2022 MLB Draft: Three Draft Needs For The Houston Astros
The Astros could use a versatile player who can play all three spots in the outfield.
While the Astros outfield has a solid core of Michael Brantley, Kyle Tucker and Jake Meyers with Yordan Alvarez getting reps in left field as well, the Astros could use a strong defensive outfielder who can play all three spots considering the their penchant for resting their starting players.
Having a solid fourth outfield option who can play any of the three spots on any given day will really help the Astros.
Obviously having a solid bat would help, but the Astros have quite a few of those locked in for at least the next few years. Brantley’s future with the team is uncertain after this year so someone who could be an upgrade defensively with the ability to hit for contact to replace Brantley’s production would be a nice upgrade.
The Astros do have Pedro Leon, who grades very well as a defensive center fielder but has been struggling with his strikeout percentage in AAA, coming in at 31 percent. That doesn’t really fit well with the Astros’ high contact approach as opposed to a three true outcome offense like the Yankees.
Colin Barber is also someone who profiles as a solid defender who can hit, but you can never have too many outfielders in your system. Someone the Astros should target in the second round is number 64 prospect Michigan outfielder Clark Elliot (coincidentally the Astros have the number 64 pick). A left handed center fielder with plus speed, here is a snippet of his scouting report per MLB.com
"His biggest believers think he’ll grow into average power and see some parallels between him and Michael Brantley, while others point to his .405 slugging percentage in his first two years at Michigan and low exit velocities with wood bats and see below-average pop. He did increase his home run output from five to 16 and his slugging percentage from .428 to .630 from 2021 to 2022. There aren’t many quibbles with the rest of Elliott’s game and he draws praise for his makeup as well. His speed earns grades from solid to well above-average and plays better on the bases and in the outfield than it does out of the batter’s box. He may not man center for the Wolverines but showed enough quickness and range on the Cape for most scouts to believe he can as a pro, and his solid arm should allow him to fit anywhere in the outfield."
A guy who profiles similarly to Michael Brantley as a high contact left-handed hitter who can fit anywhere in the outfield sounds like a solid candidate to fill the shoes of Brantley himself in the near future. That style with high contact and on-base ability would tag-team well with the power of Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker.
The Astros getting a first and second round pick is going to be a huge boost to rebuilding their farm system and considering the holes in their system combined with what their major league needs are, these three players profile as the best options for the team to take.