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Houston Astros Top 30 Prospects 2023 (Mid-Season Update)

The Astros shipped out some prospects at the trade deadline to acquire talent, but they also added talent in the draft in July. Below is an updated top 30 prospects for the Astros system.

1. Jacob Melton, OF

Level: High-A DOB: 09/07/00

Melton was drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round of the 2022 draft out of Oregon State. Melton had a standout junior year in college slashing .360/.424/.671 with 22 2B, 17 HR, 21 SB as he earned Pac-12 player of the year honors. Melton is a left handed swinging outfielder who stands at 6’3″ and 210 lbs. Melton has an advanced approach at the plate and has above average power with the potential to be plus as he also makes a lot of contact. The lefty is a plus runner on the bases and in the outfield and should stick in center field defensively. He has played this season in High-A and shown off the power/speed combination with 18 HR/40 SB. Melton has posted really strong exit velocities numbers and has a chance to be a power outfielder at the major league level. Read more on Melton here.

2. Joey Loperfido, OF

Level: Double-A DOB: 05/11/99

Loperfido was drafted in the 2021 draft after putting together a really good senior season. The lefty hitting Loperfido has the ability to work counts, draw walks and make a lot of contact. He had a breakout 2022 season slashing .316/.408/.492 with 25 2B, 12 HR, 32 SB. Loperfido is a plus athlete that should be able to provide above average defense at multiple positions. This season, Loperfido has shown some added pop and has 20 HR in 91 games, with him spreading the homers to all fields. Loperfido possesses above average athleticism which shows on the bases with 23 SB this season. Read more here.

3. Spencer Arrighetti, RHP

Level: Triple-A DOB: 01/02/00

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 mid 90s fastball which has topped at 98 MPH this season, and a plus slider to go with it. He has an improving curveball and changeup as well. Arrighetti’s fastball also has a lot of ride on it creating an advantageous approach angle for him. In 2022, Arrighetti struck out 152 in 116.2 innings. He started a bit slow in 2023 but got it going and overall has 115 K in 94.2 innings making his way up to Triple-A. Read more on Arrighetti here.

4. Brice Matthews, SS

Level: Single-A DOB: 03/16/02

Matthews was seen as one of the best athletes in the Big 1o going into the draft. The 21-year-old had a breakout junior season slashing .359/.481/.723 with 20 HR, 20 SB for Nebraska. He has a quick swing with strong exit velocities, even for his size. Scouts note he has 20-25 HR potential with good pull power. He covers a lot of ground at shortstop and has a strong arm but also the potential to be a plus center fielder if he has to move positions. He has some swing and miss in his game but the other positives make up for it.

5. Luis Baez, OF

Level: Single-A DOB: 01/11/04

The Astros signed Luis Baez for $1.3 million during the 2022 international signing period. The 19-year-old is well built at 6’1″ and 205 lbs and possesses plus power from the right side. He is a solid athlete but won’t provide a ton on the bases, though he should be an adequate defender in the corner outfield spots. This season, Baez made his way up to Single-A and has hit .283 in 26 games. Scouts note he has the power to be a 25+ HR guy in the big leagues.

6. Zach Dezenzo, INF

Level: Double-A DOB: 05/11/00

Dezenzo was drafted in the 12th round of the last year’s draft and is looking like an absolute steal. He was a senior who put up a strong year at Ohio State slugging .701 with 19 HR in 51 games before dominating the MLB Draft League. The right-hander has plus power and really strong exit velocities numbers. He is a bat-first prospect who bas played both third base and first base, but has the bat profile to fit at either. Dezenzo is hitting .316 with a .912 OPS between High-A and Double-A this season. Read more on Dezenzo here.

7. Colton Gordon, OF

Level: Triple-A DOB: 12/20/98

Gordon was an intriguing draft pick in 2021 after a good college career, but went into the draft after having Tommy John Surgery. After recovering and making his way back, Gordon dominated on the mount in 2022. He dominated once he got on the mound in 2022 posting a 2.35 ERA with 78 K in 53.2 innings. He won’t over power hitters with his fastball in the low 90s, but he has phenomenal command and pitchability with his secondary offerings making him an uncomfortable at-bat. This season he has 124 K in 98.1 innings with a 3.75 ERA. Read more on Gordon here.

8. Colin Barber, OF

Level: Double-A DOB: 12/04/00

Barber was drafted in the 4th round of high school in the 2019 draft. He signed for $1 million, which was almost $600k over slot. Barber has very good bat speed and possesses above-average raw power and plus speed to keep him as a potential center fielder. He has struggled to stay healthy a bit, but when he has been healthy he has performed well (.806 OPS in 180 minor league games). He has a patient approach at the plate and the ability to hit the ball all over the park. This season in Double-A he has .794 OPS in 72 games. Read more on Barber here.

9. Rhett Kouba, RHP

Level: Double-A DOB: 09/03/99

Kouba was a 12th round pick of the Astros during the 2021 draft. The right-hander has a mid 90s fastball and a solid mix of off-speed pitches (changeup, slider, curveball). After having a good 2022 season, Kouba has experienced a breakout 2023 pitching in Double-A. This season he has a 3.56 ERA with 107 K in 101 innings. Kouba is deceptive but also has very good control, allowing him to challenge hitters and not put many free runners on base.

10. Kenedy Corona, OF

Level: Double-A DOB: 03/21/00

Corona was acquired in the deal that sent Jake Marisnick to the Mets. He is listed at 5’11” and 184 lbs, but is built really well and packs a punch in his swing. In 2022, the right-hander had a .857 OPS with 24 2B, 19 HR, 28 SB in 107 games between Single-A and High-A. He possesses above average speed and some intriguing pop that has continued to improve as he has matured. This season in Double-A, Corona has 22 HR and 24 SB in 94 games overall. He also has the ability to play all three outfield positions.

11. Will Wagner, INF

Level: Double-A DOB: 07/29/98

Wagner was an 18th round pick by the Astros in 2021. The son of former Astros closer Billy Wagner, Will is a right handed thrower, lefty swinger. He plays primarily second and third base in the infield, but has moved around a bit. He is an advanced hitter who has a good command of the strike zone and makes a lot of contact. Wagner had a strong 2022 slasghing .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. This season he has faced some injuries but still has a .870 OPS in 34 games. Read more here.

12. Andrew Taylor, RHP

Level: Single-A DOB: 09/23/01

The Astros nabbed a tall right hander in Andrew Taylor, who stands at 6’5″ and 190 lbs, with their compensation pick for losing Carlos Correa. Taylor has a low 90s fastball but generates a ton of swings and misses with high spin rate and carry, which is throws the majority of the time. The righty had an impressive college career for Central Michigan posting a 2.45 ERA with 261 K in 195 innings. Taylor also possesses a solid changeup and two breaking pitches. Taylor has collected 98 K in 66.1 innings in Single-A. Read more on Taylor here.

13. Alonzo Tredwell, RHP

Level: Rookie DOB: 05/08/02

Tredwell is a monster on the mound, standing at 6’8″ and 230 lbs. The 2023 2nd round pick had a nice college career at UCLA posting a 2.83 ERA with 13 K in 92.1 innings. The right-hander has a mid-90s fastball that can tough 96. He also has a solid slider as his main secondary offering. Tredwell’s fastball also generates a lot of swings and misses thanks to his carry up in the zone. Baseball America said his curveball has the potential to be a plus pitch and he has plenty of room improvement. Read more on Tredwell here.

14. Pedro Leon, OF

Level: Triple-A DOB: 05/28/98

The Astros were rumored to be the favorites for Leon for quite a while but COVID threw a wrench in the plans. He was eventually signed in January of 2021 for $4 million. Leon possesses above-average power and is a plus runner on the bases. While he has some swing and miss to his game, he has been able to get on base and still hit for power too. Leon has the potential to be an impact player at the MLB level and he has shown it already in the minors with the power and speed combination including 17 HR and 38 SB in 2022. This season Leon has 20 HR and a .839 OPS in Triple-A.

15. Trey Dombroski, LHP

Level: Single-A DOB: 03/13/01

Dombroski was drafted by the Astros in the 4th round of the 2022 draft after a standout career at Monmouth University, including 14 BB/130 K in 95 innings as a junior. The lefty stands at 6’5″ and 235 lbs. While he doesn’t blow you away with his stuff, he really knows how to pitch and has very good command. This season, Dombroski has struck out 115 in 95 innings in Single-A. Read more on Dombroski here.

16. Shay Whitcomb, SS

Level: Triple-A DOB: 09/28/98

Whitcomb was the Astros 5th round pick in the 2020 draft signing for just $56,000. He had a breakout 2021 season posting a .893 OPS with 23 HR, 30 SB. In 2022, Whitcomb struggled in Double-A but made some adjustments and came back in a big way this year. In 99 games between Double-A and Triple-A, Whitcomb has 28 HR and 78 RBI. He has some swing and miss to his game, but is a capable defender and has the ability to drive the ball to all fields. Read more on him here.

17. Michael Knorr, RHP

Level: High-A DOB: 05/12/00

The Astros drafted Knorr in the 3rd round of the 2022 draft. Knorr spent his first three seasons at Cal State Fullerton before moving to Coastal Carolina for his senior year where he struck out 86 in 69 innings. Knorr has a fastball that reaches 98 MPH and a good changeup. He also has some deception in his delivery and if he can command his fastball a bit better, he can move up the system pretty quickly with his fastball/changeup combination. This season he has struck out 78 on 58.1 innings between Single-A and High-A

18. Nolan DeVos, RHP

Level: High-A DOB: 08/11/00

DeVos was a 5th round pick by the Astros in 2022. The right-hander had a dominant college career at Davidson posting a 2.19 ERA with 155 K in 119.1 innings. While he isn’t overpowering, DeVos is deceptive and has a high vertical approach angle, giving him the look of the invisible fastball. He has had success this year striking out 97 in 80.2 innings between Single-A and High-A. Read more here.

19. Miguel Ullola, RHP

Level: High-A DOB: 06/19/02

Ullola is a young flame throwing right hander. The 20-year-old features a plus fastball that sits mid-90s and touches 99 MPH, even when in multi-inning spots. While he has some command issues, he has overpowered the hitters in lower levels with the fastball/slider combination. He might end up in the bullpen, but that may not be a bad thing given what kind of stuff he could have in one innings spurts. The fastball and slider are his two best pitches, but he does throw a curveball as well.

20. Zach Cole, OF

Level: High-A DOB: 08/04/00

Cole was drafted in the 10th round in the 2022 draft. The left-handed hitting outfielder has plus speed and a lot of pop in his bat. After struggling in his first taste of pro ball, Cole has put together an impressive 2023 season. In 91 games between Single-A and High-A, Cole is hitting .275 with 19 2B, 8 3B, 18 HR, 31 SB. He has some swing and miss to his game but his highs are really high. At just 22-years-old, Cole is one of the more higher potential outfielders in the system. Read more on Cole here.

21. Justin Dirden, OF

Level: Triple-A DOB: 07/16/97

Dirden was an undrafted free agent following the 2020 draft but has dominated in the Astros system to a tune of .939 OPS in 207 minor league games.  The lefty swinger has above average power and has shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields. Despite his size, he is a good athlete and should be a solid defender at the big league level. He is a strong runner and has an above average arm in the outfield. He has has an up and down season but overall has a .746 OPS in Triple-A. Read more on Dirden here.

22. Misael Tamarez, RHP

Level: Triple-A DOB: 01/16/00

The Astros signed Tamarez out of the Dominican Republic in 2018. He pitched in rookie league in 2019 but broke out a big way in 2021. As a 21 year old between Low-A and High-A, Tamarez posted a 3.76 ERA with 103 K in 76.2 innings. He followed that up with 142 K in 121.1 innings in 2022, though walks were a problem. Tamarez has a strong frame at 6-1 and over 200 lbs. Tamarez possesses a heavy fastball sitting miod 90s hitting and touching 97 MPH. He also possesses has a changeup and improving slider that can give him a deadly three pitch mix. He has the stuff, but has struggled to maintain his control this year in Triple-A.

23. Zach Daniels, OF

Level: Doubel-A DOB: 01/23/99

Daniels was the Astros 4th round pick in 2020, and a selection that got a lot of people intrigued due to his power/speed combination. He was having a great year at Tennessee before COVID cancelled the season, which probably hurt his draft status. Since coming into the system he has shown his potential including a 2022 season posting a .894 OPS with 23 HR, 22 SB. This season in Double-A, Daniels has a .870 OPS with 11 HR, 15 SB. He has some strikeout concerns, but when he makes contact its normally really loud.

24. Kenni Gomez, OF

Level: Rookie DOB: 05/14/05

Gomez is a young Cuban outfielder who signed for $775k in 2022. Gomez has made his way stateside this season and has a .728 OPS in rookie ball. The left-handed hitter makes a lot of contact but also has room to add power in his frame. A great athlete, Gomez is a plus runner and should be a threat on the bases and have the ability to stick in center field.

25. Chase Jaworsky, OF

Level: Rookie DOB: 07/31/04

Jaworksy was the Astros 5th round pick in 2023, and signed for $800k, nearly $500k overslot. Jaworsky is a smooth athlete listed at 6’1″ and 170 lbs. He is a righty thrower, lefty hitter. Scouts have noted he has a strong arm, good range at shortstop and a left handed swing that has some pop. Jaworksy gives the Astros some high potential in the middle of the diamond.

26. Cam Fisher, OF

Level: Single-A DOB: 06/12/01

Fisher was drafted by the Astros in 2023 after having a great college career at UNC Charlotte. The lefty hitter slashed .348/.507/.813 with 30 HR, 64 BB in 64 games this season. He offers plus power and bat speed. He gets on base but some scouts noted the strikeout concerns. Fisher is an adequate athlete and scouts have noted he might stick in right field or possibly end up in left field.

27. Tyler Whitaker, OF

Level: Single-A DOB: 08/02/02

With the Astros first pick the 2021 draft, the Astros took Whitaker out of high school. Whitaker was ranked the #37 prospect by MLB. Scouts noted that he has a plus arm in the outfield and big raw power. He has played both outfield and shortstop this season. Whitaker is a good athlete for his size. He has some swing in miss to his game but has the upside to be a big run producer at the major league level. He is 6-4 and 190 lbs. He has dealt with some injuries but managed to post a .734 OPS this season.

28. Miguel Palma, C

Level: High-A DOB: 01/04/02

Palma has been in the system since 2019 and made his stateside debut in 2021, though 2022 was his breakout season. In 2022, the young catcher posted a .782 OPS between Single-A and High-A. This season, Palma has been great in High-A, despite an injury that derailed him a bit. Palma makes a lot of contact and has some sneaky pop from him 5’8″ frame. Overall this season he has a .865 OPS.

29. Jose Fleury, RHP

Level: Single-A DOB: 03/08/02

Fleury was signed during the 2021 international signing period for just $10,000, but could be another diamond in the rough for the Astros. As a 20-year-old, he dominated the DSL posting a 1.42 ERA with 4 BB/60 K in 38 innings. He has a really good changeup that he pairs with a low to mid 90s fastball. MLB noted that he has outstanding vertical movement on his fastball that helps it play up from its velocity. This season he has 110 K in just 79 innings for Fayetteville.

30. Quincy Hamilton, OF

Level: Triple-A DOB: 06/12/98

Hamilton was drafted as a 5th year senior after some great numbers at Wright State University. The advanced lefty has done nothing but hit in the Astros system making his way up to Double-A in his first full season. He draws walks, doesn’t really strikeout, and has some solid power. He also is an above-average runner showing the ability to steal bases and play solid defense in the outfield. In 2022 he posted a .857 OPS with 17 HR, 27 SB between three levels. This season, Hamilton has made his way up to Triple-A and has a .792 OPS overall.

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