Another Astros top prospect is heating up and could force a difficult roster decision

While the Astros continue to search for answers to their rough start, it all might be right in front of them.
Feb 26, 2024; Lakeland, Florida, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Jacob Melton (76) bats during
Feb 26, 2024; Lakeland, Florida, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Jacob Melton (76) bats during / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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Houston Astros fans awoke on Monday to the news that the team was promoting Joey Loperfido to the big leagues. Assuming that he is indeed going to be taking playing time away from Jose Abreu who is firmly on the struggle bus in 2024, the promotion is a breath of fresh air for Astros fans that are looking for any semblance of hope during the team's terrible start to the season.

However, another Astros' top hitting prospect is making waves of his own in 2024 down in the minor leagues. Jacob Melton came into 2024 as Houston's top-ranked prospect by most publications, and if his recent hot streak is a sign of things to come, he could press for big league playing time very, very soon.

Jacob Melton's latest hot streak could spell trouble for struggling Astros outfielders

Overall, Melton's numbers in 2024 have been fine, if unspectacular. He is slashing .277/.333/.523 with three homers and five stolen bases. However, Melton has six hits and two homers in his last two games which, while a small sample, is also a great sign that he is seeing the ball well and is finally tapping into his impressive raw tools finally.

Loperfido's promotion already put Abreu's future in question and could impact a guy like Jake Meyers as well. However, the bigger threat to Meyers' playing time as well as the similarly slumping Chas McCormick's is Melton if he gets going. Melton's ceiling is a power/speed threat that could be All-Star-caliber with the ability to play all three outfield positions. If it looks like he could be approaching what he is capable of, continuing to run out Meyers and/or McCormick becomes much less desirable.

Odds are that Dana Brown and the Astros will remain patient with Melton. His development is just so crucial to Houston's future that they are going to make absolutely sure that Melton is ready when they call him up.

However, if Meyers and/or McCormick are still not producing in the coming months and Melton keeps raking, he could force the Astros' hand especially given where the team stands at the moment.

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