A quick Key: LYR=Last Year’s Rank, NR=Not Ranked, Draftee=Taken in 2010 Draft, age for 2011 season in parenthesis.
30. Ross Seaton, RHP, LYR: 10 (21); Horrendous in 2010 but still just 21 and was good enough in 2009 not to completely forget about. He could still potentially be an effective starter but is a complete wild card this year.
29. Vincent Velasquez, RHP, LYR: Draftee (19); A 2nd round pick this summer, Velasquez pitched just 29.1 innings due to injury. He posted a fantastic 25 strikeouts to just 5 walks. He has the stuff to be a star but I want to see how he performs in a full season after an injury. Velasquez could make this ranking look way too low in 2011.
28.Tyler Burnett. 1B, LYR: Draftee (22); The firstbaseman showed good plate discipline at Low-A ball this summer after being taken in the 17th round. If he can develop some more power to go with a good OBP this season at Single-A, he could project as a good major league bat and sleeper prospect.
27. Jonathan Meyer, 3B, LYR: NR (20); Came a long way in 2010 from his ridiculously bad debut in 2009. Still has a long way to go but the raw skills that made him a third-round pick in ’09 are certainly still there.
26. Jack Shuck. OF, LYR:NR (24); A decent Triple-A hitter with above average patience at the plate, Shuck could be in the majors as soon as September 2011, but only as a 4th outfielder. I see him as a lesser Bogusevic. However, he could still find his niche somewhere as a Matt Diaz type.
25. Michael Kvasnicka, 3B/OF, LYR: Draftee (22); The 2010 first rounder didn’t show much offense in his debut pro season but he was learning a new position. The depth at catcher in the organization led the Astros to try him at both third base and right field. It’s not for certain where he’ll stick but he should have the bat to get a lot of chances at third.
24. David Berner, LHP, LYR: NR (23); Berner completely broke out in 2010 with a 2.95 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 67 innings at High-A Lancaster to go with just 22 walks. He is a future late-innings reliever with a chance to move through the system pretty fast if he can keep the walks down and miss bats.
23. Jon Gaston, OF, LYR: 9 (24); At 24, this is a key year for Gaston in this organization. He struggled big time in his first year of Double-A ball in 2010. His best asset is his power and it was completely sapped by Double-A pitching. Gaston is going to have to come around to have a future in Houston.
22. T.J. Steele, OF, LYR: 7 (24); Owned in 2009 but couldn’t hit a lick in 2010. I want to see him play a full year of Double-A ball before I’ll feel high on him at all.
21. Jose Cisnero, RHP, LYR: NR (22); Cisnero put up a good ERA and K/9 in the hitter-friendly SALL, but his high BB walk will keep him from progressing as quickly as he could. He’s got a big, projectable frame and if he can limit the walks he could be a major league starter. But right now, that’s a pretty big if.