Houston Astros Top Prospects For 2017: No. 20-11

Houston Astros Top Prospects For 2017: No. 20-11

The time has come to count down our top 30 prospects here at Astros Future. This is a composite list from all the writers here. As expected, the Astros system is stacked. Here is numbers 20-11.

Let’s get to the list!

20. Jandel Gustave, RHP

Current Level: MLB
ETA: 2017
DOB: 10/12/92

Gustave is a definite fireballer with his fastball averaging high 90s. He had a very good 2015 season leading to high expectations in 2016. He started off the year great with a 2.53 ERA but hit a rough patch in May and June allowing 16 ER in 23.1 innings. He turned it around and was eventually promoted to Houston where he struck out 16 batters in in 15.1 innings with a 3.52 ERA. Gustave figures to be a bullpen contributor this season. Gustave possesses a high 90s fastball (averaging 97-98 MPH) and a wipeout slider.

2016 Stats: 3-3, 3.79 ERA, 3 SV, 57.0 IP, 46 H, 23 BB, 55 K, 8.7 K/9 (AAA)

19. James Hoyt, RHP

Current Level: MLB
ETA: 2017
DOB: 09/30/86

Hoyt had one of the most dominating seasons I have seen for a relief pitcher in 2016. He was acquired prior to the 2015 season in the Evan Gattis deal. In 2016 he allowed just a .198 BAA while striking out over 15 per 9 innings. Hoyt picked up 29 saves for Fresno before being promoted to Houston. With Houston he had a 4.50 ERA but still struck out 28 hitters in 22 innings. This also came with an insane HR/FB rate, which should go down. I expect Hoyt to be a piece of the Astros 2017 bullpen. While he is older than the typical prospect, he has the ability to contribute now. Hoyt works primarily with a mid 90s fastball, cutter/slider and changeup.

2016 Stats: 4-3, 1.64 ERA, 29 SV, 55.0 IP, 29 H, 19 BB, 93 K, 15.2 K/9 (AAA)

18. Jason Martin, OF

Current Level: A+
ETA: 2018
DOB: 09/05/95

Martin was drafted in the 13th round of the 2013 draft and has steadily moved through the system. After spending the first couple seasons in rookie ball he hit .270 with 8 HR for Quad Cities in 2015. In 2016 Martin had a very good season hitting .270 with 23 HR, 75 RBI, and 20 SB in 110 games for Lancaster. Some are split on what outfield position he will play but in 2016 he played primarily center field. He is another power/speed combo and should play start the season with Corpus Christi in 2017. Some are skeptical on his power due to the Lancaster effect so we will see how he performs in 2017. 18 might be a bit low for him but he really has the chance to jump up the rankings.

2016 Stats: 110 G, .270 BA/.357 OBP/.533 SLG, 22 2B, 7 3B, 23 HR, 75 RBI, 20 SB, 55 BB/108 SO

17. Freudis Nova, SS

Current Level: N/A
ETA: 2021
DOB: 01/12/00

Nova was originally agreed to sign with the Marlins for $2.5 million but tested positive for steroids causing Miami to back out. The Astros swooped in and were able to sign him for $1.2 million. This isn’t the first time the Astros signed a prospect after failing a test, they signed Michael Feliz for just $400,000 after he had a positive drug test. According to MLB.com, he has drawn comparisons to Hanley Ramirez and Edgar Renteria. Scouts note that he has the potential to hit for average and power with a quick stroke. Nova also has plus speed and arm strength. He has yet to make his Astros debut but hopefully will in 2017. He will be just 17 years old all season long. He has a ton of upside and once he gets some game action we should be able to get more information on him.

2016 Stats: N/A

16. Gilberto Celestino, OF

Current Level: Rookie
ETA: 2020
DOB: 02/13/99

Astros signed Celestino for $2.25M in 2015. Celestino was seen as one of the most polished prospects available with elite athleticism and instincts in center field. He has above average speed and a strong ability to hit for average and power. In his first taste of professional ball he started out playing for the DSL Astros where he hit .279 with .388 OBP and 25 BB/23 SO in 38 games. He also had 14 extra base hits in those 38 games. He got moved up to GCL Astros where he .200, though in just 18 games. He could start the 2017 season with Quad Cities.

2016 Stats: 56 G, .257 BA/.365 OBP/.393 SLG, 12 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 15 SB, 33 BB/39 SO

15. Jonathan Arauz, SS

Current Level: Rookie
ETA: 2020
DOB: 08/03/98

Arauz was acquired by the Astros in the trade that brought Ken Giles to Houston. He is very young, just 17 in 2016, but has already played two seasons stateside. While he doesn’t have a tool that really stands out, his tools across the board rank out at least average. He is a switch hitter with good bat speed and a line drive approach. At just 16 years old he made his stateside debut (with Phillies) hitting .254 in 44 games in the GCL. In 2016 he played with Greeneville and hit .249 in 53 games. He is a very good defender as well. He is listed at 6’0″ and 150 lbs but should be able to add more weight and strength as he matures. Its possible he makes his full season debut with Quad Cities in 2017 at just 18 years old.

2016 Stats: 53 G, .249 BA/.323 OBP/.338 SLG, 10 2B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 19 BB/45 SO

14. Cionel Perez, LHP

Current Level: N/A
ETA: 2019
DOB: 04/21/96

Perez originally agreed to a deal with the Astros worth $5.15 million but the deal was voided due to a physical. Perez was later signed for $2 million. Perez is just another prospect from Cuba making the move to the MiLB. Perez possesses a low to mid 90s fastball. MLB Pipeline notes that he has a slider and curveball, which sometimes mix together but has the makings off a plus pitch. He also has a changeup that shows potential. He has very advanced pitchability that should help him move through the system quickly. The only knock on him right now is his size (5’11”).

2016 Stats: N/A

13. J.D. Davis, 3B

Current Level: AA
ETA: 2017
DOB: 04/27/93

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. Davis is an adequate defender with a very strong arm. He should start the season with AAA and has a chance to show off his power in the PCL.

2016 Stats: 126 G, .268 BA/.334 OBP/.485 SLG, 34 2B, 23 HR, 81 RBI, 45 BB/143 SO

12. Colin Moran, 3B

Current Level: MLB
ETA: 2017
DOB: 10/01/92

Moran was originally drafted by the Marlins with the 6th pick in the 2013 draft. At the time, Moran was seen as one of the best college hitters available and a guy expected to move fast. In the summer of 2014, Moran was traded to Houston as part of the Cosart trade. Moran spent the whole 2015 season with Corpus showing why he was a top pick hitting .306 with 25 2B, 9 HR, 67 RBI in 96 games. Moran started the 2016 season with Fresno. Unfortunately he didn’t have a great season hitting just .259 with 18 2B and 10 HR in AAA. Moran did get 23 at bats with Houston but had just 3 hits and 2 RBI. He has a nice stroke from the left hand side but K rate jump up to 24.3% in 2016. He will be just 24 in the 2017..

2016 Stats: 117 G, .259 BA/.329 OBP/.368 SLG, 18 2B, 10 HR, 69 RBI, 47 BB/124 SO (AAA)

11. Garrett Stubbs, C

Current Level: AA
ETA: 2018
DOB: 05/26/93

Stubbs was drafted by the Astros out of USC in 2015. He was known as a great defender but has really made good strides with the bat. In 2015, he played in 36 games hitting .263 with an insane 21 BB/5 SO ratio. Stubbs started the 2016 season with Lancaster and got off to a nice start slashing .305/.399/.473 in the first half of the season. Stubbs was eventually promoted to Corpus Christi where he continued his hot hitting and actually improved in every category slashing .325/.401/.517 over 31 AA games. On the season he stole 15 bases and only struck out 48 times in 86 games. He has definitely established himself as the best catching prospect in the Astros system. Stubbs also hit .412 with 2 2B, 2 RBI in four playoff games for the Hooks. Overall he threw out 51% of base stealers in 2016.

2016 Stats: 86 G, .304 BA/.391 OBP/.469 SLG, 22 2B, 10 HR, 54 RBI, 15 SB, 43 BB/48 SO

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**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**

Houston Astros Top 10 Prospects for 2017
Houston Astros Top Prospects For 2017: No. 30-21