Mar 25, 2014 9:37 PM by cchooks.com
SAN ANTONIO -- As the Astros prepare to break their Kissimmee, Fla., spring training camp Thursday for H-E-B Big League Weekend and a two-game exhibition set with the Texas Rangers at the Alamodome, 12 former Corpus Christi Hooks are on Houston's active roster.
Texas' two Major League Baseball clubs and American League West Division rivals face off at 7:05 Friday and 1:05 Saturday. To purchase tickets, click here
Right-handers Matt Albers and Jarred Cosart, both Houston-area natives, are at opposite ends of the age spectrum. Signed by his original organization as a free agent in December, Albers has pitched for the Astros, Orioles, Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Indians. Born on January 20, 1983 (31), Albers graduated from Sugar Land Clements and pitched at San Jacinto College. Selected in the 23rd round of the 2001 draft, he earned Texas League Pitcher of the Year honors five years later in the wake of Corpus Christi's championship season.
Albers was the first Hook promoted directly to Houston, debuting July 25, 2006.
Cosart, just 23 (May 25, 1990), pitched at League City's Clear Creek High School. A 2008 38th-round pick of Philadelphia, he was part of the Hunter Pence trade in 2011 and played for Corpus Christi that season and the next. Cosart was tabbed the Astros' No. 2 starter last week by manager Bo Porter. He's best known for carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his big-league debut against the Tampa Bay Rays last July and was 1-1 with a 1.95 earned run average as a rookie.
Houston's No. 3 starter, lefty Brett Oberholtzer, went 4-5 and posted a 2.76 ERA over 13 appearances (10 starts) for Houston last season. He's from the Hooks Class of 2012. Oberholtzer also pitched for Corpus Christi the previous summer after coming from Atlanta in the Michael Bourn deal.
A pair of MLB all-stars - catcher Jason Castro and second baseman Jose Altuve - are Corpus Christi grads among the established Astros veteran core at 26 and 23, respectively. Castro (2009 Hooks) debuted in the big leagues four years ago and Altuve completely bypassed Triple-A the next season. They hit .276/18/56 and .283/5/52 in 2013, combining for 127 runs and 66 doubles.
Here are former Hooks on the Astros' current active roster, ages in parentheses, with 2013 stat lines - all at Houston unless otherwise noted:
RHP Matt Albers (31) | 3-1/3.14 ERA in 56 games with Cleveland
2B Jose Altuve (23) | .283/5/52 with 33 SB in 152 games
C Jason Castro (26) | .276/18/56 in 120 games
LHP Kevin Chapman (26) | 1-1/1.77 ERA in 25 games
RHP Jarred Cosart (23) | 1-1/1.95 ERA in 10 starts
RHP Josh Fields (28) | 1-3/4.97 ERA in 41 games
OF Robbie Grossman (24) | .268/4/21 in 63 games
LHP Dallas Keuchel (26) | 6-10/5.15 ERA in 31 games
OF Marc Krauss (26) | .209/4/13 in 52 games
LHP Brett Oberholtzer (24) | 4-5/2.76 ERA in 13 games
SS Jonathan Villar (22) | .243/1/8 with 18 SB in 58 games
RHP Asher Wojciechowski (25) | 11-8/3.32 at Corpus Christi & Oklahoma City
"We had an unprecedented 14 former Hooks promoted from Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City to the big club last year," team president Ken Schrom said. "It's always a thrill for all of us when that happens. Those in our front office feel a sense of pride, as do our fans. And, our fans play a huge role in the success of the players who have the opportunity to gain their Double-A experience in such a great baseball market.
"I'm sure a number of them are looking forward to seeing each other in San Antonio this weekend."
4 hours ago
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