Houston Astros: A Look at the Top Prospects Down on the Farm
The Houston Astros have one of the best farm systems in baseball and they are also one of the best teams in baseball once again this season. Houston has built its team from the ground up. At one point in time, they were one of the worst teams in baseball until they drafted well and built a legitimate foundation.
Outfielder Yordan Alvarez was in the minors earlier in the season for the Astros but he is possibly in the running for the American League Rookie of the Year. Houston has some other prospects waiting in the wings. Who are some of their top prospects in their farm system?
The top-rated prospect in the Houston Astros farm system is outfielder, Kyle Tucker. He is ready to play in the big leagues now, but Houston doesn’t want him to rot on the bench. Tucker will be an everyday outfielder when he gets called up. Kyle Tucker has all of the tools to be a stud. He hits well, plays defense well, and also runs the base paths well. Tucker is currently in Triple-A with the Round Rock Express in Triple-A.
He is 22-years-old and Kyle Tucker could be called up sometime within the next month. He was also a first-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. Houston has been reluctant to trade him in any deal for any big-time players. They are trying to develop him into a first baseman. In 107 games played in the minors so far this season, his batting average is .268 with 30 home runs and 87 RBI’s, along with 25 stolen bases. Tucker’s on-base percentage is .352.
The second-best prospect in Houston’s farm system is right-handed pitcher, Forrest Whitley. He was supposed to reach the big leagues this season, but injuries have plagued him to have a setback. Whitley will have to wait until next season to make his mark in the big leagues. He is 21 years old. Forrest Whitley was a first-round pick back in the 2016 MLB Draft. He throws in the high 90s. Whitley throws a slider and a curveball and that needs some more polishing. He has been hit around a lot this season when Forrest Whitley touches the mound.
He has been bounced around all over the place in the minor leagues this season. Whitley is currently in Double-A with the Corpus Christi Hooks. In 14 games pitched so far this season, his record is 1-6 with an 8.66 ERA. In 44.2 innings pitched, he has given up 45 hits and 44 runs. Forrest Whitley has also walked 32 batters and struck out 60.
The third-best prospect in the Astros farm system is infielder, Freudis Nova. He was signed as an international free agent on July 2, 2016. Nova is only 19 years old and isn’t projected to reach the majors until 2022. It is interesting to see where he will be playing in the near future because Alex Bregman is playing third base, Carlos Correa is playing shortstop, and Jose Altuve is playing second base. Freudis Nova is currently playing in Single-A with the Quad Cities Rivers Bandits. His batting average in 58 games played so far this season is .265 with three home runs and 27 RBI’s, along with seven stolen bases. Nova’s on-base percentage is .296.
The fourth-best prospect in their farm system is catcher, Korey Lee. He was taken in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Lee will most likely be the catcher of the future for this franchise. He is currently playing in Short Season-A with the Tri-City ValleyCats. Korey Lee is 21 years old and is projected to reach the majors in 2022. In 44 games played so far this season, his batting average is .255 with two home runs and 19 RBI’s, along with seven stolen bases. Lee’s on-base percentage is .335.
The sixth-best prospect in the Houston Astros is third baseman, Abraham Toro. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Toro is 22 years old and is projected to reach the majors sometime next season. He is not going to overtake Alex Bregman at third base. Abraham Toro is going to have to be a designated hitter or play for another team. He was recently called up to Triple-A. Toro also hits from both sides of the plate. In 106 games played in the minors so far this season, his batting average is .319 with 16 home runs and 77 RBI’s, along with four stolen bases. Abraham Toro’s on-base percentage is .406.
The seventh-best prospect in Houston’s farm system is right-handed pitcher, Tyler Ivey. He started the season in rookie ball with the GCL Astros and pitched in two games for them. Ivey then only pitched in one game in High-A with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. He is currently pitching in Double-A. Tyler Ivey has the potential to be a shutdown pitcher in the big leagues and he throws four quality pitches. Ivey throws in the 90s and he knows when to throw his breaking pitches offspeed.
Tyler Ivey is 23 years old and is projected to reach the majors sometime next season. He was also a third-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. In 13 games pitched so far this season, Ivey’s record is 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA. In 46.2 innings pitched, he has given up 25 hits and eight runs. Tyler Ivey has also walked 18 batters and has struck out 63.
The eighth-best prospect in the Houston Astros farm system is outfielder, Jordan Brewer. He was a third-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Brewer has the tools to be a defensive stud in the outfield, but he has to work on his offensive approach even though the upside is there. Jordan Brewer is plugged in at center field at the moment, but George Springer plays in center field and Brewer might have to move to left field in the future. Jordan Brewer is 22 years old and is projected to reach the majors in 2022. He is currently playing Short Season-A. In 11 games played so far this season, his batting average is .122 with zero home runs and two RBI’s, along with two stolen bases. Brewer’s on-base percentage is .143.
The ninth-best prospect in their farm system is shortstop, Jeremy Pena. Having depth is so important. He was a third-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Pena is 21 years old and is projected to reach the majors in 2021. Correa is the shortstop on this team and it will be tough for Jeremy Pena for playing time. He might have to be a start on another team. Jeremy Pena is very good offensively and defensively. His dad, Geronimo, played seven seasons in the big leagues.
Jeremy Pena started the season in Single-A with the Quad Cities River Bandits and played in 66 games for them. He is now playing in High-A with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. In 93 minor league games played in so far this season, his batting average is .304 with seven home runs and 52 RBI’s, along with 20 stolen bases. Pena’s on-base percentage is .383.
For more information on these prospects, visit MLB.com and search top prospects.
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