While Micheal Schwab reported the Houston Astros‘ minor league rosters this past week, we learned more over time what positions that players were categorized under. One shocking turn around of a position is #2 ranked prospect Pedro Leon, who was signed as an international free agent this past offseason.
Leon’s name should be buzzing around fans’ minds a lot this season, while he is anticipated to make his major league debut in 2021 and being deemed MLB ready. With Jeremy Pena expected to miss a few months due to surgery and Carlos Correa expected to enter free agency, the Astros look like they are preparing for departures.
Why start Pedro Leon at shortstop in the minor leagues?
As this is all a theory and there hasn’t been much reported on why Leon is starting at shortstop, some farm systems look to versatile their players and have them start at shortstop. They do this in anticipation of converting them easier to other position, while it translates better than any other position in the game.
Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle asked GM James Click if Pena’s injury led to Leon starting at shortstop, and Click said, “I don’t know that it affected it terribly too much.” Click hasn’t been the best at telling the media and others his plans, while he really has no need to. He isn’t Jeff Luhnow, and while there has been a swarm of fan opinions dissing Click, it is worth noting he hasn’t done terribly thus far. Don’t target him for not spending money, when it isn’t his to spend.
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While the Astros have Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Robel Garcia, Aledmys Diaz and Myles Straw on the roster, these five players have one central thing in common: they can all play shortstop. This might come as a surprise, but these five are all above average defenders on paper, and it stems from their translation from one of the toughest positions in the sport.
As Leon is a natural centerfielder, the right-hander played infield growing up, which was highlighted in spring training. In six games, Leon played four innings at shortstop and turned one double play. There weren’t too many chances and possible plays to evaluate, but Leon has been highlighted for his cannon of an arm, so hopefully he translates well to shortstop this summer.
Leon is starting his 2021 season with the Corpus Christi Hooks, and while not currently on the 40-man roster, he is still anticipated to make the roster at some point this season. This is all an assumption on his career thus far, but moves will be made down the stretch like they always are.
Here is the full list of minor league players to their sectioned teams:
Excluding Leon, here is a player I suggest watching from each team:
Sugar Land Skeeters: Tyler Ivey, currently on 40-man roster with anticipated debut in 2021
Corpus Christi Hooks: CJ Stubbs, possible catcher of the future, brother of Garrett Stubbs
Asheville Tourists: Freudis Nova, currently on 40-man roster needing a big season
Fayetteville Woodpeckers: Kenedy Corona, in Jake Marisnick trade with great numbers thus far