Houston Astros Top Three Center Field Prospects (2016)
As is the case with left field, center field is another important position in the farm system due to the uncertainty following the 2016 season. Of the 2016 starters (Springer, Gomez, Rasmus), only Springer is under contract after this season. So even though the Astros have Carlos Gomez in CF this year, having quality prospects move through the system will benefit the Astros when the bigger contracts start to become an issue. Fortunately, center field is a deep position for the Astros.
Lets get to the list!
Houston Astros Top 3 Catching Prospects
Houston Astros Top 3 First Base Prospects
Houston Astros Top 3 Second Base Prospects
Houston Astros Top 3 Third Base Prospects
Houston Astros Top 3 Shortstop Prospects
Houston Astros Top 3 Left Field Prospects
1. Daz Cameron
Daz, the son of former big league outfielder Mike Cameron, was drafted by the Astros with the #37 in the 2015 draft. Cameron signed for $4 million, well over the slot limit for that pick. Daz does everything well, though not considered the athlete his father was. Cameron has a compact right-handed swing and the ability to play above-average defense in center field. In 2015 he stole 24 bases in 51 games. Cameron also has the size to add more power coming in at 6’2″ and 185 lbs. He’s one of the highest potential prospects in the Astros system.
2015 Stats: 51 G, .251 BA/.353 OBP/.309 SLG, 4 2B, 3 3B, 17 RBI, 24 SB, 25 BB/49 SO
2. Andrew Aplin
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Aplin has been a personal favorite since being drafted by the Astros in the 5th round of the 2012 draft. In his first year eligible for the rule 5 draft, the Astros made the decision to add him to the 40-man roster. Just as Cameron may have the highest potential, Aplin may have the highest floor of any outfield prospect. Aplin plays plus defense in center field with the ability to get on base at a high clip and steal bases. The knock on him would be lack of power, though he has showed some pop in the past.
Aplin is a guy who could contribute to the Astros this season. In his MiLB career he has never posted a strikeout rate over 14.8% and a walk rate lower than 12.2%. He has also walked more than he has struck out in his career (260 BB/226 SO).
2015 Stats: 105 G, .296 BA/.413 OBP/.379 SLG, 10 2B, 6 3B, 2 HR, 40 RBI, 32 SB, 69 BB/54 SO (AA/AAA)
Hernandez has been in the Astros system since 2011 and made in to AA in 2015. Unfortunately he had a bit of a down year but is still full of talent. Hernandez has legit power/speed combination. He has the speed to be able to cover alot of ground in the outfield as well. Even with a down season, Hernandez hit 17 HR and stole 33 bases in 2015. He is now 23 and will presumably repeat AA. On a positive note, he improved his batting average (.202 to .234), HR (6 to 11), and stolen bases (12 to 21) from the first half to the second half last season. With a good season in 2016 he could be back on track to help the Astros club. Also to note, he had an incredibly low BABIP of .261 in 2015. This should go up in 2016.
2015 Stats: 121 G, .219 BA/.275 OBP/.362 SLG, 92 R, 12 2B, 2 3B, 17 HR, 48 RBI, 33 SB, 33 BB/126 SO
James Ramsay – Ramsay played last season at 23 in Lancaster. He is known as an elite defensive center fielder but showed some positive signs with the bat in 2015. In 127 games he hit .322 with 32 2B, 10 HR, 16 SB. Lancaster is hitter-friendly, but he also cut down on the strikeout rate while maintaining a reasonable walk rate. He should be in Corpus to start 2016.
Johnny Sewald – In almost the same mold as Aplin, Sewald was also drafted out of Arizona State. Sewald is a left-handed hitting, speedy center fielder who doesn’t have much power. In 2015 he hit .289 with .413 OBP, 31 SB, 46 BB/54 SO in 70 games.
Bobby Boyd – Another speedy, left-handed hitting center fielder. Boyd doesn’t walk as much as Aplin or Sewald but has plus speed and good range for a center fielder. In 2015 for QC he hit .283 with 19 2B, 7 3B, 1 HR, 36 RBI, 40 SB in 117 games.
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