The Astros are in a position they have not been in a while: they might not have a true rookie on the opening day roster. The great news is that the Astros have major league depth on their roster, while bad news for the Astros prospects waiting it out in triple-A Fresno. Could a rookie make the roster? Which prospect would make the biggest impact with the Astros during the 2015 season?
Max Stassi: He will not make the opening day roster, but if an injury occurs to Jason Castro or Hank Conger, he will be called up. If Conger gets hurt, the chances of Stassi making a big impact decreases because he will not beat out Castro as the every day catcher. However if Castro is struggling, A.J. Hinch could change things up and start Stassi more. If Castro get hurt or traded, Max Stassi becomes the every day option behind the plate. The writers at CTH predicted who would make the opening day roster here.
Preston Tucker: He is already playing at the AAA level, so it’s not too hard to see him making his debut with the Astros this season. He offers power and average, but could join the ranks of “Generation K”. Tucker has always had doubters, but all he does it hit and prove them wrong. One thing that needs to be pointed out is that he typically starts off well, then struggles after he is promoted. For more on Tucker, check out an interview I did with him here.
Domingo Santana: Despite the strikeouts during his disappointing debut in 2014, he still has star player potential. It was rumored that the Astros got Santana by accident from the Phillies, because he was accidentally put on the list of PTBNL for the Hunter Pence trade. Jeff Luhnow still gives praise to Santana, saying he has a bright future. Jason wrote about Santana here.
Joe Sclafani: He is a Ben Zobrist style player, who could help the Astros on multiple fronts. He plays almost every infield position, except for first base. For more on Sclafani, check out the interview I did with him here.
Carlos Correa: It is very doubtful that Correa will see significant playing time with the Astros this season. However, if Jed Lowrie struggles or is injured, either Correa or Sclafani will debut and play shortstop. This would also depend on how well former top-20 prospect, now major league veteran Jonathan Villar, plays this season. Thomas writes about Correa here.
Asher Wojciechowski: Hopefully he can put his injury history behind him, and pitch a complete season. Despite the injuries, his status among the top Astros prospects has improved with great pitching when healthy. He might get the chance before Appel, because the Astros might try to delay Appel’s arbitration countdown. Jason wrote about Wojo here.
James Hoyt: In the movie draft day, the Browns GM asked for a throw-in player that really sweetened the deal for his team. This was the case with Hoyt, because during the Bloggers Roundtable Jeff Luhnow was gleaming when he talked about Hoyt. I am working on a post on Hoyt for Sunday, but Jason wrote about him here.
It’s too early to decide which would make the most impact during the 2015 season, but Wojciechowski and Hoyt have the potential for the most playing time.
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