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2019 Astros Minor League Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by tellitlikeitis, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Still Believes in Jonathan Villar
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    A new Minor League season begins Thursday, April 4.

    - In case you missed it, the Round Rock Express has returned to the Astros organization. They will open their season in New Orleans.

    - Corpus Christi will welcome Amarillo to Whataburger Field. The Missions are now a AAA team; the group that owns them is technically relocating them from Colorado Springs. The team that had been the Missions is now in Amarillo, and the Colorado Springs team is now a Rookie-league club.

    - The newly christened Fayetteville Woodpeckers will open their first season in Fayetteville with a 14-game roadtrip starting in Potomac. Their first home game will take place on April 18 against the Carolina Mudcats.

    - Quad Cities will host Burlington.

    - Tri-City, the defending New York-Penn League Champions, will open on Friday, June 14 in Vermont. Their home opener is June 16 against Staten Island.

    The Dominican Summer League starts during the first weekend in June and the Gulf Coast League will probably start in the last week of June.

    So... it's the same three questions.

    1. Breakout position player? Breakout pitcher?
    2. Prospects facing make-or-break years?
    3. Players who caught your eye in 2018 that you'll be keeping an eye on in 2019

    I guess I'll answer #3 first since I'll need a little time to figure out the first two.

    RHP Ernesto Jaquez - Put up some downright absurd lines last season. 2019 should be his first full season in the US, will he rise to the occasion to become a top prospect?

    1B Taylor Jones - Broke out after a non-descript first couple of years after getting drafted. Seems like he's unlocked some power. This should be his first extended taste of AAA; he scuffled after his promotion, can he force his way into the organization's plans, or will he be just another guy? He'd probably fall in the make-or-break category for me.

    RHP Bryan Abreu - One of the many fireballers in the lower levels of the Astros system, Abreu absolutely mowed down the NYPL and the Midwest Leagues in 2018, his first season outside of the Rookie leagues. He's Rule 5 eligible for the first time this offseason but I think he's far enough down the ladder to slip through. Killer curveball:



    OF Carlos Machado - Slashed .344/.410/.383 in his pro debut as a 17-year-old in 2015. Looks like he has the hit tool and is slowly starting to find his power a little. That's going to be key as he progresses.

    RHP Jojanse Torres - Yes, he was in the DSL at 22. But having a "95-99 MPH fastball and a potential plus slider" will get some people's attention. He's clearly got the stuff, but entering his age 23 season, he's gonna have to get a move on.

    My Top 15

    Excludes players who appeared in the majors in 2018.

    1. Forrest Whitley
    2. J.B. Bukauskas
    3. Yordan Alvarez
    4. Freudis Nova
    5. Corbin Martin
    6. Jairo Solís
    7. Seth Beer
    8. Brandon Bielak
    9. Abraham Toro
    10. Bryan Abreu
    11. Ronnie Dawson
    12. Alex McKenna
    13. Peter Solomon
    14. Tyler Ivey
    15. Jonathan Arauz

    Next 15, in no particular order

    J.J Matijevic
    Ryan Hartman
    Ernesto Jaquez
    Jojanse Torres
    Carlos Machado
    Cristian Javier
    Luis Garcia
    Heitor Tokar
    Taylor Jones
    Alex De Goti
    Jeremy Peña
    Brandon Bailey
    Alfredi Jimenez
    Enmanuel Valdez
    Nathan Perry
     
    #1 tellitlikeitis, Nov 7, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  2. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member
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    My list (anyone still trying to establish themselves)
    Tier 1
    Whitley
    Tucker
    Tier 2
    James
    Alvarez
    Tier 3
    Framber
    Bukauskas
    Martes
    Perez, C
    Martin
    Beer
    Nova
    Honorable Mention for guys generally in upper levels
    Straw
    Fisher
    Toro
    Davis
    Armenteros
    Dawson
    Ivey
    Taylor Jones
    Rojas
    Dykxhoorn (sp?)
    Deetz
    Reed
    Stubbs

    For the third question, Rojas. Needs a little more power from batting practice into games to turn some doubles, flies into homers. Not expecting him to be a great player. Making majors is still less than 50%, but likely high enough that he should not be considered a non-prospect, IMO.

    Caveat. List is loosely ordered. Priority is for who can help soon. Not all inclusive as lots of low level guys probably better than some listed here. I've not verified if all these guys are still in organization.

    Edit: Added tiers.
     
    #2 Joe Joe, Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  3. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    I might post my thoughts on every player in the system, but if I do I’ll split it up by position.

    My offseason rankings (MLB.com eligibility criteria)
    Tier 1:
    1. OF Kyle Tucker
    2. RHP Forrest Whitley
    Tier 2:
    3. OF Yordan Alvarez
    4. RHP Josh James
    5. RHP JB Bukauskas
    Tier 3:
    6. SS Freudis Nova
    7. RHP Corbin Martin
    8. LHP Cionel Perez
    9. OF Seth Beer
    Tier 4:
    10. 3B Abe Toro
    11. SS Jonathan Arauz
    12. 3B Joe Perez
    13. OF JJ Matijevic
    14. RHP Jayson Schroeder
    15. OF Alex McKenna
    16. LHP Framber Valdez
    17. RHP Jairo Solis
    18. RHP Rogelio Armenteros
    19. RHP Trent Thornton
    20. RHP Tyler Ivey
    21. OF Ronnie Dawson
    22. OF Myles Straw
    23. C Garrett Stubbs
    24. RHP Bryan Abreu
    25. Dean Deetz

    There’s a huge group of around 50 prospects not included above that have at least something to like about them. Assorted comments in my next post.

    1. Breakout position player: 3B Abraham Toro; Breakout pitcher: Jairo Solis
    2. Make-or-break: Mike Papierski, Jake Adams, Miguelangel Sierra, Jonathan Arauz, Stephen Wrenn, Carmen Benedetti, Taylor Jones, Drew Ferguson, Rogelio Armenteros, Trent Thornton, Brock Dykxhoorn, Akeem Bostick, Riley Ferrell
    3. Eyecatchers: C Ruben Castro, 1B Victor Mascai, OF Alex McKenna, OF Chandler Taylor, OF Andy Pineda, OF Carlos Machado, OF Jake Meyers, OF Bryan De La Cruz, OF Corey Julks, IF Deury Carrasco, UT Osvaldo Duarte, RHP Trent Thornton, RHP Tyler Ivey, RHP Brandon Bielak, RHP Erasmo Pinales, LHP Ryan Hartman, LHP Kit Scheetz, LHP Brett Adcock, RHP Bryan Abreu, RHP Willy Collado, RHP Chad Donato, RHP JP France, RHP Ernesto Jaquez, RHP Jojanse Torres, RHP Heitor Tokar, P Jairo Lopez
     
    #3 Snake Diggit, Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  4. prospecthugger

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    Breakout hitter: Enmanuel Valdez Breakout pitcher: Whoever makes a big jump in velocity ala James or Abreu? Manny Ramirez probably has the best 'stuff' of anyone who hasn't made it to full season yet, so I'll go with him.

    Make or break years: JD Davis and Derek Fisher are graduated, but they are probably the ones who need to show they can do something in the majors the most. Anibal Sierra may have already played himself out of the organization. Ryne Birk probably needs to show some power. Perez won't get released or anything, but he needs to be healthy this year. Ruppenthal and Serrano were intriguing arms that lost last year to injury. It would be nice if Elian Rodriguez could strike out more batters than he walks.

    I think I'll mostly be keeping an eye on the waves of pitchers. You'll have an interesting group ready to jump to the MLB (James, Whitley, Perez, Valdez, Thornton, Armenteros) to AA (Ivey, Solomon, Javier, Abreu a little later) to full season (2018 drafted arms, possibly Ramirez, Jaquez, Jiminez, or Macuare) and stateside (Tokar, Lopez, Torres, Cobos) there will be some attrition by injury and performance, but given the Astros pitching development abilities, there's plenty of reason for optimism. It'd be nice to have a breakout potential star hitter.

    I started to rank the prospects but I realized I had basically the same tiers as Snake, just arranged a little differently within the tiers.
     
  5. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Yep, the pitching depth is still the main trait of this system. Houston’s ability to unearth guys with premium stuff (and subsequently harness it) is amazing. Every single level will have 7-8 guys with legit big league potential.

    Continually trading away top position player prospects has eroded the overall quality, so that at this point the system is merely average overall, but the pitching is easily in the top 5 in the league imho.
     
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  6. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Still Believes in Jonathan Villar
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  7. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Fangraphs has updated system rankings with $ values:

    https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/post-2018-farm-system-rankings/

    Houston comes in at 9th, which I agree with. How I see it:

    Tier 1: Padres, Braves
    Tier 2: White Sox, Rays, Blue Jays
    Tier 3: Reds, Twins, Tigers
    Tier 4: Astros, Dodgers, Pirates
    Tier 5: Angels, Phillies, A’s, Rangers, Indians, Mets, Nationals
    Tier 6: Cardinals, Marlins, Yankees, Brewers, Rockies
    Tier 7: Giants, Cubs, Snakes, Royals, Orioles
    Tier 8: Red Sox, Mariners

    Good news is that Houston still has the best farm in the division. Bad news is that Tucker and Whitley represent over 50% of the total farm value, and they’ll both graduate this year.
     
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  8. awc713

    awc713 Member

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    I’m excited to see (read: have everyone else update me on) Beer in his first full year. Quite the hot start, let’s see how he progresses through the ranks...
     
  9. vince

    vince Member

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    Astros seem to have a lot of quality, might not be as much elite shelf stuff as other clubs; but there are a lot of guys who should have MLB careers of at least longer than a looksy tryout for a couple of stints.

    Unfortunate thing is the type of guys they have a lot of need seasoning at the ML level, and that requires a lot of patience or desperation by a club.

    But nonetheless the Astros minor league system is beyond intriguing. It’s fun to follow as a lot of guys keep outperforming their attributed talent level by scouting reports.
     
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  10. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Astros pitching prospect depth is easily in the top 5 in the game. Overall top end talent is also very good, likely in the top 10 in mlb. Position player depth is where they have taken it on the chin as they’ve graduated and traded away guys while drafting later; I’d say the position player depth ranks in the 14-21 range in the league.
     
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  11. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Still Believes in Jonathan Villar
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    Well, the Arizona Fall League is still going on, apparently.

     
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  12. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member
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    Someone forgot to tell the hitters.
     
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  13. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Still Believes in Jonathan Villar
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    #13 tellitlikeitis, Nov 15, 2018 at 8:21 PM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018 at 8:27 PM
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  14. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Weird. Surprising Houston let him go. I even had him with an outside chance of making the 40 man or being picked in the Rule 5.
     
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  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Good for him. He has paid some dues and he can use the money. It wasn’t likely he was making the Astros this season.
     
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  16. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member

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    That salary is more than the major league minimum. Didn't realize any of the international leagues paid like that.
     
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  17. Buck Turgidson

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    They could sure use a couple of top-shelf position players at the up-the-middle positions.
     
  18. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Still Believes in Jonathan Villar
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  19. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Riley Ferrell and Jonathan Arauz are the biggest risks to get taken. Both have very high ceilings and both are the type of players rebuilding teams can hide in their pen or bench. But both also have major warts (Ferrell injury history and control, Arauz low level and lack of power).

    Would not be one bit surprised if Baltimore drafted either or both of them given Elias is now running things over there.
     
  20. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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