Leading up to Opening Day, cchooks.com will profile select farmhands in the Astros system. Today, we feature OF Carmen Benedetti, INF Randy Cesar, and OF Ronnie Dawson.
BORN October 29, 1994 in Ann Arbor, MI
OPENING DAY AGE 23
HOMETOWN Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
ACQUIRED Selected in the 12th round of the June 2016 draft
Career Highlights: 2017 - Hit .316 with 5 home runs, 41 RBIs. Led all Astros minor leaguers with a .421 on-base percentage in 92 games between Quad Cities and Buies Creek, which was also 3rd in all of minor league baseball. Ranked 5th in walks (60) among Houston farmhands and 3rd in batting average (.316). Hit .343 (70 AB) against left-handed pitchers and .308 (253 AB) against righties. Excelled with runners in scoring position, batting .376 in 77 at-bats between both levels. Posted a .446 on-base percentage with Quad Cities. Started campaign with 7-for-32 stretch over 10 games. Batted .291 in May (55 AB) with 13 runs scored. Recorded a hit in 9 of 12 contests from May 13-May 30, batting .368 in 38 at-bats during that span. Had career-high 5 hits on July 3 at Burlington. Went 4-for-5 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored on July 6 vs. Kane County. In final 16 Midwest league games, batted .387 (62 AB) with 13 runs scored, 1 home run, and 5 RBIs. Made Buies Creek debut on August 3 vs. Carolina. Had back-to-back games with 2 hits on August 6 at Carolina and August 8 at Salem. Belted lone Carolina League home run with a solo blast on August 11 vs. Down East. Went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs on August 16 at Lynchburg. Finished campaign with a hit in 5 of final 6 contests.
2016 - Started pro career with 11-game hit streak from June 17-June 29, batting .409 during the span. Belted 1st pro home run on June 27 at Lowell. Went 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored on July 15 vs. Connecticut. Also had 3-hit games on July 24 vs. Vermont and August 28 vs. Lowell. Batted .311 (119 AB) against right-handed pitchers and .304 (46 AB) against lefties. Hit .313 (48 AB) with runners in scoring position.
Career Notes: Holds a career .403 on-base percentage. Has starts in right field (81), left field (22), and 1st base (1). Recorded a .986 fielding percentage with 3 errors committed in 2 minor league seasons.
College Notes: 2-way player at Michigan. Batted .344 (13 HR, 175 RBI, .433 OBP) in 3 seasons while also holding a 2.05 ERA in 52 appearances (7 saves). All-Big Ten 2nd-Team honors as a junior in 2016. Earned 1st-Team All-Big Ten honors in 2015. Member of Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2014.
Carmen Benedetti Career Stats
BORN January 11, 1995 in Santo Domingo, DR
OPENING DAY AGE 23
HOMETOWN Santo Domingo, DR
ACQUIRED Signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 15, 2011
Career Highlights: 2017 - Hit .297 with 7 home runs, 57 RBIs, and 23 doubles in a career-high 110 games between Quad Cities and Buies Creek. Batted .308 (65 AB) in April with 3 home runs and 13 RBIs to begin campaign. Had 7-game hit streak from May 4-May 10, collecting 10 RBIs during the stretch. Debuted with Buies Creek on May 15 at Myrtle Beach, going 2-for-4. From time of Carolina League promotion through end of season, had 5th-best batting average in circuit. Excelled against left-handed pitching with Buies Creek (.385 BA, 91 AB). Batted .258 (217 AB) against right-handers. Had 3 hits on June 4 vs. Myrtle Beach and 3 hits on June 9 at Wilmington. Belted 1st Carolina League home run with solo shot on June 14 at Potomac. Batted .305 in 59 games post All-Star break. Hit .303 (76 AB) in July. Hit .340 (100 AB) with 2 home runs and 19 RBIs in August. Went 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored on August 6 at Carolina. Put together 6-game hit streak from August 12-August 17, went 11-for-25 with 8 RBIs. Ended campaign with another 6-game hit streak from August 30-September 4, going 9-for-23 with 4 RBIs. Hit .361 (72 AB) with runners in scoring position in time with Buies Creek, including 7-for-12 with the bases loaded.
2016 - Made 1st appearance at a full-season affiliate in his 5th pro season. Hit .283 with 4 home runs and 29 RBIs between Tri-City and Quad Cities. Led New York-Penn League in batting average at time of promotion to Quad Cities. Had a .452 on-base percentage with Tri-City. Had 8-game hit streak from June 29-July 6 and another 8-game hit streak from July 11-July 18. Named NYPL Player of the Week on July 20. Made Quad Cities debut on July 21 vs. Dayton, going 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored. Had 7-game hit streak to start Midwest League tenure. Struggled in August, batting .165 (97 AB). Finished season with 3 hits and an RBI on September 5 at Burlington.
Career Notes: Has a career strikeout rate of 25%. Has played mostly at 3rd base (346 games) and also at 1st base (23 games). Holds a career fielding percentage of .907 at 3rd base.
Randy Cesar Career Stats
BORN May 19, 1995 in Grove City, OH
OPENING DAY AGE 22
HOMETOWN Pembroke Pines, FL
SCHOOL Ohio State
ACQUIRED Selected in the 2nd round of the June 2016 draft
Career Highlights: 2018 - Enters the season as No. 15 prospect in the Astros system, according to MLB.com.
2017 - Ranked 3rd in the Astros system with hits (136), and slotted 4th in runs scored (88). Hit .278 with 14 home runs, 67 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases between Quad Cities and Buies Creek. Had 62% stolen base rate. Tied for 2nd on Quad Cities in home runs and ranked 2nd in stolen bases. Hit .299 (371 AB) against right-handed pitchers and .211 against lefties (118 AB). Hit just .213 in 46 games (178 AB) to begin season with Quad Cities. Batted .217 (230 AB) in season's 1st half. Warmed up in June (.264 BA, 87 AB, 4 HR, 10 RBI). Had sensational July, hitting .373 (102 AB) with 5 home runs, 16 RBIs, and .448 on-base percentage. Held 9-game hit streak from July 6-15, going 16-for-36 during span. Hit 2 home runs on July 7 vs. Clinton. Hit 2 home runs and recorded season-high 5 RBI on July 19 vs. Lansing. Put together career-high 15-game hit streak from July 21-August 6, batting .483 (58 AB) with a home run and 16 RBI. Made Buies Creek debut on August 22 vs. Lynchburg, collecting 2 hits. Had 7-game hit streak from August 24-31, going 10-for-31 with 4 RBIs. Played 37 games in right field, 75 games in left field, and 1 game in centerfield. Committed just 3 errors and held a .984 fielding percentage.
2016 -. Fared better against right-handed pitchers (.236 BA, 178 AB) than left-handed pitchers (.197 BA, 66 AB). Went 12-for-18 in stolen-base attempts. Hit 1st pro home run on June 21 at Brooklyn. Belted 2 home runs and 5 RBIs on July 17 vs. Batavia. Had career-high 4 hits with 2 RBIs on August 24 at Auburn.
Career Notes: Has been successful in 64% (30-for-47) of his steal attempts. Has committed just 7 total errors and holds a .976 fielding percentage in time at all 3 outfield spots.
College Notes: 1st-Team All-Big Ten in 2016 and was named Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Personal Notes: Played baseball, basketball, and football at Licking Heights High School in Pataskala, OH.
Ronnie Dawson Career Stats
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