Houston Astros Top 10 Prospects (2016)
Now the time has come to put the Astros top prospect list together. The Astros system, despite trades and promotions, is still very deep. This top 10 could probably be put up against any other top 10 in the MLB.
Note: I previously went through the top three prospects at each position. You can find those links at the end of the article.
Lets get to the list!
1. Alex Bregman, SS
Bregman was selected by the Astros with the #2 overall pick in the 2015 draft. He came into the system with high expectations and he showed why he was selected so high joining the JetHawks in his first pro season, which is pretty much unheard of. Coming out of college Bregman was thought to be one of the best pure hitters in the draft. He also possesses good speed and baserunning ability while playing solid defense at the shortstop position.
Bregman had a short stint with QC (29 games) where he hit .259, including a stellar 17 BB/13 SO ratio. He was later promoted to Lancaster where he hit .319 with 8 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR in 37 games. Bregman could start the season in Corpus which means he is on the cusp of being a potential call-up.
2015 Stats: 66 G, .294 BA/.366 OBP/.415 SLG, 13 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 13 SB, 29 BB/30 SO
2. AJ Reed, 1B
AJ Reed was drafted by the Astros in the second round of the 2014 draft. He left Kentucky after being awarded the Golden Spikes Award, which is bestowed annually to the best amateur baseball player in the United States. Reed got off to a solid start in 2014, hitting .289 with 12 HR in 68 games. 2015 was the season he really broke out, where between A+/AA he hit .340 with 34 HR, 127 RBI in 135 games.
Reed has shown power to all fields, the ability to draw walks and hit for average. There is an outside chance that he is on the roster on opening day. If he starts hot in AAA though, he could be in Houston during the first few months of the season.
2015 Stats: 135 G, .340 BA/.432 OBP/.612 SLG, 113 R, 30 2B, 5 3B, 34 HR, 127 RBI, 86 BB/122 SO
3. Francis Martes, RHP
Martes was acquired from the Marlins in the Jarred Cosart trade in 2014. At the time, the Astros were getting a young, raw right arm who had a lot of upside but only threw 33 innings stateside. Martes came into 2015 and dominated, moving his way quickly through the system. As a 19-year old he started in full-season QC (class A) and ended the season in AA, 5.4 years younger than the average player.
Martes has a mid-to-high 90s fastball with a great power curve. His command and control took huge steps forward in 2015. He will most likely start the season in AA but it’s possible he pitches with the Astros at some point in 2016.
2015 Stats: 8-3, 2.04 ERA, 101.2 IP, 83 H, 23 ER, 28 BB, 98 SO, 2.5 BB/9, 8.7 SO/9 (A, A+, AA)
4. Kyle Tucker, OF
Tucker, brother of current Astros Preston Tucker, was drafted by the Astros with the 5th pick in the 2015 draft out of high school. Kyle’s build is different than Preston’s as Kyle is tall and projectable at this point. Kyle has a smooth swing with great bat speed and the potential to add a ton of power from the left side. He runs well and could play center, but will most likely end up in RF.
In 2015, Tucker played primarily RF with Cameron in CF. He played in two different leagues in 2015 showing the ability to steal bases and put the bat on the ball. He has the potential to be a .300/30 HR outfielder. Tucker should start off at Quad Cities in 2016.
2015 Stats: 63 G, .246 BA/.294 OBP/.353 SLG, 12 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 18 SB, 16 BB/29 SO
5. Joe Musgrove, RHP
Another guy acquired via trade, Musgrove came to Houston from Toronto in the big 10-player deal in 2012. He bounced around rookie ball for a bit and put together a nice showing in Tri-City last season. In 2015 he started the season with Quad Cities. He made quick work of QC posting a 0.70 ERA with 1 BB/23 K in 25.2 innings. He was promoted to Lancaster where he continued to dominate posting a 2.40 ERA with 1 BB/43 K in 30 innings. His stellar play earned him a promotion to AA where he finished the season with a 2.20 ERA.
Musgrove has great command of his pitches and his fastball sits 90-94 MPH. He is another guy who could help Houston in 2016.
2015 Stats: 12-1, 1.88 ERA, 100.2 IP, 85 H, 21 ER, 8 BB, 99 SO, 0.7 BB/9, 8.7 SO/9 (A, A+, AA)
6. Daz Cameron, OF
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 and will most likely start with full season Quad Cities.
2015 Stats: 51 G, .251 BA/.353 OBP/.309 SLG, 4 2B, 3 3B, 17 RBI, 24 SB, 25 BB/49 SO
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7. Colin Moran, 3B
Moran is a guy I am high on personally and really wanted to put him higher. This just shows the depth in the Astros system. 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 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
8. Derek Fisher, OF
Fisher was drafted by the Astros with the 37th pick in the 2014 draft. Even after missing some time due to injury, Fisher came out of college with about as much upside as one could have. Fisher is a left handed hitter who throws right handed. He has played all outfield positions but the majority came in LF this past season. Fisher has a good mix of power and speed showing that off with 22 HR and 31 SB in 2015.
Unfortunately, Fisher has a bit of swing-and-miss in him with 132 strikeouts in 123 games. Fisher will be 22 years old this season and most likely starting in AA. Another good year and he could move himself into top 100 conversation.
2015 Stats: 123 G, .275 BA/.364 OBP/.483 SLG, 21 2B, 8 3B, 22 HR, 87 RBI, 31 SB, 66 BB/132 SO
9. Michael Feliz, RHP
Feliz was originally set to sign with the Athletics for $800,000 but the contract was voided after a positive drug test. This allowed the Astros to sign him for only $400,000. Feliz is a guy that seems to have some prospect fatigue, meaning he has been with the Astros since 2010 and had his first breakout season in 2013. In that 2013 season Feliz pitched with Tri-City posting a 1.96 ERA 13 BB/78 SO in 69 innings.
He pitched all of 2014 in Quad Cities as a 21 year old posting a 4.03 ERA but a good strikeout rate of 9.7 SO/9. He started the 2015 season in Lancaster pitching in only 33.2 innings before moving to Corpus. In CC Feliz has a 2.17 ERA with 20 BB/70 SO in 78.2 IP. He earned a promotion to the Astros where he pitched in just 8 innings. I want to rank him higher but the Astros system is still so deep.
2015 Stats: 7-4, 2.83 ERA, 111.1 IP, 82 H, 35 ER, 32 BB, 103 SO, 2.6 BB/9, 8.3 SO/9 (A+, AA)
10. David Paulino, RHP
I feel like I am repeating myself but Paulino is another guy acquired in a trade. The Astros received Paulino as a PTBNL in the Jose Veras deal from 2013. Paulino is a large right handed pitcher, listed at 6’7″. He missed all of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery but was known as a guy with a big time fastball.
He started with Tri-City in 2015 making only two starts before being promoted to QC. In QC he made five starts with a 1.57 ERA, 28.2 IP, 32 K. He finished in Lancaster with a higher ERA but maintained a great strikeout rate. Paulino could start in Corpus this season with his mid-to-high 90s fastball with an improving breaking ball. With another good year he could really move up the top 100 rankings.
2015 Stats: 5-3, 2.81 ERA, 67.1 IP, 49 H, 21 ER, 19 BB, 72 SO, 2.5 BB/9, 9.6 SO/9 (A-, A, A+)
Please leave your comments on how you would arrange the Astros’ top 10 prospects.
Here are the top 3 prospect rankings at each position:
Astros Top 3 Catching Prospects
Astros Top 3 1B Prospects
Astros Top 3 2B Prospects
Astros Top 3 3B Prospects
Astros Top 3 SS Prospects
Astros Top 3 LF Prospects
Astros Top 3 CF Prospects
Astros Top 3 RF Prospects
Astros Top 3 RHP Prospects
Astros Top 3 LHP Prospects
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