How likely are the Top-30 Astros non-roster invitees to stick with the team
So much for not inviting a few of the top prospects like they did last year, the Astros invite 17 minor league players and two minor league free agents. The reasoning last year was that they wouldn’t have enough playing time or innings for every prospect to get ready for the season. This year the Astros have gone against the mold with 17 non-roster invitees according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. This post will look at each player in the top 30 by MLB Pipeline and what they offer, and how likely they are to stick with the team come opening day.
A reason for this increase of the increase of the number of Astros non-roster invitees could be to reward a large amount of prospects for the successful 2015 season. Most of the names on this list were the leaders on the seven minor league teams that went to the playoffs last year. Another reason for a large amount of hitters is the question marks, at first, catcher, and possibly third base. These positions with are some of the most competitive positions during spring battles.
The main thing to look at here is to give the young guys a look at how the major leaguers go about getting themselves ready to play for when they eventually reach the big leagues.
Bregman was the second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, he was expected to be able to be fast-tracked to the big leagues, but he is currently without a position with Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve blocking him at second or short. His future is bright, but I don’t see him starting the season in the big leagues. He will probably start the year in Double-A Corpus Christi. He is currently a shortstop, so the Astros might need to do some change in his defensive positioning before he is big league ready.
2015 Stats: .294/ 4 hr/ 34 RBI/ 13 sb
Chances of sticking: 5%
Reed was already announced earlier at the Winter Meetings as he was there accepting an offensive player of the year award. Reed is the future at first base for the Astros, but they will do the same thing they did with George Springer and Correa, they will wait till late April or June. However, if no other first base candidate steps up this spring, Reed could force the Astros hands. Most likely, this will be Kris Bryant 2.0 this year. He will most likely start at Triple-A Fresno and will make debut later in the season.
2015 Stats: .340/ 34 HR/ 127 RBI/ 0 sb
Chances of sticking: 50%
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Fisher was almost traded this offseason in the Ken Giles trade, but he remains as one of the closest to being ready impact outfield bat should the Astros not retain Carlos Gomez or Colby Rasmus following the 2016 season. Fisher is a different player than Reed because he is a more all-around player as he includes above average speed with not quite enough power. Fisher is most likely going to be reporting to Corpus Christy for the 2016 season, which will replace the talented outfielders leaving there.
2015 Stats: .275/ 22 hr/ 87 RBI/ 31 sb
Chances of sticking: 0%
After being acquired from the Marlins in the Jarred Cosart trade, some people have felt that he is the Astros third baseman of the future. He was highly scouted when the Astros drafted Mark Appel, so he was a player that they Astros coveted. While he is not a power guy, he can be a gap hitter who could develop more power down the road. He most likely will be the third baseman in Triple-A Fresno this season, but he could be an option down the road.
2015 Stats: .306/ 9 hr/ 67 RBI/ 1 sb.
Chances of sticking: 30%
Kemp could be the wild card player on the 2016 Astros as he could be a valuable asset to this team with his speed off the bench and all out defense in the outfield or the infield. However, it is difficult to find a spot for him on this roster.
2015 Stats: .308 / 3 hr/ 48 RBI/ 65 sb
Chances of sticking: 15%
Earlier in the post I said that some people see Moran as the third baseman of the future, the rest of them see the powerful Davis as the guy who will man the hot corner for the Astros. He was drafted in the same class as Reed was and shows similar skills to Reed. Davis can hit for power and will move up quickly, but the question will be how well Moran is doing when given the chance. Davis will likely start off the season in Double-A and make the jump to Triple-A depending on need.
2015 Stats: .289/ 26 hr/ 101 RBI/ 5 sb
Chances of sticking: 0.1111%
Devenski is a pitcher that some of us thought would be lost in the Rule V draft, but with his changeup being is the best pitch, other teams probably felt that he was not MLB ready yet. That is good for the Astros as he will be part of the rotation depth at Triple-A to start the season. However, the fifth starter is up for grabs, and Devenski could win the job.
2015 stats: 7-4/ 3.01 ERA/ 104 strikeouts in 119 1/3 innings.
Chances of sticking: 50%
Rodgers is in the same spot as Devenski, with a little more experience at Triple-A in 2015. Rodgers does not have overpowering stuff, but instead he knows how to pitch to get outs. He can be a little inconsistent, but would give the Astros some depth in the rotation. He came to spring camp last year as well, but most likely with a start at Triple-A Fresno as rotation depth.
2015 Stats: 9-7/ 4.51 ERA/ 89 strikeouts in 115 2/3 innings.
Chance of sticking: 5%
White has been a very good late round pick as he has hit everywhere he has gone. For more on White, read why I think that White is my dark horse candidate to make the opening-day roster. He is the most big league ready guy outside of Reed and Matt Duffy to be ready to play in Houston. He was a College Senior that signed for $1,000, but he has proved his value at every level. He may not be the best defensive guy out there; he will make up for it with his bat. He might find himself at third or first base at some point this year, but he might end up being the Astros long-term DH.
2015 Stats: .325/ 14 homers/ 99 RBI/ 1 sb
Chances of sticking: 80%
McCurry was acquired in the Jed Lowrie re-trade back to the Athletics. He is on a fast track to making the big league roster; I think they will give James Hoyt a look first. He could be a big piece of the bullpen for the Astros in the future.
2015 Stats: 1-3/ 1.86 ERA/ 82 strikeouts in 63 innings.
Chances of sticking: 20%
Thanks to Evan Drellich for the Tweet above to help us know who the NRI’s are.
**stats from Baseball-Reference**
**Top-30 prospects lists from MLB Pipeline**