1. Hunter Brown, RHP
Level: Triple-A DOB: 08/29/98
Brown was drafted by the Astros in the 5th round of the 2019 draft out of Wayne State University. Brown runs his fastball up to 99 MPH (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. He even ran his slider up to 95 MPH this season. Brown has the most upside in the system and all the makings to be a top of the rotation starter. He has a great pitcher’s build and has had success going deeper into games this season. Brown has spend the full season at Triple-A in 2022. You can read more about him here.
Hunter Brown (@xhunterbrownx) final line for the Space Cowboys:
7 IP | 5 H | 0 R | 0 BB | 10 K#Astros #LevelUp pic.twitter.com/KwuidRIZtU
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) May 27, 2022
2. Yainer Diaz, C
Level: Triple-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 in 2021 where he hit .324 with 25 2B, 17 HR in 98 games. Diaz is a bat first catching prospect who has proven his ability with the bat where ever he has been assigned. Diaz has a good command of the strike zone and rarely strikes out. He has plus power and has shown the ability to drive the ball the other way at a high rate. Behind the plate he has some work to do but has solid arm strength for the position.
YAINER DIAZ OPPO TACO!
His 15th HR of the season was hit 107.3 MPH off the bat for an estimated 463 feet! #Astros pic.twitter.com/QSQDIsquW1
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) July 23, 2022
3. Drew Gilbert, OF
Level: Single-A DOB: 09/27/00
Drew Gilbert was drafted by the Astros in the first round of the 2022 draft, the Astros first first round selection since 2019. Gilbert is a spark plug of a player, but don’t let that take away from his skillset either. The lefty possesses really good hand-eye coordination which allows him to consistently barrel baseballs. He also flashes some power which could see him as a 20 HR guy in the bigs. Gilbert has plus speed which he uses to his advantage on the bases and also in center field. He is currently a center field and projects to stay there at the big league level. As a junior at Tennessee, the lefty .362 with 21 2B, 11 HR, 70 RBI in 58 games. He is a fiery competitor and leaves it all out on the field.
4. 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. 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 up and down. 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.
BALL WAS CRUSHED!
Pedro Leon solo HR for Sugar Land! His 14th HR of the season! #Astros pic.twitter.com/wRtWQybpjR
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) August 1, 2022
5. 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 2021, he started the year in High-A before having season ending shoulder surgery. This year he went back to High-A and has shown off with the bat posting an OPS of nearly .900. He has a patient approach at the plate and the ability to hit the ball all over the park. Baseball America said his work ethic has been rivaled to that of Alex Bregman‘s from within the organization.
Colin Barber 3 run HR for the Tourists! His 7th HR on the season! #Astros pic.twitter.com/hFcSf2H52Y
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) June 8, 2022
6. Korey Lee, C
Level: Triple-A DOB: 07/25/98
Lee was the Astros first round pick in 2019 out of California. 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, Lee has shown the ability to drive the ball to the pull side at a high rate. Lee projects as a potential 20+ home run threat down the line. With the ability to hit for average and get on base from the backstop position, this gives Lee a strong shot to be a future plus at catcher. Read more on Lee here.
7. Joe Perez, 3B
Level: Double-A DOB: 08/12/99
Joe Perez was THE breakout prospect of the 2021 season. The former 2nd round pick dealt with some injuries early in his career but was healthy in 2021 and it showed. He ended up playing across three different levels hitting .291 with a .849 OPS and a 125 wRC+. Overall he had 34 2B, 18 HR in 106 games. Perez showed plus power to all fields and after an adjustment period in Double-A, he held up well against competition well above his age. He is still improving defensively but has more than enough arm to make all the throws at third. The Astros have also experimented with him in the corner outfield spots. Read more on Perez here.
Joe Perez (@_jperez22_) solo HR for the Hooks. His first HR of the season! #Astros pic.twitter.com/vMuW83qPI2
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) April 22, 2022
8. Jacob Melton, OF
Level: Single-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.
Jacob Melton (@JacobMelton25) solo HR for the Woodpeckers! His first professional hit and first professional HR! #Astros #LevelUp pic.twitter.com/AlDb861xqv
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) August 13, 2022
9. Ryan Clifford, OF
Level: Rookie DOB: 07/20/03
The Astros drafted Clifford in the 11th round of the 2022 draft out of Crossroads FLEX HS in North Carolina, but don’t let his draft position fool you. He was a Vanderbilt commit and the Astros went way over slot signing him for $1,256,530, the second highest bonus of their draft pool behind Drew Gilbert. Clifford is a big lefty standing at 6’3″ and 200 lbs. Clifford has the ability to hit for average and power with a beautiful left handed swing. He may profile for the corners and some scouts referred to him as an athletic Seth Beer.
10. David Hensley, INF
Level: Triple-A DOB: 03/28/96
Hensley was drafted by the Astros in the 26th round of the 2018 draft. He has made an impressive rise in the system doing from a 26th round pick to Triple-A. Hensley stands tall at 6’6″ but has the ability to provide solid defense at all infield positions. While he has played the majority of his games at shortstop (and other infield positions) he has also played some in the outfield. Hensley has a patient approach at the plate drawing walks at a high clip. Hensley possesses some solid power with most of his power going the opposite way. He has also produced very good exit velocities this season. Hensley could be a guy who fills the Aledmys Diaz type role for the Astros in the near future. Read more on Hensley here.
DAVID HENSLEY WALK-OFF 3 RUN HR FOR SUGAR LAND!!! pic.twitter.com/Gwk6INbsE2
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) June 22, 2022