HOUSTON, TX - The Astros have been named the Best Farm System of the 2015 season by MiLB.com.
The Astros had a standout season in the minor leagues, posting the best combined overall minor league record among all 30 organizations during the regular season with a 502-405 (.553) mark. Houston joined the 2010 Mariners as the second organization since 2005 to have seven minor league teams qualify for the playoffs in a single year (Triple A Fresno, Double A Corpus Christi, Class A Advanced Lancaster, Class A Quad Cities, Class A Short Season Tri-City, Rookie Level Greeneville, Rookie Level Dominican Summer League Astros Blue).
Of the Astros seven playoff teams, Triple A Fresno and Rookie Level Greeneville each captured championship titles in their respective leagues. In addition to having two batting champions (OF Jon Kemmer, Double A Texas League; IF Bobby Wernes, Class A Short Season New York-Penn League) and two Manager of the Year award winners (Rodney Linares, Texas League; Josh Bonifay, Class A Midwest League), IF A.J. Reed received a number of accolades after leading all of minor league baseball in home runs (34), RBI (127) and OPS (1.044) while batting .340. Reed was recently named the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, ESPN.com Prospect of the Year, Astros Minor League Player of the Year, California League Most Valuable Player and MiLB Offensive Player of the Year.
The Astros farm system played a large role in the Astros success at the Major League level in 2015, as rookies IF Carlos Correa, RHP Lance McCullers, OF Preston Tucker and RHP Vince Velasquez all made significant contributions that helped push the club to their first playoff appearance in a decade. Correa's 22 home runs led all Major League shortstops, set a franchise rookie record and a club record for a shortstop. McCullers posted a 3.22 ERA in 22 starts, Tucker swatted 13 home runs in just under 100 games and Velasquez provided seven starts and 12 relief outings down the stretch of the season.
The Astros were also able to pull from their minor league depth by trading six prospects to acquire OF Carlos Gomez and RHP Mike Fiers from the Brewers, and LHP Scott Kazmir from the A's in two July trades.
Since 2012, Jeff Luhnow's first season as Astros General Manager, the Astros minor league system has posted the second-best overall record among all 30 clubs at 1880-1600 (.540), trailing only the Rangers (1731-1466, .541).