Every year I try to predict a breakout prospect. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But one thing we have seen for sure, is almost every year the Astros have a guy that comes out of nowhere to establish himself in the system as a legitimate top prospect. Last season it was Joe Perez, Luke Berryhill and Jonathan Bermudez. In the past we have seen guys like Ramon Laureano, Luis Garcia and Cristian Javier come out of nowhere. I will select a few who could breakout, and I’m looking at guys mostly ranked out of the consensus top 30. So while I think Cristian Gonzalez could have a breakout season, he is already being ranked pretty high. Let’s get to the list.
Jordan Brewer, OF
Brewer is in a lot of top 30s (mostly backend in the 20s) but I wanted to put him on here. Brewer oozes raw talent but is still working on having that translate onto the field. His baseball experience is limited since played just a couple years JuCo and one year at Michigan. The Astros took him in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft. Brewer is a really good athlete and an above average runner. Despite a slow start in 2021, Brewer finished the season on a tear hitting .460 with 3 HR, 11 RBI in 9 games in September. If he continues that run, he will soon become of the top prospects in the system.
Alimber Santa, RHP
Being a smaller pitcher nowadays doesn’t seem to hold guys back, and Santa could fit that mold. He is listed at just 5’10” and 163 lbs but really turned heads in Florida in camp. Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported that the right hander sat 96-97 MPH with his fastball and has a changeup, slider and curveball. Santa is 18 years old and won’t be 19 until May. He should make his full-season debut in 2022 and could take off, similar to some of the other young pitchers we have seen in recent years.
Spencer Arrighetti, RHP
Arrighetti has had an interesting ride to this point. He college career consisted of three different schools with him ultimately getting drafted in the 6th round of the 2021 draft out of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has a low to mid 90s fastball and a good slider to go with it. He is also deceptive on the mound and Ben noted he is a vertical approach angle kind of pitcher, which can help his stuff play up. In 2021 he struck out 22 in 13.2 innings.
Rainier Rivas, OF
Rivas is a freaking monster at the plate. He stands at 6’3″ and listed at 220 lbs. He was originally signed by the Angels ($200,000) before being traded to the Astros in the deal that sent Max Stassi to LA. All he has down so far in the minors is hit. In 2019 he splits time between DSL and rookie ball and hit .344 with a .429 OBP. In 2021, he played for the Astros FCL team and hit .298 with a .815 OPS. He is only 20 years old and hopefully will make his full-season debut in 2022.