The Travs play only two home series against South Division opponents and the Corpus Christi Hooks come back to town Wed. night for the final appearance of '07 at Dickey-Stephens. Fans will get to see five top prospects in the Astro's system that weren't with the Hooks when they were last here in May, led by #8 overall prospect right handed pitcher Felipe Paulino. One other top hurler has been added, left hander Brian Bogusevic, who is listed by Baseball America as Houston's #14 prospect.
An infielder, outfielder, and a catcher round out the group.
#18 prospect, catcher Lou Santangelo out of Clemson has an exceptionally strong arm and threw out 42 per cent of base runners in '06 for the Salem Avalanche in the high A Carolina League. He also poked 18 round trippers.
Outfielder Josh Flores is the Astro's #19 prospect. Folores was the national juco batting champion in '05 hitting a cool .519. The Braves wanted him badly, but he ended up signing with the Stros for more than $217 thousand as a fourth round pick. He was formerly a shortstop and also hit 18 homers for Salem last year.
Infielder Tommy Manzella, whose family's home in Louisiana was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina is the #23 prospect and was drafted out of Tulane in '05 in the third round. Considered an exceptional glove man Manzella has had to deal with numerous injuries during his young career.
Also appearing back at Dickey-Stephens again will be #6 prospect, catcher J.R. Towles and right handed pitching prospect Jimmy Barthmaier at #4 overall, who is the biggest player on the team at 6' 5" and 220 lbs.
But probably the biggest star for the Hooks is third year manager and former big leaguer Dave Clark. Clark spent 13 seasons in the show beginning in '86 with Cleveland; then the Cubs; K.C.; Pittsburgh; the Dodgers; and finally the Astros. He and Elvis are from Tupelo, and he was hitting coach for the Pirates in '01 & '02. After than he became a manager in the minor leagues and what a resume he's amassed so far.
In '03 he was Manager of the Year for the Lynchburg Hillcats in the Carolina League after taking that high A club deep in to the playoffs.
In '04 he won the South Atlantic League title with the Hickory Crawdads in Low A, and...... oh yeah in '06 he won the Texas League title at C. Christi.
He Comes from a talented family too. His brother Louis was a wide receiver with the Sea Hawks for several seasons before finishing his career with Green Bay.
Did you know the Hooks used to be the Jackson Generals and before that the Memphis Blues? They moved to Round Rock, TX. in 2000 and became the AA Express when Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, his sons, and another partner bought the team. The Express moved up in classification after the AAA Edmonton Trappers were purchased by the owners and then moved to Round Rock in '05.
That's when the AA club was moved to Corpus and became the Hooks.
Both teams are managed by the same ownership group.
Best player name in the Texas League. Noochie Varner, outfielder for the Hooks.
Post by Lonesome Traveler