Justin Dirden was a name to keep an eye on as a late blooming prospect headed into Spring Training. Dirden is another case of a prospect impacted by the COVID pandemic, as he went undrafted in 2020 when the draft was limited to only five rounds. This allowed Dirden to choose where he signed, and it looks like Houston was the right choice.
Baseball America ranks Dirden the Astros' ninth-best prospect, backed by a .291 batting average and .939 OPS across two minor league seasons. Dirden mashed his way to AAA last season, and has been a monster this spring.
Dirden is 4-11 with two home runs (one to each field) and two doubles.
He's also flashed some impressive defense, making a diving catch and picking up an outfield assist from right field on a runner trying to score.
Dirden can man all three outfield spots, though he mostly projects as a corner outfielder. He will likely start in AAA with Houston willing to give Jake Meyers another shot in center and their commitment to Dubon as the utility player, but if Meyers scuffles again and Dubon remains totally inept at the plate, don't be surprised if Dirden bashes his way onto the big league roster.