Clemens in the house, Astros honor MVPs, and a tip of the cap to a real Astros hero.
Let’s start this rundown with arguably the most important person who will be mentioned in this blog today – amateur scout Doug Deutsch. After 27 years of scouting — the last 24 with the Astros — Deutsch is retiring.
Deutsch is probably a name that doesn’t ring a bell. His body of work isn’t detailed on a web site or in the Astros media guide. He certainly was never asked to use his likeness for a bobblehead day at Minute Maid Park. But his contributions to the Astros have been immeasurable.
As an area scout for 20 years, Deutsch signed many future Major Leaguers, including three who contributed to at least one of the two playoff teams in 2004 and ’05: Morgan Ensberg, Mike Gallo and Jason Lane. He also signed Kirk Saarloos, David Matranga, Mike Burns and Andy Mota, all of whom made their debuts with the Astros.
Deutsch was West Coast supervisor from 2005-08 and under his recommendations, the Astros drafted Bud Norris, 2008 No. 1 draft pick Jason Castro and upcoming prospects T.J. Steele and Jon Gaston.
This year, Deutsch signed first rounder Jiovanni Mier, pictured above with Deutsch and club owner Drayton McLane.
The Astros honored Deutsch before Saturday’s game, inviting his entire family — his wife, Linda, their four children and 11 grandchildren — onto the field.
Assistant GM of Scouting Bobby Heck presented Deutsch with a retirement plaque, as well as a gift to be used toward an Alaskan Cruise they are planning for next summer.
The Astros also recognized the MVPs of all eight of their Minor League affiliates:
Left to right: Hector Rodriguez (Dominican Summer League), Enrique Hernandez (Gulf Coast League), Jose Altuve (Rookie League Greeneville), Barry Butera (Short Season A Tri-City), Brian Pellegrini (Class A Lexington), Koby Clemens (Class A Lancaster), Drew Locke (Double-A Corpus Christi), Tommy Manzella (Triple-A Round Rock).
Read about the event here.
Most of the families of the MVPs attended Saturday’s ceremony, including Koby Clemens’ parents, Roger and Debbie Clemens. While it is impossible for either to simply blend into the crowd, they weren’t unlike the rest of the parents, taking pictures and shooting video of their kid. (Roger did stop to talk to reporters, however. He answered only questions regarding Koby, while deflecting that other topic. On his public battle with former trainer Brian McNamee, Clemens said only, “We’re just moving along).”
Debbie and Roger Clemens
Tommy Manzella and his dad.
Assistant GM/Director of Player Development Ricky Bennett (left) banters with the MVPs before the ceremony. It’s always fun to watch the kids try to come off as calm, cool and collected when you know inwardly, they’re probably anything but.
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