Astros Top Prospects For 2018: No. 30-21

Astros Top Prospects For 2018: No 30-21

With the regular season right around the corner, and the top prospects by each position completed, its time to update the top 30 prospects. Here are numbers 30-21.

30. Jonathan Arauz, SS

Current Level: A
ETA: 2021
DOB: 08/03/98

Astros acquired Arauz from the Phillies as a add on piece in the Ken Giles trade. While Arauz doesn’t have one stand out tool, he is solid across the board. Arauz split time between Tri-City and Quad Cities at 18 years old this season. He hit .264 with .704 OPS in 33 games with Tri-City (115 wRC+). He only hit .220 with Quad Cities but did have 20 BB/18 SO in 36 games. He is a switch hitter who still has a lot of projection left.

2017 Stats: 69 G, .242 BA/.336 OBP/.319 SLG, 10 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 32 BB/47 SO

29. Jandel Gustave, RHP

Current Level: MLB
ETA: 2018
DOB: 10/12/92

Gustave has been in the Astros system since 2010 and has always caught scouts eyes with his fastball, which can hit triple digits pretty regularly. He had a breakout season with Corpus in 2015. He pitched well enough in AAA in 2016 to earn a call-up to the MLB. He was solid in his short time with Houston posting a 3.52 ERA/3.54 FIP with 16 K in 15.2 innings. Gustave started the 2017 season with Houston but after just 5 innings, he needed TJ surgery and missed the remainder of the year. Gustave has closer stuff but will need to work on his command to really take the next step forward.

2017 Stats: 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 7 BB, 2 K

28. Brandon Bailey, RHP

Current Level: A+
ETA: 2019
DOB: 10/19/94

The Astros picked up Bailey this off-season in a deal that sent Laureano to Oakland. Bailey had a dominant season in 2017 for Oakland. He started the season in Low-A and had a 2.68 ERA with 21 BB/73 K in 57.0 IP. He was promoted to High-A and had 10 BB/47 Kin 34 IP with a 4.24 ERA. Overall, he had 11.9 K/9. Bailey was drafted in the 6th round of 2016. While he is smaller in stature, he makes up for it with his pitching ability. He has a low 90s fastball, a good changeup, and a solid slider and curveball. Some scouts think he will end up in the bullpen because of his size, but for now, he will be a starter in the minors.

2017 Stats: 3-2, 3.26 ERA, 91 IP, 68 H, 31 BB, 120 K, 11.9 K/9

27. Chuckie Robinson, C

Current Level: A
ETA: 2020
DOB: 12/14/94

Robinson was drafted by the Astros in the 21st round of the 2016 draft and has played well so far in his MiLB career. After hitting .275 in rookie ball, Robinson started the 2017 season with the Quad Cities River Bandits. The 23 year-old hit .274 with 15 HR, 77 RBI in 108 games (122 wRC+) helping the River Bandits to the Midwest League Championship. He also posted a respectable 41% caught stealing rate. He was a solid contributor all season long and established himself as a legit prospect in the Astros system. Robinson is known as a good defender so if he continues to improve with the bat he could start to really move through the system. You can read more on Robinson here.

2017 Stats: 108 G, .274 BA/.330 OBP/.463 SLG, 32 2B, 15 HR, 77 RBI, 7 SB, 31 BB/98 SO

26. Carmen Benedetti, OF

Current Level: A+
ETA: 2020
DOB: 10/29/94

Benedetti was the Astros 12th round selection in the 2016 draft. He had a solid college career which saw him hit .326 with 45 BB/29 SO in 54 games during his junior season. Benedetti had a good debut following the draft hitting .309 with a 121 wRC+ for Tri-City. Benedetti started the season with Quad Cities and really put together a nice run. He played in 69 games for Quad Cities hitting .332 with .446 OBP, 51 BB/47 SO and a 163 wRC+. The walk and strikeout rates are what really stood out, 17.3 BB% and 15.9 K%. He was promoted to Buies Creek and hit .268 in the final 23 games. Overall he had 27 doubles and 5 homers. He doesn’t have a lot of power, though he has good size (6’2, 225 lbs). Next year will be an interesting one for him to see if he can continue the stellar on base numbers.

2017 Stats: 92 G, .316 BA/.421 OBP/.452 SLG, 27 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 2 SB, 60 BB/68 SO

25. Abraham Toro-Hernandez, 3B/C

Current Level: A
ETA: 2021
DOB: 12/20/96

Toro-Hernandez was drafted by the Astros with the 5th round pick in the 2016 draft. Toro made his full season debut this year playing third base and a handful of games at catcher. He started the year with Tri-City and hit .292 with 8 2B, 6 HR in 32 games (185 wRC+) before being promoted to QC. There he hit 9 HR in 37 games good for a 120 wRC+ but he also maintained good walk and strikeout rates. Overall he had a 149 wRC+ with 14.0 BB% and 17.8 K%, a very good full season debut. Next year at this time he could see himself on the catcher list if the transition continues.

2017 Stats: 69 G, .246 BA/.364 OBP/.496 SLG, 11 2B, 15 HR, 33 RBI, 3 SB, 40 BB/51 SO

24. Brett Adcock, LHP

Current Level: A+
ETA: 2020
DOB: 08/28/95

Adcock was drafted by the Astros in the 4th round of the 2016 draft after a solid college career with Michigan. His junior season he had a 3.22 ERA with 100 K in 78 IP. Unfortunately, it came with 62 walks which is one reason he fell a bit in the draft. Adcock had a pretty good first full season in 2017. He started the year with Quad Cities and dominated there posting a 1.14 ERA with 7 BB/37 K in 23.2 IP. He was promoted to Buies Creek where he had a 4.71 ERA (4.10 FIP) with 80 K in 84 IP. He has a low 90s fastball that he mixes with a big breaking curveball and slider.

2017 Stats: 5-4, 3.93 ERA, 107.2 IP, 93 H, 47 ER, 39 BB, 117 SO, 9.8 K/9

23. Framber Valdez, LHP

Current Level: AA
ETA: 2019
DOB: 11/19/93

Valdez was signed by the Astros in March 2015. It didn’t take him long to debut as he tossed 36.2 innings for the DSL Astros that same summer. Valdez is a lefty from the Dominican Republic that gained some traction after his 2016 season and his performance in Spring Training in 2017. This year he started with Buies Creek and had a 2.79 ERA with 73 K in 61.1 innings. He was promoted to Corpus Christi but had a rough time there posting a 5.88 ERA in 49 IP, though he did have a 3.93 FIP with a 58.7 GB%.  Overall he had 126 K in 110.1 IP. He has a low to mid 90s 2 seam fastball which helps generate a ton of ground balls. He also has a good curveball and changeup..

2017 Stats: 7-8, 4.16 ERA, 110.1 IP, 101 H, 51 ER, 52 BB, 126 K, 10.3 K/9

22. J.J. Matijevic, OF

Current Level: A
ETA: 2020
DOB: 11/14/95

The Astros selected Matijevic 75th overall (2nd round) in the 2017 draft. Matijevic destroyed the Pac12 during his junior season hitting .383 with 30 2B, 10 HR, 65 RBI for the University of Arizona. The only problem was scouts weren’t sure where he would end up in the field with the two options being second base of left field. After the draft he was assigned to Tri-City where he hit .240 with 6 HR (108 wRC+). He was eventually promoted to Quad Cities and played in 6 games there. Overall his 27.8 K% with a 98 wRC+. He still has a ton of upside with the bat and will be a guy to keep an eye on next season.

2017 Stats: 59 G, .228 BA/.290 OBP/.384 SLG, 14 2B, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 11 SB, 19 BB/69 SO

21. Riley Ferrell, RHP

Current Level: AA
ETA: 2018
DOB: 10/18/93

Ferrell was a 3rd round selection of the Astros in the 2015 draft out of TCU after dominating there for 3 seasons. Early into his 2016 season, Ferrell had surgery to remove an aneurysm in his throwing shoulder ending his season. He started the 2017 season with Buies Creek and pitched 2 perfect innings there with 5 K before being promoted to AA. Overall with Corpus Christi he had a 3.81 ERA with 55 K in 52 innings, but he was better than that line indicates as he finished the season great. From July 6th to the end of the season Ferrell had a 2.08 ERA with 4 BB/30 K in 21.2 innings. Ferrell has a mid to high 90s fastball and a mid 80s slider. Ferrell could see time in Houston this year if he performs well in the minors and a spot opens up.

2017 Stats: 2-2, 3.67 ERA (2.58 FIP), 54.0 IP, 51 H, 22 ER, 14 BB, 60 K, 10.0 K/9

**Header Photo Credit: Richard Guill**

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