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Thursday, April 1, 2010

1990 Houston Astros minor leaguers

Features on each member of the 1990 Houston Astros farm system.


  • AAA - Tucson Toros (27)
  • AA - Columbus Mudcasts (34)
  • High-A - Osceola Astros (31)
  • Single-A - Asheville Tourists (27)
  • Short-Season - Auburn Astros (29)

Tucson Toros (27)
1 - Ryan Bowen, Hard Luck
Ryan Bowen took a no-hitter into the sixth in his major league debut. He ultimately took the loss.
2 - William Brennan, Feet Wet
William Brennan got his feet wet in his major league debut. He had few other opportunities in the majors.
3 - Terry Clark, Plugged Away
Terry Clark dreamed about making the majors, then made it for parts of six seasons.
4 - Gary Cooper, To Win
Gary Cooper used his BYU Hall induction to look back on his career, one where he made the Astros for nine games.
5 - Kevin Dean, More Fortunate
Kevin Dean was fortunate enough to get taken in the first round, but not enough to make the majors.
6 - Brian Fisher, Good Idea
Brian Fisher moved from reliever with the Yankees to starter with the Pirates. He played in seven major league seasons.
7 - Randy Hennis, Roller Coster
Randy Hennis' major league career began hot, one hit in 9.2 innings. It also ended quick with injuries.
8 - Darryl Kile, Announced Starter
Darryl Kile was listed as a starter for his debut, for his no-hitter. He was also listed as the starter for his memorial.
9 - Louie Meadows, Into Place
Louie Meadows didn't mind that he was competing for a backup Astros spot. As long as it was a major league spot.
10 - Brian Meyer, Hanging Slider
Brian Meyer tried to get the double play in one game, but gave up a home run and got the loss.
11 - Carl Nichols, High Pressure
Carl Nichols broke up a tie major league game in 1990 with a single. He played all of 96 games in the majors.
12 - Jim Olander, Something Good
Jim Olander made the bigs after a decade in the minors. He called it a dream come true.

13 - Javier Ortiz, Gained Confidence
Javier Ortiz saw an opening in the Astros offense in 1991 and hoped he'd stick. He played in 47 games, but didn't return.
14 - Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes, Looked Back
Tuffy Rhodes hit three home runs Opening Day 1994. He then became a star in Japan.
15 - David Rohde, Made Adjustments
David Rohde made the Astros and hoped he could keep going. He played in a total of 93 major league games.
16 - Randy St. Claire, First Win
Randy St. Claire used his first major league hit to pick up his first major league win as a pitcher.
17 - Pedro Sanchez, Grand Slam
Pedro Sanchez hit a walk-off grand slam at AA in 1989. He never had a chance to do the same in the majors.
18 - Scott Servais, His Opportunity
Scott Servais never just watched games as a backup catcher. He'd study and grade.
19 - Mike Simms, Bench Player
Mike Simms was a bench player. When he got to play, he took advantage.
20 - Bob Skinner, Much Pride
Bob Skinner managed the Phillies in '68 and '69. He went on to a long career as a coach.
21 - Craig Smajstrla, Not Quite
Craig Smajstrla went as far as he could as a player. That included eight games spent with the Astros.
22 - Harry Spilman, Manny's Mom
Harry Spilman knew he had to be patient to make the bigs. He played in 12 major league seasons.
23 - Doug Strange, Some Perspective
Doug Strange gained perspective then gained nine seasons with time in the bigs.
24 - Brent Strom, Understands That
Brent Strom knew each pitcher was different. He brought that to his work as a coach.
25 - Jose Tolentino, Best Chance
Jose Tolentino took his best major league chance and made the Astros in his ninth season. He has gone on to be an announcer.
26 - Tim Tolman, Different Role
Tim Tolman made it back to the bigs as a coach, then stepped down due to Parkinson's disease.
27 - Lee Tunnell, Had Confidence
Lee Tunnell didn't lose confidence in his ability. He played in six major league seasons.

Columbus Mudcats (34)

  1. Harold Allen, Work Habits, 7/3/16
  2. Willie Ansley, More Passionate, 5/10/11
  3. Eric Anthony had a quick bat with pop, worked  to be consistent; Made bigs over nine seasons, 2/7/21
  4. Jeff Baldwin, Took Notice, 10/6/12
  5. Daven Bond, Perfect Fit, 7/4/16
  6. Ryan Bowen, Hard Luck, 1/5/19
  7. Mike Browning, Couldn't Wait, 7/10/16
  8. Jose Cano, Gentleman Pitcher, 7/12/16
  9. Andujar Cedeno, Base Hits, 2/22/12
  10. Fred Costello, Never Know, 7/16/16
  11. Todd Credeur, Another Career, 7/18/16
  12. Diamond Jim Devitt earned two Purple Hearts in Vietnam, then worked in radio, TV and advertising in Columbus, Ga., 2/14/21
  13. Tony Eusebio, Hit Anything, 8/19/16
  14. Luis Gonzalez, One Hit, 1/14/12
  15. Rusty Harris, Doubled Off, 6/11/17
  16. Dean Hartgraves, Long Time, 7/19/16
  17. Bert Hunter, Biggest Adjustment, 8/21/16
  18. Bernie Jenkins, Set In, 8/24/16
  19. Jeff Juden, Unique Player, 1/5/19
  20. Belinda Kay earned fans middays at Columbus, Ga.'s South 106; Got sponsor card with Mudcats, 2/16/21
  21. Tom Madison - as Mason Dixon - helped run Columbus, Ga., radio station; Also got own baseball card, 2/15/21
  22. Joe Mikulik, Personal Challenge, 9/7/16
  23. Andy Mota, More Confident, 4/18/11
  24. Al Osuna, Established Himself, 7/24/16
  25. Ron Porterfield couldn't play anymore, so he chose training; Made bigs with Tampa, Dodgers, 2/13/21
  26. Edinson Renteria, Another Job, 8/20/16
  27. Shane Reynolds, Frustrated Hitters, 8/8/16
  28. Bob Robertson played a decade in bigs, later coached minors; Missed bunt sign in World Series, hit home run, 2/12/21
  29. John Sheehan, Three Innings, 8/11/16
  30. Rich Simon, Lead Protected, 8/12/16
  31. Rick Sweet, That Mentality, 9/13/16
  32. Dennis Tafoya, Showed Dedication, 8/14/16
  33. Charley Taylor, Fun Time, 9/15/16
  34. Wally Trice, New Pitch, 8/15/16
Osceola Astros (31)
  1. Manny Acta played in minors, became manager, trusted voice, 2/29/24
  2. Don Angotti played, hoped to coach, instead he taught, 3/23/24
  3. Peter Bauer learned screwball changeup, saw 6 seasons, AA, 2/24/24
  4. Mike Beams kept working over eight seasons, made AA, 3/29/24
  5. Jack Billingham got raise, made bigs, gave up Aaron's 714th, 2/9/24
  6. Sal Butera made bigs as player, then helped others there, 3/16/24
  7. Chris Colombino tried hard over decade in pros, made AAA, 3/21/24
  8. Gene Confreda enjoyed work as trainer, passed in 1990, 3/17/24
  9. Chris Correnti became go-to trainer for Red Sox, Pedro, 3/18/24
  10. Troy Dovey played five pro seasons, later went into movies, 9/22/13
  11. Rick Dunnum pitched wherever needed over four pro seasons, 3/12/24
  12. Brian Griffiths picked up confidence then saw 6 pro seasons, 3/7/24
  13. David Henderson played 6 seasons, suffered collapsed lung, 3/19/24
  14. Cole Hyson gave best shot over 5 seasons, opened pawn shop, 2/13/24
  15. Todd Jones fulfilled potential over 16 ML seasons, 319 saves, 2/18/24
  16. Jeff Juden proved a unique player over eight majors seasons, 1/5/19
  17. Frank Kellner saw 8 pro seasons, 5 in hometown, coached, 3/27/24
  18. Larry Lamphere made Pan Am team, saw three pro seasons, 3/26/24
  19. Mica Lewis worked on consistency, saw six seasons, AA, 3/25/24
  20. Kenny Lofton helped teams many ways over 17 majors seasons, 2/22/24
  21. Ken Luckham proved encouraging in AA start, saw six seasons, 2/8/24
  22. Lance Madsen tried to relax, concentrate, saw 6 seasons, AAA, 2/11/24
  23. Scott Makarewicz thought big things at AA, saw 10 seasons, 2/19/24
  24. John Massarelli showed positive attitude over decade in pros, 3/2/24
  25. Dan Nyssen played 4 seasons, grew frustrated with progress, 3/11/24
  26. Ed Ponte made AA, then wanted to get back, saw 9 seasons, 3/17/24
  27. Howard Prager swung bat well in AAA game, saw seven seasons, 2/14/24
  28. Bobby Ramos showed heart, passion over decades-long career, 3/9/24
  29. Toncie Reed showed potential at Osceola, saw 3 pro seasons, 2/10/24
  30. Gabriel Rodriguez walked Griffey at AA, played 6 seasons, 3/5/24
  31. Rodney Windes proved reliable over 6 seasons, made AAA, 3/24/24

Asheville Tourists (27)
1 - Rich Aponte, Same Approach
Rick Aponte has handed out pitching advice for three decades, after his own brief playing career.
2 - Ed Beuerlein, Baseball Rat
Ed Beuerlein's work ethic earned him the name 'baseball rat.' It didn't earn him a long career.
3 - Frank Cacciatore, Long Time
Frank Cacciatore wanted to be a coach for a long time, has been one now for more than three decades.
4 - Craig Curtis, Bright Spot
Craig Curtis was a bright spot for the GCL Astros in 1989, but he couldn't keep it up. He played just three more seasons.
5 - Gershon Dallas, Two Doubles
Gershon Dallas helped his high-A team with two doubles in 1991 contest. He could only help himself to four seasons as a pro. 
6 - Troy Dovey, Another Career
Troy Dovey played 5 seasons as a pro, then eventually went into another career - show business.
7 - Juan Encarnacion, Produced Many
Juan Encarnacion came from baseball hot bed. Only managed three pro seasons for himself.
8 - Chris Gardner, Confidence-Builder
Chris Gardner's manager let him pitch, build confidence. He played a single month in the bigs.
9 - Ben Gonzales, Continued His
Ben Gonzales made the All-Star team at high-A in 1991. His career didn't last much longer. He never made bigs.
10 - Anthony Gutierrez, Get Worse
Anthony Gutierrez gave up big first inning in 1992. Played 6 seasons, never made AA.
11 - Dave Hajek, Made Himself
David Hajek was tagged as major league prospect. He eventually made it, though not in the best circumstances.
12 - Brett Holum, Fundamentally Sound
Brett Holum wanted his players to stay sharp, have fun playing the game. Once had fun himself, as a player.
13 - Brian Hunter, Working Quickly
Brian Hunter had a good season in 1997 with help of his family. He played a decade in the bigs.
14 - Luther Johnson, Put That
Luther Johnson had his ups and downs as a pro. He had them in four seasons, never made AA.
15 - Justin McCray, His Recommendation
Justin McCray was once given chance as a pro. He's now giving others that chance as scout. 
16 - Mike McDowell, More Fun
Mike McDowell played three seasons as a pro, later coached youth sports, took a job with the local CPS.
17 - Orlando Miller, That Far
Orlando Miller homered in his third major league game. He hit 24 over parts of four seasons. 
18 - Julio Munoz, Short Line
Julio Munoz pitched well in an early 1990 outing. He only pitched as a pro in two seasons.
19 - Francisco Perez, Mistake Inside
Francisco Perez gave up a grand slam in 1990. He played just four seasons, never made bigs.
20 - Ed Quijada, Another Transition
Ed Quijada tried to make transition to pitching. Now has made another big transition after serious car accident. 
21 - Limbert Rivas, Good Outing
Limbert Rivas pitched well in an early 1990 contest. He played in just two pro seasons.
22 - Eliezel Rosario, Started Off
Eliezel Rosario started off his pro career strong, but he couldn't keep it up. He played three seasons, never made bigs.
23 - Jose Santana, Stolen Bases
Jose Santana showed his speed right away, but he couldn't keep it up. Played just three seasons as a pro.
24 - Kevin Scott, Veteran Type
Kevin Scott hit a playoff home run in 1992, but few others. Played five pro seasons, never made the bigs. 
25 - Mark Small, Not Enough
Mark Small wanted to make the bigs. Once he got there, he wanted to get back.
26 - Donne Wall, Hungry Guy
Donne Wall was a hungry guy. Eventually took that hunger to time in eight major league seasons.
27 - Ken Wheeler, More Leeway
Ken Wheeler threw a marathon game at single-A in 1990. He played five seasons as a pro.

Auburn Astros (29)
1 - Don Alexander, Something Special
Don Alexander knows coaching has its own timetable.
2 - Dave Allen, Statewide Award
Dave Allen won a statewide award in high school. He never made the bigs.
3 - Jeff Ball, Extra Time
Jeff Ball got his first major league hit. He needed time to enjoy it.
4 - Efrain Barreiro, Very Different
Efrain Barreiro's journey went to Puerto Rico, Kentucky, and 2 seasons as a pro.
5 - Marc Copeland, Director Honor
Marc Copeland won an honor in his post-training field in hospital work.
6 - Jose Flores, Hit Streak
Jose Flores hit in 18-straight games at high-A. He never made the bigs.
7 - Tony Gilmore, Much Confidence
Tony Gilmore had confidence hitting in college. He played six pro seasons.
8 - John Graham, Baseball Town
Served as GM in the baseball town of Auburn, NY
9 - Lincoln Gumbs, Two Returns
Lincoln Gumbs twice returned to the pros. He's now an instructor.
10 - Mark Hampton, Good Pitcher
Mark Hampton pitched well in independent ball. He never made AA.
11 - Chris Hatcher, Caught On
Chris Hatcher's future included eight games with the Royals in KC.
12 - Bob Hurlbutt, Prove Himself
Bob Hurlbutt didn't plan for injury, or for a short career.
13 - Bob Hurta, To Use
Bob Hurta played six pro seasons. He made AAA, not the bigs.
14 - Michael Irwin, Low ERA
Michael Irwin posted a low ERA in college. He played a single-season as a pro.
15 - Marty Jones, All Together
Marty Jones improved early in 1989. He never put it all together.
16 - Doug Ketchen, Pitch Consistently
Doug Ketchen looked to pitch consistently. He made AAA, but not the bigs.
17 - Layne Lambert, Only Run
Layne Lambert made AA briefly in 1992. He played three seasons.
18 - Ray Montgomery, Paid Off
Ray Montgomery stayed healthy, made the Astros over three seasons.
19 - Gary Mota, Some Things
Gary Mota was once a top Astros prospect. He never made bigs like other Motas.
20 - Brian Porter, Two Roles
He had two roles at Auburn, player and assistant GM.
21 - Rick Peters Kids' Dream
Rick Peters realized a kids' dream.
22 - Steve Powers, Freshman Outing
Steve Powers had good freshman outing in college. He played four pro seasons.
23 - Vince Roman, Big Role
Vince Roman helped his college to the Division III World Series title. He never made the bigs.
24 - Tyrone Scott, Live Arm
Tyrone Scott had a live arm in high school. He played four seasons, never made AA.
25 - Bryan Smith, Exciting Plan
Bryan Smith's own exciting baseball plan never fully came to be.
26 - Marc Techman, Other Pursuits
Looked forward to a career in baseball administration, didn't stick.
27 - Fletcher Thompson, His Speed
Fletcher Thompson showed off his speed in college and the pros. He never made the bigs.
28 - Steve Veit, Day Before
Steve Veit waited a year to sign. He played two pro seasons.
29 - David Wilson, Ready To
David Wilson popped the ball to the pros, but not well enough for the bigs.

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