Astros MiLB Position Review: Shortstop
We continue our position reviews in the Astros system this week, taking a look at the shortstop position.
Here are the previous position reviews:
Overall the shortstop position was weak in the minors in 2017 but Brignac provided the needed depth at AAA in case there were injuries. The veteran infielder had a .737 OPS with 33 XBHs in 110 games.
2017 Stats: 110 G, .251 BA/.326 OBP/.411 SLG, 17 2B, 13 HR, 52 RBI, 41 BB/116 SO
The Astros signed Carrasco for $480,000 in the summer of 2016. Carrasco played this season with the DSL Astros and had a solid professional debut. In 64 games he had a 125 wRC+ with more walks than strikeouts. While he doesn’t have a lot of power, he makes up for it with his plate discipline and speed, evident by the 32 stolen bases.
2017 Stats: 64 G, .266 BA/.407 OBP/.319 SLG, 9 2B, 1 3B, 17 RBI, 32 SB, 50 BB/48 SO
Nova was the Astros big get in 2016 signing him to a $1.2 million deal. He made his professional debut this summer and was solid posting a 110 wRC+. He started the season really well hitting .326 in June and .305 in July before falling off a pit in August. Overall, it was a good debut for the Dominican shortstop.
2017 Stats: 47 G, .247 BA/.342 OBP/.355 SLG, 6 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 8 SB, 15 BB/33 SO
THE REST OF THE PACK
Sierra was a high profile signing out of Venezuela for $1 million in 2014. He showed some promise last year hitting 11 HR in 31 games for Greeneville. Unfortunately, he struggled this year with Tri-City hitting just .178 with 4 HR in 57 games. Given his young age, he still has a ton of upside.
2017 Stats: 57 G, .178 BA/.260 OBP/.297 SLG, 8 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 17 BB/62 SO
Arauz was acquired by the Astros as the add on piece in the Ken Giles trade. 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. He only hit .220 with Quad Cities but did have 20 BB/18 SO in 36 games.
2017 Stats: 69 G, .242 BA/.336 OBP/.319 SLG, 10 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 32 BB/47 SO
Astros signed Sierra for $1.5 million in 2016. Given his age at signing, 22, it appeared he could be a fast rise. Unfortunately, he had a terrible 2017 season. He played 9 game with Quad Cities hitting .250 before being promoted to Buies Creek where he hit .196 in 2014 games. Overall he had a 60 wRC+. Low walk rate, high strikeout rate. That signing looks very odd at this point.
2017 Stats: 113 G, .201 BA/.271 OBP/.290 SLG, 11 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 34 RBI, 4 SB, 29 BB/127 SO
Just like second base and third base, the Astros are set at shortstop with Carlos Correa. The minor leagues are filled with a ton of upside in Sierra, Arauz, Nova and Carrasco but all are far away at this point. The upper minors is kind of bare and the older guy in the group, Anibal Sierra, really struggled in 2017. Thanks to Correa, there is plenty of time to let one of the young guys develop.
Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly updates on the Astros minor league system. Also be sure to follow on Twitter, @AstrosFuture, and like my Facebook page, facebook.com/AstrosFuture.
**Photo Credit: Jayne Hansen**