Baseball America’s latest top 100 prospect ranking (paid subscription needed) was released on Wednesday, as two Houston Astros were among the group. Korey Lee and Jeremy Pena are the two farm hands to make the list, while slated at No.1 and No. 2 for the Astros’ top-10.
Chandler Rome of Baseball America says there was no chance for Pedro Leon to have made the top 100, especially for a first-year player battling injury and adjustment. For Hunter Brown’s case, Rome thinks the right-hander could slip in at a mid-season revision.
Where do Astros’ prospects rank in the top 100 ranking?
Catcher Korey Lee – No. 70
Lee was eyed as a surprise first-round pick by Baseball America in 2019, but since then, he has climbed to Triple-A and flashed multiple tools. Those being an elite arm behind the dish and above-average bat at the plate.
With Garrett Stubbs now in Philadelphia, the Astros only have two catchers on their 40-man roster. And although the roster is full, the organization could benefit from a third catcher with minor-league options.
Lee could step into this position, before the 2022 season ended, as he is eyed as a starter for 2023.
Shortstop Jeremy Peña – No. 72
The Astros could turn to Peña, if Carlos Correa signs elsewhere when the lockout ends. The shortstop has received praise for his defensive ability, graded 60 for his fielding and his arm by Baseball America.
The right-hander’s offense has exploded in the recent months, hitting a career-high 10 home runs in only 30 Triple-A games in 2021.
In other prospect news, the Astros inked a 16th international free agent in the last few days, signing catcher Brayan Sanchez. The Venezuelan-born baseball player was not included in the team’s signings from Saturday, Jan. 15.