Houston Astros Top Three Third Base Prospects (2016)
The next position in our series of top prospects at each position is third base. This is a position with a ton of talent in the Astros system. The third base position has a good mix of high potential, high floor, high picks and low picks. With Valbuena only under team control for one more season, there is a chance we may see one of these guys take over next season.
For this series I am going to leave Matt Duffy out of the rankings. Though he is still a prospect, he had some big league at-bats last season and should be on the Astros roster in 2016. Duffy has a good chance to be a platoon backup for 1B/3B and get some decent playing time this year.
Lets get to the list!
Previous top three prospect lists:
1. Colin Moran (AA)
Moran was originally drafted by the Marlins with the 6th overall pick in the 2013 draft before being dealt to the Astros in part of the Jarred Cosart deal. Coming out of college, Moran was known as a guy with an elite hit tool and an advanced bat. Moran had the best season of his minor league career in 2015, playing the whole season in AA at 22-years old and hitting .306 with 25 2B in 96 games.
For his minor league career, Moran has .300 BA and .360 OBP. This season he posted the best walk rate of his career, best ISO, and best wRC+ all while maintaining a reasonable strikeout rate (18.9%). It is also worth noting his post All-Star numbers for 2015 were: 59 G, .333 BA/.416 OBP/.526 SLG, 13 2B, 9 HR, 41 RBI. If he starts hot in AAA, there is a chance he could be in Houston at some point in 2016.
2015 Stats: 96 G, .306 BA/.381 OBP/.459 SLG, 25 2B, 9 HR, 67 RBI, 43 BB/79 SO
2. JD Davis (A+)
Davis was one of the college power hitters drafted by the Astros in 2014 and he put this on display in 2014 with 13 HR in 73 games. Playing in Lancaster, Davis continued to show a great power tool. He finished the season with 26 HR, 101 RBI in 120 games. The reports on his defense are improving and they also note that he has a cannon of an arm from the hot corner. Davis will have to cut down on the strikeouts a bit and will face a good challenge in Corpus in 2016.
2015 Stats: 120 G, .289 BA/.370 OBP/.520 SLG, 28 2B, 26 HR, 101 RBI, 54 BB/157 SO
3. Nick Tanielu (A)
The reason the Astros farm system is so deep is being able to find quality players later in the draft. This is the case with Tanielu who was drafted in the 14th round in the 2014 draft. Tanielu had a good showing in rookie ball hitting .300 with 16 2B in 62 games. In 2015, Tanielu spent the whole season with Quad Cities and put together a very good season. Tanielu hit .308 with 27 2B, 6 HR, 70 RBI in 110 games. At this point, it looks like Tanielu will start in Lancaster where he could really break out.
2015 Stats: 110 G, .308 BA/.354 OBP/.434 SLG, 27 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 70 RBI, 30 BB/65 SO
Bobby Wernes – Speaking of guys drafted late in the draft, Wernes was drafted in the 30th round in 2015. Wernes is known as a stellar defender and had a decent junior season at Arkansas (.279, 5 HR, 28 BB/35 SO) but still fell in the draft. The benefit for him and the Astros is he played rookie ball at his age 20 season. He ended up hitting .346 with 27 BB/27 SO, but without much power (0 HR, 8 2B).
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