No. 7 Jairo Solis
While not known by many Astros fans, Solis was added to the 40-man roster in 2020 in protection from the major-league Rule 5 Draft. The right-hander was signed as an international prospect in 2016 and was quickly protected with his upside.
The issue is that Solis hasn’t pitched in a professional game since 2018, where he threw 50.2 innings for the High-A Quad Cities River Bandits. Injuries have plagued his career, along with a lost season in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The lockout is hurting the progressions of prospects on the 40-man roster, and for Solis, not pitching since 2018 and now being 22-years-old are impacting his chances of climbing through the system.
No. 6 Forrest Whitley
After being drafted in 2016, the hype train followed Whitley for years, but injuries and a suspension has limited the right-hander’s minor-league time. Tommy John surgery was the latest obstacle for Whitley last offseason, while he hasn’t pitched since 2019.
The right-hander has the most potential of any Astros pitching prospect, but without innings behind him in the last two years, he falls to No. 6 on this ranking. The lockout is impeding his return, but after five years of being a top prospect, 2022 could be the year Whitley finally makes his debut.
No. 5 Joe Perez
Perez was a 40-man addition in December with his impressive jump on offensive production at the plate. The infielder has flashed versatility on both sides of the diamond, and the 22-year-old ranks above Whitley with his recent play, although an argument can be made to flip both.
The right-hander played at three levels in 2021, while finishing the fall in Double-A. Perez slashed .291/.354/.495 across all three levels and can be minor-league infield depth similar to Abraham Toro the last few seasons.