The Houston Astros have yet to officially announce where some of the big prospects will start the season. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle dropped this note in a separate article about Ravel Santana.
Indications are that prospects Mark Appel and Carlos Correa, the top picks in the draft the last two years, will both start the year at Class A Lancaster. Mike Foltynewicz is expected to start at Class AAA Oklahoma City.
Both Mark Appel and Carlos Correa are likely to start the year on the west coast. It’s a bit interesting considering both prospects are expected to dominate that level. Many, including myself, thought both would start at Double-A Corpus Christi, but it appears the Astros want both top prospects to see some time at Lancaster beforehand. If both play well early, expect to see them with the Corpus Christi Hooks as early as May. Once the season plays out, it wouldn’t shock me to see Appel and Correa with the Astros Major League squad in September.
Triple-A Oklahoma City fans will be privileged to see Michael Foltynewicz for the beginning of the season. Foltynewicz, 22, finished with a 1.74 ERA and 7 K’s in 10.1 innings pitched this spring. Though he may already be one of the top five Astros pitchers in the entire organization, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has decided to keep him in the Minor Leagues for the time being.
This could be a similar case to George Springer. The Astros – though they claim will be fighting to be .500 this season – are not likely to be too competitive this season, and calling up one of their top prospects early in the season could take away a year of control from the Astros. Keeping Foltynewicz in the minors for the early part of the season makes sense from a front office standpoint. I think we end up seeing Foltynewicz at Minute Maid Park sometime in the first half of the season.