The Astros are done moving players between affiliates for the season, which ends in two weeks for most Minor League clubs. In addition to recently moving infielder Rio Ruiz and 2012 No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa to Greeneville, the club has moved switch-hitting catcher Jobduan Morales from Tri-City to Lexington.
Andrew Aplin, a center fielder drafted out of Arizona State who had a great debut at Tri-City, was recently jumped to Lancaster of the California League, along with left-handed specialist Kenny Long. They both skipped Lexington.
"We project Aplin to play out there next year, and with the movement of [George] Springer to Double-A, it created an opportunity to where he's not blocked," director of player development Fred Nelson said. "It would make no sense to send him out there if Springer was there, because somebody would suffer at-bat-wise."
Aplin, 21, led the New York-Penn League with a .348 batting average, and was hitting .242 through his first nine games in the California League. Long was drafted in the 22nd round from Illinois State.
"It's not only going to be a challenge for [Aplin], but it will give him an opportunity to get a feel for the environment he's going to be in next year and the league and the ballpark," Nelson said. "We drafted Kenny Long as a left-handed specialist and he's performed very well in Tri-City [1.88 ERA in 17 appearances], and is a little bit older than the other guys, so we decided to run him out there to see if his ability and talent could survive at that level."