The Astros are entering a pivotal offseason. They just made their seventh straight trip to the ALCS, but with Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman on expiring contracts, and Kyle Tucker and Framber Valdez only under contract for two more seasons, the choices Houston makes this offseason could very well make the difference between prolonging their window of contention or slamming it shut on themselves.
Four Astros prospects that could impact their offseason plans
Houston could use some new blood in their outfield, they need a backup catcher, and pitching depth is always a must. We recently highlighted four outfielders the Astros could target this offseason, but where could the Astros attack an area of need from in-house rather than going external?
While the cupboard is less full than it used to be, Houston still has four prospects in their system that could factor into their plans for 2024. Let's take a look at who they are.
#1 Joey Loperfido
Joey Loperfido enjoyed a massive breakout in 2022, then built on it in 2023 en route to being named the Astros Prospect of the Year. Loperfido hit .278 with an .880 OPS across three levels in 2023. He hit 25 home runs and swiped 27 bases across the levels.
Most of Loperfido's damage was done at the AA level. Across 84 games, he hit .296 with a .940 OPS.
He's also an incredibly versatile defender. Loperfido played center field 43 times, second base 21 times, right field 20 times, first base 19 times and left field 14 times.
He's a left-handed bat, and profiles very well as a future first baseman. As José Abreu continues to age, and as the Astros look to both replace Michael Brantley and determine if Chas McCormick is their everyday center fielder, a piece like Loperfido becomes intriguing, as he can fill both roles.
Loperfido, barring an abysmal spring training and total collapse in the minors, will debut in 2024. Baseball America ranks Loperfido #3 on the Astros list of Top-100 prospects. Depending on how highly the Astros view the utility man, Loperfido could very well be responsible for altering some of their offseason plans.