Astros Top Prospects (Part 4): The Top Five

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Astros Fourth Ranked Prospect

#4 Vincent Valasquez RHP – (Stock increased, #7 in 2014)

One time I was tweeting Brett Phillips days before spring training, and he told me he was hanging out with his homebody Vince. Then the following day Phillips, Lance McCullers, and Velasquez all went to do yoga. It was Velasquez’s first-time doing yoga, but he gave it a shot. Astros fans want Velasquez to get a shot to play for their home team. The problem is that while Velasquez shows ace potential, he also shows the potential of a pitcher who can’t stay healthy.

Like Feliz, Velasquez throws in the mid 90’s but mostly sits in the low 90’s with his pitches. Some people feel that he’s the best pitcher in the Astros organization, but also less durable, with late sink on his pitches. He second best pitch is the changeup, which is considered by some scouts as the top of the line. His third best pitch is a curveball, which is a good contrast to his fastball. In 2015, Velasquez struck out 12.8 hitters per nine innings

He has yet to play in 2015, as he is trying to get healthy from a lat injury. He was invited to major league camp but never pitched in spring training. Brian McTaggart reported on April 1st that Velasquez be pitching in games in Double-A by the end of April.

Here is a scouting report from MILB Houston Astros Prospects

"Velasquez enters 2015 as the Astros’ No. 2-ranked pitcher thanks to a mid-90s fastball and arguably the best changeup in the system. The 22-year-old righthander missed two months last season with a groin injury following Tommy John surgery in 2010, and he’s again been limited this spring thanks to a lat strain he suffered last year in the AFL."

2014 Stats: 7-5/ 3.52 ERA/ 91 strikeouts in 64 innings

Affiliate Starting in 2015: Double-A Corpus in the rotation, when ready.

MLB Pipeline ETA: 2016

Top 100: #84 according to MLB Pipeline

Ceiling: Johnny Cueto

Floor: Alex White

Position blocker: Mark Appel

Next: Astros Third Ranked Prospect