Top Prospects No. 1-10

1. Pedro Leon, SS/CF

Level: AAA DOB: 05/28/98

The first two here could be heavily debated but I ended up going with Leon. 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 this year for $4 million. He is seen as a fast riser due to his age but also due to his physical skillset, and that has been true in 2021. He has a short and compact swing with power to all fields. He also possesses an above-average arm in the outfield and is a plus runner on the bases. At the signing, James Click referred to him as a true five tool prospect and he has shown that this year. The Astros have used him at SS, and so far the reports have been solid. He started the season in AA and after a first couple of rough weeks, he turned it on posting an OPS above .900 in both June and July. 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.

2. Korey Lee, C

Level: AA DOB: 07/25/98

Lee was the Astros first round pick in 2019 out of California. Broadly built at 6’2″, 205 lbs., Lee is a strong athlete with a strong lower half and shows solid across the board defensive skills and above average arm strength, projecting as a solid average catcher at the highest level. With the bat, he shows a nice mix of hit and power, with a simple stroke that keeps the barrel in the hitting zone for a long time. His approach is also pretty advanced already, and generates a healthy quantity of walks. Lee projects as a 20+ home run threat down the line. With the ability to hit for a solid average and get on base from the backstop position, this gives Lee a strong shot to be a future regular at catcher. Lee has put it together on the field this season crushing 11 HR and hitting .316 while throwing out 43% of base stealers. He is the future at the catch position.

3. Jeremy Pena, SS

Level: AAA DOB: 05/28/98

Pena was drafted by the Astros in the 3rd round of the 2018 draft. During the draft process, Pena was seen by many as the best defensive shortstop in the class, and he has done nothing to disprove this notion. He has solid speed which leads to good range and possesses a plus arm. On the offensive side, Pena has added weight and improved his power, evident by his .440 slugging in 2019. He has a solid understanding of the strike zone and has the ability to draw walks and limit his strikeouts while also being a threat to steal bases. He was really due to breakout in 2020 at AA (despite already landing on top 100 lists) but no season with COVID. He performed well in the Dominican Winter League in 2020 posting a .779 OPS in 30 games. Unfortunately, he broke his wrist early in Spring and will probably miss the entire season. He still profiles as a big leaguer though and can be carried with his defense.

4. Hunter Brown, RHP

Level: AAA DOB: 08/29/98

Brown was drafted by the Astros in the 5th round of the 2019 draft out of Wayne State University. He only pitched in 23 innings following the draft but he has shown enough to deserve a high ranking. Brown runs his fastball up to 98 (despite throwing mid 80s in high school) and has shown the ability to maintain his velocity in multiple innings. He also possesses a big breaking curveball and sharp slider, which both flash above average. Brown probably has the highest upside of any arm in the system and the makings of a top of the rotation pitcher. He has a great pitcher’s build and has had some success going deeper into games this season. This season he has struck out 83 in 55.1 innings between AA and AAA and has a roundball percentage over 50%. You can read more about him here.

5. Forrest Whitley, RHP

Level: AAA DOB: 09/15/97

At this point, everyone knows who Forrest Whitley is. After a dominant 2017 which saw him strike out 143 over 92.1 innings while reaching AA at just 19 years old, he has struggled a bit to recapture that magic the last couple seasons. A suspension and a few nagging injuries has held him back. Whitley possesses a fastball that has nice life and gets up to 98 MPH which he pairs with a devastating changeup. He also has a very good curveball and above average slider. Forrest had Tommy John surgery ending his 2021 season, and maybe his 2022 season as well. He is still only 23 and has plenty of upside left though.

6. Alex Santos, RHP

Level: A DOB: 02/10/02

Santos was drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round of the 2020 MLB draft. Due to COVID, he was unable to make his professional debut. Santos has a mid 90s fastball with a high spin rate and pairs that with two solid secondary offerings, a curveball and a changeup. He also is a good athlete at 6-3, 215 lbs. Santos has an extremely high ceiling and started to show that some in 2021 pitching in full season baseball at just 19 years old. He has been up and down, but shown flashes of why he was a second round pick.

7. Tyler Whitaker, OF

Level: N/A DOB: 08/02/02

With the Astros first pick in the 2021 draft, they took a prospect who fell right in their laps. Whitaker was an absolute steal where the Astros got him in the third round. He possesses a plus arm in the outfield and big raw power. He started as a shortstop and has since moved to the outfield. Whitaker is a good athlete for his size and a plus runner. 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, 190 lbs and still has plenty of room to grow.

8. Peter Solomon, RHP

Level: AAA DOB: 08/16/96

Solomon was another high upside pick in the 2017 draft. A guy who had electric stuff but control issues. He came into the Astros system and had a great 2018 season (2.32 ERA, 114 K in 100.2 IP). Unfortunately he got hurt early on in 2019 after two starts and missed the rest of the year after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. He has came back this year, and even made his MLB debut. He has been up and down in Sugar Land but his ups have been really good. Solomon has multiple solid pitches including an fastball that can sit mid 90s.

9. Jake Meyers, OF

Level: AAA DOB: 06/18/96

Meyers was a 13th round pick back in the 2017 draft. He pitched and hit in college but the bat won out as he became a full-time outfielder his sophomore year. Meyers uses his pitching background in the field as he has great anticipation in the outfield. He has plus range, great arm and above average speed. Jake plays all three outfield positions well. He has made huge strides with the bat showing off his power and hitting for higher exit velocities. This has led to great results hitting .343 with 16 HR in AAA this season. At this least, he will probably be a quality fourth outfielder with a chance to be more. He was recently called up to Houston. Read my interview with Meyers here.

10. Joe Perez, 3B

Level: AA DOB: 08/12/99

Perez was drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft. Most thought he would be a pitcher but the Astros wanted to use him as a third baseman. Following the draft he had Tommy John Surgery and then came back and hold some shoulder issues. He was finally healthy in 2021 and has shown why he was drafted so high. He started the year in Low-A and had a .907 OPS before being promoted to High-A where he posted a 1.120 OPS. He has since been promoted to Double-A. Perez has shown above average power and he possesses a plus arm at the hot corner. Really good season so far for the 21 year old. You can read more about Perez here.