Astros MiLB Position Review: Third Base
Now that the season is over and the MiLB awards have been handed out, we will review each position in the minor league system. This week we take a look at the third base position. Third base is another position that looks to be sewn up for years to come.
Davis was drafted by the Astros in the 3rd round of the 2014 MLB draft. His first full season in the minors (2015) he put together a strong year hitting .289 with 26 HR. Davis played the entire 2016 season with the Corpus Christi Hooks and again proved his value at the plate. He finished hitting .268 and lead the Astros minor league system in HR (23) and RBI (81). He has some swing and miss in his game but when he makes contact he can do a lot of damage. He plays an adequate third base and has a very strong arm.
2016 Stats: 126 G, .268 BA/.334 OBP/.485 SLG, 34 2B, 23 HR, 81 RBI, 45 BB/143 SO
Moran was acquired by the Astros in the trade that sent Jarred Cosart to the Marlins in 2014. He came out of college known as one of the better hitters and he has shown that in the minors. He had a very good 2015 season leading many to have high expectations in 2016. He started out the season well hitting .292 in April but a couple down months in the middle of the season brought his overall line down. He was eventually called up to the Astros but had just 23 at bats. Still plenty of time for him to get things going as he just turned 24.
2016 Stats: 117 G, .259 BA/.329 OBP/.368 SLG, 18 2B, 10 HR, 69 RBI, 47 BB/124 SO (AAA)
THE REST OF THE PACK
Beltre is a potential high upside third baseman in the Astros system. He played in rookie ball this season at 19 years old and hit a combined .310 between GCL and Greeeneville. We will be able to get more information on him as he moves into full season ball in 2017.
2016 Stats: 40 G, .310 BA/.406 OBP/.393 SLG, 8 2B, 2 3B, 20 RBI, 17 BB/35 SO
Wernes had a fantastic showing in 2015 leading the New York Penn League in hitting with a .351 batting average. Unfortunately it didn’t translate directly to full season ball this season with the River Bandits as he hit just .215. He showed signs late that he may have been turning the corner as he hit .323 over his last 18 games. Wernes is very good defensively and does a good job putting the bat on the ball.
2016 Stats: 94 G, .215 BA/.297 OBP/.274 SLG, 17 2B, 1 3B, 16 RBI, 4 SB, 36 BB/61 SO
Toro-Hernandez was drafted by the Astros in the 5th round of the 2016 MLB draft. He was a little bit of unknown draft prospect since he played at a small school in Oklahoma. The switcher hitter played third base this season but there were rumors the Astros may give him a look at catcher. He played in 44 games for Greeneville and hit .254 with a .301 OBP.
2016 Stats: 44 G, .254 BA/.301 OBP/.322 SLG, 6 2B, 3 3B, 19 RBI, 2 SB, 10 BB/31 SO
Davis should be in AAA and may split time between 3B/1B/DH since Moran will still be there as well. Davis’ power could really show in the hitter friendly PCL. The Astros have some high ceiling guys low on the farm like Toro-Hernandez, Beltre and Wander Franco
This has been a solid position for the Astros for a while. Now with Bregman and Gurriel at the MLB level they won’t need to rush Moran or Davis. If there is an injury, one of those guys will be ready to step up.
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**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**