Along with their Major League Baseball team, the Houston Astros organization has 8 minor league affiliates. 1 Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A, and Short Season league teams and 4 Rookie League teams. Minor league teams are used for organizations to train and improve younger players who aren’t ready for the bigs without giving them up to other ball clubs. There is a perception that once a player gets drafted or joins an organization that they are automatically on the Major League team. Even though there are some that do, this is not true for most. Since Major League teams are only allowed to have 25 players on the team at any given time, it is necessary to have active players readily available in case of an injury. Most “call ups” are brought in from the two top tier teams of the organization: The Fresno Grizzlies and the Corpus Christi Hooks. These two have produced numerous key essentials to current Astros lineup, including Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman.
The Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) reside in Fresno, California and compete in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division along with affiliates of the Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, and San Francisco Giants. Even though they were third in the division, the Grizzlies finished with a .510-win percentage.
The Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) reside in Corpus Christi, Texas and compete in the Texas League South Division along with affiliates of the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and San Diego Padres. The Hooks were explosive this season winning over 60 percent of their matches.
If you ever wondered what it is like to watch a minor league game, I encourage you go and see one next season. 2 years ago I got to a Hooks game and it has the mixture of a college and major league feel. I would compare it to a college all-star game if they had one. If you click on the pictures above, they will take you to their team’s respective websites. I encourage you to research some of the other minor league teams around the area and catch a game or two.