HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced their 2014 non-roster invites to Major League Spring Training today, which includes a group of 20 minor leaguers and four minor league free agents. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.
The minor league players invited to Major League camp include IF Japhet Amador, RHP Mark Appel, RHP Jake Buchanan, IF Carlos Correa, RHP Rhiner Cruz, RHP Jorge De Leon, OF Delino DeShields, RHP Bobby Doran, RHP Mike Foltynewicz, C Rene Garcia, C Tyler Heineman, OF Leo Heras, OF J.D. Martinez, IF Jonathan Meyer, C Carlos Perez, OF George Springer, RHP Jason Stoffel, IF Ronald Torreyes, RHP Nick Tropeano and OF Preston Tucker.
The four minor league free agents are OF Adron Chambers, IF Cesar Izturis, RHP Peter Moylan and IF Gregorio Petit.
Seven of the Astros top 10 prospects, per MLB.com, will be in attendance at Major League Spring Training, including Correa (No. 1), IF Jon Singleton (No. 2), Springer (No. 3), Appel (No. 4), Foltynewicz (No. 6), DeShields (No. 7) and OF Domingo Santana (No. 9).
With Houston's 24 non-roster invitees scheduled to attend camp, the overall Spring Training roster total is at 64 players (33 pitchers, 31 position players). The 40-man roster is currently full at 40. The report dates for Spring Training are Feb. 15 for pitchers and catchers and Feb. 19 for position players.
The Astros 2014 non-roster players are listed below:
Amador, 26, was acquired by Houston on Aug. 18, 2013, from Los Diablos Rojos del Mexico of the Mexican League. He was assigned to Triple A Oklahoma City and went on to hit .302 (13x43) in 10 games for the RedHawks. Following the regular season, Amador played for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League and hit .284 (19x67) with four homers and 12 RBI in 18 games. Prior to his acquisition, Amador hit .368 (147x400) with 22 doubles, 36 home runs, 121 RBI and a .419 OBP in 104 games for the Diablos Rojos in 2013. He led the Mexican League in RBI, while ranking second in homers and third in total bases (277).
Appel, 22, was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft out of Stanford University. After his selection, he made 10 starts combined for Class A Quad Cities (8g) and Class A Tri-City (2g), combining to post a 3-1 record and a 3.79 ERA (16ER/38IP). This followed his 2013 senior season at Stanford, where he went 10-4 with four complete games and a 2.12 ERA (25ER/106.1IP). He recorded 130 strikeouts in his 106.1 innings pitched and allowed just a .203 opponent's batting average in his final season at Stanford.
Buchanan, 24, posted a 12-7 record and a 2.96 ERA (52ER/158.1IP) between OKC (12g) and Double A Corpus Christi (18g) in 2013. He began his season with the Hooks, where he was named a Texas League All-Star after putting up a 2.09 ERA (19ER/82IP) with nine walks in 82.0 innings. At OKC, he went 5-5 with a 3.89 ERA (33ER/76.1IP) to go along with 55 strikeouts and 13 walks.
Chambers, 27, played in 25 games for the St. Louis Cardinals last season, his third straight year to play in the Majors. He spent the majority of his season at Triple A Memphis, hitting .252 (84x333) with 13 doubles, eight homers, 43 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He has appeared in 84 Major League games in his career, all coming with the Cardinals from 2011-13.
Correa, 19, who was the first overall selection in the 2012 draft, played his first full professional season at Quad Cities last year, posting a .320 (144x450) batting average with 33 doubles, nine home runs and 86 RBI in 117 games. Defensively, he led all Midwest League shortstops in fielding percentage while playing the entire season at the age of 18. According to MLB.com, Correa is the Astros No. 1 prospect and ranks as the No. 3 shortstop prospect in all of baseball.
Cruz, 27, was outrighted off of the Astros 40-man roster on Dec. 23, 2013, after having two stints in the Major Leagues with Houston last season. Over those two stints, Cruz posted a 3.38 ERA (8ER/21.1IP) in 20 appearances. The right-handed reliever has made 72 appearances with the Astros over the last two years after being selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 Rule 5 Major League draft.
De Leon, 26, posted a 5.40 ERA (6ER/10IP) in 11 games across two stints for the Astros in 2013. He was one of 10 Astros pitchers to make their Major League debut last season, making his on Aug. 9 vs. TEX. The former minor league infielder converted to the mound in 2010 and has pitched the last four seasons in the Astros system. He was outrighted off the Astros 40-man roster following the season on Oct. 17.
DeShields, 21, will be a non-roster invite at Major League Spring Training for his second consecutive season. In 2013 at Lancaster, DeShields hit .317 (143x451) with 100 runs scored, 25 doubles, 14 triples, five homers, 51 stolen bases and a .405 on-base percentage. The eighth-overall selection in the 2010 draft will come to Spring Training as an outfielder after playing second base in each of his last three professional seasons.
Doran, 24, combined to go 11-2 with a 3.51 ERA (54ER/138.1IP) in 31 games with OKC (8g/gs) and Corpus Christi (23g/13gs) last season. The 6'6" right-handed starter was originally drafted by Houston in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of Texas Tech. The 2014 season will be his fifth in the Astros organization.
Foltynewicz, 22, went 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA (44ER/129.1IP) in 30 games combined with Corpus Christi (23g/16gs) and Lancaster (7g/5gs) last season. The hard-throwing, right-hander registered 124 strikeouts in his 129.1 innings pitched last season, while allowing just a .226 opponent's batting average, including a .207 mark at the Double A level. He was originally the 19th overall selection in the 2010 draft.
Garcia, 23, will be making his fourth consecutive appearance as a non-roster invite at the Astros Major League Spring Training camp. He spent his 2013 season between OKC (18g) and Corpus Christi (73g), combining to hit .293 (108x368) with 20 doubles, five home runs and 42 RBI. Known as a strong defensive catcher, Garcia caught 29 of 63 attempting basestealers (46%) in 2013.
Heineman, 22, hit .286 (106x370) with 23 doubles, 13 home runs and 71 RBI in 104 games with Lancaster last season. The switch-hitting catcher is entering his third professional season, and just his second full season, after being selected out of UCLA in the eighth round of the June 2012 draft.
Heras, 23, like Amador, was acquired by Houston on Aug. 18, 2013, from Los Diablos Rojos del Mexico of the Mexican League. After his acquisition, he played in 10 games for Corpus Christi, posting two doubles, one triple, one home run and five RBI for the Hooks. In 91 games for the Diablos Rojos last season, Heras hit .310 (104x335) with 19 doubles, nine triples, 11 homers, 42 RBI, 14 stolen bases and a .398 OBP.
Martinez, 26, hit .250 (74x296) with 17 doubles, seven home runs and 36 RBI in 86 games for the Astros last season before being outrighted off of the club's 40-man roster on Nov. 20, 2013. Following the 2013 regular season, Martinez played in 24 games for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League, posting a .312 (29x93) average with six doubles, six home runs and 18 RBI. He has appeared in 252 games for Houston over the last three seasons (2011-13).
Meyer, 23, hit .260 (126x484) with 24 doubles, 15 home runs and 68 RBI en route to being named a Texas League All-Star in 2013. He was the Hooks everyday third baseman, making 123 starts at the position. Following the season, Meyer played for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .286 (14x49) with three doubles, one homer and seven RBI.
Moylan, 35, made 14 appearances across two Major League stints with the Dodgers last season. He spent the majority of his 2013 campaign at Triple A Albuquerque, posting a 4-1 record with four saves and a 2.74 ERA (14ER/46IP) in 38 appearances. Moylan has pitched in the Major Leagues in each of the last eight years with Atlanta (2006-12) and Los Angeles (2013), making 309 career relief appearances and posting a 21-9 record and 2.80 ERA (86ER/276IP).
Perez, 23, will be making his second straight appearance at Astros Major League Spring Training. He split his 2013 season between OKC (75g) and Corpus Christi (16), hitting .271 (86x317) with 18 doubles and 37 RBI. The 2014 campaign will be Perez's second full season in the Astros system after being acquired in Houston's 10-player trade with Toronto at the 2012 trading deadline.
Petit, 29, is joining the Astros from the Padres organization, where he hit .292 (147x503) with 26 doubles and 61 RBI in 134 games at Triple A Tucson last season. He also had a solid winter league season, hitting .312 (48x154) with 12 doubles, 10 homers and 27 RBI with Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League. Petit has some Major League experience, appearing in 25 games with Oakland in the 2008-09 seasons and hitting .278 (15x54) in those contests.
Springer, 24, was named the Astros Minor League Player of the Year after combining to hit .303 (149x492) with 106 runs scored, 27 doubles, 37 home runs, 108 RBI and 45 stolen bases with OKC (62g) and Corpus Christi (73g) last season. He became the first Astros minor leaguer to ever reach the 30-homer, 30-steal plateau and fell just three home runs shy of reaching the 40-40 mark, which hasn't been accomplished in minor league baseball since 1956. He was originally the 11th overall selection in the June 2011 draft.
Stoffel, 25, posted a solid season in 2013 while pitching in relief for OKC (44g) and Corpus Christi (7g). He combined to go 8-1 with five saves and a 3.23 ERA (25ER/69.2IP) in 51 appearances, while allowing just a .232 opponent's batting average. A Triple A All-Star in 2013, Stoffel was one of two players acquired by Houston from San Francisco in exchange for IF Jeff Keppinger on July 19, 2011.
Torreyes, 21, was originally acquired by Houston on July 2, 2013, from Chicago (NL) in exchange for international signing pool space. On the season, Torreyes combined to hit .269 (101x375) with 19 doubles and 37 RBI for Corpus Christi (38g) and Double A Tennessee (65g). Over his four minor league seasons, the middle infielder has recorded more walks (98) than strikeouts (96) in 376 career games.
Tropeano, 23, spent his third professional season at Corpus Christi and led the Texas League with 130 strikeouts last season. In what was his first taste of the Double A level, the fifth-round selection in the 2011 Draft posted a 7-10 record with one complete game, five saves and a 4.11 ERA (61ER/133.2IP) in 28 games, including 20 starts. Tropeano has posted 359 strikeouts in 345.0 innings in his career in the Astros minor league system.
Tucker, 23, split his first full professional season with Lancaster (75g) and Corpus Christi (60g) after getting drafted by the Astros in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He combined to hit .297 (159x535) with 32 doubles, 25 homers, 97 runs scored, 103 RBI and an .872 OPS in 135 games between the two levels. Tucker finished his season ranking tied for seventh in all of minor league baseball in RBI.