Houston’s Kemp and Pena to Receive Their Minor League Gold Gloves

The Astros have a couple of Gold Glove Award winners playing in their minor league system. At the Double-A level, the Corpus Christi Hooks second baseman Tony Kemp and catcher Roberto Pena were both part of the Lancaster JetHawks’ (A+), 2014 California League championship team.

Both players will receive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards from minor league baseball president Pat O’Conner and Texas League president Tom Kayser before the Hooks meet Tulsa Tuesday at 7:05.

Kemp, taken in the fifth round of the 2013 Draft, the Astros #14 prospect according to MLB.com, and the 2013 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year at Vanderbilt, matched his MiLB-leading 121 runs scored with a remarkable .987 fielding percentage over 72 games at Lancaster and 59 in Corpus Christi. Kemp recorded 225 putouts, 292 assists, and was involved in 67 double plays and committed just seven errors. Kemp was promoted to Corpus Christi on June 25. This season, at just 5’6” and 165 pounds, Kemp is often overlooked or underrated by a lot of people including professional baseball scouts, as if what anyone else really thinks matters because, despite the doubters, Kemp continues to play flawless defense and is hitting .382 with a .523 OBP, leading the Astros organization in both statistical categories.

Pena was drafted in the seventh round in the 2010 draft. This season got underway a little late for him, and he’s only played in two games at Double-A this season because he had been working out in extended spring training. He has played flawless defense and has already cut down a runner attempting to steal second. Pena is 2-for-5 with an RBI and walk.

Last year Pena paced California League backstops with sterling percentages of .996 (defensive) and .565 (caught stealing). The 22-year-old from Caguas, Puerto Rico, has led Quad Cities and Lancaster to league titles in each of the last two seasons. In five professional campaigns, Pena has thrown out 44 percent of runners attempting to steal.

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