Where Are They Now? Astros Top Prospects From 2012
This is another follow up to the “where are they now?” series. This time we look at the Astros top prospects right as Jeff Luhnow was taking over as the general manager. Here are the previous lists:
1 – Jon Singleton, 1B
Singleton was originally drafted by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2009 draft out of high school. Singleton had a breakout year in 2010. In his first full season he hit .290 with 14 HR, 77 RBI and 62 BB/74 K in 104 games at just 18 years old. The following season he was traded to the Astros as a headliner in the Hunter Pence deal. He finished that year between the Phillies and Astros system hitting .293 in High-A. Singleton had his best season in the minors in 2012 when he hit .284 with 21 HR, 79 RBI in 131 AA games at just 20 years old (148 wRC+). This is where the downfall kind of started. Singleton was suspended for 50 games in the 2013 season but eventually made it up to AAA. The following season he would make his MLB debut but hit just .168 in 95 games (81 wRC+). He ended up only playing 19 more regular season games for the Astros in 2015. Singleton hit just .232 in four AAA seasons and was eventually released in 2018 while serving a 100 game suspension for a failed drug test.
2 – Jarred Cosart, RHP
Cosart was drafted by the Phillies in 2008 in the 38th round (yes, the 38th round). Cosart was a product of the Houston area attending Clear Creek High School in League City, TX. Cosart had a solid full season debut in 2010 when he posted a 3.79 ERA with 77 K in 71.1 innings. The numbers were solid but his stuff is what really got prospect evaluators excited. Cosart was pitching in High-A in 2011 when he was traded to Houston as part of the Hunter Pence deal. The following year, Cosart had his best minor league season. Between AA and AAA, Cosart posted a 3.30 ERA in 114.2 innings. Cosart made his MLB debut in 2013 and had a 1.95 ERA in 60 innings, though the peripherals weren’t great (5.3 BB/9, 5.0 K/9). Cosart spent the first half of the 2014 season with the Astros before being shipped out to Miami at the deadline for Marisnick, Moran, Martes and a draft pick. Cosart had a 3.82 ERA for Miami before being trade for San Diego in 2016. There he had a 5.58 ERA. He last pitched in the minors/majors in 2017.
3 – George Springer, OF
Springer was probably my most favorite prospects to watch go through the system. He was really the glimmer of hope for the future. Springer was the Astros first round pick in 2011. His first full season he spent time between A+ and AA showing what he could do. He hit a combined .302/.383/.526 with 24 HR, 32 SB in 128 games. The following season he split time between AA and AAA slashing .303/.411/.600 with 37 HR, 108 RBI, 45 SB in 135 games. This season vaulted him to #18 on the Baseball America list. Springer was electric. He was either hitting a homer, stealing a base, or both at a pace that almost seemed unreal. The following year Springer would make his MLB debut after a quick 13 games in AAA. George had a nice rookie year slugging 20 HR with a 126 OPS+. In 2016 Springer played in 162 games and hit .261 with 29 HR. He had his best season in 2017 when he slashed .283/.367/.522 with 34 HR and a 141 OPS+. He was an All-Star and won the World Series MVP. Springer has grown to be a fan favorite for the Astros.
4 – Jonathan Villar, SS
Villar was signed by the Phillies as an international free agent. He spent two and a half years in the Phillies system before being traded to Houston for Roy Oswalt in 2010. In the 2011 season, Villar split time between A+ and AA hitting .241 with 23 2B, 14 HR, 34 SB in 130 games. Villar would eventually make his MLB debut in 2013 playing in 58 games and posting a .640 OPS. In 2014 he played in 87 games and had a .620 OPS. Villar was tough to watch because he had all the physical tools, but would make mistakes on routine plays that would boggle the mind. In 2015 he split time between AAA and MLB again, this time posting a .752 OPS at the MLB level. With the emergency of Carlos Correa, Villar was traded to Milwaukee for Cy Sneed prior to 2016. Villar had the best year of his career in 2016 with a .826 OPS, 38 2B, 19 HR, 62 SB in 156 games. Villar was traded to Baltimore in 2018 and combined to hit .260 in 141 games.
5 – Paul Clemens, RHP
Clemens was originally drafted by the Braves in the 2008 draft. He was sent to Houston as part of the package that dealt for Michael Bourn. Clemens had a 3.23 ERA in 94.2 innings in 2010 between A/A+ before being traded to Houston. In 2011, he spent time between AA and AAA and had a 3.81 ERA in 26 starts. The following season he split time again between AA and AAA but the results weren’t very good posting a 5.78 ERA. Clemens eventually made his MLB debut for the Astros in 2013 posting a 5.40 ERA in 73.1 innings. Clemens would pitch for the Astros again in 2014 but was designated for assignment that winter. He saw some MLB time with Miami and San Diego in 2016 but that was his last MLB appearance. He pitched in independent ball in 2018.
6 – Domingo Santana, OF
Santana was originally signed as an international free agent by Philadelphia. He played a couple seasons in their system before being sent to Houston as the player to be named later in the Hunter Pence trade. In Santana’s first season in the Astros system, he hit .302 with 23 HR, 97 RBI in 119 games. The next year he played in AA at just 20 years old and showed off his power again clubbing 25 HR in 112 games. Santana had a very good 2014 hitting .296 in 120 AAA games and earning a call up to Houston. He only had 17 MLB at bats that season. In July 2015, Santana was traded to Milwaukee in the deal that netted the Astros Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. Santana had a breakout 2017 season hitting 30 HRs with a 125 OPS+. He wasn’t as solid in 2018 posting a 97 wRC+ and spending some time in AAA. In December 2018, he was traded to Seattle.
7 – Brett Oberholtzer, LHP
Oberholtzer was an 8th round pick by the Braves in 2008. He was solid in the minors in Atlanta before being traded to Houston in the Michael Bourn deal. The season he was traded, he posted a 4.01 ERA in 155 innings in AA. The next season, he had a 4.37 ERA between AA and AAA. He 2013, Oberholtzer pitched well enough in AAA to earn a major league callup. He was solid for Houston posting a 2.76 ERA in 71.2 innings. In 2014 he had a 4.39 ERA, 3.56 FIP in 143.2 innings. Oberholtzer was eventually traded to Philadelphia to acquire closer Ken Giles. He pitched with the Phillies and Angels in 2016 but that was his last MLB appearance. He pitched in the Rockies minor league system in 2018.
8 – Delino DeShields Jr, 2B/OF
DeShields Jr was drafted by the Astros with the 8th pick of the 2010 draft out of high school. He was decent early but had a breakout 2012 season where he slashed .287/.389/.428 with 12 HR, 61 RBI, 101 SB between A/A+. The next season at Lancaster he hit .317 with 54 SB in 111 games. In 2014, Delino played the entire season at AA and while he struggled some, he showed the same abilities before stealing 54 bases with a .706 OPS. The Astros decided to not add DeSheilds to the 40 man roster leaving him open to the Rule 5 Draft. In the Winter Meetings of 2014, DeShields was selected by the Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft. He actually had a solid rookie year hitting .261 with .718 OPS and 25 SB. He was solid in 2017 but then struggled in 2018 with a .591 OPS. In 421 MLB games, he has a .667 OPS with 82 SB.
9 – Mike Foltynewicz, RHP
Foltynewicz was the other Astros first round pick in 2010 (19th overall). He struggled early in his minor league career but then had a very good 2012 in A ball posting a 3.14 ERA in 152 innings. The next season, Folty really put himself on the map showing off his heater while posting a 3.06 ERA with 124 K in 129.1 innings. This helped him jump up to #59 on the Baseball America list. He pitched in AAA and the MLB in 2014, only logging 18.2 innings in the MLB. That off-season, Folty was traded as part of the Evan Gattis deal. He bounced around MLB and AAA the first two years posting a combined 4.89 ERA. In 2018, Foltynewicz had a breakout season at 26 years old. He had a 2.85 ERA with 202 K in 183 innings and finished 8th in the Cy Young Voting while also becoming an All-Star for the first time.
10 – Telvin Nash, 1B
Nash was a third round pick by the Astros in 2009. Nash played in rookie ball for two years before making his full-season debut in 2011 hitting .274 with 14 HR in 73 A ball games. The next season, at Lancaster, Nash hit just .224 but did 29 HR. Nash would eventually make it to AA but struggled making contact and consistently hit for a low average. In 2016, Nash was signed to the White Sox system. He really struggled though making it back to AA and hitting just .176. He was eventually released and last payed in Independent Baseball in 2018, and actually put up some good numbers (.338 in 39 games).
**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**