Prime Prospects Collection
Beneath is an evaluation of the prospects within the farm system of the Houston Astros. Scouting studies had been compiled with data supplied by business sources in addition to our personal observations. That is the third 12 months we’re delineating between two anticipated aid roles, the abbreviations for which you’ll see within the “place” column beneath: MIRP for multi-inning aid pitchers, and SIRP for single-inning aid pitchers. The ETAs listed usually correspond to the 12 months a participant must be added to the 40-man roster to keep away from being made eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Handbook changes are made the place they appear applicable, however we use that as a rule of thumb.
All the ranked prospects beneath additionally seem on The Board, a useful resource the location affords that includes sortable scouting data for each group. It has extra particulars (and up to date TrackMan information from varied sources) than this text and integrates each group’s listing so readers can examine prospects throughout farm programs. It may be discovered right here.
Different Prospects of Be aware
Grouped by kind and listed so as of desire inside every class.
Ramirez signed for $1.2 million in January. He’s a smooth and agile shortstop who must get stronger with the intention to have a purposeful swing and viable shortstop arm energy. He’s within the DSL and doesn’t flip 17 till the top of July, in order that’s not stunning. Espinosa is an athletic 21-year-old Cuban who’s a comparatively projectable 6-foot-2. He’s working within the 94-95 mph vary and has touched 97 this 12 months. His slider is nearer to common and his changeup is means beneath. Luciano is a thicker rookie-level bat who hit for energy within the 2022 DSL. He has reverse bodily projection, a great arm, and made a variety of in-zone contact final 12 months. Whitaker was a low-probability power-over-hit highschool prospect who’s off to a great begin repeating Low-A. Nunez is a teenage lefty-hitting shortstop from Mexico who’s a skills-over-tools kind for the time being. He additionally made a ton of DSL contact in 2022. Luciano, Espinosa, and Nunez are all on the Advanced League roster.
This whole group seems the half within the uniform. Brewer, now 25, not too long ago received into rehab video games after he had a second surgical procedure on his hand; he had hamate surgical procedure final 12 months. A late-bloomer backwards man from Michigan, it seemed like issues could be clicking for Brewer in 2021, however he hasn’t performed a lot of the final two years attributable to damage. Gonzalez had knee surgical procedure and is on the 60-day IL. He’s a good shortstop with a great baseball body, above-average bat pace, and 0 really feel for contact. Hamilton was one other older faculty draft decide in the identical 12 months as Loperfido. He’s a slash-and-dash all-fields kind who doesn’t have the texture for heart discipline. Cruz may be very projectable and has fairly good really feel for the barrel, however he isn’t a great defensive infielder. He’s taking part in everywhere in the infield at Fayetteville and is value retaining tabs on. Value is a slow-twitch 6-foot-6 catching prospect from Mercer. His receiving has been tough in our seems, however thus far he’s hitting okay. Cole, additionally at Fayetteville, was Houston’s 2022 tenth rounder out of Ball State. He’s an influence/pace prospect with a 20-grade bat. Borden is a power-over-hit infielder presently hacking away at Asheville.
All of those guys have fastballs that play on the high of the strike zone. Blubaugh, a 2022 seventh rounder from UW Milwaukee, sits 92 mph and fills the zone with a driving fastball. Mushinski is a superbly positive upper-level depth lefty who mixes 4 40/45-grade pitches very evenly, and often throws strikes. Ullola’s velo has backed up a few ticks; he’s sitting nearer to 92 than his 2022 mid-90s warmth. He’s by no means actually thrown strikes and desires all that velo. Mancini (a 2022 fifteenth rounder from Boston Faculty) and Miley (2021 undrafted out of Bellarmine) every sit 92 with plus rise (Mancini’s is arguably plus-plus). Melendez is a 5-foot-8 human trebuchet with mid-90s warmth that isn’t lacking as many bats this 12 months. McDonald had a fastball/slider combo and his overhand arm slot creates huge depth on the slider. He’s really among the many org’s swinging strike leaders, however scouts don’t suppose it’ll maintain up.
After years of churning out impression pitcher after impression pitcher (together with Hunter Brown), there may be instantly a dearth of them right here. There isn’t a scarcity of attention-grabbing dudes, however there are principally no near-ready impression arms except for Brown. As soon as different groups began competing for a similar underlying traits that the Astros coveted, it grew to become tougher to seek out undervalued guys. As a lot of the remainder of the business has pivoted to caring about launch peak and fastball angles, even when meaning concentrating on pitchers whose decrease slots impart tailing motion (however nonetheless uphill angle) on their heaters, the Astros have principally stayed true to their vertical slot pitching prospects, and they’re much extra frequent on this system than anybody who seems like Kyle Harrison or Cooper Hjerpe.
Cuba stays an enormous a part of what the Astros do internationally. Any time you hear about Cuban exercises happening throughout this a part of the signing calendar, you may depend on the Astros (and Cardinals, Marlins, White Sox and A’s), who are likely to have pool area left for gamers like this, kicking the tires. A number of of the previous couple of years’ Cuban signees on this system look actually attention-grabbing.
With out a lot pitching to talk of, the energy of this method is now its bodily, toolsy outfielders. For a group that the world believes is obsessive about analytics and solely analytics, Houston’s system positive does have a variety of underwear fashions. Large, quick athletes with energy and questionable hit instruments are up and down this method. A few of them arrived with these physiques, whereas others are clearly benefitting from an efficient energy program. Each Drew Gilbert and Jacob Melton had been spectacular faculty athletes who, in lower than a 12 months, look markedly stronger than they did earlier than they signed.
With Dana Brown now working the present, will any of Houston’s method to scouting change? Do not forget that Atlanta has DNA from Houston’s entrance workplace. Like Houston, the Braves have considerably altered how they do professional scouting, so it’s honest to count on comparatively few boots-on-the-ground Astros scouts whilst we’re additional and additional faraway from the Luhnow period. Brown was Atlanta’s beginner director, and clearly the Braves have been wonderful at beginner scouting, utilizing a extra balanced eyeball/information combo that targets arrow-up guys and two-way athletes.
General, this method is common; as Brown and Diaz graduate, it falls beneath. It’s a bit of imbalanced as a result of lack of pitching, but it surely’s near the center of the league when it comes to depth.