Astros MiLB Position Review: First Base
Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2021 season. This week I will be looking at the second base position. The players here played the majority of their games at second this season.
Previous Position Reviews:
Valdez had a breakout season in 2021. He started the year in High-A and hit .254 but had 21 HR and 72 RBI in 75 games. He was promoted to Double-A and hit .256 with a .880 OPS and another 5 HR. Overall he had 26 HR, 90 RBI this season which led the Astros minor league system. His .860 OPS was the highest of any second baseman in the system. He will have to walk more and prove the power is legit as he moves up the ranks, but a strong 2021 season for him.
2021 Stats: 98 G, .255 BA/.326 OBP/.534 SLG, 22 2B, 26 HR, 90 RBI, 5 SB, 122 wRC+
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) September 15, 2021
Hensley was a 26th round pick by the Astros in 2018 but put together a solid season playing all over the infield. He played 46 games at 2nd, 35 at SS and 17 at third base. In 2021 Hensley hit .293 with .808 OPS and 25 2B in 105 games. He finished the season on an insane stretch hitting .345 over his final 44 games of 2021. The right hander showed his versatility and should be one to watch as he moves up to Triple-A in 2022.
2021 Stats: 105 G, .293 BA/.369 OBP/.439 SLG, 25 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 11 SB, 118 wRC+
David Hensley ended the season on fire. Over the final 44 games he posted the following line:
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) September 20, 2021
Will Wagner, the son of Billy Wagner, was drafted by the Astros in the 18th round of the 2021 draft but was impressive in his short time with Fayetteville. In 31 games the left handed hitter slashed .299/.388/.436 with 8 2B, 2 HR, 5 SB. He also had a very solid 11.9 BB%. He played all over the infield but most of his games at second base. He will be a fun prospect to watch next year in Asheville.
2021 Stats: 31 G, .299 BA/.388 OBP/.436 SLG, 8 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 5 SB, 128 wRC+
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) August 7, 2021
THE REST OF THE PACK
Like Wagner, Kato was also a pick from the 2021 draft (13th round). He played in 31 games in Low-A and hit .242 but had a .405 OBP with a 20.7 BB%. He didn’t show much power, just like college, but had an impressive 24 BB/16 SO ratio in those 31 games.
2021 Stats: 31 G, .242 BA/.405 OBP/.341 SLG, 3 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 3 SB, 119 wRC+
Lorenzo was a high bonus signing ($1.8 million) who got his first action in the Astros system in rookie ball this year. In 41 games for the FCL Astros he hit .248 with a .628 OPS. Still really early for him but next year will be a good test as he most likely moves to full season ball.
2021 Stats: 41 G, .248 BA/.316 OBP/.312 SLG, 6 2B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 5 SB
Santana was acquired in the J.D. Davis trade and had some monster numbers in rookie ball but hasn’t been able to replicate that in full season. In 2021 he played 49 games for Asheville and had just a .694 OPS with 6 HR. He will be 22 in 2022.
2021 Stats: 51 G, .224 BA/.301 OBP/.385 SLG, 10 2B, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 5 SBB
At 19 years old Yohander played in 43 games for the Woodpeckers and held his own .265 with a .400 OBP. Unfortunately he doesn’t provide much power with just 2 XBHs in those 43 games. He still finished with a 108 wRC+.
2021 Stats: 43 G, .265 BA/.400 OBP/.295 SLG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 4 SB, 108 wRC+
The Astros have been set at second base since 2011 and will continue to be set there with Altuve under contract for another three seasons. They have some young high upside prospects in Lorenzo and Martinez but also some guys who give solid depth and play all over the infield in Hensley and Wagner. Valdez is the interesting one here. He lead the system in HR so it will be interesting to see how he plays at the higher level. This isn’t the deepest position, but the Astros have some depth if needed.
**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**