Astros: MLB’s Top 30 prospects list for 2020 shows changes

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 23: Chas McCormick #80 of the Houston Astros in action against the Washington Nationals during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 23, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 23: Chas McCormick #80 of the Houston Astros in action against the Washington Nationals during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 23, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Notable Newcomers

Dominican shortstop Dauri Lorenzo joins the list at No. 21. Still just 17, he signed with the Astros last July and may not actually come to the United States until next year. There’s a lot still to be seen from him due to his young age, but he’s a switch-hitter who’ll make solid contact, meaning his bat could still play if he doesn’t stick at short. His ETA is a few years away, at least.

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Chas McCormick also joins the list at No. 25. The 24-year-old outfielder is in big league Spring Training after being just a 21st-round pick in 2017. He’s a solid defender and makes good contact, but he doesn’t offer much in the way of power, which severely limits his ceiling. He could still be a useful fourth outfielder for most teams.

Right-handed pitcher Brett Conine checks in at No. 26. An 11th-round draft pick in 2018, he advanced all the way to Double-A in his first full pro season last year. He worked to a 2.20 combined ERA in 114.1 innings with solid peripherals. He profiles as more of a back-end starter or long reliever, as he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he thrives on locating his pitches and inducing weak contact. He could be a real sleeper.

Finally, the only left-handed pitcher in the Astros’ Top 30 is Blake Taylor, who checks in at No. 27. Acquired in the Jake Marisnick trade, the 24-year-old reliever is in big league Spring Training to compete for a bullpen spot. To date, he’s thrown 4.1 scoreless innings. He offers a mid-90s fastball and strong slider but will need to hone his command to be the lefty relief ace the team hopes he can be.

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