Perusing the Prospects: current state of Triple-A outfield

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Houston Astros made a shocking trade at the deadline, sending Myles Straw to Cleveland. In response, they selected Jake Meyers from Triple-A Sugar Land for the 40-man roster, while also placing him on the active roster.

Meyers has raked with the Skeeters, as he has slashed .343/.408/.598 with 16 home runs over 304 plate appearances. The 25-year-old rightfully got the call to the show for the first time on Friday, and although not in the lineup in his first day up, he throws left-handed and hits right-handed just like Chas McCormick.

For Meyers to join the 40-man roster, the Astros DFA’d Nivaldo Rodriguez, while optioning Brandon Bielak to Triple-A and Bryan Abreu to the taxi squad for Phil Maton. Also, Tyler Ivey was placed on the minor-league 60-day IL.

While Jake Meyers is now on the big-league roster, what outfielders could join Triple-A?

Meyers has minor-league options, but with four outfields on the roster along with Yordan Alvarez, the left-hander will see most of his time at the major-league level. The center field job in Sugar Land rotated around Meyers, Ronnie Dawson, Bryan De La Cruz and Jose Siri. While all four could play across the outfield, De La Cruz is gone as well.

The right-hander was dealt to Miami and was activated right away. It shows how the Astros didn’t have the room for him this season, as he joined the roster and made his MLB debut with the Marlins on Friday.

At the moment, there are only two rostered outfielders on the Skeeters: Dawson and Siri. They will most likely rotate in center, while the other takes on right. Both have flashed the leather, but Dawson made a huge grab on Friday:

Double-A has been been identified as the Astros’ best minor-league team, but with Pedro Leon up in Sugar Land, they can turn to him to eat innings. The Skeeters’ infield is deep, possibly leading to more innings for Leon in the outfield.

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Unfortunately, Leon went on the 7-day IL this week with a fractured finger. This leaves more left field innings to utility players like JJ Matijevic, Taylor Jones (40-man) and Alex De Goti. These three infielders have played left field in Sugar Land with it being 325-feet to left.

This distance can be similar to the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park, where they are 315-feet to left. Most of the Astros utility players don’t consume innings in the outfield other than in left, which is comparable to how the Skeeter’s lineup is constructed.

Even with right field pulled in two feet, there is a deeper corner in play in right-center. The Astros could also be advising manager Mickey Story to work utility players in left field to get them acclimated for Minute Maid Park, if called up one day.

The Corpus Christi Hooks have Norel Gonzalez and Alex McKenna slashing above the average, but with three utility players at disposal, it isn’t evident whether or not an outfielder is moved up to Triple-A. A flurry of roster moves can also be expected with minor-leaguers progressing well, around this time of the year, such as right-handed pitcher Hunter Brown advancing to Triple-A.

Next. What you need to know about Phil Maton. dark

On Friday, the Astros took down the San Francisco Giants, 9-6. They are back on the field on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. with Zack Greinke countering Alex Wood. The Skeeters dropped their contest with the El Paso Chihuahuas, 6-3. They are back in action on Saturday with a double-header starting at 4:05 p.m. with Peter Solomon off the rubber.

Brooks Raley was suspended three games, who is appealing, and fined for throwing at J.P. Crawford on Monday against the Seattle Mariners. Manager Dusty Baker was also suspended one game, as Joe Espada took the reins on Friday.

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