Prospect Watch: Ronald Torreyes

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Ever since Jeff Lunhow took over control of the Houston Astros, he has made it a point to build up the farm system through trades and well executed drafts, which has resulted in one of the MLB’s deepest farm systems out there overflowing with high end talent. Names such as Carlos Correa and Mark Appel can be recognized by even the most casual fans, there are still many impact player that you have not heard of.

Case in point would be Ronald Torreyes, originally signed as an non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela on February 23, 2010 as a 16 year old, the Astros acquired him via a trade with the Cubs on July 2, 2013. In return for Torreyes’ services the Cubs received the Astros’ 2nd and 3rd international bonus slots, totaling $784,700.

The Astros obviously saw something in Torreyes that prompted them to take a flier on him, and so far it seems to be paying off. Torreyes spent all of last season with the Oklahoma City Redhawks slashing .298/.345/.376 in 460 at bats, but more importantly he only struck out 26 times and drew 25 walks. An outstanding 6% strike out rate this past season, which amazingly is right on par with his career strike out percentage (122 strike outs in 1883 career at bats). Even more impressive is the fact that Torreyes has more career walks (123) than strike outs.

Amazingly, Torreyes just recently turned 22, and he exhibits everything the Astros look for in their prospects, plate discipline. Ever since the Astros led the Major League in strike outs in 2013, the organization has stressed plate discipline across all minor league levels, even going as far as to make players stand in the batters box and call a pitch a ball or strike out of the pitchers hand.

Originally signed as a third baseman, Torreyes has primarily played second base in his time with the Astros, but second base belongs to Jose Altuve. With a career range factor per game of 4.60, Torreyes would serve as a defensive upgrade over Matt Dominguez at third base, on top of being an offensive upgrade, with the only knock on Torreyes lacking power.

Overall Torreyes would be an upgrade in every aspect for the Astros roster for next year, yet he does not get the recognition that other top prospects in the system. Here Would be a projected line-up for next year, including Yoenis Cespedes, a scenario I wrote about ealier.

Ronald Torreyes – 5

Jose Altuve – 4

Yoenis Cespedes – 7

Chris Carter – DH

George Springer – 9

Dexter Fowler – 8

Jason Castro – 2

Hank Conger – 3

Marwin Gonzalez – 6

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