The Astros farm system continues a strong 2015 campaign with several teams clinching playoff berths to continue their seasons further into September.
The Fresno Grizzlies are *currently sitting in first place in the Pacific Northern division of the Pacific Coast League with a commanding 8.5 game lead over the Tacoma Rainiers and have the second-best record in the league with 40 wins and 26 losses. The Grizzlies lead the league in home runs (65) and RBIs (353) using its offensive power to go ahead in close game. L.J. Hoes has the third-best batting average in the league at .346 and teammate Domingo Santana leads the league with a .584 slugging percentage and 43 walks. Fellow Grizzlies’ outfielder and designated hitter Jon Singleton is tied for first place with 14 home runs and is in first with 60 RBIs on the year. The team is loaded with former River Bandits waiting to join the major league club alongside Carlos Correa and Vincent Velasquez and might get their chance if the team continues to play like they are now.
Corpus Christi sealed a playoff berth winning the first half of the South Division of the Texas League behind the arm of Joe Mugrove, a former River Bandit who made his Double-A debut on the night of the victory over the Midland RockHounds. The Hooks were the first team to clinch a spot in the Texas League earning the title with a record of 43-20*. Former River Bandits Tony Kemp leads the league with a .358 batting average while teammate Chris Devenski continues his pitching dominance leading the league with a 1.18 ERA and commanding seven wins. Consistency seems to be the key for Corpus Christi. While the team doesn’t lead the league in doubles, triples, or home runs, the team does lead in hits, RBIs, and batting average. The same goes for the pitching staff as the team doesn’t lead in strikeouts but does lead in wins, saves, and has the lowest ERA in the league. The Hooks will also play host to the Texas League All-Star game this year with several former River Bandits taking part in the festivities including Conrad Gregor, Roberto Pena, Tyler White, Chris Devenski, and Jandel Gustave.
Lancaster sits a game and a half behind Rancho Cucamonga as of June 18th for the first South Division playoff spot. Visalia has already claimed the North Division first-half title. The Jethawks have claimed the league lead in many offensive categories including a .292 batting average and are slugging .477 with 690 hits including 87 homers and 397 RBIs. Several former River Bandits have made the All-Star team for the California League. They are Jack Mayfield, A.J. Reed, and Brett Phillips.
The Quad Cities River Bandits sealed a first-half title to advance to playoffs for the first time since the squad won the Midwest League title back in 2013. Strong performances from several players led to four All-Star selections to participate in the All-Star game held in Peoria. They included infielders Mott Hyde and Nick Tanielu, catcher Jacob Nottingham, and pitcher Austin Chrismon. However, only Nottingham and Tanielu will be participating as Hyde and Chrismon have both since been promoted to High-A Lancaster.
The Class-A Short season Astros affiliate, the Tri-City Valleycats opened up its season on June 19th. Rookie affiliate Greeneville Astros began its season on June 25th. The Gulf Coast League Astros and the Dominican Summer League Astros teams have not announced when their season will begin.
*All stats current as of June 18, 2015