Astros MiLB Position Review: Outfield
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 outfield position.
Previous Position Reviews:
Meyers was a solid prospect coming into 2021 but had a true breakout season this year. He has always been solid defensively and has continued to improve, but the bat took off in 2021 in AAA. He hit .343 with a 1.006 OPS and 16 HR in 68 games before earning a promotion to the Astros where he put up solid numbers as the starting center fielder. With his great defense in the outfield, he is a guy who we should see on the Astros for some time. You can read my interview with him here.
2021 Stats: 68 G, .343 BA/.408 OBP/.598 SLG, 17 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 10 SB, 147 wRC+ (AAA)
Dirden was another undrafted free agent following the 2020 draft but put together a great season slashing .274/.397/.537 with 15 HR in 83 games. The outfielder showed a nice combination of power and patience with a 14.9 BB% and a .263 ISO. Overall. he had a 149 wRC+ in 83 games. A really good under the radar season from Dirden as he had some of the best numbers in the Astros system. I’m really excited to see what he does in 2022.
2021 Stats: 82 G, .274 BA/.397 OBP/.537 SLG, 18 2B, 6 3B, 15 HR, 58 RBI, 10 SB, 149 wRC+
Justin Dirden was signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 draft. He put together a great 2021 where he slashed .275/.398/.539 with 18 2B, 15 HR, 10 SB. He showed power to all fields too. #Astros pic.twitter.com/LPAddikDxy
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) October 11, 2021
Siri put together the best season of his career slashing .318/.369/.552 in 94 games. He also showed power and speed with the 29 2B, 16 HR and 24 SB. Jose was eventually called up to the Astros where he showed off some of his talent crushing a few homers and landing on the Astros playoff roster. He bolstered the Skeeters outfield and provided great depth at the outfield position all season long.
2021 Stats: 94 G, .318 BA/.369 OBP/.552 SLG, 29 2B, 4 3B, 16 HR, 72 RBI, 24 SB, 125 wRC+
Costes had some solid numbers for this year but in 2021 he had a breakout season. He started the year in Double-A and hit .332 with .436 in 61 games before earning a promotion to Triple-A. There he hit .262 but had a .392 OBP and .459 SLG in 40 games. Overall he finished with a .419 OBP and .847 OPS on the season. He doesn’t have a ton of power but has a great ability to get on base and draw walks evident by his 13.9 BB%.
2021 Stats: 101 G, .306 BA/.419 OBP/.427 SLG, 18 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 49 RBI, 11 SB, 129 wRC+
Like Costes, Julks put up a career year in 2021. The former 8th round pick from 2017 played the full season in Double-A and hit .287 with a .841 OPS including a career high 14 HR. It was his age 25 season in 2021, but Julks performed well and should be in AAA next year as he gets a chance to show what he can do at the highest minor league level.
2021 Stats: 85 G, .287 BA/.349 OBP/.491 SLG, 23 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 36 RBI, 15 SB, 121 wRC+
COREY JULKS WALK OFF HR!!! #Astros pic.twitter.com/vgtXnMR5Vo
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) July 30, 2021
McKenna is a former 4th round pick from 2018 who looked good following the draft but then struggled with injuries through 2019. This year he started the year in High-A and hit .305 with a 1.005 OPS in 41 games before being promoted to Double-A. There he hit .206 with a .619 OPS in 38 games. He will get more time in Double-A in 2022 and hopefully continue to show progress. Read more about him here.
2021 Stats: 79 G, .261 BA/.356 OBP/.478 SLG, 13 2B, 3 3B, 15 HR, 46 RBI, 8 SB, 122 wRC+
THE REST OF THE PACK
Barefoot started the season in Low-A and made quick work of the league hitting .344 with 4 HR in 16 games. He was promoted to High-A where he slashed .287/.341/.554 with 14 2B, 12 HR in 49 games earning a promotion to Double-A. There he struggled hitting just .175 with 4 HR in 36 games. Overall he had 20 HR, 21 SB in a solid first full season in the Astros system.
2021 Stats: 101 G, .258 BA/.311 OBP/.477 SLG, 23 2B, 2 3B, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 21 SB, 106 wRC+
HOLY CRAP! Barefoot hit this one 510 feet. His 18th HR of the season! #Astros pic.twitter.com/25uNNzTVJ4
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) August 15, 2021
Brewer had a breakout year in college in 2019 and the Astros drafted him in the 3rd round. He was solid this season hitting .275 with a .785 OPS but he showed what he could do to close the year as he hit .459 with 3 HR, 4 SB in September. He is a toolsy prospect and if he continues to improve, he could have a big 2022.
2021 Stats: 65 G, .275 BA/.375 OBP/.410 SLG, 12 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 21 SB, 118 wRC+
Like Brewer, Daniels is also a toolsy prospect who had a breakout college season before the Astros drafted him in 2020. He struggled in 2021 hitting just .224 overall with 129 K in 85 games. He was able to steal 22 bases in 2021 though. Daniels is still just 22 years old so he has time to get things sorted out.
2021 Stats: 85 G, .224 BA/.342 OBP/.358 SLG, 13 2B, 9 HR, 48 RBI, 22 SB, 97 wRC+
Barber is a high potential outfielder drafted by the Astros out of high school in 2019. He got off to a nice start but struggled with injuries and ended up missing the majority of the year due to shoulder surgery. Even then, he still had a 123 wRC+ in High-A as a 20 year old this year. Hopefully he will be fully healthy for 2022.
2021 Stats: 16 G, .214 BA/.365 OBP/.452 SLG, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 123 wRC+
Outfield is always the most intriguing because there are three spots to fill. Tucker is locked into RF or CF possibly for years to come. Meyers had a breakout season and took over the center field spot but unfortunately he won’t be ready for the season due to shoulder surgery. The Astros also have McCormick playing there. Left field is solid with Brantley there for one more year. Pedro Leon will probably end up in the outfield but the Astros do have some intriguing options in Dirden, McKenna, Costes, Barefoot and Barber on the way. They also drafted an outfield, Tyler Whitaker, with their first pick in the 2021 draft.
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**Photo Credit: Ken Valliere**