Houston Astros prospect Jeremy Pena is playing with stars in the Dominican Republic and it could help his development.
On Sunday, Michael Schwab reported on the success of Houston Astros infield prospect Jeremy Peña. The utility infielder has been playing for the Estrellas Orientales of the Dominican Republic Winter League (LIDOM). As the prominent shortstop for the team, he has moved to second and third base as San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr and New York Mets’ Robinson Canó joined the team for a playoff push.
Peña won the LIDOM Rookie of the year for the 2020 season and proved reliable at the plate while slashing .306/.349/.430 with three home runs. The Dominican born prospect played college baseball for Maine and is used to offseason baseball as he participated in Cape Cod League. Peña doesn’t have all the pop in the world to make him a big home run hitter, but his ability to shoot the gaps is helpful in the middle to back end of a lineup with runners on base.
The Astros signed Peña in June of 2018, and over time, has developed a hot bat that has kept his OPS over .800 in Single-A.
The short stints of quickness and ability to play most of the infield has made me think Peña could be the next Marwin Gonzalez for the Astros. At only 23 years old, he has been developing quicker than other Astros infield prospects, but he still hasn’t seen higher than A+ ball. Peña will see some playing time at Spring Training and will hopefully be assigned to Corpus Christi in the near future.
With the future of Carlos Correa up in the air with the Astros, Peña could be thought as a replacement or place holder in the future depending on his success by then. Along with Correa, Jose Altuve is climbing in age, and as he is the locked starting second baseman, it is ideal to start looking for a future starter in Peña.