Astros Announce Non-Roster Invites to Spring Training

Club also announces three minor league free agent signings

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced several 2017 non-roster invites to Major League Spring Training today, which includes eight pitchers, three catchers, three infielders and four outfielders for a total of 18 players. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Luhnow also announced today the signing of three minor league free agents: IF Reid Brignac, C Juan Centeno and LHP C.J. Riefenhauser. All three players have received invites to Major League Spring Training.

Joining Brignac, Centeno and Riefenhauser in Major League camp will be IF J.D. Davis, OF Derek Fisher, RHP Edison Frias, OF Alejandro Garcia, C Tyler Heineman, LHP Brian Holmes, RHP Jordan Jankowski, OF Jon Kemmer, OF Ramon Laureano, RHP Francis Martes, RHP Tyson Perez, IF Jon Singleton, RHP Cy Sneed, C Garrett Stubbs and RHP Aaron West.

Brignac, 30, spent the majority of his 2016 campaign with Triple A Gwinnett in Atlanta's system, hitting .264 (96x363) with 21 doubles, eight home runs and 42 RBI in 102 games. He also appeared in 13 Major League games for the Braves last season and has appeared in Major League games in each of the last nine seasons (2008-16) since debuting with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. An infielder by trade, Brignac has appeared in 207 games at shortstop, 82 at second base and 39 at third base in his Major League career.

Centeno, 27, hit .261 (46x176) with 12 doubles, three home runs and 25 RBI in 55 games as the Minnesota Twins backup catcher last season. The left-handed hitting Centeno collected 14 of his 16 extra-base hits and posted a .751 OPS against right-handed pitchers in 2016. A native Puerto Rican, Centeno has appeared in the Major Leagues in each of the last four seasons (2013-16) with New York-NL (2013-14), Milwaukee (2015) and Minnesota (2016).

Davis, 23, was Houston's third round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Cal State Fullerton University. In three seasons in the Astros system, Davis has established himself as one of the organization's top power hitters, posting 78 doubles, 62 homers and a .503 slugging percentage in 319 career minor league games. Last season at Double A Corpus Christi, Davis was a Texas League All-Star after hitting .268 (130x485) with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 81 RBI and an .819 OPS (.334 OBP/.485 SLG) in 126 games. This marks his second consecutive invite to Major League Spring Training.

Fisher, 23, is also receiving his second consecutive invite to Major League Spring Training following a 2016 season in which he hit .255 (122x478) with 21 doubles, 21 homers, 76 RBI, 28 steals and an .815 OPS (.367 OBP/.448 SLG) in 129 combined games between Corpus Christi (102g), where he was a Texas League All-Star, and Triple A Fresno (27g). He finished his season as one of only three minor leaguers to record 20 homers and 20 steals in 2016. Ranked by Baseball America as the Astros No. 9 prospect, Fisher was taken by Houston with the 37th overall selection (competitive balance round A) in the 2014 draft.

Frias, 26, went 5-3 with one save and a 3.98 ERA (41ER/92.2IP) in 19 games (14 starts) between Corpus Christi (15g) and Fresno (4g) last season. Like Davis and Fisher, Frias also made the Texas League All-Star Team after going 4-1 with a 2.44 ERA (20ER/73.2IP), while allowing a .222 opponent batting average in 15 games (10 starts) with the Hooks last season. Frias was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2011.

Garcia, 25, worked his way up the Astros minor league system in 2016, playing for Advanced Class A Lancaster (26g), Corpus Christi (51g) and Fresno (17g). At the three stops, Garcia combined to hit .291 (102x351) with 15 doubles, three home runs, 35 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Garcia is a native Cuban and originally signed with the Astros after establishing residency in the Dominican Republic in July of 2015.

Heineman, 25, hit .259 (62x239) with nine doubles, three homers, 14 RBI and a .344 on-base percentage in 73 games with Fresno last season. This marks his fourth consecutive season as a non-roster invite to the Astros Major League Spring Training camp. The switch-hitting catcher is entering his sixth professional season after being selected out of UCLA in the eighth round of the June 2012 draft.

Holmes, 25, went 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA (25ER/59.1IP) in 15 games (13 starts) across three levels in the Astros minor league system. He spent the majority of his 2016 season at Corpus Christi, where he posted a 4-2 record and a 3.73 ERA (21ER/50.2IP) with 51 strikeouts in 50.2 innings en route to being named a Texas League All-Star. Holmes was originally a 13th-round pick out of Wake Forest in the June 2012 draft.

Jankowski, 27, spent his second straight season at Triple A Fresno, posting a 2-3 record with a 3.77 ERA (30ER/71.2IP) and 103 strikeouts in 51 relief outings. He ranked second among all Pacific Coast League relievers in strikeouts and has posted 456 strikeouts in 380.2 career innings pitched. Originally a 34th round pick by the Astros in the June 2012 draft, Jankowski will be a non-roster invitee at Spring Training for the third consecutive year.

Kemmer, 26, advanced to Triple A for the first time in his fourth professional season and hit .265 (108x407) with 24 doubles, 18 home runs, 69 RBI and an .811 OPS in 120 games for Fresno in 2016. A 21st-round pick by the Astros in the 2013 draft out of Brewton-Parker College, Kemmer will be making his second straight appearance at Major League Spring Training.

Laureano, 22, split his 2016 season between Corpus Christi (36g) and Lancaster (80g), combining to hit .319 (133x417) with 28 doubles, seven triples, 15 home runs, 73 RBI, 43 steals, a .428 OBP and a .955 OPS. A California League All-Star in 2016, Laureano led minor league baseball in OBP, while leading all Astros minor leaguers in stolen bases and ranking second in batting average. He continued his success into the Arizona Fall League, as he hit .295 (13x44) in 12 games for Glendale this offseason. Laureano was originally a 16th-round pick by the Astros in the June 2014 draft out of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

Martes, 21, enters the 2017 season as the Astros top prospect and ranks as the No. 29 prospect in all of baseball per MLB.com. He had a banner year at Corpus Christi in 2016, posting a 9-6 record and a 3.30 ERA (46ER/125.1IP) in 25 games (22 starts) for the Hooks. He collected 131 strikeouts and allowed a .222 opponent batting average en route to being named a Texas League All-Star. Martes was acquired by Houston in the 2014 trade deadline deal that included seven players and sent RHP Jarred Cosart to Miami.


Perez, 27, made just three appearances in the Astros minor league system last season, tossing 4.0 scoreless frames, while recovering from injury. He had a strong 2015 season and was named a Pacific Coast League All-Star after posting a 2.62 ERA (13ER/44.2IP) with five saves in 39 appearances at the Triple A level. Perez was originally a 17th-round pick by the Astros in the June 2011 draft.

Riefenhauser, 26, made 29 minor league appearances in the Cubs minor league system topping out at Triple A Iowa. While with Iowa, the lefty reliever made 28 appearances, posting a 4.55 ERA (14ER/27.2IP), while allowing just a .179 opponent batting average, including a .132 mark (5x38) to opposing lefties. Riefenhauser has two years of Major League experience, both coming with the Tampa Bay Rays (2014-15) and has appeared in 24 Major League games, including 17 appearances in 2015.

Singleton, 25, played his entire 2016 season with Triple A Fresno, where he hit .202 (83x410) with 17 doubles, 20 home runs, 66 RBI and a .337 OBP in 124 games. He's appeared in 114 career Major League games, all coming with Houston (2014-15), in which he collected 15 doubles, 14 home runs and 50 RBI. Singleton played the entire 2016 season on the Astros 40-man roster before being outrighted to Triple A Fresno this offseason.

Sneed, 24, went 6-5 with a 4.04 ERA (53ER/118IP) in 25 games (21 starts) for Corpus Christi in 2016, just his third professional campaign. Sneed was originally a third-round draft pick of the Brewers in 2014, but was acquired by Houston from Milwaukee on Nov. 19, 2015 in exchange for IF Jonathan Villar. This year will be his first at Major League Spring Training.

Stubbs, 23, combined to hit .304 (99x326) with 22 doubles, 10 home runs, 54 RBI, 15 steals, a .391 OBP and an .860 OPS last season. The left-handed hitting catcher was a California League All-Star, spending the first 55 games of the season with Lancaster, before his promotion to Corpus Christi for his final 31 games. He enters the 2017 season ranked as the Astros No. 10 prospect per Baseball America and the top catching prospect in the system. Stubbs was originally an eighth-round pick out of USC in the 2015 draft.

West, 26, posted a 5-4 record with 15 saves in 49 games between Corpus Christi (37g) and Fresno (12g) last season. He served as the closer for the Hooks, converting saves in 15 of his 18 opportunities. West is entering his sixth season with the Astros organization since being selected by the Astros in the 17th round of the June 2012 draft.

With Houston's 18 non-roster invitees scheduled to attend camp, the overall Spring Training roster total is at 58 players (28 pitchers, 30 position players). The 40-man roster is currently full. The report dates for Spring Training are Feb. 14 for pitchers and catchers and Feb. 17 for position players.


-ASTROS-