If you’re in viewing range of the Texas League South division, you’ll get a chance to see some top prospects very frequently.
Corpus Christi Hooks
Parent club: Houston Astros
There aren’t too many big name minor leaguers set to start the season for the Astros’ Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi but there are a couple of good young infielders.
The Hooks are going with a “tandem” pitching rotation that features four pairs of pitchers but none are Mike Foltynewicz, the hard-throwing starter who finished the season in Double-A last year. He’s been assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Second baseman Delino DeShields is trying to make the major leagues, just like his father, and had a great season with the bat last year High-A Lancaster. With some of the best speed in the organization (and 51 steals in 2013), DeShields is one of the most exciting players to watch on the Hooks. This year we’ll see if his awesome .405 OBP and .468 SLG are a mirage of the California League or whether he has the ability to hit gobs of doubles and make excellent contact in a more neutral hitting environment.
Nolan Fontana, a 22-year-old shortstop, is going to try to prove that his solid numbers in Lancaster are not just a blip on the radar. What stands out is the fact that Fontana took 102 walks (and struck out 100 times) last year to put up a .415 OBP in 2013. He’s considered a solid shortstop but lacks any outstanding tools.