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On the Farm: Correa, Cruz, DeShields
03/12/2014 11:10 PM ET

Leading up to the 2014 season, cchooks.com spotlights select farmhands in the Astros system. Today, we feature SS Carlos Correa, LHP Luis Cruz and OF Delino DeShields, Jr.

Carlos Correa
Infielder
BORN September 22, 1994 in Santa Isabel, PR
OPENING DAY AGE 19
HEIGHT 6'4
WEIGHT 205
BATS Right
THROWS Right
RESIDES Santa Isabel, PR
ACQUIRED Selected as the first overall pick in the June 2012 draft  

Career Highlights: 2014 - Listed by MLB.com as Houston's top prospect entering the season. Website also lists him as the No.8 overall prospect in the game and No. 3 among shortstops. Prominently featured in the Astros "Best Tools" survey by Baseball America: Best Hitter for Average, Best Defensive Infielder and Best Infield Arm.

2013 - Placed second among Astros farmhands in batting average. Was the second-youngest player in the Midwest League at 18-years-old. A Mid- and Post-Season All-Star, led the league in OPS (.872), slotted second in on-base percentage (.405), ranked third in batting average, fourth in RBIs and tied for fifth in hits. Also paced MWL shortstops in fielding percentage (.973). Listed on Quad Cities' offensive leaderboard in batting average (1st), hits (1st), RBIs (1st), OPS (1st), doubles (T-1st), runs (2nd), total bases (2nd), walks (2nd), at-bats (3rd), home runs (T-3rd) and games (4th). Tabbed River Bandits Player of the Month for May and June, hitting a combined .360 with 33 runs, 12 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 33 RBIs in 47 games. Was one of three Astros prospects (Delino DeShields, George Springer) to play in MLB's All-Star Futures Game, held at Citi Field in New York on July 14. Entered as a late defensive replacement for the World Team but did not get an at-bat. Following the all-star break, hit .335 with 20 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 42 RBIs and a .910 OPS. Featured a .432 average and a 1.072 OPS in 111 at-bats against southpaws. Hit .393 with runners in scoring position and .439 with RISP and two outs. Batted .333 with a .900 OPS during the playoffs as Quad Cities captured the Midwest League title.

2012 - Batted .258 with 28 runs, 14 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 12 RBIs in 50 games between the Gulf Coast League and Greeneville. Tabbed as the GCL Astros Defensive Player of the Month for July. Hit safely in nine of his 11 games at Greeneville. Played in 23 games for Gigantes de Carolina of the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Career Notes: Owns a .377 on-base percentage and has swiped 16 bases in 27 attempts. Became the first player from Puerto Rico to be taken first overall in the MLB draft. A product of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy, declined his commitment to the University of Miami after receiving a $4.8 million signing bonus - the second-largest payout in Houston history.

 
YEAR CLUB AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB
2012 GCL Astros (R) .232 39 155 23 36 11 1 2 9 7 36 5
  Greeneville (R) .371 11 35 5 13 3 1 1 3 5 8 1
2013 Quad Cities (A) .320 117 450 73 144 33 3 9 86 58 83 10
  Career Totals .302 167 640 101 193 47 5 12 98 70 127 16

Luis Cruz
Pitcher
BORN September 10, 1990 in San Juan, PR
OPENING DAY AGE 23
HEIGHT 5'9
WEIGHT 192
BATS Left
THROWS Left
RESIDES San Juan, PR
ACQUIRED Selected in the ninth round of the June 2008 draft

Career Highlights: 2014 - Added to Houston's 40-man roster prior to spring training.

2013 - Went 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 31 appearances (20 starts) between Lancaster and Corpus Christi. Fanned 150 batters and walked 44 in 130.1 innings. His strikeout total led all Astros farmhands. Tossed a perfect inning of relief in Double-A debut on August 17 in North Little Rock. Notched the victory in a start opposite Midland five days later, holding the RockHounds to one run on two hits in six innings. Tabbed Texas League Player of the Week following his two-hit complete game shutout August 26 in San Antonio. Tied the franchise single-game record for strikeouts, authoring 14 against one walk. Limited the circuit to an .093 batting average in his four TL outings. Ranked fourth in the California League in strikeouts at the time of his departure. Won his final start with the JetHawks on August 13 vs. Inland Empire. Tabbed Lancaster's Pitcher of the Month for June, going 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in seven appearances (five starts). Struck out 40 against seven walks in 31.2 innings. Combined with Kyle Hallock for a no-hitter on May 12 opposite Stockton. Cruz picked up the save and struck out four in four innings of work. Selected as the JetHawks' Pitcher of the Month for April after posting a 1-1 record and 3.47 ERA over six outings (three starts). Fanned 30 batters and walked 11 thru 23.1 frames, holding the circuit to a .214 batting average. Limited right-handed batters to a .222 average while lefties hit .336. As a starter, stood 7-4 with a 4.52 ERA, striking out 97 in 87.2 innings. Started six games for Criollos de Caguas of the Puerto Rican Winter League.

2012 - Ranked fourth in the Astros system in strikeouts. Slotted third in the South Atlantic League in Ks and placed fifth in innings pitched. Led Lexington in strikeouts and finished second on the club in wins, ERA, innings pitched and batting average against (.263). Tied for second on the Legends in starts. Thru his first eight outings (four starts), struck out 35 against five walks in 36.1 innings. Went 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA in May en route to Lexington Player of the Month honors. Four of his five starts were of the scoreless variety. In 11 home appearances (nine starts), authored a 5-1 record and 2.26 ERA.

2011 - Opened the season on the disabled list. Made four starts for Lancaster in May before being optioned to Lexington. Began Legends tenure in the bullpen, holding the opposition to four runs in four appearances (12.1 IP). Was 1-0 with a 2.22 ERA in five June outings (three starts). Struck out 21 and walked three in 24.1 innings.

2010 - Began the year in late May as a member of the Legends relief corps. Shifted to a starting role on June 5 at Hickory. Hurled five innings of two-run ball to notch the victory. Labeled Lexington's Pitcher of the Month for July, going 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in five starts. Followed up with a strong August, registering a 2.90 ERA and a .207 batting average against. Fanned 24 and issued six free passes in 31.0 innings. The run included a complete-game triumph August 16 against West Virginia. Yielded one run over seven innings as the Legends upended the Power 7-1 in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

2008 & 2009 - Notched a composite 2-5 record and 5.40 ERA in 19 appearances (17 starts) at Greeneville.

Career Notes: Averaging 3.06 strikeouts for every walk issued. Features a strikeouts-per-nine-inning ratio of 9.26 over his last two seasons.

 
YEAR CLUB W-L ERA G GS CG SO SV IP H R ER BB K
2008 Greeneville (R) 1-1 2.28 7 7 0 0 0 23.2 20 7 6 7 19
2009 Greeneville (R) 1-4 6.75 12 10 0 0 0 54.2 62 43 41 22 41
2010 Lexington (A) 8-5 3.61 20 16 1 0 0 99.2 96 49 40 26 88
2011 Lancaster (A) 0-1 14.54 4 4 0 0 0 13.0 24 21 21 6 10
  Lexington (A) 5-4 4.45 18 14 0 0 0 91.0 99 53 45 23 92
2012 Lexington (A) 9-8 4.05 28 24 0 0 0 146.2 152 74 66 47 135
2013 Lancaster (A) 8-6 5.16 27 18 0 0 2 113.1 111 67 65 40 129

Delino DeShields, Jr.
Outfielder
BORN August 16, 1992 in Gaston, GA
OPENING DAY AGE 22
HEIGHT 5'9
WEIGHT 209
BATS Right
THROWS Right
RESIDES Ocala, FL
ACQUIRED Selected in the first round (8th overall) of the June 2010 draft

Career Highlights: 2014 - Listed by MLB.com as Houston's No. 7 prospect. Considered by Baseball America as the fastest baserunner in the organization. A non-roster invitee to big league camp this spring, is transitioning from second base to center field.

2013 - Led Astros farmhands in steals and ranked fourth in the system in batting average. Was among the California League leaders in steals (2nd), on-base percentage (.405, 2nd), triples (2nd), average (3rd) and runs (3rd). Hit safely in nine of his first 12 games, batting .333 with 11 runs scored. Strung together a 22-game on-base streak from May 17 to June 9, raising his average from .245 to .286. From July thru the end of the season, led the Class-A ranks in runs (55) and ranked third in average, hitting .359 with 16 doubles, eight triples, three home runs, 28 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. Started at second base for the US Team in July's Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field in New York. Recorded hits in 16 straight home games from July 23 to August 25 - the second-longest home streak in the circuit. Tabbed the JetHawks Player of the Month for August, batting .365 with 28 runs scored and a 1.028 OPS. Hit safely in 17 of his final 19 regular-season contests. Batted .275 and swiped eight bases in 22 games for Peoria of the Arizona Fall League. Rated by MLB.com as Houston's No. 6 prospect entering the season. Tabbed by Baseball America as the Astros' fastest baserunner.

2012 - Named the Astros' Minor League Player of the Year after he hit a combined .287 with 12 home runs, 61 RBIs and an organizational-record 101 stolen bases in 135 games between Class-A Lexington and Advanced-A Lancaster. His 101 steals ranked second in minor league baseball to Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton, who swiped 155. Other awards included Lexington Legends Team MVP, South Atlantic League Mid- and Post-Season All-Star and being named to Baseball America's minor league all-star team. Led the SAL in steals (83), tied for first with five intentional walks and ranked second in runs scored (96). Named the Legends offensive player of the month for both June and July. In June, hit .303 (30-for-99) with two home runs, 16 RBIs and 25 steals. In July, hit .380 (41-108) with four home runs, 12 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. All 440 of his at-bats came from the lead-off spot. Batted .398 (43-for-108) with RISP. Reached base in 28 consecutive games from June 27-July 28, hitting .378 (42-for-111) with a .481 on-base percentage. Hit in 16 straight home contests from May 11-June 15 at .329 (23-for-70). Promoted to Advanced-A Lancaster August 10 and went 2-for-5 in his JetHawks debut. Hit safely in his first six California League games (.360, 9-for-25). Named MVP of the California League championship series after he hit .462 (6-for-13) in the three-game series, including a home run in the deciding game.

2011 - Led Lexington and ranked second in the Houston system with 30 stolen bases. Also led the Legends in runs, walks, sacrifice bunts and sacrifice flies while finishing second on the club in games and at-bats. Named Lexington's defensive player of the month in both May and July, he notched a .953 fielding percentage (23 errors in 485 total chances) in 107 games at second base and was involved in 65 double plays. Pieced together a season-best 11-game hitting streak July 17-30, going 20-for-49 (.408) with eight runs scored and 10 RBIs. Batted .320 over 25 games in July with 14 runs, 14 RBIs and 10 steals.

2010 - Hit safely in 14 of 16 games for Greeneville. Went 4-for-4 August 10 at Danville, cracking 2 doubles and 2 RBIs. During his senior season at Woodward Academy in College Park, GA, hit .415 with nine home runs, 40 RBIs and 29 stolen bases to gain 4-AAA All-Region First Team honors. Was also considered one of the top high school running backs in Georgia. Is the son of Delino DeShields,Sr., who was a first-round pick (12th overall) of Montreal in 1987. DeShields, Sr. played 13 seasons in the major leagues with the Expos, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles and Cubs, recording 1,548 hits and 463 stolen bases. Currently manager of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Class-AA affiliate of Cincinnati.

Career stat note:  Steals bases at an 79 percent success rate (187-for-236).

 
YEAR CLUB AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB
2010 GCL Astros (R) .111 2 9 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
  Greeneville (R) .313 16 67 11 21 6 1 0 8 5 18 5
2011 Lexington (A) .220 119 469 73 103 17 2 9 48 52 118 30
2012 Lexington (A) .298 111 440 96 131 22 5 10 52 70 108 83
  Lancaster (A) .237 24 97 17 23 2 3 2 9 13 23 18
2013 Lancaster (A) .317 111 451 100 143 25 14 5 54 57 91 51
  Career Totals .275 383 1533 300 422 72 25 26 171 198 360 187

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