Houston Astros prospect Andrew Aplin is yet another prospect down on the farm that was drafted in 2012, and is likely to be in Houston sooner rather than later. In three minor league seasons, Aplin has a cumulative batting average of .281, and an on-base percentage of .377. In the Arizona Fall League, Aplin is hitting at a .308 clip, with a .419(!) OBP. Couple his propensity for getting on base, with his stolen base totals in the minors (24, 24, 26) and Aplin could create havoc on the base paths when he gets called up.
Some of this can be attributed to the fact that Aplin doesn’t strike out much, totaling 172 K’s in three seasons (1,220 at-bats), compared to reaching base 191 times via the walk in that same time. That three year total for K’s is less than Chris Carter in each of the last two seasons (212, 182).
While Aplin has been primarily used in center field, the speedy outfielder has also tallied 61 games in right field, all of which came in 2014 between Double-A Corpus Christy and Triple-A Oklahoma City. With Dexter Fowler patrolling center in Houston, there is the possibility of Aplin starting next season in Triple-A to get some time playing left field under his belt, if he is to make it to Houston in 2015.
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Fowler is a free agent after next season, but George Springer could slide from right to center, when the time comes, leaving Aplin, and the Astros with options in the outfield moving forward.
In an article on MLB.com, Andrew Aplin was compared to for Oakland Athletic, Eric Byrnes, whom the Astros prospect watched growing up in California. When asked what comparisons he’s heard, Aplin said, “I’ve heard comparisons to Nick Swisher and stuff like that. I wouldn’t say they’re the biggest players, but they go out there and try to grind out every play.”
With the amount of talent the Astros have filling their farm system, bright days are ahead. They have drafted potential superstars, Carlos Correa and Mark Appel, but have also brought in players with good character and a gritty attitude, like Aplin and Joe Sclafani. Three of those players were taken in 2012, with Appel being drafted first overall a year later.
2015 may be a little too early to make a playoff run, but there will be plenty of excitement in Houston, as well as their affiliates next season.