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Top Prospects No. 11-20

11. Jaime Melendez, RHP

Level: Double-A DOB: 09/26/01

Melendez was signed by the Astros out of Mexico and he has made a quick rise in the system. After some time in rookie ball in 2019, the Astros started the 19 year old in Low-A this season and he went on to post a 0.49 ERA with 5 BB/38 K in 18.1 innings earning a promotion to High-A. He is a smaller pitcher (5-8) but is built well at 190 lbs. He currently has a low 90s fastball and a good slider but also pitches with deception thanks to his vertical approach angle.

12. Colin Barber, OF

Level: High-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. In 2019, as an 18 year old, he performed well with a .780 OPS in 28 games. He has a ton of upside and started the year in High-A before having season ending shoulder surgery. He has a patient approach at the plate and a solid arm in the outfield as well. He is still just 21 years old.

13. Misael Tamarez, RHP

Level: High-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. Tamarez has a strong frame at 6-1 and over 200 lbs. His fastball this season has been mid 90s hitting 97 MPH. He also possesses has a changeup and improving slider that can give him a deadly three pitch mix. He has the making of another under the radar pitching prospect who can make an impact in the next couple years.

14. Yainer Diaz, C

Level: High-A DOB: 09/21/98

Diaz was acquired this season from the Indians in the trade that sent Myles Straw to Cleveland. He has hit well at every stop in this minor league career and had his best season to date in 2021 where he hit .324 with 25 2B, 17 HR in 98 games. Diaz is a bat first catching prospect who should be able to hit at the highest levels. His bat will be what carries him with his ability to hit to all fields. Behind the plate he has some work to do but has solid arm strength for the position. At just 23, he could be one of the next big catching prospects.

15. Tyler Ivey, RHP

Level: AAA DOB: 05/12/96

Ivey was a 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft. His performance when on the field has been really good. Unfortunately he dealt with some injuries in 2019 and then was unable to log any professional innings in 2020 due to COVID. Ivey has an active delivery but does well to repeat it. His fastball sits in the low 90s and he mixes an above-average curveball and a solid slider and changeup. Ivey made his big league debut this year but ended up dealing with more injuries. He appears healthy this season and should be able to contribute to the big league club.

16. Chayce McDermott, RHP

Level: Low-A DOB: 08/22/98

McDermott was drafted by the Astros in the 4th round out of Ball State. Like many college athletes, McDermott returned to school for another year due to COVID. This looks like a great decision for him. McDermott works with a fastball in the mid 90s and can tough 98 MPH. He has a plus curveball and a changeup as well. He had a really good year in 2021 where he struck out 125 in 82.2 innings with a 3.05 ERA at Ball State. He is a good athlete and has a good build at 6-3, 197 lbs and should project as a starter long-term. He is also the brother of Sean McDermott who plays in the NBA.

17. Cristian Gonzalez, SS

Level: Low-A DOB: 10/22/01

This may seem like an aggressive ranking, but I have seen and heard nothing but good things on Gonzalez. The 6-3 shortstop was signed out of Dominican Republic in 2018. He is only listed at 180 lbs and still has plenty of room to grow. Gonzalez is solid defensively at shortstop but possesses a an absolute cannon for an arm. . Cristian has the ability to hit for some average but has been able to add power to his game already this season at 19 years old. He is only 20 years old and should be in High-A at some point. Gonzalez has as much potential as anyone in the system.

18. Jonathan Bermudez, LHP

Level: Triple-A DOB: 10/16/95

Bermudez was a 23rd round pick back in 2018. Bermudez put up a solid 2019 season but has really had a breakout 2021. The lefty has posted a 3.34 ERA with 16 BB/98 K in 70 innings in Double-A. Bermudez has a good build at 6-2 and 230 lbs. Bermudez is a smoke and mirrors kind of pitcher (meaning he is deceptive) but still possesses a low 90s fastball with a big sweeping slider and a solid changeup. He knows how to attack hitters and can throw strikes with all three of his pitches. He is 25 years old, but looks like a pitcher who can help the Astros in the near future. You can read more about Bermudez here.

19. Shay Whitcomb, SS

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

Whitcomb was the Astros 5th round pick in the 2020 MLB draft out of UC San Diego. He is a big bodied shortstop, standing at 6-3 and 202 lbs. He is a bat first infielder who stood out offensively in college who hit .315 with .939 OPS in 136 games at UC San Diego. He started the 2021 season in Low-A and slashed .282/.369/.429 in 41 games earning a promotion to High-A. There his numbers got even better hitting .300 with a .959 OPS. He finished the season with 23 HR and 30 SB overall and one of the best offensive seasons in the Astros system this year. The righty hitter is aggressive at the plate, leading to some strikeouts, but also to some solid extra base hit production. He is average defensively but does provide some speed on the basepaths and the ability to play all over the infield.

20. Matthew Barefoot, OF

Level: Double-A DOB: 09/20/97

Barefoot is a former 6th round pick by the Astros in 2019. After solid fundamental changes to his swing, he started to show that progress in 2021. He played across three different levels in 2021 putting up a 20/20 season. Barefoot has a ton of raw power and showed some of it off this past year. He is a lefty thrower, righty hitter and will most likely end up in the corner, but would be a plus runner in the corner and uses that speed on the bases too. He struggled in Double-A this past year, but has the potential to be an impact outfielder.

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