Astros: 5 Prospects Affected by MLB Lockout

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

If the lockout persists through spring training, then we will likely miss out of any chance for a warm up and go straight into games.

Spring training is definitely one of my favorite times of year as you get to see players and prospects make their case to join the big club and get a chance at the show.

Throughout the past three seasons, Houston Astros‘ pitching prospects have had an especially good chance at moving up if they perform well in the spring, as the bullpen still remains pretty fluid and the rotation has a one to two season lifespan before it changes.

With all of that in perspective, let’s dive into which Astros prospect might be hurt most by a no spring training lockout, if it comes to that miserable end.

Jeremy Peña

The standout Sugar Land Skeeters shortstop/third baseman has had plenty of success the past two seasons, and with Correa’s future uncertain and no clear utility man off the bench, Peña really has a shot at making the big club.

Aledmys Diaz had an average season last year off the bench for the Astros hitting .259 with eight home runs and 45 RBI, and you could argue with a big spring training season that Peña could take Diaz’s place on the roster and the Astros could release him.

Let’s hope he will get a chance to flash the leather and show his plate prowess in the spring without the lockout persisting.

Korey Lee

As much as Astros fans love Machete they would love a power hitting catcher who can still defend in the regular lineup. Lee’s meteoric rise through the Astros system shows he might be ready for the next step.

A long look during spring training might be just what the Astros need to determine if he’s big league ready or needs more time in Triple-A. Lee could be one of the biggest losses in valuable time to evaluate players this spring if we are locked out of spring training.

Right off the bat when you look at Lee’s combined three team 2021 season you see he wins easily when it comes to production at the plate hitting .277 with 11 homers and 45 RBI in only 88 games.

Maldonado hit .173 with 12 homers and 36 RBI in 125 games, which easily gives Lee the nod, but Lee needs time with big league pitchers and calling games and getting in Maldonado’s ear to learn how to call a big league game and best utilize pitchers strengths.

Lee needs a lockout free spring to get into big league shape.

Hunter Brown

As many Astros fans know, the pitching staff is the most questionable part of the Astros roster.  The starting rotation is filled with young, unknown starters who have proved it for a season but need to show longevity and two veteran pitchers who will be coming off injury to start the year.

Brown is a work in progress for the Astros farm system and his four ERA last year doesn’t yet show dominance and so he needs some real time in spring training to prove his worth, if we can escape a lockout.

Brown would benefit from lots of quality innings and would give Astros brass the ability to see him in a potential bullpen role come regular-season if he indeed proves he can match up.

Peter Solomon

Solomon is most likely the biggest prospect in need of spring training. Solomon had a very brief stint with the Astros last fall and could prove he is ready for a longer trial up with the big club if he can show out in spring training.

With a mid-90 MPH fastball, Solomon could vie for big time out of the pen for the Astros as they look to rebuild after losing so many to free agency this offseason. I think either way Solomon gets a chance this year but he could be a day one pen addition if he gets to show off this spring.

Shawn Dubin

Dubin could easily make the case he is ready today to join the big club out of the pen.  Having an upper-90 MPH fastball, Dubin could provide some needed pop out of the pen to shore up the later innings and perhaps eventually be competing for the seventh or eighth inning set up man.

Dubin could use some quality innings to test his metal this spring and for the Astros to see if he could fit in on the big club.

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If a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached before spring training, Major League Baseball could take the route of filling spring rosters with more minor-league players and continuing with the schedule. This scenario would still hold out prospects on the 40-man roster.