MLB Pipeline released its 2023 Top 100 Baseball Prospect list Thursday, and Hunter Brown was the lone Houston Astros player to grace the list. As expected, the eighth-best right-handed pitching prospect ranked higher than the outlet’s previous rendition, climbing from No. 68 to No. 43.
Brown made his Major League debut in 2022, appearing in seven regular-season games. The right-hander posted a 0.89 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched. Although dipping his feet into the highest level of his career, Brown didn’t look like a rookie, limiting Major League left-handed hitters to a .429 OPS.
MLB Pipeline graded his curveball a 65 on a 20-80 scale, making it the highest-graded bender amongst the top-10 right-handed pitching prospects. The outlet graded Brown’s fastball a 65, highlighting its carry and run complemented by 95-97 mph with a peak of 100 mph. Evaluators also graded Brown’s slider a 60, his changeup a 45, his control a 45 and his overall arsenal a 55.
While expected to make the 26-man roster, Brown will likely not crack the rotation given the experienced arms available for Houston. If the club resorts to a six-man rotation, his chances increase, but as spring training nears, Brown will likely be evaluated as a long-relief option to start the 2023 season.