The Houston Astros have one of the deepest and most talented farm systems in baseball. At every level, they are loaded with young pitchers and hitters who are expected to eventually help them at the Major League level.
This morning, the Corpus Christi Hooks named outfielder Preston Tucker their Player of the Year. The 24-year-old from Florida was drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 MLB Draft by Houston and had a terrific season for the Hooks and Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks. He is ranked as the organization’s 20th best prospect, according to MLB.com. Take a look at his numbers this year:
"Tucker:AAA: .287/.356/.429 with seven home runs, 51 RBIs, 18 doubles, 79 hits, 31 walks, 74 strikeouts, and 38 runs scored in 73 games (275 at-bats)AA: .276/.348/.536 with 17 home runs, 43 RBIs, 17 doubles, 72 hits, 26 walks, 46 strikeouts, and 41 runs scored in 65 games (261 at-bats)"
Also, with the Minor League season coming to a close, MLB writer Jeff Passan put together the Yahoo Sports all-minor league team. He had at least one player from 27 different MLB teams and listed four of the Astros best prospects: Tony Kemp, Teoscar Hernandez, Domingo Santana, and Josh Hader.
Kemp, who is ranked as the Astros 18th best prospect, was listed as an honorable mention for Second Baseman of the Year. The 22-year-old from Vanderbilt was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB Draft by Houston and stands at just 5-foot-6. After starting off the season with the Lancaster JetHawks (A+), Kemp was promoted to Double-A and played 59 games with the Corpus Christi Hooks to end the year. Take a look at this numbers:
"Kemp:AA: .292/.381/.425 with four home runs, 21 RBIs, 11 doubles, four triples, 68 hits, 28 walks, 32 strikeouts, 42 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 59 games (233 at-bats)A (Adv.): .336/.433/.468 with four home runs, 37 RBIs, 19 doubles, four triples, 99 hits, 45 walks, 35 strikeouts, 79 runs scored, and 28 stolen bases in 72 games (295 at-bats)"
The Astros, who already have a lot of talent in the outfield, also had two players listed as honorable mentions for Outfielders of the Year. Teoscar Hernandez, a 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic, spent most of the season at Lancaster, but was eventually promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi for a few games. He is ranked as the 11th best prospect in the organization. Here are his numbers from this season:
"Hernandez:AA: .284/.299/.474 with four home runs, 10 RBIs, four doubles, one triple, 27 hits, two walks, 36 strikeouts, 12 runs scored, and two stolen bases in 23 games (95 at-bats)A (Adv.): .294/.376/.550 with 17 home runs, 75 RBIs, 33 doubles, eight triples, 115 hits, 49 walks, 117 strikeouts, 72 runs scored, and 31 stolen bases in 96 games (391 at-bats)"
Meanwhile, Domingo Santana, who the Astros acquired in the Hunter Pence trade, spent the season with the Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) after really struggling with the Astros earlier in the year. The 22-year-old had zero hits, one walk, one run, and 14 strikeouts in 17 at-bats before getting sent down. However, he is ranked as the organization’s third prospect overall. Here are his minor league numbers:
"Santana:AAA: .296/.384/.474 with 16 home runs, 81 RBIs, 27 doubles, two triples, 131 hits, 64 walks, 149 strikeouts, 63 runs scored, and six stolen bases in 120 games (443 at-bats)"
Finally, Josh Hader, who is ranked as the Astros 10th best prospect, was recognized as an honorable mention for Pitcher of the Year. Hader was terrific for Lancaster all season and earned California League Pitcher of the Year honors. Hader was part of the package the Astros got for Bud Norris and the 20-year-old lefty has been terrific for Houston. Here are his numbers:
"Hader:AA: 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA, 24 strikeouts, 16 walks, 16 hits, .216 batting average against, and a 1.60 WHIP in 20 innings (five games, four starts)A (Adv.): 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA, 112 strikeouts, 38 walks, 76 hits, .206 batting average against, and a 1.10 WHIP in 103.1 innings (22 games, 15 starts)"
Overall, it’s great to see Astros prospects being recognized for their terrific play this season. Jeff Luhnow has done a really nice job stockpiling talent for the future and rebuilding a team that previously had one of the worst farm systems in baseball. Next year, it would be great to see guys like Mark Appel and Carlos Correa recognized for their play as the Astros continue to bring in terrific talent to their minor league system.