News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Philadelphia Phillies News

News » ROUND ROCK EXPRESS 2009 SEASON PREVIEW


ROUND ROCK EXPRESS 2009 SEASON PREVIEW


ROUND ROCK EXPRESS 2009 SEASON PREVIEW
Since the team began play in 2000, more than 225 players have taken the field for the Round Rock Express. Some played for two or three seasons. Some played for only two or three games.

In recognition of the Express' 10-year anniversary, fans selected a 10-year team through online voting. Here's who they chose:

PITCHERS

Roy Oswalt

With the Express: Oswalt posted an 11-4 record with an 1.94 ERA in 2000, his only season with Double-A Round Rock. He struck out 15 in his first start and fanned a team-high 141 - against just 22 walks - for the season.

Post-Express: Three-time All-Star won 20 games for Astros in 2004 and 2005. Has career record of 129-64 over eight seasons, all with Houston. On four occasions, finished in top four of balloting for NL Cy Young Award.

Brad Lidge

With the Express: Lidge made a lasting impact on Express fans in just 10 games. His strikeout-to-walk ratio - 60 whiffs to 10 walks in 37 innings - foreshadowed his eventual move to closer with the Astros .

Post-Express: Helped Astros to World Series in 2005, when he saved 42 games, posted ERA of 2.29 and was named an All-Star. Traded to Philadelphia after 2007 season. Converted all 48 save opportunities in 2008 - including seven in the postseason - as Phillies won the World Series.

CATCHER

Humberto Quintero

With the Express: Quintero played 219 games for Round Rock over parts of four seasons, including 2008. One of the longest-tenured Express players, he batted .333 in 2007. During his 10-year minor league career, he has thrown out 44 percent of runners attempting to steal.

Post-Express: Venezuelan has spent parts of past four seasons with Astros as backup catcher. Caught 59 games last season, batting .226 with 12 RBIs.

FIRST BASE

Mark Saccomanno

With the Express: A native of Houston and a Baylor alum, Saccomanno has been one of Round Rock's leading hitters since joining the team for the 2007 season. He batted .297 with a career-high 27 homers in 2008.

Post-Express: Last fall, became 22nd player all-time to hit a home run on first pitch in the majors. Appearing as pinch hitter on Sept. 8, his solo shot helped Astros to 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh. In 10 games, batted .200 with two RBIs. Beginning 2009 season with Express.

SECOND BASE

Brooks Conrad

With the Express: Conrad played in a franchise-record 519 games for Round Rock from 2004-07. He set nearly 20 single-game, single-season or career batting records with the franchise.

Post-Express: After eight minor league seasons, infielder reached majors for first time last July. In six games with Oakland, he struck out nine times in 19 at-bats before A's sent him back to Triple-A . Starting this season with Triple-A Gwinnett (Ga.) Braves.

SHORTSTOP

David Matranga

With the Express: Matranga helped anchor the middle infield as Double-A Round Rock won the Texas League title in the team's first season. A year later, he batted .302 with 34 doubles, 10 homers and 60 RBIs before jumping to Triple-A.

Post-Express: Called up to Astros in 2003 and became only second player in Astros history to hit home run in first plate appearance, on June 27 against the Rangers. That solo shot was only hit in six games with Houston. Two years later at age 28, appeared in one game for Los Angeles Angels.

THIRD BASE

Mike Coolbaugh

With the Express: Two of Coolbaugh's 17 minor league seasons were spent in Round Rock. Signed by the Astros as a 31-year-old free agent, he joined the Double-A Express in 2003. In 42 games, he hit seven homers and drove in 42 runs. Coolbaugh spent the next two seasons with the Astros' Triple-A franchise, joining the Express in 2005. Named the team's MVP that season, he hit 27 homers and drove in 101 runs.

Post-Express: Younger brother of former Texas Longhorn Scott Coolbaugh, Mike retired as a player after the 2006 season, his 15th in pro Baseball. The next year, he joined the Double-A Tulsa Drillers as the team's hitting coach. On July 22, 2007, he died after being struck in the neck by a line drive while coaching first base against the Arkansas Travelers. He was 35. On Friday night, the Express will retire his jersey.

OUTFIELDERS

Luke Scott

With the Express: Scott spent all or part of three seasons with Round Rock. In 2005, he set the Express' single-season Triple-A record for home runs with 31. He also smacked 25 doubles while driving in 87 runs.

Post-Express: On July 28, 2006, became first Astros rookie to hit for the cycle. In 8-7, 11-inning loss to Arizona, he homered, tripled, doubled and singled, in that order. Playing full season with Houston in 2007, he hit .255 with 18 HRs and 64 RBIs. Traded to Baltimore as part of deal for Miguel Tejada. Batted .257 last season, tying for second on club with 23 homers.

Hunter Pence

With the Express: The much-hyped Pence played in only 25 games for Round Rock before jumping to the Astros . In his short stay, he batted .326 with 21 RBIs .

Post-Express: After brief stay at Round Rock, made a splash with Astros , hitting .322 as a rookie, with 17 homers and 69 RBIs. Before an injury, was front-runner to win NL's rookie of the year award. In the end, finished third. Average slipped to .269 last season, when he hit 25 homers and drove in 83 runs.

Willy Taveras

With the Express: A highly touted prospect, Taveras was an offensive force for Round Rock in 2004. Before a September call-up to the Astros , he batted .335 and stolen a club-record 55 bases in 103 games for the Express.

Post-Express: In first full season with Astros , finished second in 2005 NL rookie of the year voting. Batted .291 that season with 34 steals and 82 runs scored. Traded to Colorado before 2007 season and helped Rockies to World Series that year, batting .320 in 97 games. NL leader in steals last season with 68. Signed with Cincinnati in December.

Honorable mention: OF Josh Anderson, 2007; 2B Chris Burke, 2002-03, 2005-2007; P Travis Driskill, 2005-07; 3B Morgan Ensberg, 2000, 2006; C J.R. House, 2006, 2008; 1B Royce Huffman, 2000-02, 2005-06; OF Jason Lane, 2001, 2006-07; OF Joe McEwing, 2006; SS Cody Ransom, 2006-07

- From staff reports


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 9, 2009

phillies-game
Philadelphia Phillies Photos
All the latest Philadelphia Phillies Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright © Phillieshome.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.