While Jeremy Peña, Korey Lee and Hunter Brown have all slipped into top-100 prospect rankings this offseason, none of the three made MLB Pipeline’s recent ranking. The Houston Astros haven’t been praised for their farm since the Zack Greinke trade, which was followed by a hit of no early draft picks for two years.
On Tuesday, MLB Pipeline released its No. 16-30 system rankings with the the rest of the ranking to come later this week. Unsurprisingly, the Astros were slated at No. 29 with the Chicago White Sox as the only team to follow.
According to ESPN, Peña is a strong factor for why the Astros weren’t eager to ink Carlos Correa long-term, as many players in the clubhouse and in the organization see him as a future superstar.
But when you look at the Astros’ recent transactions and trades, the front office hasn’t made any trades since the sign stealing scandal broke that would set back the farm system even more. Draft picks can’t be traded, and general manager James Click and company have done the best they can without losing top prospects.
ESPN also graded the club’s offseason as a “C,” noting the addition of Hector Neris and re-signing of Justin Verlander without losing any top prospects in the process.
With the Astros holding onto talented prospects, what does their latest prospect top-30 look like?
The Astros’ top-five prospects by MLB Pipeline:
- Jeremy Peña
- Korey Lee
- Hunter Brown
- Pedro Leon
- Forrest Whitley
The rankings includes some new names and known names. Centerfielder Jose Siri sits at No. 14, while he’ll lose prospect status early in the regular season, but a recent international free agent signing, Luis Baez, is slotted at No. 29.
MLB Pipeline saw Joe Perez take the biggest jump in Houston’s system from No. 30 to No. 9, while now a member of the 40-man roster. On the opposite end, Freudis Nova saw the biggest fall from No. 7 to not being ranked in 2022. The two infielders practically switched value, while Nova was dropped from the 40-man.
The Astros will have a first-round pick again in 2022, but when a team is contending, it is a tough task to sit at the top of system rankings when those players are assets for trade.