Plenty of Astros doing solid work in winter ball

Plenty of Astros doing solid work in winter ball

Plenty of Astros doing solid work in winter ball
HOUSTON -- Coming off their rookie seasons in the Major Leagues, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Jimmy Paredes and outfielder Brian Bogusevic have all been swinging hot bats in winter ball.

Altuve, who made his Major League debut last July, was batting .394 with one homer and 12 RBIs through 17 games for Magallanes of the Venezuelan Winter League, showing the same form he did last season when he batted a combined .389 in the Minor Leagues at Double-A Corpus Christi and Class A Lancaster.

After being called up on July 19 following the trade of Jeff Keppinger, Altuve hit .276 with two homers and 12 RBIs in his first Major League season and is penciled in as the team's starting second baseman in 2012. He was slugging .563 for Magallanes.

Bogusevic, the former first-round pick who made the switch to outfielder from pitcher three years ago, was hitting .315 with a .422 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage for Aguilas of the Dominican Winter League. He batted .287 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 2011.

Paredes, who made his Major League debut in August, was hitting .316 with one homer and 11 RBIs for Gigantes of the Dominican Winter League. He started 44 games for the Astros at third base in 2011 and hit .286 with two homers and 18 RBIs.

First baseman Brett Wallace was hitting .188 with two homers and eight RBIs for Escogido of the Dominican Winter League. Wallace began the year as the Opening Day first baseman for the Astros before spending all of August at Triple-A. Astros general manager Ed Wade said Wallace will be in the mix at first base next year.

On the mound, right-hander Aneury Rodriguez was 1-0 with a 4.34 ERA in five games (four starts) for Toros de Este of the Dominican Winter League. Henry Villar and Henry Sosa are also throwing in the Dominican this offseason, but they only have a few appearances between them.

Relief pitcher David Carpenter, who allowed nine earned runs in 27 2/3 innings for the Astros during his first big league season in 2011, has nine appearances for Escogido and is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.

Sergio Perez is 2-0 with a 2.74 ERA in five starts for Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League. The Astros drafted Perez in the second round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Tampa, but he hasn't made his Major League debut.

Houston currently has more than two dozen active Major and Minor Leaguers participating in the Arizona Fall League and Caribbean Winter Leagues, and right-hander Wilton Lopez has been given the green light to get a few innings under his belt in his native Nicaragua later this month.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.