Astros announce August Minor League Players of the Month

Position player and pitcher honored at each affiliate

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros Player Development Department has named the August Minor League Players and Pitchers of the Month at Triple A Fresno, Double A Corpus Christi, Class A Advanced Lancaster, Class A Quad Cities, Class A Short Season Tri-City, Rookie Level Greeneville and the Rookie Level GCL Astros, DSL Astros Blue and DSL Astros Orange.

OF Jon Kemmer received Fresno Player of the Month honors for August after batting .280 (35x125) with 10 doubles, one triple, eight homers, 25 RBI and a .906 OPS (.338 OBP/.568 SLG) in 31 games during the month. The 25-year-old led all Pacific Coast League hitters in extra-base hits (19) during the month, while ranking second in homers. RHP Cesar Valdez was named Fresno's August Pitcher of the Month, as he went 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA (7ER/34IP), 35 strikeouts and just two walks in five August starts. For the season, Valdez led the PCL in walks per 9.0 innings (0.85) and ranked third in ERA (3.12) and tied for fourth in wins (12).  

OF Ramon Laureano received his second consecutive Player of the Month award, and his first with Corpus Christi. The 16th-round pick in the 2014 draft batted .318 (27x85) with 15 runs scored, four doubles, one triple, four homers, six steals and a .944 OPS (.414 OBP/.529 SLG) in 24 August games with the Hooks. Corpus Christi's Pitcher of the Month honors went to RHP Francis Martes, who went 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA (8ER/33.1IP), 37 strikeouts, five walks and a .190 opponent average (23x121) in five starts in August. The 20-year-old right-hander finished the month among the top three Texas League pitchers in WHIP (0.84, 2nd), strikeouts (3rd) and opponent average (3rd).

At Lancaster, OF Drew Ferguson was named August Player of the Month and RHP Andrew Thome was named August Pitcher of the Month. Ferguson hit .446 (25x56) with five homers, 21 RBI, a .492 on-base percentage and .804 slugging percentage (1.296 OPS) in 14 games in August en route to a promotion to Double A Corpus Christi, closing out his time with Lancaster by hitting in 18 consecutive games. Thome made seven relief appearances in August, posting a 1.35 ERA (2ER/13.1IP) with two saves and nine strikeouts.

IF Dexture McCall hit .295 (28x95) with six doubles, 17 RBI and a .352 on-base percentage in 25 August games, garnering Quad Cities Player of the Month honors. RHP Franklin Perez, who spent 2016 as the youngest pitcher in the Midwest League at 18 years old, received Quad Cities Pitcher of the Month recognition after posting a 1-1 record with a 2.65 ERA (5ER/17IP) and 21 strikeouts in four August games.

The Astros second-round pick in the 2016 draft, OF Ronnie Dawson, was named the Tri-City August Player of the Month, as he hit .294 (30x102) with eight extra-base hits, 16 RBI, 17 runs scored and a .368 on-base percentage in 29 games during the month. RHP Abdiel Saldana was tabbed the ValleyCats August Pitcher of the Month after posting a 1.33 ERA (3ER/20.1IP), 24 strikeouts and just two walks in six August outings.

At Greeneville, IF Stijn van der Meer was named Player of the Month and RHP Ricardo Castro was named Pitcher of the Month. van der Meer hit .301 (22x73) with a .386 OBP in 19 games, while Castro put up a 1.57 ERA (4ER/23IP) and 19 strikeouts in six games in August.

OF Jose Benjamin was named the GCL Astros August Player of the Month after hitting .311 (19x61) with six doubles, two triples, nine RBI and six steals in 18 games during the month. RHP Enoli Paredes was named the GCL Astros Pitcher of the Month, as he struck out 21 in 13.0 innings while posting a 1.38 ERA (2ER/13IP) in five August appearances.

Player and Pitcher of the Month honors for the DSL Astros Blue went to C Carlos Canelon and RHP Jheyson Caraballo, respectively. Canelon posted a .463 on-base percentage, recording 11 walks and just three strikeouts with 10 RBI in 11 August games, while Caraballo went 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA (2ER/12IP) in three August outings.

IF Samir Caraballo, the DSL Astros Orange Player of the Month, notched a .341 on-base percentage with four doubles, seven RBI and five stolen bases in August. LHP Maikel Sepulveda picked up DSL Astros Orange Pitcher of the Month honors after posting a 1.77 ERA (4ER/20.1IP) and 16 strikeouts in four August games.