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Astros Countdown: Top Five Closest Astros Prospects

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Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Teoscar Hernandez (35) hits a two run home run during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Teoscar Hernandez (35) hits a two run home run during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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With trade rumors already swirling around the Houston Astros, any deal would have to include some minor league talent.

Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Teoscar Hernandez (35) hits a two run home run during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Teoscar Hernandez (35) hits a two run home run during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The Astros do seem to have some talented players that seem to be close to becoming consistent producers at the major league level. Here are the top five closest prospects in the Astros system.

Teoscar Hernandez

The Fresno Grizzlies, the Astros Triple-A affiliate, have a lot of players who have played on a major league roster before. However, even though he may have had playing time at the major league level, Teoscar Hernandez has the potential of getting back soon. He could make a difference on a major league roster as soon as this season.

For Hernandez, it is not about his lack of talent. Last season split between Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi, he hit .307 with a .836 OPS, slugging 41 extra-base hits, including 28 doubles, driving in 53 RBIs and stealing 34 bases on 49 attempts.

His minor league success gave Hernandez a major league call-up last season. In 41 games, he hit .230 with a .724 OPS, hitting four home runs, driving in 11 RBIs and scoring himself 15 times.

A look at 2017

Hernandez picked up where he left off at Fresno this season. Through 22 games, he is hitting .280, developing a bit more power with four home runs and three triples and driving in 15 RBIs.

With a .891 OPS at Triple-A, it seems like Hernandez has the numbers to make the major league roster. However, there really is not any room for him. The Astros have five veteran major league outfielders with years of experience. The signings of OF Nori Aoki and Carlos Beltran particularly hurt his chances to make the roster.

However, the combination of talent and major league experience makes it look like Hernandez is the first one on the plane to Houston if there is an injury or a player struggling at the major league level.

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