Yesterday, MLB.com released its annual list of top 100 prospects in baseball. The A’s and Padres led the way landing six prospects apiece on the list. Although three of the A’s six came over in the Gio Gonzalez trade, it still gives both teams quite a bit to look forward to. Meanwhile, the Astros were represented with three players in the top 100. They are Jonathan Singleton (44), Jarred Cosart (61), and George Springer (84). I think these are good and fair selections by MLB, as I can’t see any of our other prospects making this list right now. However, I do disagree with some of the placement.
Jonathan Singleton was the highest ranking Astro on the list, coming in at 44. He is the third ranked first baseman on the list behind Anthony Rizzo and Yonder Alonso. I put Singleton and Rizzo neck and neck but I really believe Singleton should have been ranked higher than Alonso. When I look at Singleton, I see the complete package for a first baseman. He hits for power, has great plate discipline which translates into hitting for average, and plays good defense. I’ve often compared him to a Carlos Delgado type and I still hold that to be true. Alonso will be a very fine player, but in the grand scheme of things, Singleton should outplay him. Singleton is a player that I firmly believe ex-Astros G.M. Ed Wade should have held out for in the Roy Oswalt deal. Wade instead settled for Anthony Gose, and immediately shipped him to Toronto for Brett Wallace. I would expect to see Singleton start the year at AA Corpus Christi with a possible promotion to AAA Oklahoma City in the works if his strong play continues.
Jarred Cosart was the next Astro on the list, coming in at 61. I have no issues with his placement. He simply did not strike out enough batters last year, nor did he “wow” the scouts enough to move up in the list. After being riddled by injuries during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Cosart bounced back to have a solid year splitting time between High A Clearwater (in the Phillies system) and AA Corpus Christi. If Cosart ends up putting all of his stuff together and delivers, Astros fans could be in for a real treat as he has “frontline starter” written all over him. Scouts seem to be split on him as some say he will eventually be a solid #1 starter while others say he will be a dominant closer. I for one, am hoping for the former. He should begin the season back at AA Corpus Christi. A call up to Houston in September isn’t out of the question for Cosart if he can stay healthy and put up solid numbers.
Finally we have our last Astro on the list in George Springer coming in at 84. Springer, a CF from UConn, was the Astros first round draft selection, #11 overall, of this past year’s June Draft. He did not get to play very much as he didn’t sign with the Astros until 10 minutes before the deadline. Scouts rave over Springer as he is almost unanimously called a “five tool player.” Astros fans hope that is the case as the last five tool player we had also roamed center field for us during the second half of the 2004 season. Remember Carlos Beltran? I would expect Springer to make huge strides this year and I would be shocked if he didn’t end the year in AA Corpus Christi. I would expect him to be ranked in the top 20 next year.
Some Astros who didn’t make the list that I will be keeping a close eye on this year are Domingo Santana, Delino DeShields Jr. (who was ranked as the 6th best second base prospect) and Mike Foltynewicz. Santana came over in the Hunter Pence trade and immediately tore up High A. DeShields and Foltynewicz were first round picks by the Astros in 2010 but have yet to play up to that billing. Here’s hoping we have a great minor league year and see some new faces on this list next year!