Houston Astros Top Three Right Field Prospects For 2017
This week we continue the top three prospects at each position with a look at the right field position. The outfield position is tough to rank since the Astros move so many of the outfield prospects around. For the purpose of this list, I will stick to the guys who have played primarily right field. The Astros system is very deep at the outfield positions.
1. Teoscar Hernandez (MLB)
Hernandez has been in the Astros system since 2011 and made huge strides in 2016. He broke onto the scene in 2014 when he hit .292 with 21 HR, 85 RBI. This led many to expect a big 2015 season and, unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Teoscar finished 2015 hitting just .219 with 17 HR in 121 AA games. Hernandez turned things around big time in 2016 though. He started the year in Corpus and hit .305 with 19 2B, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 29 SB in 69 games. He also improved his plate discipline with 32 BB/55 SO in those games. He was promoted to Fresno where he continued to smoke the ball hitting .313 with a .865 OPS in 38 games. He was promoted to Houston and hit .230 with 4 HR in 100 at bats. Teoscar has a solid mix of power and speed as well as a strong arm in right field. Regardless of where he starts the 2017 season, he should be in Houston at some point.
2016 Stats: 107 G, .307 BA/.377 OBP/.459 SLG, 28 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 53 RBI, 34 SB, 45 BB/80 SO (AA/AAA)
2. Ramon Laureano (AA)
Laureano, 16th round pick in 2014, had a breakout 2016 season. Before the season I chose him as a possible breakout candidate and he did just that. After struggling in his first taste of pro ball in 2014, he put together a decent 2015 but still left a lot to be desired. In 2016, he had an incredible season. He started the season with Lancaster and hit .317 with 10 HR, 60 RBI in 80 games. In his final 13 games in Lancaster before being promoted he hit .522 (24-for-46) with 4 HR, 14 RBI. Lancaster is a great place to hit but he went to Corpus and hit even better slashing .323/.432/.548 in 36 games. Laureano also stole 43 bases and drew 70 walks. He showed some good power and has a nice line drive stroke. He has played all three outfield positions but might profile best in right field. The speed (43 SB) and patience (70 BB) combination is great to see from a young player. I’m really excited to see how he performs in 2017. You can read more about Laureano here.
2016 Stats: 116 G, .319 BA/.428 OBP/.528 SLG, 28 2B, 7 3B, 15 HR, 73 RBI, 43 SB, 70 BB/119 SO
3. Myles Straw (A+)
Straw was drafted by the Astros in the 12th round of the 2015 draft. In the 2016 season he played in 76 games in the outfield with 31 games in RF, 26 games in CF, and 20 games in LF. Straw made his full season debut on May 20th and it didn’t take him long to get going. He finished May hitting just .257 but hit .326 in June and then hit .423 in July. On August 11th, Straw was promoted to Lancaster and still managed to hit .385 between two different levels that month. Straw is one of the fastest players in the Astros system and showed off a very good hit tool this season. He finished the season with a .358 BA and 124 hits in his 87 games played. While he doesn’t have a ton of power, he has a solid hit tool and will take a walk. He also has 43 SB in 145 career MiLB games. You can read more about Straw here.
2016 Stats: 87 G, .358 BA/.423 OBP/.454 SLG, 18 2B, 6 3B, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 21 SB, 40 BB/75 SO
Johnny Sewald (A+) – Sewald was drafted by the Astros in the 14th round of the 2015 draft. Sewald is another toolsy outfielder in the Astros system. He started out the season with Quad Cities and hit .219 in 29 games before being promoted to Lancaster where he went on a tear. He finished the season hitting .287 with 6 HR for Lancaster. He also drew 45 walks in 79 games and stole 39 bases overall.
Top Three Prospects By Position
**Photo Credit: Kiel Maddox/Fresno Grizzlies**