By Colin Gay.
Next: Alex Bregman
Future: J.D. Davis (#13, MLB Pipeline)
With former No. 2 overall pick Alex Bregman manning the hot corner at the major league level, the Houston Astros are in no real hurry to develop depth at the third base spot. The Top 30 prospects list shows just that. Colin Moran and J.D. Davis are the only two players on the list that primarily play the third base position. However, both players could not be more different,
Acquired from the Miami Marlins in the Jared Cosart deal, the left-handed hitting Moran is mostly a contact first type of hitter. A career .285 batting average in the minor leagues, Moran only has a .416 slugging percentage. However, this season wit Triple-A Fresno, he has developed a bit more power, hitting 18 extra-base hits, including nine home runs, to go along with his .270 batting average.
In his short stint at the major league level in 2016, the biggest struggle for Moran was his approach at the plate. Coming into his major league debut with a strikeout percentage over 20 percent, Moran struck out eight times in 25 plate appearances. It does seem like that is something he has been working on though. His strikeout percentage is down to 16.7 percent, his lowest since his stint with the Single-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins back in 2014.
As for Moran’s third base counterpart at Double-A Corpus Christi, J.D. Davis has a lot of power in his bat. With two straight seasons with at least 20 home runs, he has 14 home runs in 51 games so far in 2017. His batting average is not too bad either, hitting .279 with an OPS at .879. Like Moran, Davis has been struggling with the strikeouts, with at least 140 in each of his last two seasons and 54 so far this season.
With Bregman locked into that third base spot, Astros fans could see both Moran and Davis in different positions. Along with third base, Moran has played first base, left field and shortstop for the Grizzlies this season. As for Davis, he is 6’3” and 225 pounds as a third baseman. Even though he has only played three games in his minor league career at this position, he is built like a first baseman and could get some time there later on.
Both Moran and Davis are very talented prospects in the Astros system. With the logjam at third base, both could be valuable trade bait later on. Regarding a need for depth at third base, it should be low on the Astros priority list.