While former first-round Draft pick Delino DeShields Jr. continues to make strides with the bat and continues to get adjusted to playing second base, there's little doubt about his ability to take over a game with his legs.
DeShields entered play Monday for Class A Lexington with 31 stolen bases and had been caught only four times, which marks a huge increase in his success rate over last year in Lexington when he stole 30 bases for the entire season and was thrown out 11 times.
"We're right at a third of the way through the season and he's reached his totals [from last year], plus he's cut his caught stealing by 80 percent or so," Astros director of player development Fred Nelson said. "I think that's a really good sign. I think when it's all over and done with, he's going to be a second baseman that's got power to drive the ball in the alleys, and probably as he gets older, he'll hit more homers and maybe have more power."
Nelson last week got a chance to watch Lexington play for a few days and said when the Legends' offense was clicking was when DeShields was getting on base and scoring runs. DeShields hit .220 in his first full season of professional ball last year, as he made the transition to second base after playing outfield in high school.
"We overloaded him a lot last year with him going out to play second base in that league with really no experience whatsoever, and he adapted remarkably well," Nelson said. "He's still got a long way to go defensively, but he's improved so much. Like any young player, he still has a lot of work to do on offense."
DeShields entered Monday hitting .247 with two homers, 17 RBIs and a .364 on-base percentage for Lexington.