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On the Farm: Cain, Castro, Cokinos
03/11/2014 6:35 PM ET

Leading up to the 2014 season, cchooks.com spotlights select farmhands in the Astros system. Today, we feature LHP Colton Cain, IF Erik Castro and C/IF M.P. Cokinos.

Colton Cain
Pitcher
BORN February 5, 1991 in Waxahachie, TX
OPENING DAY AGE 23
HEIGHT 6'3
WEIGHT 256
BATS Left
THROWS Left
RESIDES Waxahachie, TX
ACQUIRED Via trade from Pittsburgh, with LHP Rudy Owens and OF Robbie Grossman, for LHP Wandy Rodriguez on July 24, 2012 

Career Highlights: 2013 - Went 8-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 28 appearances (19 starts) between Quad Cities and Lancaster. Struck out 88, walked 39 and yielded five home runs over 120.2 innings. Began the season in the Midwest League and struggled in his first six appearances (3 GS), going 0-3 with an 11.12 ERA. Settled in from there, posting a 5-2 record and a 2.94 ERA over his final 17 outings (11 GS) with the River Bandits. Held the opposition to a .177 batting average thru six June games. Lefties batted at a .187 clip while right-handers accounted for three home runs and a .310 batting average. Hurled seven-shutout frames against Dayton on July 15, permitting two hits and two walks while fanning five. Promoted to the California League on August 4 and was promptly tabbed the JetHawks' Player of the Month. Permitted one earned run and completed seven innings in each of his last two regular-season starts (both against Rancho Cucamonga), striking out 12 against one walk.

2012 - Divided the season between Lancaster and the Pirates' Florida State League affiliate in Bradenton. Featured a composite 5-7 record and 4.64 ERA in 23 starts…surrendered 14 homers, struck out 76 and walked 43 in 110.2 innings. Opened the campaign with the Marauders and his ERA ballooned to 6.05 after nine starts. Held the opposition to two runs or less in four of his next six starts, going 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Opponents batted at a .242 clip during his tenure in the FSL, but 15 percent of those hits left the ballpark (10 HR | 68 H). Made his final appearance as a Pirates farmhand on July 21 but was pulled after retiring one of the two batters he faced. Debuted with Lancaster on July 31 at Stockton. California League lefties hit .217 against him. Righties boasted three home runs and a .963 OPS.

2011 - Ranked within West Virginia's top five leaders in ERA (1st), starts (3rd), innings pitched (3rd), strikeouts (4th) and wins (5th). Did not allow an earned run in his initial two starts with the Power. Tagged for six runs in two innings on April 23 at Kannapolis. Following that performance, posted a 2.95 ERA thru his 16 remaining starts. Closed out the campaign in West Virginia's bullpen, holding the opposition to one run or less in three of four appearances. Lefties hit .216 against him while right-handers belted five bombs and batted .239.

2010 - Missed the first half of the season, recovering from back surgery.

Career Notes: Declined his commitment to the University of Texas after being selected by Pittsburgh in the eighth round of the 2009 draft. Received an above-slot signing bonus of $1.125 million.

 
YEAR CLUB W-L ERA G GS CG SO SV IP H R ER BB K
2010 GCL Pirates (R) 0-1 3.77 4 4 0 0 0 14.1 12 6 6 5 15
  State College (A) 1-1 5.03 11 9 0 0 0 34.0 23 19 19 14 32
2011 West Virginia (A) 6-8 3.64 24 19 0 0 0 106.1 92 55 43 31 81
2012 Bradenton (A) 3-5 4.20 16 16 0 0 0 75.0 68 39 35 25 51
  Lancaster (A) 2-2 5.55 7 7 0 0 0 35.2 41 24 22 18 25
2013 Quad Cities (A) 5-5 4.12 23 14 0 0 0 87.1 94 44 40 33 66
  Lancaster (A) 3-0 3.24 5 5 0 0 0 33.1 36 17 12 6 22
  Career Totals 20-22 4.13 90 74 0 0 0 386.0 366 204 177 132 292

Erik Castro
Infielder
BORN November 13, 1987 in Los Angeles, CA
OPENING DAY AGE 26
HEIGHT 6'4
WEIGHT 234
BATS Left
THROWS Right
RESIDES Fallbrook, CA
SCHOOL: San Diego State
ACQUIRED Selected in the 10th round of the 2009 draft

Career Highlights: 2013 - Ranked fifth among Astros farmhands in home runs. Tied for eighth in the Texas League in batting average while placing third in OPS (.848). Ranked on Corpus Christi's statistical leaderboard in virtually every offensive category: average (1st), doubles (1st), walks (1st), OPS (1st), games (2nd), runs scored (2nd), hits (2nd), RBIs (2nd), total bases (197, 2nd), home runs (3rd) and at-bats (4th). Recorded just three hits in his first nine games, walking three times against 15 strikeouts. Rebounded by hitting safely in eight of the next 11 games to close out April. Caught fire in May, hitting .360 with 10 doubles, four home runs, 20 RBIs and a 1.031 OPS en route to Hooks Player of the Month honors. The surge raised his batting average 90 points (.206 to .296). Hit at a .237 clip in June and July before being tabbed the top Hooks player in August. For the month, batted .340 with eight doubles, four home runs and 17 RBIs. Excelled against right-handed pitching (.880 OPS) but struggled opposite lefties (.665 OPS). Batted .294 with 11 home runs away from Whataburger Field. His average and long-ball production (.268, 7) dipped while hitting into Corpus Christi Bay's strong southeasterly breeze. Led Texas League first basemen with 15 errors in 974 total chances.

2012 - Paced the JetHawks in RBIs (108) and tied for the team lead in hits (138). Ranked among California League leaders in HR (27, T3rd), RBIs (108, 2nd), walks (78, T3rd), strikeouts (162, 3rd) and HR/AB (1/17.96, 4th). Hit in 18 straight home games from April 12-May 21, going 25-for-68 (.368) with six doubles, six homers and 17 RBIs. Batted .293 (103-for-351) with 22 homers and 78 RBIs against RHP. Opened the season on a nine-game hitting streak (.394, 13-for-33). Was not held hitless in back-to-back games from the beginning of the season until June 11-12. In that span hit in 45 of 54 games at .324 (66-for-204) with 13 doubles, nine home runs and 44 RBIs. Drove in five or more runs four times: 6/1 at Visalia, 7/9 vs. Stockton, 8/1 at Stockton, 8/21 vs. Rancho Cucamonga. In the first half hit .313-9-50 and in the second half batted .260-18-58. Batted .306 with seven runs scored, five doubles and eight RBIs in 10 playoff games as the JetHawks captured the California League crown.

2011 - Returned to action April 7, after missing the 2010 season due to shoulder surgery. In first game back, went 1-for-2 with a run, RBI and two walks. Posted four straight multi-hit games from May 13-18 (8-for-18, .444). Hit in 12 of 13 games from August 21-September 4 at .314 (16-for-51). Hit a first-inning grand slam September 3 vs. Lake Elsinore. Played 15 games at first base, seven at third base and 54 as the designated hitter.

2010 - Did not play after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder before the season.

2009 - Tied for the team lead in HR (7) with J.D. Martinez and led the club in RBIs (36). Ranked fourth in the NYPL in HR/AB (1/27.43). Over the last six games of the season, hit .458 (11-for-24) with two homers and eight RBIs. Played 13 games at first base, 36 at third base and eight as DH.

Career Notes: Rated among his league's top 5 in HR/AB in his first two full professional seasons. For his career has averaged a home run every 22.1 at-bats. Projects to hits 25.8 homers over the course of a 162-game season.

College Notes: Named second team all-Mountain West Conference as a junior in 2009 after he hit .382 with 11 home runs and 56 RBIs, including a .400 batting average in conference games. Played over 50 games at catcher in his two years at San Diego State, catching now-big league hurlers Stephen Strasburg and Addison Reed. Had not caught before his sophomore season as an Aztec in 2008. As a sophomore he hit .259 with five home runs and 29 RBIs in 51 games. Played his freshman season at Arizona in 2007, hitting .253 with four doubles and 12 RBIs in 40 games (21 starts), mostly at third base.

 
YEAR CLUB AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB
2009 Tri-City (A) .266 60 192 29 51 13 1 7 36 26 38 0
2010 DNP - Injured - - - - - - - - - - - -
2011 Lancaster (A) .259 77 263 32 68 16 0 9 37 35 81 1
2012 Lancaster (A) .285 128 485 87 138 27 1 27 108 78 162 4
2013 Corpus Christi (AA) .280 117 410 62 115 28 0 18 65 55 105 2
  Career Totals .276 382 1350 210 372 84 2 61 246 194 386 7

Michael (M.P.) Cokinos
First Baseman/Catcher
BORN June 18, 1990 in Houston, TX
OPENING DAY AGE 23
HEIGHT 6'2
WEIGHT 215
BATS Right
THROWS Right
RESIDES Houston, TX
SCHOOL St. Mary's University
ACQUIRED Selected in the 31st round of the June 2012 draft

Career Highlights: 2013 - Tied for fourth among Astros farmhands in RBIs and placed fifth in batting average. A Postseason California League All-Star, ranked fourth in the circuit in average and RBIs. His plate appearance per strikeout rate of 12.07 was the best in the league. Occupied Lancaster's leaderboard in most offensive categories: batting average (2nd), RBIs (2nd), doubles (T-2nd), home runs (T-2nd), sac flies (7, T-2nd), games (3rd), at-bats (3rd), hits (3rd), total bases (T-3rd) and OPS (.870, T-3rd). Strung together a 10-game hit streak from April 11 to May 2, batting .450 with eight runs scored, three doubles, a home run and seven RBIs. Went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs in Lancaster's 16-1 rout of Visalia. Hit .392 with 10 doubles, three homers, 25 RBIs and a 1.133 OPS in 23 June contests, earning JetHawks' Player of the Month honors. Reached base safely in 24 consecutive games from June 14 to July 10, boasting an on-base percentage of .496. Featured hits in 19 of his final 22 regular-season games, including the last 13 in a row. Batted .362 with runners in scoring position and went 7-for-17 with the bases loaded.

2012 - Struggled in his first 14 games as a pro, batting .209. Hit .406 with three home runs, 14 RBIs and a 1.062 OPS in 17 August contests.

Career Notes: Carries a career on-base percentage of .389. Averaging 11.53 plate appearances per strikeout.

College Notes: Transferred from the University of Houston to St. Mary's for his junior season. Hit .333 with eight home runs and 55 RBIs, fueling the Rattlers' run to the Division II College World Series. His accolades include Third-Team All-America, First-Team All-South Central Region and First-Team Heartland Conference. In 2010, was a member of the Conference USA All-Freshman Team. Hit .284 with seven home runs and 42 RBIs for the Cougars that season.

 
YEAR CLUB AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB
2012 Tri-City (A) .320 36 125 18 40 4 1 3 18 9 14 1
2013 Lancaster (A) .313 109 425 71 133 28 1 13 94 47 41 1
  Career Totals .315 145 550 89 173 32 2 16 112 56 55 2

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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