Leading up to Opening Day, cchooks.com will profile select farmhands in the Astros system. Today, we feature LHP Kent Emanuel, OF Drew Ferguson, and RHP Riley Ferrell.
BORN June 4, 1992 in Woodstock, GA
OPENING DAY AGE 23
RESIDES Woodstock, GA
SCHOOL North Carolina
ACQUIRED Selected in the 3rd round of the June 2013 draft
Career Highlights: 2016 - Won season debut May 27 vs. Northwest Arkansas by tossing 5 innings of 1-run ball. Logged a 2.76 ERA and .206 opponent batting average in first 6 assignments (5 starts). Tagged for 6 runs on 8 hits (1 HR) in 2 innings July 9 at Tulsa. Responded by hurling 7 shutout frames July 18 at Midland. Retired 13 of the final 14 men he faced en route to the victory. Naturals got to him for 8 runs on 10 hits (2 HR) in 1 1/3 frames August 17 at Arvest Ballpark. In next start, held the Hounds to 2 runs (1 ER) on 5 hits over 6 1/3 innings. Dispatched 16 of the final 19 batters he faced to cement the triumph. Beat San Antonio in final regular-season start, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits (1 HR) and 2 walks while striking out 8 in 5 frames September 4 at Wolff Stadium.
2015 - Earned the Opening Day start at Springfield, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Won April 21 after blanking Tulsa over 5 frames. Final appearance was April 27 at Midland. Underwent Tommy John surgery in June.
2014 - Went a combined 9-7 with a 4.21 ERA in 27 games (18 starts) between Lancaster and Quad Cities in first full pro season. Allowed more than 1 earned just once in 6 outings for the River Bandits. Held right-handed hitters in the Midwest League to a .221 (15-for-68) batting average. Went either 3 or 4 innings in all QC appearances. Promoted to Advanced-A Lancaster after start April 30 against Clinton. Roughed up for 5 earned runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in 4 2/3 innings in JetHawks debut, May 4 against San Jose. Picked up a win in 3 straight appearances July 12-27, allowing 2 ER in 16 innings during stretch. Won 6 of 7 decisions July 12-August 24, never yielding more than 3 ER. August 6 at Modesto tossed a career-high 8 frames, limiting the Nuts to 1 earned run on 6 hits with 1 strikeout. Allowed 5 R or more 7 times for the JetHawks, with 6 of the occurrences at Lancaster's hitter-friendly home ballpark, "The Hangar." At home went 2-4 with a 7.21 ERA, while going 7-1 with a 2.62 ERA on the road. Used out of the bullpen on 7 occasions and posted a 2.42 ERA, while he went 7-5 with a 5.33 ERA as a starter.
2013 - First pro appearance was August 3 at the GCL Phillies. Threw 2 shutout innings and allowed 2 hits. Lefties went just 1-for-11 against him in the GCL.
Career Notes: Averages 2 free passes per 9 innings and features a 3.28 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
College Notes: As a junior in 2013, named ACC Pitcher of the Year, a Louisville Slugger First-Team All-American, a Perfect Game and ABCA Second-Team All-American, and an NCBWA Third-Team All-American after he went 10-3 with a 2.11 ERA in 14 starts plus 1 relief appearance. He walked 12 and fanned 60 in 69.2 innings. As a sophomore in 2012 named a Louisville Slugger Third-Team All-American. Went 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA in 17 games, 16 starts. Was a Baseball America Freshman All-American in 2011, appearing in 20 games with 16 starts. Went 9-1 and posted a team-low 2.33 ERA, plus 2 complete games. Drafted by Pittsburgh in the 17th round of the 2010 draft out of high school.
Emanuel Career Stats
|2013||GCL Astros (R)||0-0||0.00||4||4||0||0||0||9.0||6||0||0||2||8|
|2014||Quad Cities (A)||0-2||2.45||6||4||0||0||0||22.0||20||12||6||4||17|
|2015||Corpus Christi (AA)||1-1||3.68||4||2||0||0||0||14.2||21||8||6||5||5|
|2016||Corpus Christi (AA)||6-4||5.23||17||16||0||0||1||82.2||97||51||48||20||58|
BORN August 3, 1992 in Knoxville, TN
OPENING DAY AGE 22
RESIDES Knoxville, TN
SCHOOL Belmont University
ACQUIRED Selected in the 19th round of the June 2015 draft
Career Highlights: 2016 - Hit .315 with 84 runs, 29 doubles, 3 triples, 17 home runs and 76 RBIs in 105 games for Lancaster and Corpus Christi. Stole 30 bases in 39 attempts. Reached base safely in 45 of final 47 games. His .408 composite on-base average was 9th-best among full-season minor leaguers. Tied for 2nd in the Astros system in RBIs, and ranked 3rd in batting average. Spent the bulk of the season in the California League where he paced the circuit with a .410 on-base percentage. Also, slotted 3rd in the league in slugging (.531) and batting average. Reached base safely in final 33 Lancaster assignments. During the run, which began on July 4, batted .409 with 9 home runs, 43 RBIs and 34 runs scored. It was the longest on-base stint in the Cal League. This includes an 18-game hit string, which stretched from July 26 to his promotion to Corpus Christi. The JetHawks' August Player of the Month posted a .466-7-29 line during the streak. Plated 5 runs on a pair of doubles May 16 opposite Lake Elsinore. Was 4-for-4 with 2 runs, 2 doubles, 1 homer and 2 RBIs July 28 at Bakersfield. Authored a career-best 6 RBIs via 2 home runs August 5 against Modesto. Went 9-for-15 (.600) with 6 runs, 1 double, 3 home runs and 10 RBIs in final 4 games with Lancaster. Made Texas League debut August 20 and proceeded to record a hit in 11 of 14 Hooks games in which he had an at-bat. Enjoyed a 3-hit game and clubbed a 2-run home run August 26 vs. Midland. Scored 4 times on 3 walks and a solo homer September 3 at Wolff Stadium in San Antonio. Notched 5 hits, including 2 doubles and a triple, while plating a pair in 4 postseason games.
2015 - Batted .297 with 36 runs, 16 doubles, 4 homers, 27 RBIs and 11 steals in 61 games between Tri-City and Quad Cities. Made pro debut with the Valley Cats on June 20. After a slow start, batted .432 with 12 runs, 5 doubles, 3 home runs, 5 RBIs and a 1.322 OPS in final 11 games for Tri-City. Was honored as New York-Penn League Player of the Week for June 30-July 5. In mid-July, was promoted to the Midwest League where he hit safely in 12 of his first 13 assignments. Drove in 4 runs July 20 vs. Cedar Rapids. Went 2-for-6 with a walk during the playoffs.
Career Notes: Features a .392 on-base average and .498 slugging percentage. Has manned all 3 outfield positions: 61 GM in LF, 49 GM in RF and 8 GM in CF. Swiped 41 bases in 55 attempts.
College Notes: As a senior in 2015, ranked among NCAA leaders in runs (72, 4th), doubles (26, 5th), total bases (159, 5th), hits (92, 7th), slugging percentage (.685, 7th) and batting average (.397, 10th). Graduated with honors in May 2015, earning the Belmont University Presidential Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. The 2-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection departed Nashville as the Bruins' career leader in runs (165), doubles (57), homers (24), total bases (363) and walks (93).
Ferguson Career Stats
|Quad Cities (A)||.287||44||174||23||50||10||1||1||21||16||32||10|
|Corpus Christi (AA)||.327||15||52||14||17||4||1||3||7||6||13||2|
BORN October 18, 1993 in College Station, TX
OPENING DAY AGE 22
RESIDES College Station, TX
SCHOOL Texas Christian
ACQUIRED Selected in the third round of the June 2015 draft
Career Highlights: 2016 - Did not allow a run in first 7 assignments. Final appearance was an April 30 loss at Lake Elsinore, yielding 2 runs on 3 hits in 1 1/3 innings. Missed remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair an aneurysm in throwing shoulder. Entered the year as Houston's No. 12 prospect per MLB.com. His slider was rated the best in the system in Baseball America's annual tools survey.
2015 - Made pro debut June 29 vs. Beloit and allowed 1 run on 2 hits in an inning. Allowed just 1 earned run the rest of the season, on July 19 against Cedar Rapids. Picked up lone save on July 29 at Beloit, tossing 2 scoreless frames with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. Finished the campaign by going his last 6 appearances without giving up an earned run. Did not allow an earned run in 5 road outings. Right-handed batters hit .103 against him (3-for-29).
College Notes: Left TCU as its career leader in saves (32) and third in appearances (86). Horned Frogs went 64-22 in games he pitched in his career and went to the College World Series in '14 and '15. As a junior in 2015, pitched in 32 games and went 1-3 with a 2.56 ERA and 14 saves. He fanned 53 and walked 20 in 31 2/3 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a .099 batting average. Named a First Team All-American by the NCBWA, Second Team by Louisville Slugger and Perfect Game, and Third Team by ACBA. Also earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors after he led the conference and ranked 11th nationally in saves. Was on the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award and National Pitcher of the Year. Finished the regular season with a 0.68 ERA. Struggled in the postseason, posting a 9.64 ERA in 5 appearances. Took loss against Baylor May 20 in the Big 12 Tournament, walking 3 and throwing 2 wild pitches. Also lost against NC State in the NCAA Regional May 30 when he allowed 2 earned runs in the ninth inning. Made two hitless appearances at the College World Series, against LSU and Vanderbilt, tossing a combined 3 innings with 1 walk and 8 strikeouts. As a sophomore in 2014, set the school single-season record with 15 saves and went 3-1 with a 0.79 ERA in 31 appearances. He walked 14 and struck out 70 in 45 1/3 innings, averaging 13.9 K-per-9 IP. Second Team All-American by Perfect Game and Third Team by NCBWA, as well as First Team All-Big 12. Allowed a run in just 4 of 31 outings. Pitched in 23 games as a freshman in 2013 and went 0-2 with a 2.20 ERA and 3 saves. Named All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
Ferrell Career Stats
|2015||Quad Cities (A)||0-0||1.08||12||0||0||0||1||16.2||10||3||2||13||17|