MLB Pipeline revealed their top 30 rookies in terms of future value, and two Houston Astros made the list.
Jim Callis of the MLB Network revealed his top 30 rookies in terms of future value. 2020 was one of the most unorthodox seasons in MLB history, but it did it come with some upsides for the future of the Houston Astros. Cristian Javier and Jose Urquidy were the two Astros to make the list. MLB Pipeline only includes “players who exceeded the prospect/rookie limits of 130 at-bats, 50 innings or 45 days of active service time in the Majors,” while also factoring in age. Callis didn’t list reasons why he chose the two Astros, so here is a quick recap of their careers so far.
Javier was listed at No. 26. The right-hander entered the ’20 season as a little known prospect but blossomed into a reliable starter or reliever when needed. While finishing third in American League Rookie of the Year voting, Javier went 54.1 innings through 12 appearances, 10 of them being starts. Javier wasn’t striking out many batters, but he did average a strikeout per inning. He features four pitchers and loves to throw his slider, with half of his strikeouts coming with the pitch. He is a versatile piece, considering the Astros could use him in the starting role or out of the bullpen. The 23-year-old is showing great strides and will see all of 2021 at the Major League level.
Urquidy was listed at No. 28. As a former Mexican League pitcher, Urquidy was more MLB ready than other prospects. In 2019, the right-hander appeared in nine games and was struggling with giving into contact as his ERA climbed to 3.95. 2020 wasn’t the same for him as he battled COVID-19. He would only appear in five games, but here is why he made the list. Urquidy’s strikeout-to-walk rate dropped significantly, but he was getting more outs in the process. The 25-year-old has been seen as more reliable in big situations compared to Javier while he has made eight postseason appearances. While Urquidy is two years older than Javier, it makes sense why Callis has him where he is, but don’t be surprised if Urquidy is in front of Javier in the rotation come spring training.