sure play a part also. See Forest Whiltley.


Haha. I’ll check it out for us.

Edit: 18th Round for Will Wagner

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Another example is Riley Smith from my hometown of Lufkin. He had a few cups in the League with the Diamondbacks. He was released and picked up by the Rockies last year. Went to Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, struggling to a 4–7 record and 8.06 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 92.2 innings pitched.

Instead of going to the Rockies AA team he elected free agency and is now with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association of Professional Baseball. He pitched at LSU one year after two years at San Jac. He’s now 28.

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I think the Astros won that trade. I wasn’t too impressed with Garrett Stubbs.


Kids got power and speed to burn……if he can improve his hit tool just a bit he will be a really good player……similar tools as Bryan Reynolds….one to follow.

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So today I am posting about a pitcher I have high hopes for……Tyler Guilfoil-6’4, 220 RRP
He was picked in the 8th round last year.

You won’t see him on any prospect list because he has been a relief pitcher his entire life.
He started out at Lipscomb, had pretty decent success and closed for them.
His senior year he transferred to Kentucky and wound up taking their closer’ role around conference play.
Below are senior year stats.

IP-51, H-27, BB-17, SO-80, Saves-6, ERA 1.59 WHIP-0.863

You can see from those numbers the kid misses bats….he works mostly mid 90’s with a good slider and curve ball……with good coaching and getting a little stronger I could see high 90’s consistently at some point.

After the draft he threw 5 innings in rookie ball and 12 more at single A Fayetteville.

In his 17 IP, he gave up only 5 hits, 1 run, 7 walks, 31 K’s.

Very impressive.

This year they have started him at Fayetteville again( I’m guessing just to work on control a bit.

His first game he pitched 2 inning and gave up a couple of runs….
Something to watch is that they gave him a start last night….he went 5 innings, only gave up 1 hit and a couple walks, 0 runs while striking out 6.

His minor league numbers combined thus far.

25 IP, only 7 hits, 11 BB 40 K’s with a 1.08 ERA and a 0.720 WHIP.

Tyler is just filthy….if he cleans up the walks a little he has the ability to move up a couple of levels this year and compete for a bullpen spot next year IMO.