Baseball is finally back and Spring Training in underway. With that, the Astros extended invites to some prospects that weren’t on the 40 man roster. Here are a few prospects to look out for during Spring Training.
Justin Dirden, OF
Dirden is an undrafted free agent following the 2020 draft and put together a great 2022 season. After having a breakout 2021, the lefty hitter slashed .302/.384/.558 with a system leading 40 doubles. He also had 24 HR and led the system with 101 RBI. Dirden played 92 games in Double-A and 32 games in Triple-A. He should be the next outfielder that gets a chance with the big league club and we should get an extended look this spring. He is a bat worth getting excited about. You can read my interview with him here.
Jaime Melendez, RHP
Melendez is small in stature, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he pitches. The 5’8″ right hander broke onto the scene in 2021 making his way up to Double-A at just 19 years old. He posted some dominant numbers that season striking out 90 in just 58 innings. In 2022, he spent the full season in Double-A but had some struggles. He was inconsistent with his command and ended up walking 51 in 73.2 innings, despite 106 strikeouts. He is only 21 and should get a strong look this spring.
Luke Berryhill, C
Berryhill was acquired in a trade before the 2021 season. He had a great 2021 and a solid 2022 as well. Berryhill has flashed above average raw power and the potential to work counts and draw walks, including an insane on-base streak in 2022. He has played both catcher and first and could fit at either position. The bat is the calling card here and hopefully we get to see a lot of him during 2023 Spring Training. You can read more on him here.
Will Wagner, INF
Wagner, the son of former Astros closer Billy Wagner, was a 2021 draftee and had a good first full season in the Astros organization after a solid college career. Wagner played in 117 games between High-A and Double-A and slashed .261/.374/.394 with 19 2B, 10 HR, 53 RBI. He also put up a really good walk rate (13.5%) and strikeout rate (19.7%) as he made his way up the system. He has the arm strength for third but the versatility to play multiple infield positions. Read more on Wagner here.
Here is the full list of invites.
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