3 Houston Astros prospects who should be traded and 2 who should not

The Houston Astros are almost certainly going to have to trade some of their prospects at the trade deadline.

Houston Astros v St Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros v St Louis Cardinals / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Keep: Ryan Clifford - OF

We have mentioned how outfield-heavy the Astros’ system is right now, so it does seem a little weird to call for keeping another one, but Ryan Clifford’s power is enticing enough to keep him around for a while longer especially given how well he started in low-A in 2023. Clifford will certainly swing and miss a good bit like a lot of power hitters, but he does possess good strike zone awareness at the very least which should help him improve as he ascends the minor league ranks.

In Clifford’s case, this is a bet on potential upside vs. expected return in a trade involving him. He isn’t likely to command a big return as it stands right now because he is far from a perfect prospect. However, there is some big time potential in that bat of his without the type of severe strikeout concerns (although there are some) that a lot of power hitting prospects have. Holding him for the moment gives Houston the chance to see exactly what they have in him as he moves up the minor leagues and potentially getting more value out of him down the line.

Trade: Spencer Arrighetti - RHP

The Astros don’t have much left down in the farm system anymore when it comes to arms, but Spencer Arrighetti is fairly intriguing. He has a mid-90’s fastball that can go a tick higher than that, a sweeping slider that is an out pitch for him, and a curveball and changeup that lag behind his first two offerings. Altogether, that package has led to a lot of strikeouts and getting promoted all the way to Double-A.

However, there are issues here. A combination of effort in Arrighetti's delivery and command questions has more than a few people thinking that Spencer’s future is in the bullpen where his stuff can play up. That said, his stuff is good enough that a team may value him more than that and would want to keep seeing if he can start long-term. If that opportunity presents itself with a team that has the time to wait and see if Spencer can pan out as a starter, the Astros should jump on that if the return helps them in 2023.

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