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Astros MiLB Position Review: Shortstop

David Hensley | Credit: @CameraPlantPhotography

Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2022 season. This week we will move onto the shortstop position. I will focus on guys who played majority of their games at shortstop.

Previous Position Reviews:

Catcher

First Base

Second Base

Third Base

TOP PERFORMERS

David Hensley

Hensley had a solid 2021 season but experienced a breakout 2022. The 6’6″ right hander played in 104 games in Sugar Land and slashed .298/.420/.478. He also had 30 2B, 10 HR, 20 SB as he played all over the field for the Space Cowboys. His play earned him a call-up where he had a 1.027 OPS in 16 games for the Astros. He also led the Astros system with 80 walks in those 104 Triple-A games.

2022 Stats: 104 G, .298 BA/.420 OBP/.478 SLG, 30 2B, 4 3B, 10 HR, 57 RBI, 20 SB


Alex De Goti

De Goti has been in the system since 2016 and made his way up to the big leagues in 2021. De Goti, who turned 28 during the season, played in 135 Triple-A games posting a .729 OPS with 28 2B and 73 walks. He elected free agency following the 2022 season and signed with the Miami Marlins organization.

2022 Stats: 135 G, .253 BA/.352 OBP/.377 SLG, 28 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 69 RBI, 8 SB


THE REST OF THE PACK

Leosdanis Molina

Molina played in Single-A all season. This was his first full season stateside. While he struggled a bit with the bat (.575 OPS), he is phenomenal defensively and that will ensure he gets extra looks. He also stole 22 bases in 116 games.

2022 Stats: 116 G, .214 BA/.277 OBP/.298 SLG, 16 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 37 RBI, 22 SB


Grae Kessinger

Kessinger was a second round pick by the Astros in 2019. After playing the full season in Double-A in 2021, the Astros had him repeat in 2022. The numbers were up and down but improved overall from a .617 OPS to a .693 OPS.

2022 Stats: 121 G, .211 BA/.327 OBP/.366 SLG, 13 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 58 RBI, 23 SB


Cristian Gonzalez

Gonzalez is one of the higher potential prospects in the system and the Astros challenged him this season putting him in High-A at 20 years old. He showed some good signs but finished the year with a .633 OPS in 104 High-A games.

2022 Stats: 104 G, .227 BA/.283 OBP/.350 SLG, 18 2B, 10 HR, 48 RBI, 1 SB


Chad Stevens

Stevens had a solid year overall posting a .734 OPS in his first full season. He was in a hitter friendly environment in High-A and was able to post a .863 OPS at home vs. a .564 OPS on the road.

2022 Stats: 85 G, .248 BA/.318 OBP/.416 SLG, 16 2B, 12 HR, 60 RBI, 12 SB


2023 OUTLOOK/CONCLUSION

This is probably the position that is most locked up on the Astros for years to come. In 2022 the Astros had a rookie Jeremy Peña who put up 4.8 WAR and was World Series MVP. The depth is important though for injuries and for utility or other different roles. Hensley proved himself in his short time in Houston this year and should get a strong look at the utility spot next year.  The Astros have a few upside guys like Molina and Gonzalez. Overall, the Astros are doing just fine at shortstop right now.

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.

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