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Do top Astros prospects flame out more often than other organizations?

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by xcrunner51, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    I was watching Jordan Lyles pitch in the futures game and wondered how many Astros prospects in the futures game actually become successful. Looking back a few years the results don't look good.

    2010 - Lyles: dominating AA at age 19, hopefully he lives up to his top 30 prospect status.

    2009 - Jason Castro: Made the majors his 2nd full year out of college but is currently hitting below the Mendoza line. Projects to be a solid everyday catcher with above-average defense and average hitting.
    - Chia Jen Lo: Puts up good numbers every year but is currently injured. Projects as a setup man.

    2008 - Polin Trinidad: A few good seasons in the low minors got him into the game but recently has put up back to back seasons of a 4+ era at Round Rock. Unlikely to project to more than back of the rotation fodder.

    2007 - JR Towles: Had that magical September a few years ago but was handed the starting C job several times and never made anything of it. Still relatively young but looks like a total bust.
    - Jimmy Van Ostrand: His OPS is down .220 while repeating AA this year. At 25, his prospect status is (like others) in doubt.

    2006 - Hunter Pence: The one no-question success. Several solid seasons and made the All-star team last year. Down season this year but he's a solid player who could be in Rt field for a long time.
    - Jason Hirsch: Once the Astros top pitching prospect after winning Texas league and PCL pitcher of the year in consecutive seasons, Hirsch was traded with others for Jason Jennings. Was a bust in CO and is currently in the Yankees system.

    2005 - Troy Patton: one of the few times Drayton actually signed a player above slot. Made the majors with the Astros in '07, was traded for Tejada, and hasn't seen the majors since.
    - Fernando Nieve: cut by the Astros last year and had some solid starts for the Mets last season. Currently has a 5+ era for the Mets this season.

    2004 - Willy Taveras: had a few decent high SB, good defense seasons but finally caught up to the fact that you can't steal 1st base. Pretty much a journeyman now playing for the Braves.
    - Chris Burke: I'll always like him for the 18th inning shot that year but never amounted to anything else.

    In summary: 7 years of Astros prospects playing in the Futures game, 12 total players, only 1 solid everyday player (Hunter), only 1 other player is up with the big club (Castro), only 1 can still be considered a top prospect (Lyles), and most are fringe major leaguers or are total busts.

    Now my question is: is this normal? Do most teams top prospects bust out this frequently? That's 12 top Astros prospects with only one solid player. Hunter isn't even a star player, he's just solid.
     
  2. rockets934life

    rockets934life Contributing Member

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    All organizations have prospects flame out, we happen to notice it more because we actually follow this particular team. Castro isn't hitting well but his approach is SOLID so I wouldn't worry and his defense has been just fine. Lyles is doing well so far and while he might not be the next Oswalt he could be the next Shane Reynolds and that would also be just fine.

    The problem with our organizations compared to others is the lack of prospect to fail or succeed, that does appear to be going in the right direction but it will take time. Also from the list you noted, Towles wasn't a can't miss guy, dude should have been in AAA when the Stros gave him the stating gig and Willy T. did just fine for us and actually had a solid season in Colorado and since then has hit a rough patch. Patton should have been something but Coop mis-used him and he has never been right after that.
     
  3. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    The phrase top prospect is pretty subjective. The Astros have had a really bad farm system for a while so their top prospects aren't really among the top prospects in baseball. Lyles is probably the best prospect they've had in a long long time.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    The player you named may have been Astros top prospects, but hardly national top prospects.

    If you want to see some REAL FLAMEOUTS: see Wood, Kerry and Prior, Mark.
     
  5. wallyj12

    wallyj12 Member

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    I wouldn't say either one of those guys flamed-out. They were among the top pitchers in the league when they were healthy and injuries are what derailed them. IMO a flameout is someone who is highly regarded and/or has been heavily invested in (money, draft position) and just NEVER produces at the big league level. Wood and Prior have each put in top quality time in the majors
     
  6. Niaperzly

    Niaperzly Member

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    Arm injuries derailed both Patton and Hirsh's careers.
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Member

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    I think his biggest problem about getting to first was he had infield power.
     
  8. SuperBeeKay

    SuperBeeKay Member

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    Ben Zobrist? Tearing it up in Tampa
     
  9. msn

    msn Member

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    yeah, but his point was most of the guys he listed never saw *any* ML success. Prior and Wood definitely enjoyed a measure of ML success.

    To the OP, I would suggest that a list like this can be had for *every* organization. Everybody has lots of "prospects" that amount to nothing. Think about it--there are four or five levels of minor league baseball with 25 or so players per roster on each level. That's over 100 players, the vast majority of whom will never sniff ML success.
     
  10. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    Do top Astros prospects flame out more often than other organizations?

    No.

    The real question is...Do Astros fans believe that the Astros' top prospects flame out more often than do the fans of other organizations?

    Yes...by miles.
     
  11. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    I agree that many, if not most, teams have lots of "prospects" that amount to nothing. But the list I mentioned was basically 1/12 success rate. I highly doubt for the supposed top organizational prospects any team is worse than the Astros.

    The number of prospects the Astros have had that came out of no where to have successful careers (e.g. Wandy/Zobrist) is probably closer to the norm. But on the whole, we're not even developing semi-useful players anymore (backup outfielders/platoon players/#5 starters/middle relievers)
     

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