Astros in Fantasy: Potential Astros In-Season Pickups

Aug 18, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Astros first baseman A.J. Reed (23) hits a rbi single during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Astros first baseman A.J. Reed (23) hits a rbi single during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Which Astros players could provide a fantasy impact off the waiver wire later this season?

We’ve previously covered the Astros’ draft-worthy pitchers and position players. Now we’ll consider some other Astros who likely won’t be drafted but may be worthy of a waiver wire pickup at some point during the season. These are players to keep an eye on so you can scoop them up before anyone else does.

Bear in mind scoring projections and player rankings are based on ESPN fantasy baseball’s 2017 player rankings and may vary based on your league. Draft projections are based on standard 10 to 12-team leagues.

If you’re in a keeper league, you may want to give even more consideration to these players. There are many players who could surprise, but here are the sleepers.

Joseph Musgrove

Mar 15, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 15, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Musgrove may or may not start the season in the Astros rotation. If he does, you’ll want to monitor him right away. Musgrove has the potential to be a strong mid-rotation starter this season, giving him some real fantasy potential. If he can improve on last year’s 4.06 ERA, he won’t be on the waiver wire for long.

If he starts the year at Triple-A Fresno, he likely won’t stay there. The rotation already has injury concerns, and a rough April from Mike Fiers or Charlie Morton could prompt the team to make a switch. With his ceiling, you’ll want to keep an eye on him throughout the season.

A.J. Reed

Aug 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Houston Astros first baseman A.J. Reed (23) at the batting cage before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Houston Astros first baseman A.J. Reed (23) at the batting cage before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Reed struggled mightily in the majors in 2016 despite hitting well at Triple-A and completely destroying minor league pitching in 2015. Despite a torrid spring training, he’s likely to start the season at Fresno. But a combination of good production from Reed and a change in circumstances for the big league club could get him back to Houston.

If Yulieski Gurriel or Carlos Beltran suffers an injury, Reed would have an immediate pathway to at-bats. If Carlos Correa or Jose Altuve goes down, Alex Bregman could shift over, allowing Gurriel to move to third base, opening up first base for Reed. When he gets the call, he could force the Astros to keep him in the majors.

Francis Martes

Mar 17, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Francis Martes (79) throws against the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning at JetBlue Park. The Astros won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Francis Martes (79) throws against the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning at JetBlue Park. The Astros won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The Astros’ top pitching prospect should reach the big leagues at some point this season. He may bump an underwhelming starter from his spot or fill in upon injury. When he does, he could soon establish himself as a force in the rotation.

Martes is still just 21 years old and has yet to pitch at Triple-A. It’s unlikely we’ll see him before the summer, but if he pitches well in Fresno, he’ll earn a ticket to Houston. He has the stuff to be effective right away, so be ready to snag him when he gets the call.

Next: Astros in Fantasy: Ranking draft-worthy pitchers

***Statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com***

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