Houston Astros: Deep Sleeper Prospects
It seems to be a topic that has been talked about recently with Tyler White (33rd round pick) making the opening day roster and Jon Kemmer (21st round pick) breaking out in 2015, but building a deep farm system is one key to a successful organization. When building these systems hitting on a few late round guys can make a huge difference.
Fortunately for the Astros they have hit on some late round pick recently, and that’s really a testament to the amateur scouting department and the work they are doing. Let’s take a look at a couple of sleeper prospects. For this article I will focus on guys drafted in the 20th round or later.
Bryan Muniz, 1B (22nd round pick)
Muniz was drafted by the Astros in 22nd round of the 2014 draft. Muniz is in the mold of a lot of recent Astros picks, hits and takes walks. His junior year in college he hit .400 with 5 HR, 33 BB/10 SO. His first taste of pro ball he only hit .221 but had a good 16 BB/21 SO ratio. In 2015, he hit .288 with 22 2B, 6 HR, 44 BB/43 SO in 74 games between A-/A. With another good season he could gain steam like Tyler White did in 2015.
Mott Hyde, 2B/SS (26th round pick)
Hyde was drafted in the 26th round of the 2014 draft. Hyde had a good college career playing all four seasons at Georgia Tech. Hyde had a decent showing after being drafted hitting .254 with 18 2B, 3 HR for Tri-City. Hyde put together a very strong 2015 campaign posting the following line: .304 BA, 40 2B, 3 HR, 67 RBI, 59 BB/111 SO in 124 games.
Justin Ferrell, RHP (36th round pick)
Ferrell, drafted in the 36th round in 2014, is listed at 6’7″ and 205 lbs. He was the closer for Connors State College before being drafted by the Astros. As a 20 year old in the GCL he posted a 3.67 ERA with 39 SO in 34.1 IP. The Astros aggressively put him in Quad Cities as a 21 year old and he finished with a 1.95 ERA in 64.2 IP (11 starts). It appears the Astros are trying to use him as a starter. His peripherals weren’t great in QC but he has a ton of projection left.
Ralph Garza, RHP (26th round pick)
Some had Garza has a top 12 round talent but he slid to the Astros in the 26th round. He was a reliever in college but the Astros have used him in the tandem starting role (14 games, 3 starts). His junior season with Oklahoma he had a 4.08 ERA but 12 BB/49 SO in just 46.2 innings. With the Astros in 2015 he posted a 3.89 ERA in 37 innings but with great peripherals of 2.4 BB/9 and 12.4 SO/9.
Bobby Wernes, 3B (30th round pick)
Wernes was drafted by the Astros out of the University of Arkansas. He left Arkansas after hitting .279 with 5 HR, 28 BB/35 SO in his junior season. He was a young draftee though, drafted at just 20 years old. He is also know for his exceptional glove at third base. With the Astros Tr-City squad all he did was hit. Wernes finished with a .351 BA with 27 BB/27 SO in 53 games.
Aaron Mizell, OF (32nd round pick)
Mizell was selected in the 32nd round by the Astros out of Georgia Southern. In his final season there he hit .292 with 12 2B, 12 HR, 40 RBI in 56 games. Mizell is a lanky outfielder with some projection left. The Astros started him with Greeneville where he hit .325 causing him to be promoted to Tri-City. There he showed decent power and speed (7 3B, 13 SB) though the average dipped. He played 2B/SS/LF/CF/RF this season.
If the Astros hit on one of these guys it will be a success. Be sure follow for more minor league coverage. You can subscribe below so you can receive every post through your email. The future is bright and go Astros!
**Photo Credit: Richard Gull**