HOUSTON, TX Class A Lancaster s win to capture the California League championship on Saturday night put an exclamation point on what was a highly successful season for the Astros minor league system in 2012.

The Astros saw dramatic improvement in the performance of their minor league clubs this season, posting the fourth-best combined record in baseball at 439-394 (.527). Domestically, the Astros 417-347 (.546) record was tops in baseball. Six of the Astros eight minor league clubs finished at .500 or above with three advancing to postseason play.

In 2011, the Astros minor league clubs ranked last (30th) with a 337-488 (.408) combined record with no clubs finishing at .500 or above. The improvement from 2011 to 2012 was one of the most dramatic of any organization in recent years.

Since taking control of the organization in November of 2011, Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane has emphasized the importance of building a strong farm system that will result in sustained success at the Major League level.

The 2012 success of the minor league system culminated with Lancaster winning the first league championship in the club s 17-year history. The JetHawks went 8-2 in the playoffs, winning their last five games en route to the title. Tri-City (A), who won a club-record 51 games during the regular season in 2012, fell one win shy of winning the NY-Penn League championship.

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