The Astros are down to three top-100 prospects
By Eric Huysman
The Astros may not have the top farm system in the game anymore, but they are benefiting from players who graduated.
The future is bright for the Houston Astros. When I say the future, I’m including 2018. We are enjoying the growing pains felt through the 100 loss seasons. Jeff Luhnow had the idea to accumulate prospects, with the understanding that they may lose some.
Despite the trades for Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, they still have a great farm system. They have lost some good prospects via trades over the past three seasons chasing a championship. In all honesty, I’m not that bothered by it. You have to give up something to get something.
After the prospects that the Drayton McLane led Astros gave up, this system is still strong. After years of having 4-6 MLB Pipeline top-100 prospects, this total went down in the recent update. Saturday night, the MLB Network announced the top-100 players via broadcast.
Get some and lose some.
After trades over the past 24 months and prospects reaching the big leagues, the Astros only have three in the top 100. The Cubs, Royals, and Mets have 0, which is where the Astros could have been had they been impatient. Instead, they waited for the right time to trade for Verlander and Cole.
The Astros forsee a future where Forrest Whitley and Kyle Tucker will lead the team to another championship. This is why they have chosen not to trade those players to improve the current team win. They have managed to give away other top talents while maintaining their future core.
Three of the remaining players in the top-100 list should have a big part in the future. While most people are not educated about J.B. Bukauskas, but he could be as good as Whitley at some point. He has limited pro experience in the lower levels after being drafted with the 15th overall pick in 2017. When JJ Cooper of Baseball America joined Talking Stros Sunday, he said that he could be a good reliever or a good starter.
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Cooper’s thoughts on the Astros prospects.
Speaking of Baseball America, they have four Astros on their lists with Yordan Alvarez ahead of Bukauskas. Cooper spoke highly of him despite him not breaking out in the lower levels last year. Between Quad Cities and Buies Creek, Alverez batted .304 with 12 homers and 69 homers. Not too bad considering it was his first full season in professional baseball. He could break out in 2018 and arrive in Houston late-2019.
While we may not have eight top-100 prospects in our system like the Braves do, we have to consider where we have come from over the last seven years. Most of our top prospects are currently winning the World Series last October. One prospect that Cooper was high on was Garrett Stubbs, who could be ready in 2018 if needed.
Next: How much room for improvement do the Astros have as Spring Training draws closer?
Listen to what Cooper had to say about the upcoming draft, Kyle Tucker, and which prospects to keep an eye on this year. He offered great insight on the players the Astros traded and who would be missed the most. Plus, what is next for A.J. Reed? Listen to Talking Stros every Sunday.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***