Toro, Javier Named Hooks Player and Pitcher of the Year

Astros third baseman adds to trophy shelf; Standout hurler pitched at top three levels in 2019

By Dan Reiner / Corpus Christi Hooks | September 9, 2019 5:25 PM

CORPUS CHRISTI - Third baseman Abraham Toro has been named 2019 Hooks Player of the Year and right-hander Cristian Javier is the team's Pitcher of the Year, the Hooks announced Wednesday.

Both players will be honored at the annual South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet in late January.

The core of the Hooks' lineup from Opening Night through July, Toro torched Texas League pitching on his ascent to his current spot on the Houston Astros' 25-man roster.

In 98 games with the Hooks this season, Toro batted .306 (115-for-376) with 22 doubles, four triples, 16 home runs, 70 RBIs, 65 runs scored and four steals with a .393 on-base percentage and .906 OPS.

Toro, a switch-hitter, led the league in OPS and on-base percentage, also ranking among league leaders in batting average (2nd), slugging percentage (2nd, .513), RBIs (5th), homers (T-7th) and total bases (10th, 193).

The 22-year-old was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock on August 1, reaching base in more than half his at-bats in 16 games with the Express. He hit a scorching .424 with nine doubles, a homer and 10 RBIs.

A fifth-round pick by Houston in the 2016 draft out of Seminole State College in Oklahoma, Toro was tabbed a 2019 Texas League Midseason All-Star, starting at third base in the clean-up spot for the South Division, going 0-for-4 with a walk with 2 runs scored in the contest in Tulsa. He was also voted a 2019 Texas League Postseason All-Star at third base.

Toro earned Texas League Player of the Week for May 6-12, batting .381 (8-for-21) with a double, two homers, three runs, eight RBIs and six walks with a 1.233 OPS in six games that week.

The Greenfield Park, Quebec native, who began the season rated Houston's No. 23 prospect by MLB.com but has since jumped to No. 6 in the system, made his Major League debut Aug. 22 versus Detroit. He hit his first career home run on Aug. 29 against Tampa Bay. On Sep. 1, he hit a ninth-inning, game-winning home run in a scoreless ballgame and assisted on the final out of Justin Verlander's no-hit performance in Toronto.

Javier, 22, earned his promotion to the Hooks from Advanced-A Fayetteville on May 15 and never looked back.

In 17 games (11 starts) with Corpus Christi, he went 6-3 with a sparkling 2.07 ERA (17 ER in 74.0 IP) with 114 strikeouts, a .124 opponents' average, a 0.95 WHIP and was 3-for-3 in save chances. He never allowed more than four hits in any of his appearances.

Javier displayed his dominance throughout the season but claimed June 20 versus Springfield as his masterpiece. That night, he threw 5.0 no-hit innings, striking out 10 batters while walking three to earn the win.

Over his final seven games (3 starts) with the Hooks, Javier was 2-0 with a 1.03 ERA (3 ER in 26.1 IP) with a 53-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock on August 23, where he made two starts to close out the regular season and remains with the Express as they play for the Pacific Coast League title.

Among minor leaguers with at least 100.0 innings, Javier ranked first in ERA (1.74), SO/9 (13.46) and opponents' average (.130) while placing in strikeout percentage (2nd, 37.3%) and strikeouts (6th, 170). His 114 punchouts with Corpus Christi ranked eighth in the Texas League.

Unrated as a prospect by MLB.com entering the season, he now ranks 10th in the Astros' system.

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

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