Top Prospects No. 1-10

1. Jeremy Pena, SS

Level: A+ DOB: 09/22/97

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 hopefully that breakout will come in 2021. He performed well in the Dominican Winter League in 2020 posting a .779 OPS in 30 games.

2. Forrest Whitley, RHP

Level: AAA DOB: 09/15/97

At this point, everyone knows who Forrest Whitley is. He has been the Astros top pitching prospect for the last few years. 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. It appears now that after a UCL sprain, Forrest will be having Tommy John surgery ending his 2021 season, and maybe his 2022 season as well.

3. Pedro Leon, OF

Level: N/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 this year for $4 million. He is seen as a fast riser due to his age (22) but also due to his physical skillset. 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. James Click referred to him as a true five tool prospect. The last stats on him are from the 2018-2019 season in Cuba where he slashed .383/.467/.789 with 15 HR in just 33 games. This is a guy Astros fans should be very excited about.

4. Luis Garcia, RHP

Level: MLB DOB: 12/13/96

Garcia was originally signed by the Astros as a 20 year old out of Venezuela. He put together a breakout year in 2019 as he struck out 168 over 108.2 innings. He has a mid 90s fastball and a plus changeup along with a solid slider. Garcia possesses a stocky build too, one that you can project a lot of innings in. He made his MLB debut in the 2020 season posting a 2.92 ERA in 12.1 innings. He also tossed two scoreless innings in the playoffs. Garcia should be a contributor in 2021.

5. Alex Santos, RHP

Level: N/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 hopefully can put together some good innings in 2021.

6. Tyler Ivey, RHP

 

Level: AA DOB: 05/12/96

Ivey was one of my favorites in the 2017 draft and the Astros selected him in the 3rd round. His performance when on the field has been really good, including a 1.57 ERA in 46.0 innings in AA in 2019. 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 to mid 90s and he mixes an above-average curveball and a solid slider and changeup. Ivey has all the makings of a potential big-league starter. He just needs to stay healthy and he should be on track for Houston.

 

7. Korey Lee, C

Level: A- DOB: 07/25/98

Lee took a big step forward in 2019 at Cal, emerging as the team’s top offensive weapon. 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.

8. Freudis Nova, SS

Level:DOB: 01/12/00

Nova has come along pretty slowly since receiving a seven figure bonus in 2016, but had a decent full season debut last year in Quad Cities where he posted a 95 wRC+ in 75 games as a 19 year old. He’s still rough around the edges and will need to improve a free swinging approach to get within reach of his considerable ceiling. Still, he offers the potential for a middle of the order bat at a left side infield spot. While he showed some power with the 20 doubles in 2019, he struggled with the plate discipline managing just 15 BB/68 K. He still has an extremely high ceiling and is only 21 years old.

9. Colin Barber, OF

Level: Rookie 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 a knack for making contact. The left-handed hitter has 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 potential and could really climb the ranks with a good performance in 2021.

10. Bryan Abreu, RHP

Level: MLB DOB: 04/22/97

An elite spinner of the baseball, Abreu is highly athletic on the mound and has racked up strikeouts in bunches as a professional. His lean 6’1″ frame produces mid-90s velocity with relative ease, but Abreu has difficulty repeating his mechanics and has never been a great strike thrower. His breaking stuff is nothing short of outstanding, as he shows an ability to tweak the spin and shape to suit his needs, and he routinely sits around 95 MPH with his fastball. He got some time in the pen in 2019 and 2020 and hopefully he can carve out a role on the roster in 2021.