MLB Pipeline just released the latest Top 100 rankings of prospects around the league. How do the Astros stack up?
Per MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, “There are 27 teams with at least one prospect among the top 100, with the Angels, Royals, and D-backs not having a representative. There are two teams, the Marlins, and the Tigers, with one player each on the list.” How many do the Astros have?
The Yankees, White Sox, and Braves hold the strongest contingency of prospects on the list. Due to good drafting and recent trades of veteran players like Adam Eaton, Chris Sale, and Aroldis Chapman. The Yankees are looking to make another dangerous run after restocking their farm system, and basically flipping Chapman to the Cubs for a half season.
The Astros along with the Pirates, Brewers, Rockies, Cubs, and Dodgers all have five prospects on the list. One of Milwaukee’s prospects is pitcher Josh Hader. Hader is most noteworthy to Houston for being included in the infamous Carlos Gomez trade in 2015.
The AL West prospect tally results in the Astros with five, A’s with four, Texas and Seattle with two, and the Angels as mentioned earlier with zero.
Who are the Astros on the Top 100 list?
Houston’s members of the Top 100 prospects are RHP Francis Martes (No. 20), OF Kyle Tucker (No. 35), RHP David Paulino (No. 54), OF Derek Fisher (No. 83), and RHP Forrest Whitley (No. 84). Per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, “Martes was ranked 29th in the midseason rankings, and he joined Tucker (50th midseason) and Paulino (70th midseason) in making sizable jumps.”
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Paulino is the lone player of the group that has made his major league debut, totaling 7 IP in September of last year. Martes will be entering his first big league camp this spring. He will likely be a long shot to make the opening day 25-man roster.
The Stros 2016 first-round pick Whitley will likely spend 2017 in Quad Cities/Lancaster in just his first full Minor League season. Having three right-handed pitchers on this list does highlight great depth at the position should Houston look to make a mid-season trade.
Tucker, the 2015 No.5 overall pick, excelled through Single-A baseball last season. He will likely start at Double-A Corpus Christi this year. Fisher made the jump from Corpus Christi to Triple-A Fresno. In 27 games with the Grizzlies, he hit .290 with five home runs and17 RBIs.
In conclusion, the strength of the Astros farm system along with the MLB lineup and rotation constructed should give Astros’ fans the most optimism since the Killer-B days. Spring training workouts are just around the corner. Pitchers and catchers reporting on February 14, and the rest of players on February 18.
***Stats per MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com***