The Houston Astros once had 23 non-roster invitees to the Major League Camp at Kissimmee…
But now only 19 remain after the first wave of cuts that took place yesterday. The Houston Astros elected to reassign top prospects Alex Bregman, J.D. Davis, Derek Fisher, and Jon Kemmer from the Major League camp to the Minor League camp yesterday. No big surprise here as each player wasn’t expected to make the major league roster coming out of Spring Training this year.
To be honest, barring a significant injury to the active roster, the Astros infield and outfield appears just about locked up for next season. Each of the top prospects recently assigned are most likely at least one year away from potentially making an impact in Houston.
Bregman, the Astros top draft pick in 2015, will likely begin the 2016 season at Corpus Christi. His reassignment is not that surprising since the team already has Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve entrenched in the middle infield. Maybe third base becomes an option for the former LSU Tiger, but not this year. But if Bregman continues to show progression as he advances through the Astros minor league system, he could find himself competing for a 25-man roster spot as soon as next year.
Another Astros minor league infielder, Davis, will likely join Bregman in Corpus Christi this season as well. Davis has almost exclusively played third base since the team drafted him in 2014, and that isn’t likely to change in 2016. With Collin Moran ahead in the depth chart right now, it may be awhile before the former CSU Fullerton slugger gets his shot at the major league roster as a third baseman. But he has the potential to hit for power and if he can remain at third base long-term, he could be an interesting name to keep an eye in the next year or two.
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Fisher, like Bregman and Davis before him, may also find himself in Corpus Christi to start the 2016 season. The talented outfielder has the tools to become an above-average major leaguer one day, but has yet to put it all together yet. It will be curious to see how he utilizes the experience gained in the Major League camp as he advances through the Astros system. At least we can witness his development in the Astros system instead of the Phillies system like some us feared back in December!
Kemmer, the Texas League 2015 batting champion, also finds himself heading to the Minor League camp. After posting an amazing slash line of .327/.414/.574 with the Hooks last season, he will now probably head to the Astros Triple-A affiliate in Fresno, CA. It will be interesting to see what kind of improvements he makes this year as he could potentially a call-up option in the outfield later on if injuries/ineffectiveness grabble the Astros athletically talented outfield. But with fellow outfielder Andrew Aplin already on the 40-man roster, odds are that Kemmer will have to wait till 2017 to see his first shot at the major leagues.
Now we wait for the second wave of cuts that are sure to come for the Astros.
**Statistics provided by Fangraphs**