Astros: Drew Ferguson is a talented prospect lost in the crowd

Astros prospect Drew Ferguson is a talented ballplayer that has been overlooked in Houston’s crowded field of promising outfielders.

Drew Ferguson is doing his best to grab the attention of the Astros this spring and prove he has the skills necessary to play in the Major Leagues. But with the group of talented prospective outfielders in Houston’s organization, it’s easy to be unnoticed and forgotten.

With the recent rise of players like Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, and Myles Straw, it’s understandable how a prospect can get lost in the shuffle. Coincidentally, Ferguson was drafted the same year (2015) as Tucker and Straw. Then the next year, Alvarez was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers. As you can see, the competition among outfielders in Houston’s Minor League system was fierce.

Ferguson has held his own with a consistently high level of performance ever since that 2015 draft. In his five years of Minor League play, he has a slash line of .293/.394/.452 and averaged near double digits in both home runs and stolen bases. But somehow, he has managed to crack the Astros Top 30 Prospects list just once when he was ranked #26 in 2016.

The 27-year-old was so overlooked, he went unprotected following the 2018 season and was taken by the San Francisco Giants in the Rule 5 Draft. In what I think was fortunate for the Astros, the Giants ended up designating him for assignment and he was once again an Astro. According to MLB rules, if a Rule 5 player isn’t placed on that team’s 25-man roster for the entire season, he can be returned to the team from where he was acquired.

Fast forward to the Astros 2020 spring training. Ferguson was one of the 19 non-roster invitees asked to join the team down in West Palm Beach. He has been able to take full advantage of the opportunity early in the spring regimen. He’s appeared in three games going 3-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI.

As I pointed out earlier, the outfield is currently loaded with talent and there isn’t much room (if any) for any more players. So cracking the roster barrier is very unlikely for Ferguson this season, barring any setbacks or injuries.

Next: Astros: Chris Devenski facing make or break season in 2020

But if he has a successful spring and continues that into AAA ball, we could possibly see him late in 2020 with the September callups. Then, there’s the fact that Michael Brantley, George Springer, and Josh Reddick are all eligible for free agency in 2021. There might just be room for him next season.