The minor-league season has since concluded, and with certain players headed to the Instructional League and also to the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM), their are also seven Houston Astros‘ farm hands playing in the Arizona Fall League (AFL).
The Astros will have seven prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League.
The Astros’ prospects selected to play in the AFL are Korey Lee, Pedro Leon, Chad Donato, Grae Kessinger, R.J. Freure, Angel Macuare and Joe Record. Lee and Leon rank No. 1 and No. 2 in Houston’s system by MLB Pipeline, as the No. 4 prospect, Jeremy Pena, will be playing in LIDOM instead.
Catcher Lee and infielder/outfielder Leon climbed through the system in 2021, finishing their seasons with Triple-A Sugar Land. The two battled injuries that held them both out of baseball for a month each this season, while right-handed pitcher Chad Donato was the only one to play his whole ’21 in Triple-A. Donato missed close to two months due to an injury as well.
With Leon coming off a finger injury, it will be interesting to see what positions he will play with the Glendale Desert Dogs. More recently, the right-hander took innings at third base in his return with Pena healthy and manning shortstop.
From Double-A, Kessinger played the whole ’21 season, mainly at shortstop. The infielder had a down year, hitting to a minuscule line of 209/.287/.330 through 86 games. The right-hander is in a different boat compared to the players who missed time due to injury.
Freure is also coming out of Double-A. At 24-years-old, the right-hander posted a 4.95 ERA over 20 innings after being promoted from High-A. Macuare was also promoted from High-A, while he sustained a 1.80 ERA over 25 innings with the Corpus Christi Hooks. The right-hander is only 21-years-old and could quickly rise through the system and rankings in the next two years.
Record is the last Double-A arm, while he spent all of 2021 in Corpus Christi. The righty is also on the older side at 26, while also taking two trips to the injured list this season not helping his progressions. Record, like many of the others on the roster, could possibly be looking for extra innings after falling to injury this season.
In terms of current Astros’ young guns, Luis Garcia was ranked 26th by MLB Pipeline to have the most long-term value of ’21 rookies.