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2020 Astros Minor League Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by tellitlikeitis, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Reviewing the mlb top 100, some thoughts on the AL West: Mariners have 5 of the top 100, Astros 1, A’s 3, Rangers 2, Angels 2. Of those 13 prospects, all but 5 are expected to graduate this season. Kelenic, Kirby and Rodriguez for the Mariners, and Jung and Huff for the Rangers are the prospects expected to arrive later. Just interesting that these lists have such high turnover; there can be an awful lot of variance year over year.
     
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  2. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Still Believes in Jonathan Villar

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    *spoilers ahead*

    Baseball America Top 30 Prospects

    Grade (20-80)/Risk

    1. Forrest Whitley, RHP, 65/Very High
    60 FB, 60 curve, 60 slider, 60 change, 60 cutter, 40 control

    2. José Urquidy, RHP, 45/Medium
    50 FB, 50 SL, 45 CB, 60 CH, 60 CTRL

    3. Jeremy Peña, SS, 50/High
    40 hit, 40 power, 55 run, 70 fielding, 60 arm

    4. Freudis Nova, SS, 55/Extreme
    40 hit, 55 power, 55 run, 50 fielding, 70 arm

    5. Bryan Abreu, RHP, 50/High
    60 FB, 60 SL, 70 CB, 30 CH, 40 CTRL

    6. Abraham Toro, 3B, 45/Medium
    50 hit, 45 power, 50 run, 45 fielding, 55 arm

    7. Korey Lee, C, 50/High
    50 hit, 45 power, 40 run, 45 fielding, 70 arm

    8. Cristian Javier, RHP, 45/Medium
    55 FB, 55 SL, 50 CB, 50 CH, 40 CTRL

    9. Hunter Brown, RHP, 55/Extreme
    70 FB, 50 SL, 60 CB, 50 CH, 40 CTRL

    10. Grae Kessinger, SS, 50/High
    55 hit, 40 power, 50 run, 45 fielding, 50 arm

    11. Tyler Ivey, RHP, 50/High
    12. Jordan Brewer, OF, 50/High
    13. Luis Garcia, RHP, 50/High
    14. Jairo Solís, RHP, 55/Extreme
    15. Brandon Bielak, RHP, 45/Medium
    16. Colin Barber, OF, 50/Extreme
    17. Jojanse Torres, RHP, 45/High
    18. José Alberto Rivera, RHP, 50/Extreme
    19. Shawn Dubin, RHP, 45/High
    20. Jairo Lopez, RHP, 45/High
    21. Brett Conine, RHP, 45/High
    22. Blair Henley, RHP, 45/High
    23. Nivaldo Rodriguez, RHP, 45/High
    24. Garrett Stubbs, C, 40/Medium
    25. Peter Solomon, RHP, 50/Extreme
    26. Rogelio Armenteros, RHP, 40/Medium
    27. Austin Hansen, RHP, 45/High
    28. Enoli Paredes, RHP, 45/High
    29. Dauri Lorenzo, SS, 50/Extreme
    30. Chandler Taylor, OF, 45/Very High

    The Astros ranked 27th in BA's organizational rankings after having one of the top systems in the game for years.

    As many here have mentioned... lots of flamethrowers, very little position player depth. Many of the system's top arms may be relievers in the long run, and BA notes that teams are reticent to target Astros arms, believing that the team's "emphasis on velocity and high spin rates" have not translated to MLB success. Also, the pitchers they've traded away haven't "met expectations" with their new clubs.

    2019 Draft Report Card

    Best pure hitter: Colin Barber (4), Jordan Brewer (3)
    Best power: Korey Lee (1); good exit velocity, working to get more loft in his swing
    Fastest runner: Matt Barefoot (6), James Nix (35)
    Best defensive player: Preston Pavlica (24)
    Best athlete: Brewer
    Best fastball: Hunter Brown (5)
    Best secondary pitch: Blair Henley's (7) curveball
    Best pro debut: Henley
    Most intriguing background: Grae Kessinger (2), C.J. Stubbs (10)
    Closest to the Majors: Kessinger
    Best late-round pick: Cole McDonald (15); feel for pitching and ability to command gives him a chance
    The one who got away: Oscar Carvajal (32); has an "impressive" split-changeup

    Best Tools

    Best pure hitter: Abraham Toro
    Best power: Chandler Taylor
    Fastest Baserunner: Jordan Brewer
    Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Jeremy Peña
    Best Athlete: Brewer
    Best Fastball: José Alberto Rivera
    Best Curveball: Bryan Abreu
    Best Slider: Enoli Paredes
    Best Changeup: Forrest Whitley
    Best Control: José Urquidy
    Best Defensive Catcher: Chuckie Robinson
    Best Defensive Infielder: Peña
    Best Infield Arm: Freudis Nova
    Best Defensive Outfielder: Ronnie Dawson
    Best Outfield Arm: Taylor
     
  3. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Those skill rankings are odd. They have Barefoot and Nix as the fastest 2019 draftees, but then have Brewer as the fastest base runner in the entire system. Ronnie Dawson as the best defensive OF seems strange too.

    27th is harsh but if you weigh top end talent or positions players more heavily, I can see how Houstons system looks barren. I still think their overall depth and especially the pitching depth puts them closer to the middle 3rd of the league (in the 12-20 range).
     
  4. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    High end matters a lot more than depth. That said, these lists care more about odds a player is great (i.e., ceiling) than expected value even though they try and whine about cooking in risk based on proximity to the majors. Astros have had some bad luck on pitching lately, but it looks like Astros have 1-2 starting pitcher, and 1-2 reliever prospects that will be producing in the majors in 2020 along with a 3B. I have a hard time seeing the Astros as a bottom third farm system based on who they have close to the majors.
     
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  5. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    It’s interesting that in a system of 150+ prospects, only the top 5-10 really matter in terms who becomes future stars and trade chips. Makes it easy to understand why Luhnow and others were advocating for fewer minor league teams and a shorter draft. I’d be fine with each org only having 4 total farm teams (AAA, AA, A, and a complex team). But I think it’s good for the game to have a large (40-50 round) draft.
     
  6. rocketpower2

    rocketpower2 Member

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    Someone with BA access please spill the deets. This is GREAT news.

     
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  7. Htown Legend

    Htown Legend Member

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    Someone please fill us in!!
     
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  8. Htown Legend

    Htown Legend Member

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  9. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Nice! The fact that he’s 21 makes him more like a college draftee that’ll start in full season ball, rather than the typical 17 year old who usually takes 4-6 years to reach the majors. Certainly goes further to mitigate the lost first round pick.

    Just doing a back of the envelope calculation using % of mlb stars who come from intl rather than the Rule 4 draft, signing the top international talent (largest bonus) would translate to a Top 10 Rule 4 draft pick.
     
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  10. rocketpower2

    rocketpower2 Member

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    Lets go. This is exactly what we need in order to restock the system. High quality international talent is the one thing they can add in the next few years.
     
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  11. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Another big factor for Houston is that the proposed structure of the international draft which should take effect in 2021 allows for trading of picks. So signing Leon and the Cole compensation make up for the lost picks in 2020, and Houston can trade cash or fringe prospects for international draft picks to make up for the lost 2021 picks (not to mention the compensation picks they might get for Springer, Brantley, Correa, Verlander, McCullers, and Greinke). @Nook has been telling us they will focus on the international arena, and it could be a great plan.

    Given Houstons entire 2020-2021 pool should be about $5.5M, signing Leon would leave just $1.5M, likely enough to sign one other prospect from the back of the Top 30, with the rest of the class being small to no bonus signs. But that’s wagering an awful lot on Leon.
     
  12. rocketpower2

    rocketpower2 Member

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    It's putting a lot of trust into your scouting and development team, which I am a proponent of. Tampa Bay has had a lot of success in signing high level international talent and it is paid off for them, look at Wander Franco first and foremost.
     
  13. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    It’s possible Quad Cities could have 6-7 stud prospects in their lineup in the 2nd half of next season:

    C Lee 2019 1st rd
    1B Perry
    2B Santana
    SS Nova 2016 $1.5M bonus
    3B Perez 2018 2nd rd
    RF Barber 2019 $1M bonus
    CF Leon 2020 $4M bonus
    LF Brewer 2019 3rd rd
     
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  14. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Click has a pretty good track record when it comes to international signings as he was the most aggressive of the Tampa 3 to target and go all out for an international player if they really like them.

    The fact that the Astros will give the highest bonus in the entire class is not a coincidence and it isn’t a one shot thing. The Astros were looking hard at León since around Thanksgiving and shortly after the Click signing the Astros had a private and secret meeting and workout with Leon. They were able to get him to do everything they wanted and used special equipment and video equipment.

    After reviewing the rape and raw numbers they offered him 4 million to agree and only have very limited workouts/showcases.

    I have never seen him play but have seen short video. He reminds me some of Mel Ott in his build. He is not very tall (look like maybe 5’8”) but well put together with broad shoulders, narrow waist and strong lower body.

    He is a corner outfielder but is considered a very good defensive one. His instincts to the ball are average, but he has plus speed and a strong arm.

    He has a quick bat and on offense he is mostly known for power and the ability to get around on anything. He has had some wrist issues; but the frequency of his homers and the exit velocity are supposedly really impressive.

    With so much talent from Cuba already gone, a lot of teams are afraid to put much stock in raw numbers put up in Cuba. León played very well last year in Cuba but is a bit of a mystery based on his limited documented history and his size and at times stocky frame. He is less projectable as a result.
     
  15. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast

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    Someone said something somewhere about the Stros going heavy in the international market, 'cause they've gotta spend money somewhere given the loss of draft picks...

    I like this a whole lot.
     
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  16. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    There are some worrisome things about Leon. There aren’t a lot of really good corner outfielders who are 5’9” 190 lb; Mookie Betts and Leury Garcia are the only 2 current guys I could find. Add in that he has an injury history, and there’s plenty of room for skepticism. But the combination of Click and the legacy front office guys makes me give them the benefit of the doubt. Best case, he’s Mookie Betts. Likely case, he’s Leury Garcia. Worst case, he’s Rusney Castillo.

    That’s one of the bummers about the timing of Click replacing Luhnow; the loss of the top 2 picks dramatically reduces the benefit of having 2 sets of minds on the draft. One of the reasons I think the 2012 draft was so effective was that Luhnow was able to combine the info he took from the Cardinals with what the legacy staff had; add in that they had an extra pick, and it made for a perfect storm. They could have been in a similar spot had the not had their top 2 picks taken away.
     
  17. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I've not followed it closely, but I think they were spending most of their IFA money already. It is mostly a shift from getting quantity of prospects to going for quality of prospects. Going for more quality puts more risk on each prospect, but gives better odds of finding a great player. Going for quantity reduces risk for each prospect, gives better odds at finding role players, but reduces odds of get great player.

    The better teams are at identifying talent, the better the quality route is. Not paid too much attention to how well teams have been doing in international market recently, but 5 -6 years ago, teams were not that good at identifying which IFAs would do well and which ones wouldn't. To me this shift means that teams in general are getting better at finding the true gems, and that the Astros are going to have to pay for them if they want one.

    To me, it looks like Astros may be making a late shift, and are just joining what other smart teams are already doing.
     
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  18. texans1095

    texans1095 Member

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    @Nook is this Leon? If so, he’s definitely got some quick wrists.



    edit: looks like this is him.

    Check out this thread for a couple videos of him.


     
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  19. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    He looks like he’s in a lot better shape in that BP video than in the serie videos. Good sign, since the BP video is more recent.
     
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