Top Prospects No. 20-11

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20. Hector Perez, RHP

Current Level: A+
ETA: 2019
DOB: 06/06/96

The Astros signed Perez is the summer of 2014. He made his system debut in 2015 pitching between the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA and 23 BB/50 K in 55 IP. Perez got a late start to the 2016 season being assigned to Tri-City in June.  He went 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA and 12 BB/36 K in 28.2 IP earning him a promotion to Quad Cities. In 2017 he started the season with Quad Cities striking out 24 in 18 innings before earning a promotion to Buies Creek. He has pitched well but needs to work on his command as he has walked 45 in 73 innings. Perez sits 91-96 with his fastball and a wipeout slider.

2017 Stats: 6-5, 2.87 ERA, 91.0 IP, 64 H, 29 ER, 56 BB, 113 K

19. 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 started the 2016 season in Greeneville where he had a 1.69 ERA with 15 K in 10.2 IP. He was promoted to Tri-City where he continued to pitch well with 28 K in 21.2 IP and a 3.74 ERA. He continued the climb moving to Quad Cities posting a 3.06 ERA with 35 K in 35.1 IP. He finished the season making one start for Lancaster. 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. He has been solid in 2017 posting a 3.36 ERA between A+/AA. He has also posted very good groundball rates this year.

2017 Stats: 6-5, 3.36 ERA, 91.0 IP, 71 H, 43 BB, 104 K, 10.3 K/9

18. Myles Straw, OF

Current Level: A+
ETA: 2019
DOB: 10/17/94

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. 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, ability to draw a walk, and a strong arm in the outfield. This season he has more walks than strikeouts and improved his stolen base percentage.

2017 Stats: 98 G, .310 BA/.414 OBP/.394 SLG, 15 2B, 7 3B, 1 HR, 36 RBI, 30 SB, 69 BB/62 SO

17. Ramon Laureano, OF

Current Level: AA
ETA: 2018
DOB: 07/15/94

Laureano, 16th round pick in 2014, had a breakout 2016 season. He started the season with Lancaster and hit .317 with 10 HR, 60 RBI in 80 games. Lancaster is a great place to hit but he went to Corpus and hit even better slashing .323/.432/.548 in 36 games. Laureano also stole 43 bases and drew 70 walks. He showed some good power and has a nice line drive stroke. He has played all three outfield positions but might profile best in right field. The speed (43 SB) and patience (70 BB) combination is great to see from a young player. Unfortunately, he has struggled in 2017 with Corpus hitting just .221 in 96 games.

2016 Stats: 96 G, .221 BA/.291 OBP/.346 SLG, 18 2B, 5 3B, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 22 SB

16. Drew Ferguson, OF

Current Level: AAA
ETA: 2018
DOB: 08/03/92

Another late round pick for the Astros that has blossomed, Ferguson, was drafted in the 19th round in 2015. After making his full season debut for Quad Cities just months after the draft, he had a very good full season debut in 2016 hitting .315 with 17 HR, 30 SB between A+/AA. He has very good speed and is a solid defender in the outfield. So far in his career, he has shown the ability to hit for average and show some pop. He is a bit older but continues to defy the odds. Ferguson also mentioned in this interview, that he has always been interested in analytics so the Astros were a great fit for him. He was just recently promoted to AAA and made his debut last night.

2017 Stats: 85 G, .294 BA/.391 OBP/.428 SLG, 18 2B, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 15 SB, 45 BB/77 SO

15. Freudis Nova, SS

Current Level: DSL
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 debuted this year at just 17 years old and has held his own hitting .302 in 31 games.

2017 Stats: 29 G, .302 BA/.422 OBP/.415 SLG, 6 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 6 SB, 14 BB/20 SO

14. Corbin Martin, RHP

Current Level: A-
ETA: 2020
DOB: 12/28/95

Another compensation from the Cardinals hacking scandal, the Astros selected Martin 56th overall in this year’s draft. Martin was an enigma in college. He would be dominant one point, and then lose his command the next. Scouts were torn on him being a starter or reliever but a solid performance in the Cape Cod League helped raise his stock. As a junior at Texas A&M he struck out 95 in 87.2 innings. He has an easy mid to high 90s fastball and a very goo curveball. If he controls his pitches, he could really fly up the prospect rankings.

2017 Stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 13.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 14 K

13. Garrett Stubbs, C

Current Level: AAA
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 hit .325/.401/.517 over 31 AA games. Overall he threw out 51% of base stealers in 2016. Stubbs flew up the rankings due to his solid hit tool and athleticism. He has struggled some this year but has still posted a very good walk to strikeout rate.

2017 Stats: 73 G, .235 BA/.326 OBP/.333 SLG, 13 2B, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 32 BB/40 SO, 8 SB

12. 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. Scouts have likened him to Albert Almora of the Cubs. While Celestino has a lot of upside, he has a pretty high floor given his on base ability and defense in center field. He has been good this season hitting .286 with a .745 OPS.

2017 Stats: 33 G, .285 BA/.349 OBP/.387 SLG, 5 2B, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 8 SB

11. Jason Martin, OF

Current Level: AA
ETA: 2018
DOB: 09/05/95

Martin was drafted in the 8th 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. He is another power/speed combo outfielder in the Astros system. He has improved on his 2016 season and hit a combined .279 showing off his power with 27 2B, 16 HR between Buies Creek and Corpus Christi. He has a nice, compact left handed stroke and should continue to rise up prospect boards.

2017 Stats: 99 G, .282 BA/.334 OBP/.510 SLG, 27 2B, 5 3B, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 31 BB/97 SO, 13 SB