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Astros want to build a farm system like the Royals'

By Ryan Aber, Staff Writer, raber@opubco.com Published: July 9, 2011
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/articleid/3584403/1/pictures/1461794">Photo - Johnny Giavotella of the Omaha Storm Chasers leaps over Drew Locke of the Oklahoma City RedHawks to make the throw for a double play in the second inning of the baseball game at RedHawks Field at Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Friday, July 8, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
Johnny Giavotella of the Omaha Storm Chasers leaps over Drew Locke of the Oklahoma City RedHawks to make the throw for a double play in the second inning of the baseball game at RedHawks Field at Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Friday, July 8, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

Their 2007 pick went to Texas after the Astros signed Carlos Lee. The Rangers used the pick on Blake Beavan, who they turned around in a trade for Cliff Lee last year and who made his major league debut for Seattle last week. Texas also received a supplemental first-round pick from the signing, drafting Julio Borbon with the pick. Borbon has played 215 games for the Rangers in the last three seasons.

That's nearly twice as many games as the Astros have gotten from their top picks the last 10 years.

“I think we're over the dry spell,” Astros general manager Ed Wade said before the season. “It's part of a process to get good and to stay good. We know what we have to do. We think we're sort of underestimated with regard to the level of prospects we have.”

Only Jason Castro, who was scheduled to be Houston's starting catcher this season before a spring training injury ended his season, and Brian Bogusevic have reached the majors.

Bogusevic was drafted as a pitcher but reached the majors as an outfielder.

But Nelson is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even as the Astros' minor league affiliates, including the RedHawks, have struggled to produce wins.

“Team-performance wise, I don't think this has been what we would've expected this year,” Nelson said. “But when you look at individual players, you see some good progress.

“Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, that is mainly at the level starting at Double-A on down. We've pretty much indicated that we're in a rebuilding mode. The last four drafts have shown the influence of our change, but it takes time to move up through the system.”


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