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On the Farm: Dufek, Duffy, Epps
03/14/2014 10:38 AM ET

Leading up to the 2014 season, cchooks.com spotlights select farmhands in the Astros system. Today, we feature RHP Jonas Dufek, 3B Matt Duffy and OF Chris Epps.

Jonas Dufek
Pitcher
BORN June, 30, 1988 in Omaha, NE
OPENING DAY AGE 25
HEIGHT 6'5
WEIGHT 218
BATS Right
THROWS Right
RESIDES Omaha, NE
SCHOOL Creighton University
ACQUIRED Selected in the ninth round of the June 2011 draft

Career Highlights: 2013 - Joined Corpus Christi in late July and kept the Texas League off the scoreboard in his first six appearances. Struck out 13 and did not walk a batter over 11 innings during this stretch. Surrendered his lone run as a Hook on August 15 at Northwest Arkansas. Rey Navarro hit a ninth-inning sacrifice fly but the Naturals fell short, 6-5. Dufek earned the decision, improving his record to 4-0. In a seven-game stretch August 7-23, logged five victories and two saves. Tabbed as the Hooks Pitcher of the Month for August. Closed out the regular season with a Labor Day save against San Antonio to clinch the South Division second-half title. Held the TL to a .212 batting average with right-handers hitting at a .143 clip. Did not allow a run in two playoff appearances and earned the victory in Game 1 of the South Division Series. Spent the majority of the campaign at Lancaster where he featured a .259 opponents' batting average and a strikeouts per nine innings ratio of 10.06. Following a rough first-half, posted a 2-0 record and 2.95 ERA in 11 second-half appearances, fanning 18 against five walks in 18.0 innings. His ERA dropped to 2.42 away from the JetHawk's hitter-friendly ballpark. Made seven appearances for Peoria of the Arizona Fall League. Was 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA for the Javelinas and struck out 12 in 9.1 innings.

2012 - Listed on the Legends' leaderboard in starts (T-2nd), innings pitched (3rd), strikeouts (3rd) and wins (T-4th). Won four consecutive appearances June 6-23. Crafted a 2.52 ERA during this stretch and struck out 23 while walking four in 25.0 innings. Despite a 1-3 record, six of his final eight outings were quality starts (3 runs or less, 6.0 innings or more). Run includes August 30 at Hickory when he tossed seven innings of three-run ball, striking out 11 while issuing one free pass.

2011 - Made pro debut on June 18 against Vermont and authored three scoreless innings. Was rocked for six earned runs over 3.2 frames in his next start. Following that performance opposite Lowell, carried a 3.05 ERA over nine appearances thru the end of the season.

Career Notes: Features a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.12.

College Notes:  Ended his senior season leading the Missouri Valley Conference in wins (12), strikeouts (128), ERA (2.08), batting average against (.198) and innings pitched (112.2). He currently ranks tied for fifth nationally in both wins and strikeouts, and was named to the all-Corvallis Regional All-Tournament Team after throwing a complete game five-hitter to beat Georgia. Was also tabbed MVP of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on May 28th after going 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA and leading Creighton to its second tournament crown.

 
YEAR CLUB W-L ERA G GS CG SO SV IP H R ER BB K
2011 Tri-City (R) 3-4 3.71 11 11 1 0 0 51.0 55 28 21 16 37
2012 Lexington (A) 6-5 5.47 25 24 0 0 0 126.2 147 89 77 37 117
2013 Lancaster (A) 2-2 4.28 36 0 0 0 0 48.1 50 29 23 19 54
  Corpus Christi (AA) 7-0 0.47 14 0 0 0 4 19.1 14 2 1 1 20
  Career Totals 18-11 4.48 86 35 1 0 4 245.1 266 148 122 73 228

Matt Duffy
Infielder
BORN February 6, 1989 in Boston, MA
OPENING DAY AGE 25
HEIGHT 6'3
WEIGHT 227
BATS Right
THROWS Right
RESIDES Milton, MA
SCHOOL Tennessee
ACQUIRED Selected in the 20th round of the June 2011 draft

Career Highlights: 2013 - Hit .309 with 24 doubles, 24 home runs, 94 RBIs and a .913 OPS in 124 games between Lancaster and Corpus Christi. Ranked among the Astros organizational leaders in batting average (6th), home runs (4th) and RBIs (5th). A California League Mid- and Post-Season All-Star, slotted second in the circuit in average and OPS (.950) while ranking third in slugging percentage (.533). Selected as the league's Player of the Week for April 4-15, batting .368 with four home runs, 14 RBIs and a 1.263 OPS in 11 games. Strung together a 15-game hit streak from April 7-28. Scored 15 runs, belted three homers and drove in 16 with a .448 on-base percentage during that stretch. Smacked a game-winning grand slam with two away in the eighth on May 11 against Stockton. For the season, went 6-for-11 (.545) against the California League with the bases loaded, plating 16 runs in 13 plate appearances. Tabbed the JetHawks' Player of the Month for July, batting .363 with 19 runs, five doubles, seven home runs, 24 RBIs and a 1.050 OPS in 27 games. Hit safely in his final 10 games with Lancaster, notching four home runs and 12 RBIs. Promoted to Corpus Christi in early August. Hit safely in 10 consecutive games from August 18-29, raising his average from .194 to .253. Came up with the decisive sacrifice fly in Game 1 of the Texas League South Division Series as the Hooks dispatched San Antonio 2-1 in 11 innings.

2012 - Was an MiLB.com Astros Organizational All-Star and a South Atlantic League Mid Season All-Star. Led the circuit in games and hit by pitch (41) and ranked third in at-bats. Paced the Legends in hits, home runs and total bases (220), while slotting second on the club in average, runs, doubles and RBIs. Tabbed the Legends Player of the Month for May, hitting .343 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs. Batted .321 with 17 doubles, 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 68 first-half contests. Hit two bombs and drove in five on September 1 against Rome - the first multi-homer game of his career.

2011 - Tabbed Tri-City's MVP and a New York-Penn League All-Star. Led the ValleyCats in batting average, runs scored, doubles and OPS (.787). Slotted second on the club in hits, RBIs and total bases (98). Made pro debut on June 17 and hit safely in eight of first nine games with Tri-City. Batted .274 with nine doubles, a home run and 15 RBIs in 26 July contests, earning Tri-City Player of the Month honors.

Career Note: Has hit 40 home runs (23.8) over the last two seasons.

College Notes: As a senior at Tennessee, finished third on the squad with a .312 batting average, second with six home runs and led the Vols with 39 RBIs. On March 9 opposite New Orleans, became just the second player in UT history to hit for the cycle.

 
YEAR CLUB AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB
2011 Tri-City (A) .298 63 235 36 70 20 1 2 37 15 41 2
2012 Lexington (A) .280 134 492 73 138 32 1 16 70 48 106 6
2013 Lancaster (A) .323 100 371 74 120 20 4 19 84 30 80 0
  Corpus Christi (AA) .247 24 89 11 22 4 0 5 10 3 22 1
  Career Totals .295 321 1187 194 350 76 6 42 201 96 249 9

Chris Epps
Outfielder
BORN December 10, 1988 in Stone Mountain, GA
OPENING DAY AGE 25
HEIGHT 6'1
WEIGHT 199
BATS Left
THROWS Right
RESIDES Stone Mountain, GA
SCHOOL Clemson University (SC)
ACQUIRED Selected in the 45th round of the 2011 draft  

Career Highlights: 2013 - Ranked third in the California League in walks, behind teammates Nolan Fontana (102) and Andrew Aplin (83). After playing 12 games in April, put together a solid May. Hit .361 for the month with 15 runs, 10 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 19 RBIs and a 1.114 OPS in 20 games. Established a career-high for RBIs in a single game on June 2 against Visalia. Belted a first-inning grand slam en route to a six-RBI performance and a 16-1 JetHawk's drubbing of the Rawhide. In 48 first-half contests, batted .302 with a .381 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage. For the season, batted at a .306 clip vs. left-handed pitching compared to a .269 mark against right-handers. His home-and-road split was .308/.242. Appeared in 61 games in right field, 30 in left and five in center.

2012 - Hit .258 with 52 runs, 12 doubles, six triples, 13 home runs and 49 RBIs in 82 games between Lexington and Lancaster. Began the season in late April with the Legends. Authored a 13-game hit streak from May 5 to May 29, batting .313 with a .389 on-base percentage. Established a career-high for hits in a single game on May 31 vs. Rome, going 4-for-6 with two runs scored. Joined the JetHawks on June 6 and hit safely in 11 of his first 14 California League contests. For the month, batted .359 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 17 games. In Game 2 of a July 13 doubleheader at Visalia, smacked a fourth-inning grand slam as Lancaster cruised to a 13-3 triumph. Six nights later against San Jose, plated another four runs with three coming on a two-out, seventh-inning blast. Recorded hits in seven of his final nine games at Lancaster before being shipped back to Lexington on August 16.

2011 - Hit .274 with 33 runs, six doubles, three triples, six home runs and 31 RBIs in 54 games between the Gulf Coast League and Tri-City. Ranked among the Gulf Coast League Astros leaders in triples (T-1st), home runs (2nd), RBIs (T-2nd) and total bases (3rd). In a three-game stretch from July 9-12, was 7-for-11 (.636) with seven runs, a double, two triples, two home runs and nine RBIs.

Career Notes: Averaging 20 home runs and 86 RBIs over the course of a 140-game season. Features an on-base percentage of .378.

College Notes: Hit .292 with 10 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .422 on-base percentage in 61 games during his senior season with the Tigers. Earned All-ACC Tournament honors for his performance at Durham Bulls Athletic Park from May 25-28. Was 3-for-9 with two home runs, a double, five RBIs as Clemson claimed two victories in three games. For his career, drew 142 free passes in 213 career games. His at-bats-per-walk average of 4.20 is the third-best mark in school history.

 
YEAR CLUB AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB
2011 GCL Astros (R) .304 35 112 17 34 3 3 4 25 22 36 6
  Tri-City (A) .212 19 52 16 11 3 0 2 6 18 18 4
2012 Lancaster (A) .285 46 158 35 45 6 6 10 32 25 46 3
  Lexington (A) .226 36 133 17 30 6 0 3 17 15 39 5
2013 Lancaster (A) .275 115 396 78 109 32 5 16 75 69 116 8
  Career Totals .269 251 851 163 229 50 14 35 155 149 255 26

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