Corpus Christi (kiii sports)- Astros prospects Carlos Perez, Domingo Santana, George Springer, Nick Tropeano and Asher Wojciechowski headline the list of players tabbed to open the 2013 campaign for the Corpus Christi Hooks. Quinton McCracken, Houston's director of player development, announced initial rosters today for the Hooks and the Astros' other full-season farm clubs.
Outfielders Springer (#3) and Santana (#13), starting pitchers Tropeano (#9) and Wojciechowski (#15), and catcher Perez (#20) all rank within Houston's top 20 prospect list, according to MLB.com.
In addition to Springer and Wojciechowski, 11 players return to Corpus Christi from last season's squad which won the Texas League South second-half championship and posted a franchise-best 81-59 record. That list includes pitchers Jake Buchanan, Bobby Doran, Matt Heidenreich, Ross Seaton, Alex Sogard and Jason Stoffel, catchers Rene Garcia and Ryan McCurdy, infielders Enrique Hernandez and Ben Orloff, and outfielder Austin Wates.
Seaton, Stoffel and Wates were tabbed 2012 Texas League All-Stars. Stoffel was named the Hooks' Pitcher of the Year after leading Double-A with 27 saves. The 24-year-old right-hander established the club's single-season record and currently stands as Corpus Christi's career leader.
A member of Houston's 40-man roster, Seaton paced the Hooks in starts (25) and innings pitched (146.0) for a second consecutive season. The Sugar Land native ranks among the team's career front-runners in starts (53, 2nd), innings (301.0, 3rd) and strikeouts (203, 3rd).
First baseman Erik Castro batted .285 with 27 home runs and 108 RBIs for Lancaster last season. He led the JetHawks, who captured the California League crown, in RBIs and tied for the team lead in hits (138). A 10th-round pick in 2009 out of San Diego State, Castro ranked among CL leaders in home runs (T-3rd), RBIs (2nd) and walks (78, T-3rd).
Outfielder Michael Burgess, selected by the Astros in December in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, owns a .252 batting average with 102 home runs and 388 RBIs in six seasons as a pro. He was originally selected by Washington in the supplemental round (48th overall) of the 2007 draft and was traded to the Cubs following the 2010 campaign.
Right-hander David Martinez posted a 9-5 record and 4.38 ERA in 26 starts (27 appearances) for Lancaster last season, striking out 114 against 33 walks in 160.1 innings. He paced the team in starts, strikeouts, ERA, batting average against (.285) and WHIP (1.33) and tied for first in wins.
Corpus Christi hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a 7:05 exhibition Wednesday. The ninth season of Hooks Baseball officially gets underway Thursday night at 7:05 as Corpus Christi engages the defending Texas League champion Springfield Cardinals at Whataburger Field. Thursday's game opens a three-game series with the Cardinals and a six-game home stand that includes a set against the Tulsa Drillers.
The Texas League roster limit is 25 active players. The Hooks' official roster will not be finalized until Opening Night.
Jorge De Leon