Who is the Astros’ Breakout Prospect of 2017?
Every year in the minors, and particularly the Astros system, a prospect will “breakout” and become a player to watch. With the Astros having built a deep farm system, there was a strong likelihood they would have multiple breakout prospects. There are many prospects that could be on the list making it hard to just choose one. Therefore, I will provide a few candidates and y’all get to vote on who is the Astros breakout prospect of 2017.
Let’s get to the list.
Yordan Alvarez, 1B/OF
Alvarez was signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent for $2 million on June 16th, 2016 and later traded to the Astros for Josh Fields. 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. This season he dominated in Quad Cities hitting .360 with 9 HR, 33 RBI in 32 games (207 wRC+). He was promoted to Buies Creek and continued to produce hitting .277 with 36 RBI in 58 games. Alvarez turned 20 in June and has one of the highest ceilings among position player prospects.
2017 Stats: 90 G, .304 BA/.379 OBP/.481 SLG, 17 2B, 3 3B, 12 HR, 69 RBI, 8 SB, 42 BB/77 SO
Cristian Javier, RHP
Javier is a bit of an unknown in the Astros system but he has been dominant over his brief career. His first year in the Astros system, 2015, he had a 2.13 ERA in the DSL. In 2016 between the GCL and Greeneville he had a 2.29 ERA. Javier started the season with Tri-City after a couple of outings with Buies Creek early on. He had 24 K in 16.2 innings with Tri-City earning him a promotion to Quad Cities where he posted a 2.39 ERA and 47 K in 37.2 innings. His stuff is very good but has an advanced pitchability that allows him to dominate at the lower levels. Next year will be a big test for him as him moved to High-A and Double-A.
2017 Stats: 3-0, 2.25 ERA, 60 IP, 38 H, 27 BB, 80 K, 12.0 K/9
Carmen Benedetti, OF
Benedetti was drafted by the Astros in the 12th round of the 2016 draft following a junior season in which he hit .329 with more walks than strikeouts. Carmen hit .309 with Tri-City last year before opening this season with Quad Cities. In 69 games with Quad Cities he hit .332 with 20 doubles and 42 BB/37 K. He was promoted to Buies Creek where he hit .268 in 23 games. Overall he hit .316 with 15.5 BB%, 17.5 K% and a 151 wRC+.
2017 Stats: 92 G, .316 BA/.421 OBP/.452 SLG, 27 2B, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 2 SB, 60 BB/68 SO
Yoanys Quiala, RHP
Another under the radar Cuban signing by the Astros, Quiala was signed in the summer of 2015. He started the season with Buies Creek and went 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA and 59 K in 58.1 innings. He was promoted to AA and had a 2.86 ERA in 50.1 innings. Overall he had a 2.57 ERA with 92 K in 108.2 innings. Quiala possesses a low 90s fastball, changeup and slider. Though reports had his fastball at mid to high 90s when he signed. He is 23 years old.
2017 Stats: 9-5, 2.57 ERA, 108.2 IP, 105 H, 31 ER, 24 BB, 92 K, 7.6 K/9
Of course there are others deserving but I tried to narrow the list down to four. All of these prospects have seen their stock rise this season. If there is a prospect you think should be on this list, please comment below.
**Photo Credit: Richard Guill**