Houston Astros 2024 Top 30 Prospect Rankings: Insane outfield depth

Here are the top prospects in the Astros' farm system heading into the 2024 season.
Hooks second baseman Joey Loperfido throws to first at Whataburger Field on Wednesday, May 3, 2023,
Hooks second baseman Joey Loperfido throws to first at Whataburger Field on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, / Angela Piazza/Caller-Times / USA TODAY
2 of 6

25. Nolan DeVos - RHP

DeVos isn't a flamethrower, sporting a fastball that generally resides in the low 90s, but he gets a lot of mileage out of the ride he produces on the pitch at the top of the zone. His slider is the better of his two breaking balls, as it is a legitimate swing and miss pitch. His lack of power stuff limits his ceiling considerably, but he has enough quality stuff and command to potentially be a No. 5 starter type. Some have projected him as a bullpen arm, but his lack of velocity might make that transition pretty tricky.

24. Cesar Hernandez - OF

This is pure speculation, as the Astros just signed Hernandez this past January as an international free agent, but there is a lot to like based on what we know. He can really run, with some thinking he could be a plus defender in center field down the line, given his speed. He also has displayed some good bat-to-ball skills already. How much he will impact the ball as a pro is up in the air, but there is real upside here.

23. Justin Dirden - OF

Dirden had a pretty crummy 2023 season, where he hit just .231 with 10 homers, but he is only a year removed from back-to-back .930+ OPS seasons in the minors. Dirden's calling card is his power, and while his down 2023 season, especially with all the swing and miss he showed, is a legitimate concern, we are betting that he still has some room to grow and gets back to where he once was.

22. A.J. Blubaugh - RHP

Blubaugh was actually a reliever in college before the Astros picked him in the seventh round of the 2022 draft, then started giving him a look as a starter in the minors. Blubaugh has multiple quality pitches, including a changeup that is a real weapon against lefties. We don't know how he would perform under a true starter's workload, as he typically has thrown around four innings per start in the minors and isn't a power pitcher, but there is a chance that he ends up as a middle-of-the-rotation starter, if everything breaks right.

21. Miguel Palma - C/1B

Palma is a weird one, because while his offensive profile wouldn't turn many heads at any other position, at catcher it gets pretty interesting, especially considering he is also a strong blocker and game caller. At the plate, he knows the strike zone well, has a bit of pop, and just hit a career-high .285 last season mostly in High-A. He is still pretty young, and catchers should be developed slowly, but impacting the ball more and learning how to control the running game at a higher level need to be prominently on the list of priorities for Palma in 2024.