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On the Farm: Altuve, Austin, Barnes
01/10/2011 12:10 PM ET
Jose Altuve was a South Atlantic League postseason and mid-season All-Star in 2010.
Jose Altuve was a South Atlantic League postseason and mid-season All-Star in 2010.  

Stay with cchooks.com in the coming months as we spotlight select farmhands in the Astros minor league system. This week, we profile Jose Altuve, Jay Austin and Brandon Barnes.


Jose Altuve

Infielder
Height:  5-5
Weight:  165
Born:  5/6/90 in Maracay, VZ
Bats/Throws:  R/R
Resides:  Maracay, VZ

Acquired:  Signed as a non-drafted free agent in September, 2006.  Career Highlights:  Was a South Atlantic League postseason and mid-season All-Star at second base in 2010.  Ranked sixth in the SAL in hitting (.308) and fourth in plate appearances-to-strikeout ratio (8.86 TPA/SO).  His overall batting average of .301 ranked fifth among all Houston farmhands and third among those with full-season clubs.  Led Lexington with 39 stolen bases and ranked second in the system with 42 steals (Jay Austin 54).  Was named Lexington's offensive player of the month in July when he hit .346-3-13 with 23 runs and 15 steals in 26 games, posting a .402 OBP and an OPS of .850.  Selected as the SAL's Batter of the Week June 7-13 when he hit .368 (7x19) with a double, a triple, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs, 7 runs and 2 SBs.  The week included a 4-hit, 2-HR, 4-RBI effort in a 9-8 win over Delmarva June 12 at Applebee's Park.  Posted five 4-hit games with Lexington.  His .976 fielding percentage ranked second among all second basemen in the system with a minimum of 70 games at the position (German Duran .984 with Round Rock and Corpus Christi).  Committed just 13 errors in 544 chances at second base while being involved in 77 double plays.  Promoted to Advanced-A Lancaster, making his California League debut August 1.  Belted a walk-off grand slam August 13 against Inland Empire as part of a six-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, providing the JetHawks with a 12-8 triumph.  Homered in three straight games at home vs. Lake Elsinore (Sept. 2) and Rancho Cucamonga (Sept. 3 & 4), knocking in six in the process.   Garnered MVP honors for Greeneville in 2009 and selected as the Appalachian League's All-Star second baseman.  Led the circuit with a 13.00 TPA/SO ratio and finished second in doubles (20), third in steals (21) and fourth in OBP (.408).  Features 93 career stolen bases in 124 attempts (75% success rate). 

YEAR

CLUB

AVG

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

SB

2007

VSL Astros (R)

.343

64

204

40

70

12

4

0

36

28

16

15

2008

Greeneville (R)

.284

40

141

26

40

9

3

2

21

8

26

8

2009

Greeneville (R)

.324

45

179

45

58

20

2

3

18

26

16

21

 

Tri-City (A)

.250

21

76

13

19

5

0

0

7

8

10

7

2010

Lexington (A)

.308

94

393

75

121

15

3

11

45

33

49

39

 

Lancaster (A)

.276

31

116

18

32

5

2

4

22

9

17

3

 

Totals

.307

295

1109

217

340

66

14

20

149

112

134

93

 


Jay Austin

Outfielder
Height:  5-11
Weight:  187
Born:  8/10/90 in Atlanta, GA
Bats/Throws:  L/L
Resides:  Atlanta, GA

Acquired:  Selected in the second round (56th overall) of the 2008 draft out of North Atlanta High School.  Career Highlights:  Led the Astros organization and California League with 54 stolen bases last season.  Tied teammate Albert Cartwright for second in the league with 13 triples.  Hit safely in 24 of his first 29 games, including a 10-game hit streak April 9-19.  Named the circuit's Batter of the Week May 3-9, going 15-for-26 (.577) with 3 homers, 11 runs scored, 7 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.  Concluded the week with a 4-for-4 effort vs. Inland Empire May 9 which included a triple, 4 runs, 1 RBI and 2 steals.  Also hit safely in 10 consecutive games June 15-29, batting .311 (14-for-45).  Selected to the California League's mid-season All-Star team.  Six of his 10 HRs were hit on the road - away from the homer-friendly confines of ClearChannel Stadium.  Tied for third among Houston farmhands with 23 stolen bases in 2009.  Named Lexington's defensive player of the month for June and offensive player of the month for July (.290-1-10 with 4 triples, 13 runs and 8 steals).  Is 8-for-14 (.571) over the last two seasons with the bases loaded, including 4 walks, 2 doubles, 1 triple and 20 RBIs.  Is 9-for-20 (.450) in his career with the bases full.  Earned first-team High School All-American honors from Baseball America in 2008, hitting .568 with 15 home runs, 52 RBIs and 26 stolen bases during his senior season at North Atlanta.  Was a summer league teammate with first-round picks Jason Heyward (14th overall - Atlanta - 2007), Tim Beckham (1st overall - Tampa - 2008) and Ethan Martin (15th overall - Dodgers - 2008).

YEAR

CLUB

AVG

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

SB

2008

Greeneville (R)

.198

55

212

31

42

4

2

0

14

19

69

14

2009

Lexington (A)

.267

101

397

49

106

22

6

1

33

31

78

23

2010

Lancaster (A)

.261

131

532

83

139

25

13

10

59

39

126

54

 

Totals

.252

287

1141

163

287

51

21

11

106

89

273

91

 


Brandon Barnes

Outfielder
Height:  6-2
Weight:  210
Born:  5/15/86 in Orange, CA
Bats/Throws:  R/R
Resides:  Anaheim, CA

School:  Cypress (CA) College.  Co-MVP in 2005 when he batted .351 with 11 HR's, 44 RBIs and 11 steals.  Acquired:  Selected in the sixth round of the 2005 draft.  Career Highlights:  Named Lancaster's Team MVP in 2010.  Led the JetHawks with 31 doubles, 27 HRs and 80 RBIs.  Stood fifth in the California League in homers.  His total of 28 home runs last season led Astros farmhands while his 81 RBIs ranked fifth.  Hit one home run for every 18.19 at-bats with Lancaster, fifth-best ratio in the circuit.  Picked as the JetHawks' defensive player of the month for June, his 19 outfield assists tied for second in the loop.  Hit for the "cycle" June 9 against Visalia - one day after teammate Freddy Parejo accomplished the feat.  Barnes' cycle was produced in descending order (HR, triple, double, single).  Theirs were the only cycles in the Cal League last year.  Plated six runs and belted two homers July 9 in Lancaster's 18-12 victory over Rancho Cucamonga.  Tallied eight homers and 25 RBIs in 25 August games.  Made his AAA debut September 1 at Omaha and went 2-for-4.  Batted .250 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in 20 games for the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League.  In 2009, his total of 78 RBIs ranked fifth among Astros minor leaguers.  Clubbed his first AA home run on the last day of the season (Sept. 7) against San Antonio's Steve Garrison, a solo shot to cap a 5-run bottom of the first.  Fashioned a nine-game hitting streak with Lancaster from August 4-13, batting .432 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs and 9 RBIs.  Named the JetHawks' defensive player of the month in August.  Selected as Lexington's defensive player of the month in July, 2008.  In 2007, earned MVP honors for Tri-City, leading the ValleyCats in homers and RBIs.  His 10 HRs tied for second in the New York-Penn League.  

YEAR

CLUB

AVG

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

SB

2005

Greeneville (R)

.200

39

145

21

29

5

2

2

13

10

36

3

2006

Greeneville (R)

.220

52

173

19

38

11

1

2

14

16

47

5

2007

Tri-City (A)

.251

63

231

34

58

16

1

10

41

31

71

5

2008

Lexington (A)

.241

87

311

27

75

19

1

2

19

18

96

7

2009

Lexington (A)

.264

57

197

23

52

11

3

5

25

10

52

3

 

Lancaster (A)

.293

68

266

51

78

19

3

12

52

15

74

1

 

Corpus Christi (AA)

.095

7

21

2

2

0

0

1

1

3

7

0

2010

Lancaster (A)

.269

126

491

81

132

31

5

27

80

37

122

14

 

Round Rock (AAA)

.286

6

21

2

6

1

0

1

1

1

6

1

 

Totals

.253

505

1856

260

470

113

16

62

246

141

511

39

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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