LAKELAND, FL – The Houston Astros named five position players who will be making their debuts on a Major League Opening Day roster: IF Jose Altuve, OF Brian Bogusevic, C Jason Castro, IF Marwin Gonzalez and OF J.D. Martinez. The Astros also announced that they have optioned IF Brett Wallace to Triple A Oklahoma City. The announcements were made by Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.
Altuve, 21, hit .276 (61x221) with two home runs and 12 RBI in 57 games for the Astros last season. He started 51 games at second base for Houston after having his contract purchased by the Astros on July 19. The Astros 2011 Minor League Player of the Year, Altuve combined to hit .389 (139x357) at the Class A and Double A levels last season, which led all of minor league baseball.
Bogusevic, 28, played the majority of the 2011 season with Houston, hitting .287 (47x164) with four home runs and 15 RBI in 87 games. He received the majority of his starts in the final two months of the season, and ended up hitting .317 (38x120) with four homers, 14 RBI and a .362 OBP in his final 43 games last year. Bogusevic was originally a first round draft pick by the Astros in the June 2005 Draft.
Castro, 24, will be making his first appearance on an active roster since the 2010 season, after missing the entire 2011 season with a knee injury. Not including today’s game, Castro has appeared in 15 games this Spring, hitting .333 (13x39) with eight RBI. A first round selection in the 2008 draft, Castro made his Major League debut in 2010 for Houston, hitting .205 (40x195) with two home runs and eight RBI in 67 games.
Gonzalez, 23, was acquired by Houston from Boston this offseason in exchange for right-handed pitcher Marco Duarte. He was a Rule 5 Draft selection by Boston in December after playing the first six years of his career in the Chicago Cubs organization. Although he was acquired via trade, his Rule 5 status does apply and he must remain with the Astros Major League club the entire season or be offered back to Chicago. Gonzalez combined to his .288 (119x413) with four home runs and 39 RBI in 124 games with the Double A and Triple A levels in 2011.
Martinez, 24, has 12 RBI in 17 games this spring, which leads the club. He debuted with the Astros last year and hit .274 (57x208) with six home runs and 35 RBI over the final two months of the season. Named the Astros 2011 Rookie of the Year, Martinez combined to record 107 RBI at the Major League and minor league levels last season. He was originally a 20th-round selection by Houston in the June 2009 Draft.
Wallace, 25, is hitting .271 (13x48) this spring with one home run and seven RBI while playing both corner infield positions. He played in 115 games for the Astros last season, hitting .259 (87x336) with five home runs and 29 RBI. Also a first-round draft pick, Wallace was originally acquired by Houston in 2010 in a corresponding deal following the Astros Roy Oswalt trade to Philadelphia.
With the Wallace move, the Astros Spring roster now stands at 31.