Houston Astros: Release struggling minor league prospects

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: A view of the Houston Astros logo in centerfield during batting practice prior to Game One of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: A view of the Houston Astros logo in centerfield during batting practice prior to Game One of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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On Tuesday, Jake Kaplan reported that the Houston Astros had released shortstop Anibal Sierra and outfielder Stephen Wrenn. The two are in their mid-20s, and as their production hasn’t improved, the Astros saw it be fit to release Sierra and Wrenn.

The Astros recently signed a haul of prospects on International Signing Day, while their 2020 MLB Draft was stunted by losing picks due to the sign stealing scandal. Along with that, the draft was only five rounds with the pandemic cancelling MiLB in 2020. The Astros are expected to sign another Cuban standout on next year’s International Signing Day.

The Houston Astros released two prospects, after being in the farm system for 4 years.

Anibal Sierra, INF

The Astros signed Anibal Sierra in July of 2016 to a minor league deal that consisted of a $1.5 million signing bonus out of Cuba. At the time, the Astros had just dug their teeth into the prospect pipeline that was rooted in Cuba with the big signing of Yuli Gurriel. Sierra hit the farm system with a bang as the right-hander posted an OPS of .972 in Rookie ball, but the struggles began soon after. While signing at 22-years-old, the organization tried advancing the Cuban standout as soon as they could, but come A(Full) and A(Adv), Sierra couldn’t hit to an OPS above .600. The issues at the plate continued, and he finished his Astros minor league career with .216/.296/.318 at the plate. Sierra will be 27-years-old next week.

Stephen Wrenn, OF

Houston drafted Stephen Wrenn in the sixth-round of the 2016 MLB Draft in 2016, and while having a slightly below average OPS (.725) at the plate, the organization was ready to move on from the right-fielder. Wrenn was invited to major league Spring Training in 2020, before it was cancelled a few weeks in due to COVID-19. The right-hander was battling a strikeout issue during his minor league tenure that included a guarantee strikeout each game. The 26-year-old slashed .253/.328/.397 through 422 minor league games.

Next. PECOTA Projection: Astros top the AL West. dark

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