Houston Astros Top Prospects For 2017: No. 30-21
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.
Let’s get to the list!
30. Myles Straw, OF
Current Level: 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
29. Trent Thornton, RHP
Current Level: AA
Thornton was selected in the 5th round of the 2015 draft out of UNC. Thornton was also on the breakout prospect list. Thornton was very good his freshman and sophomore season but regressed in his junior season. The Astros decided to take a chance on him and it paid off. He posted a 3.27 ERA in rookie ball and the Astros aggressively assigned him to Lancaster to start the 2016 season. He 7-4 with a 4.12 ERA and 16 BB/89 K in the Cal League. He was promoted to Corpus and dominated in his seven starts with a 2.35 ERA and 5 BB/35 K in 46 innings. You can check out my interview with him here.
2016 Stats: 10-5, 3.52 ERA, 135.2 IP, 133 H, 21 BB, 124 K, 8.2 K/9, 5.9 K/BB
28. Jake Rogers, C
Current Level: A
Rogers was a 3rd round selection by the Astros in the 2016 draft. Coming out of college Rogers was known as one of the best defensive catchers in the draft, but the bat was a little behind the glove. After the draft he was assigned to Tri-City where he hit.253 with 2 HR, 12 RBI in 25 games. He was promoted to full season Quad Cities where he hit just .208 in 21 games, though he threw out 50% of runners with Quad Cities. If he makes strides with the bat in 2017, he will quickly rise up the prospect lists as he is one of the best defensive catchers in the MiLB.
2016 Stats: 46 G, .233 BA/.341 OBP/.377 SLG, 10 2B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 21 BB/43 SO
27. Rogelio Armenteros, RHP
Current Level: AA
Armenteros had one of the better seasons in the Astros system in 2016. He was signed for just $40,000 in late 2014 out of Cuba. After making his stateside debut in 2015 and going 3-2 with 61 K in 61 innings, he has established himself as a legit pitching prospect. Armenteros finished 2016 leading the Astros minor league system in strikeouts with 140 K in 127.1 innings pitching with Quad Cities, Lancaster, and Corpus Christi. Armenteros made one start in the playoffs for Corpus and went 5 innings allowing 1 run. He has a low to mid 90s fastball and a plethora of off-speed pitches with his curveball probably being his best. He does a good job mixing things up and keeping hitters off balance. He will be 23 in 2017 and should see time in AA and AAA.
2016 Stats: 8-6, 3.53 ERA, 127.1 IP, 116 H, 50 ER, 44 BB, 140 K, 9.9 K/9, 3.18 K/BB
26. Brady Rodgers, RHP
Current Level: MLB
Rodgers was a 3rd round pick out of Arizona State in 2012. After a great showing in rookie ball he had a couple rough season but always had the potential to breakout, and he did just that this season. He posted a 5.14 ERA in April but dominated the rest of the season posting a 2.43 ERA with 102 K in 111 innings. He also showed off very good control walking just 23 in 132 total innings. Rodgers has a solid mix of pitches and knows how to attack hitters. Rodgers got called up to the Astros and pitched 8.1 innings before the 2016 season ended. He should see time with Houston in 2017.
2016 Stats: 12-4, 2.86 ERA, 132 IP, 129 H, 23 BB, 116 K, 7.9 K/9, 5.0 K/BB
25. Yordan Alvarez, 1B
Current Level: Rookie
Alvarez was just signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent for $2 million on June 16th of this year. The Cuban prospect was seen as a potential high reward player. Alvarez has a strong, lean build and some scouts have noted that he is now up to 6’5″ and 220 lbs. He has a simple left handed swing but doesn’t generate much power yet due to his swing path. Scouts say that he flashes average to above average power at workouts, it just hasn’t shown up in the game. He is a good athlete that could play in the outfield.
2016 Stats: 16 G, .341 BA/.474 OBP/.500 SLG, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB, 12 BB/7 SO
24. Riley Ferrell, RHP
Current Level: A+
As a former TCU Horn Frogs closer, Riley Ferrell is set up to be a near immediate impact pitcher in the Astros bullpen as soon as this year. So far the only thing holding him back has been his durability, Ferrell missed all of 2016 due to an aneurysm in his throwing shoulder. Ferrell throws a high 90s fastball touching 97-98mph with a wipeout slider. Ferrell will need his control to improve to have a chance to close but his stuff is good enough right now to carve out a spot in the pen, if healthy.
2016 Stats: 1.80 ERA, 4 SV, 10.0 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 14 K, 12.6 K/9
23. Anibal Sierra, SS
Current Level: Rookie
Another international signing, the Astros signed Sierra for $1.5 million in 2016. He has a quick bat and solid raw power for a middle infielder. He played this season with the DSL Astros, though he was older for the league (22). He did hit .316 with a .465 OBP in 23 games. He will be 23 in 2017 and I expect the Astros to be fairly aggressive with him given his age and bonus amount. Scouts say he has intriguing offensive potential for a shortstop and could develop into a 15 HR guy who uses the whole field.
2016 Stats: 23 G, .316 BA/.465 OBP/.506 SLG, 5 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 18 BB/20 SO
22. Stephen Wrenn, OF
Current Level: A
Wrenn was just drafted in 2016 but had a very good showing this season. He was seen as a very high potential pick but fell a bit due to an eye injury that hurt his season. He has legit 70 speed and is a solid defender. With Tri-City he hit .282 with 9 HR, 27 RBI, 8 SB in 36 games showing off his tools. Wrenn was then promoted to Quad Cities he finished hitting .236 with 3 HR and 12 RBI in 35 games. He is a good base stealer and his speed translates well to center field. He can still work on making better contact but he showed off a solid power/speed combination in 2016.
2016 Stats: 71 G, .260 BA/.324 OBP/.471 SLG, 15 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 39 RBI, 15 SB, 25 BB/78 SO
21. Ronnie Dawson, OF
Current Level: A-
Dawson was drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. Dawson’s junior year at Ohio State was great. He hit .331 with 25 2B, 13 HR, 51 RBI and 21 SB in 65 games. Dawson was assigned to Tri-City after signing with the Astros. He started a bit slow but managed to turn it up and finish strong. In his limited time with the Astros he showed off his power, speed, patience package. Although he hit just .225 (mainly due to a rough start), he finished with a respectable 123 wRC+. His best tool is his above-average raw power, thanks to his 6’2″ 225 lbs frame. He also is a smart runner and has a strong arm for the outfield. Dawson should start next season in High-A and could be a breakout candidate for the Astros.
2016 Stats: 70 G, .225 BA/.351 OBP/.373 SLG, 13 2B, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 12 SB, 41 BB/66 SO
**Photo Credit: Jayne Hansen**