Astros: Ranking the best players under age 25 on the 40-man roster

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Houston Astros, Jeremy Pena
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No. 4 Jeremy Pena

Pena will move to first on this list, following the 2022 season. With only 30 Triple-A games to his name, the shortstop ranks fourth on the 40-man roster for players under 25-years-old for now.

It is unclear where Pena will start the 2022 season, but if the Astros don’t re-sign Correa nor sign a stop gap shortstop, the 24-year-old is likely seeing the Opening Day roster.

No. 3 Bryan Abreu

Although originally a starter, Abreu has found himself pitching out of the bullpen at the major-league level. Following a leg injury, the right-hander didn’t see much time with the Astros as the club brought in high-leverage options at the trade deadline.

Abreu sits above Pena for now, but if both play full seasons in 2022, we are likely going to see Pena have the better season. The current bullpen might hold a home for Abreu to open the year, so seeing a better season from Pena is more likely.

No. 2 Cristian Javier

While a spot in the rotation is not up for grabs this season, Javier was efficient into September and the postseason. Walks have plagued his resume as a starter, but the right-hander is a viable option for the bullpen in 2022, while a starting role could be an idea if he improves in a long relief role.

No. 1 Yordan Alvarez

Alvarez is the choice for being the Astros’ best player under 25-years-old. By this time next year, the designated hitter will be off the list, but 2022 could be a bigger test for Alvarez as more innings in the outfield could be on his plate.

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A few of these are interchangeable, and for the Astros, Pena is likely higher on the list based on his value to the organization. Once he embarks on a major-league season, he would almost certainly move ahead with Abreu and Javier leaving this group for the 2023 season.