In the Astros deal to land Justin Verlander, both Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford said farewell to the Astros. The two were believed across the industry to be the two prospects with the brightest future, but contrary to popular belief, the Astros farm system is not empty.
From Cristian Javier to Chas McCormick, year after year the Astros churn out great big leaguers that never showed up on any top prospect leaderboards. Whether any of these four end up on any top 100 lists to come, they have bright futures in Houston.
Let's take a look at four Astros prospects you need to know.
#1: Luis Baez
Not enough can be said about Luis Baez. If the Astros have a future all-star in their farm system, Baez is the one. The Astros gave Baez $1.3 milliion as an international prospect in 2022, the most they gave to any prospect.
The now 19-year-old has done nothing but rake since signing. In 58 games in the Dominican Summer League, Baez hit .305 with nine home runs and a .903 OPS. This year, Baez played 17 games of rookie ball, hitting .271, but with seven home runs and a 1.095 OPS. He was promoted to Fayetteville and has doubled seemingly every time he steps to the plate. Of his 19 hits, eight have gone for doubles.
He's batting .328 with an .854 OPS in his 15 games at Fayetteville. He projects as a corner outfielder, but if his 6'1, 205 pound frame continues to fill out, a move to first could be in his future.
For years the Astros have dominated the international market. Could Baez be their next star international signing?