Baseball America named Joey Loperfido the Astros Prospect of the Year today. The accolade was well deserved for the versatile utilityman.
Loperfido began the year with High-A Asheville, before being promoted to AA Corpus Christi after only eight games. Loperfido spent the majority of the year with the Corpus Christi Hooks, but has played his last 28 games with the AAA Sugar Land Space Cowboys.
Over his 120 games in the minors this year, Loperfido has hit .282 with an .888 OPS. He's racked up 27 doubles, 24 home runs and 25 stolen bases.
The lefty also brings a great deal of versatility on the defensive side. Loperfido started 38 games in center field this year, 20 at second base, 19 at first base, 19 in right field, and 14 at second base.
With a crowded outfield on the big league club ahead of him, his versatility could earn Loperfido his way onto the big league roster next season.
All year the Astros have looked for a left-handed bat to balance their lineup. AAAA players ranging from Bligh Madris and Jon Singleton have tried to fill the void. Michael Brantley has produced in his sporadic playing time, but he is yet again battling injury.
If Loperfido produces against AAA pitching next year, which wouldn't be a surprise with his minor league resume, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Duke product debut next season. If José Abreu remains ineffective next season, he could even be their first baseman of 2024.
Dana Brown was quoted in the Baseball America piece on Loperfido's chances to continue his quick ascent to the big leagues.
"Loperfido is the guy who maybe has a chance to get to the major leagues a little bit quicker. I like that the makeup is pretty special. It’s a quality lefthanded swing, and he’s had pretty good numbers."- Dana Brown
Baseball America currently lists Loperfido as the Astros #3 Prospect. Don't be surprised to look up in 2024 and see the Astros churn out yet another slept-on prospect capable of producing at the big league level.