Astros Top Prospects (Part 4): The Top Five

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Astros Third Ranked Prospect

Jul 1, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder

Domingo Santana

(13) warms up before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Domingo Santana – (Stock increased, #7 in 2014)

Earlier in the offseason, I wrote a piece call Where Have you Gone Domingo? He was a once a top prospect who took a confidence hit in his major league stint last season. In his brief stint with the Astros in 2014, Santana struck out 14 times in 17 at-bats. You don’t have to be a math wiz to know that’s a high strikeout rate. He is trying to regain his confidence this year in Triple-A Fresno, but Preston Tucker may have leapfrogged him on the depth chart with his hot start.

Part of his game is the strikeouts, but he also offers right-handed raw power that the Astros were looking for when they traded for Evan Gattis.

Here is a scouting report from MILB Astros Top Prospects;

"Santana reached the Majors last year, but that’s about all the positive things you can say about his experience there — in six games, he went 0-for-17 with 14 strikeouts and one walk. Still, Santana is just 22, and with 41 homers over the last two seasons in the Minors, the potential for him as a power-hitting corner outfielder is there. “The thing people overlook, everywhere he’s played, he’s been the youngest guy in the league,” Linares said. “Domingo has tremendous upside but a lot of swing and misses — he’s working on that. We know he didn’t have success in the big leagues last year, but it was an audition.”"

This year in Fresno, Santana has hit .271/ 3 home runs/ 5 RBI’s while striking out 22 times in 48 at-bats. The strikeout number stands out as something that will get worse when he gets back to the major leagues. Baseball America dropped Santana out of the top-ten Astros top prospects. Will Santana be back up with the Astros at some point this year? Too early to tell, but the Astros still have faith in Santana.

2014 Stats: .296/ 16 Hr/ 81 RBI/ 149 strikeouts in 443 at-bats.

Affiliate Starting in 2015: Triple-A Fresno

MLB Pipeline ETA: 2015

Top 100: #50 according to MLB Pipeline

Ceiling: Evan Gattis

Floor: Marlon Byrd

Position blocker: Colby Rasmus

Next: Astros Second Ranked Prospect