Houston Astros 2021 Top 50 Prospects

Graphic design by John Stewart, @jonance on Twitter

A lot has happened since our last Astros Top 50 list dropped in late January of 2020. We’ve had a minor league season cancelled and a shortened MLB season that included a number of Astros pitching prospects pushed to MLB directly from the low minors. The Astros player development program is one of the best in MLB, as evidenced by several highly rated prospects that have graduated from this list and begun to make an impact in Houston. Jose Urquidy, Abraham Toro, and my favorite Astro, Cristian Javier, were all on this list last January and all were key contributors in 2020. With so many highly rated prospects graduating to Houston and a number of others leaving in trades, the system is a little bit depleted. The cupboard isn’t bare though and there are some really interesting young players that are worth watching.

Another change since the last list is the writer. This will be my first work in my new assignment as the Astros correspondent here at Prospects1500 and I’m excited to get started. My background is in running complex dynasty baseball leagues and I approach my analysis from that angle. Is this player likely to make it to the majors and what role will he have when he gets there? How valuable can he be on my fantasy team and how likely is he to reach that potential? How great is the risk that this player might be a bust or end up as a middle reliever? These are the questions I’m focused on answering. Check back during the minor league season for features on Astros prospects, particularly players assigned to Fayetteville and Asheville in my home state of North Carolina. I’m always up for debate and feedback and you can find me on Twitter @ChappyIsClutch.

Astros Minor League Affiliates:
Triple-A: Sugar Land (Pacific Coast League)
Double-A: Corpus Christi (Texas League)
High-A: Asheville (TBD)
Low-A: Fayetteville (TBD)

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have a high likelihood of making the majors, but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

Tier 1

None

Tier 2

1. Forrest Whitley, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level: AAA
Whitley has certainly lost a bit of prospect shine over the last couple of seasons, but very few pitchers have the stuff to be a true ace and Whitley is one of them. It all comes down to control and staying healthy, both of which were problems for him in 2019. He spent all of 2020 at the alternate training site, which is not surprising given service time considerations and the chaotic nature of the shortened season. If he puts it all together, Whitley could be a top 10 starting pitcher in all of baseball and it’s way too early to give up on that outcome. It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for his MLB debut, but he’s only 23 and won’t turn 24 until the end of this season. If he doesn’t at least make a late season debut in 2021, there will be one very disappointed GM in every dynasty league on the planet.

2. Pedro Leon, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: Cuban National Series
Leon was one of the most highly rated international free agents when he agreed to sign with the Astros almost a year ago. Like all other international free agents, he’s been in limbo with the signing period being pushed back from July 2020 to January 2021 due to Covid. When Leon last played in Cuba he hit 15 home runs in just 33 games against the highest competition in his home country. Scouts rave about his loud tools, and he instantly becomes the most interesting offensive prospect in the system at a position of significant need. Now that he has officially signed, it will be interesting to see where the Astros choose to start his 2021 season. If Leon can get off to a fast start, he could be pushing to make the big league roster as soon as next spring.

3. Jeremy Pena, SS
Age: 23
Highest Level: A+
Pena is proof positive that even college prospects can exceed scout’s expectations when they transition to professional baseball. Pena came out of the University of Maine in the 3rd round of the 2018 draft as a slender, glove first shortstop with little dynasty league upside. Then he went to work adding 15 pounds to his frame for the 2019 season and he exploded at the plate to the tune of a .303 average with 7 home runs and 20 stolen bases against full season and high A competition. He spent the 2020 season at the Astros alternate training site where he continued to impress before heading to the Dominican Republic for winter beisbol. Pena has spent the last few months hitting leadoff in front of star players like Robinson Cano and Fernando Tatis, Jr. among others and proving that he belongs. At this point, it’s hard to argue that Pena isn’t very close to ready for a big league shot and the timing couldn’t be better. With Carlos Correa entering his walk year and fellow star prospect Freudis Nova still a few years away, there is a clear window for Pena to seize the starting shortstop job in Houston. Pena is no Correa, but he could be a solid option in dynasty leagues if he plays every day in a loaded Astros lineup.

4. Freudis Nova, SS
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
Nova has the upside to eventually be the most valuable player on this list in fantasy leagues. He signed with Houston in 2016 and made his stateside debut in 2018 hitting .308 with 6 home runs and 9 stolen bases in just 41 games. His 2019 season was seen by some as a disappointment, but he held his own for a 19 year old in his first taste of full season A ball. Offensively, he has the tools to contribute in every fantasy category. He has a compact swing that generates plus power, but he can be overly aggressive at times. He’ll need to improve his pitch selection to provide in game power as he progresses through the system. He also has good speed, but he has been caught too often when stealing since turning pro. He will need to improve as a base stealer to reach his full potential in fantasy leagues. Defensively he has a cannon for an arm and very good hands, which suggests he will stick at shortstop and could easily handle second or third base if needed. Nova turns 21 just a few of days before this article is due to be released, so he is still a couple of years away from Houston and has plenty of opportunity to make the adjustments needed.

5. Enoli Paredes, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB
Parades is one of a number of relief pitchers on this list with absolutely electric stuff. He attacks hitters with a fastball that can peak in the upper 90’s, a plus curveball and a “knee buckling” slider. He debuted early in the 2020 season and stayed up with the Astros for the entire shortened season where he recorded 5 holds to go with 20 strikeouts in 20.2 innings of work. Having proven that he belongs at the back end of the Astros bullpen, Parades should provide good value in dynasty leagues that count holds. His value would skyrocket if he were to land the closer role, which is not out of the question given his pure stuff.

6. Bryan Abreu, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB
Abreu has an elite curveball that he pairs with a nasty slider and a fastball that can hit 97. Across 287 minor league innings he has struck out 386 men. That’s an elite strikeout rate and that’s what makes for a valuable relief pitcher in dynasty leagues. He made his MLB debut late in the 2019 season and struck out an impressive 13 batters in 8.2 innings of work. However, he only made 4 appearances in 2020 and spent most of the season at the alternate training site despite the Astros near constant need for fresh bullpen arms. He has the pure stuff to be a top closer and one of the most valuable relievers in fantasy baseball, but he needs to refine his command to reach that ceiling. Out of all of the players on this list, Abreu is the one I’m most interested to see in spring training because he could have the biggest impact in 2021.

Tier 3

7. Dauri Lorenzo, SS
Age: 18
Highest Level: DSL
Lorenzo was the headliner of the Astros 2019 international class and he is one of the most exciting prospects currently in the system. A switch hitter with a compact swing and the potential for 20 home run power, Lorenzo has the ability to stay on the dirt even if it’s not at shortstop long term. He probably would have debuted in the DSL in 2020, but he did get some experience at the Astros Instructional League and should make his stateside debut in 2021. If he hits his full potential, Lorenzo has the type of ceiling that could see him rise all the way to the top of this list on his way to Houston.

8. Richi Gonzalez, OF
Age: 18
Highest Level: International Free Agent
Signed as a part of the 2019 international class, Gonzalez is a projectable center fielder out of the Dominican Republic with the athleticism to stay in center field while also providing both power and speed on offense. Prospects are always risky when they are this young, but if you’re going to invest in one Gonzalez has the kind of upside that can produce the biggest kind of payoff. Hopefully we will get a chance to see what he can do stateside in 2021.

9. Korey Lee, C
Age: 22
Highest Level: A-
Lee was a surprise 1st round pick in 2019 after a breakout season at the University of California. He wasn’t a full time catcher until his final season in college and will need development as a receiver. He has the arm to keep runners at bay and the athleticism to stick behind the plate. Lee hit .268 with 3 home runs and 8 stolen bases in 64 games after being drafted, which suggests that he can hold his own offensively going forward and there is still untapped power potential in his swing. Catching prospects are always risky, but he’s in a good system without a lot of catching depth which makes him worth considering in dynasty leagues.

10. Hunter Brown, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: A-
Brown got the Astros attention by striking out 114 batters in 85.1 innings during his junior year at Wayne State. They took him in the 5th round of the 2019 draft and sent him to short season A ball where he struck out 33 men in 23.2 innings. Brown features a four seam fastball that tops out around 98, a mid 80’s slider and a developing curveball. If he can improve his secondary offerings enough, he could be a middle of the rotation starter. Worst case, his fastball/slider combo should make him a threat at the back end of the bullpen.

11. Jordan Brewer, OF
Age: 23
Highest Level: A-
Brewer probably has one of the widest spectrums of possible outcomes of any player in the Astros system. A plus athlete that can play all three outfield positions, Brewer provides plus power and stolen base potential on offense. His biggest question mark is his hit tool and he needs significant improvement in his plate discipline if he’s going to be an every day player. It’s possible that he could have a breakthrough at the plate and become a fixture in the Astros outfield and a must start in fantasy leagues. It’s also possible that he could arrive in Houston and strike out too much to play every day.

12. Alex Santos, RHP
Age: 18
Highest Level: High School
When the Astros finally got make a pick in the 2020 draft, they made it count with a high upside prep arm out of New York City in the Supplemental portion of the 2nd Round. Santos’ fastball already sits in the low 90’s and he has projection left in his frame. He also has good feel for a slider and changeup. Santos has all of the tools to make it as a starter and he landed in one of the best pitching development systems in MLB. Like all teenage pitchers there is significant risk, but the upside of a number 2 or 3 starter makes Santos worth a spot on larger dynasty rosters.

13. Tyler Ivey, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Ivey makes the top 10 on this list because he does the one thing I look for most in a pitching prospect: he strikes people out. He’s averaged 12 strikeouts per 9 innings in his pro career, which suggests that he will again miss bats when he gets to the show. He features a fastball that sits in the low 90’s, which he uses effectively up in the zone, and a high 70’s curveball that drops off of the table. If his third offering, a slider-cutter combination, comes around he could find a place in the rotation as soon as this season. There is some reliever risk here, but give me all of the high strikeout pitching prospects and I’ll take my chances.

14. Grae Kessinger, SS/3B
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
Kessinger was taken in the 2nd Round of the 2019 draft out of Ole Miss, where he broke out in conference play during his Junior season in 2018. He followed that up with a senior season that included 7 home runs, 16 stolen bases and a .904 OPS. If he’s going to make an impact in fantasy leagues he’ll need to make adjustments that increase his home run production, because he’s unlikely to produce double digit stolen bases at the MLB level. He has the arm to stick at shortstop, but a move to second base or a super utility role could be in the cards. 2021 will be a big year for Kessinger and he could easily move in either direction on this list by the mid season update.

15. Luis Garcia, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
Like a number of pitchers on this list, Garcia got a taste of MLB during the shortened 2020 season and he showed well in 5 appearances including one spot start. His fastball slider combo has led to high strikeout totals in the minors including 168 in 108.2 innings in 2019 at high A. He has the stuff to be a dominant reliever and could get a shot to stay with the big club in 2021 spring training.

16. Jairo Solis, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
Perhaps no player in the Astros system was more impacted by the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season than Solis. After losing part of 2018 and all of 2019 to Tommy John Surgery, 2020 was supposed to be a chance to get back on track for the flame-throwing right hander. Instead, after not pitching for two plus seasons, the Astros had to make a decision on whether or not to add him to the 40 man roster or risk losing him in the Rule 5 Draft. The fact that they chose to protect him speaks volumes about the potential in his profile. Solis features an above average fastball, a curve that can be devastating at times and a changeup that was showing improvement before the injury. If he can return to his pre-injury form, he has an excellent chance to move through the minors and claim a spot in the Astros rotation, perhaps as early as 2023.

17. Colin Barber, OF
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
Taken in the 4th round in 2019 and signed for an over-slot bonus, Barber is one of the rare prep bats on this list. He has a quick left-handed swing that projects average to above average power potential and he is a plus runner that could develop into a 20/20 threat. He profiles best in an outfield corner and can also handle center if needed. He spent some time at the Astros alternate training site in 2020, which bodes well for his place in the organization. Look for him to start 2021 at low A Fayetteville and progress to high A Asheville by season’s end.

18. Jojanse Torres, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: A+
Torres signed out of the Dominican Republic in the spring of 2018 at the relatively late age of 22 and made a huge impression in his 2019 stateside debut. Across stops in full season and high A ball he struck out 107 men in just over 94 innings utilizing a fastball that sits in the high 90’s and can touch 100 along with a mid 80’s slider and a developing changeup. On pure stuff, I think the floor on Torres is a late inning, high leverage reliever. If he can develop the changeup further and improve his command he would have a chance at being a high impact starter in fantasy baseball.

19. Taylor Jones, 1B/OF
Age: 27
Highest Level: MLB
I wouldn’t normally rank a 27 year old prospect this high on a list like this, but Jones is an exceptional case. He was a pitcher in college until his senior season when he made the switch to first base, so he started his professional career a bit behind for his age. He generates exceptional raw power from his imposing 6′-7″ frame and he has increased his home run production each season while keeping his strikeouts at a reasonable level. I also like his path to Houston. While the Astros did extend Yuli Gurriel toward the end of last season, he will turn 37 this summer and 2022 is only a club option. Jones is the only player in the system that fits as the heir apparent at first base and he has the right profile to be a factor at DH if Yordan Alvarez continues to struggle with injury. Jones could become one of those rare “late bloomer” prospects to make an impact in MLB.

20. Andre Scrubb, RHP
Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB
Scrubb was one of the biggest surprise contributers to the Astros 2020 run to the playoffs, making the jump straight from AA to make 20 appearances out of the bullpen to the tune of a 1.90 era and 24 strikeouts in 23.2 innings. Drafted in the 8th round of the 2016 draft by the Dodgers, Scrubb has been used as a reliever almost exclusively since turning pro. His curveball is a true out pitch and his career numbers suggest that his strikeout rate may even increase as he acclimates to big league hitting. Unless he develops into a closer, his value will be limited to deeper leagues and leagues that count holds.

Tier 4

21. Zach Daniels, OF
Age: 21
Highest Level: College
Until a torrid start to his Junior season at Tennessee, Daniels wasn’t on the draft radar. He had struggled to a sub .200 batting average in his first two seasons at UT and his first summer on the Cape. The sample size of success is only 17 games, but the tools are interesting enough that the Astros took a shot on him in the fourth round of the 2020 draft. Word out of Astros instructional league is that Daniels continued to impress both with his measurables and his willingness to make adjustments. His ceiling is a 20/20 every day center fielder, but his floor is AAAA depth or a late inning defensive replacement.

22. Kenedy Corona, SS
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
Corona started 2019 as a member of the Mets system and posted a strong stateside debut in the GCL including 11 stolen bases in 13 attempts. The Astros acquired him as part of the Jake Marisnick trade during the offseason and he participated in the Astros Instructional League program this past fall. Any prospect with success at a young age and the ability to play on the left side of the infield is worth watching and Corona is no exception. He should start 2021 at low A Fayetteville where he’ll have a chance to show out against stronger competition.

23. Yohander Martinez, SS
Age: 19
Highest Level: DSL
Signed in the summer of 2018, Martinez had a monster campaign in the 2019 Dominican Summer League. He has the athleticism and arm strength to stay at either shortstop or third base and the potential to develop more power as he grows into his frame. A strong stateside debut could send him shooting up this list in a hurry.

24. Luis Santana, 2B
Age: 21
Highest Level: AA
Santana was originally signed by the Mets in 2016 and shipped to the Astros in the J.D. Davis trade. In his stateside debut in 2018 he blasted his way through the GCL to the tune of a .348 batting average with a .917 OPS, 4 home runs and 8 stolen bases. The Astros may have been a little bit too aggressive with Santana when they sent him to AA to the start the 2019 season, and he struggled even after being sent down to short season Tri-Cities. Santana has the potential to contribute a high batting average and on base percentage, but the question is will he develop enough power or steal enough bases to be fantasy relevant when he gets to Houston.

25. Tyler Brown, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: College
Brown was a dominant closer at the University of Virginia and one of the best relievers available in the 2020 draft. The Astros see a pitcher with enough quality offerings to be a starter and they put Brown in their tandem starter program. Brown has 4 pitches that all have good potential including a mid 90’s fastball with late life and a plus slider. At 6′-4″ with a strong build, he fits the starter profile, but the Astros also have a need for a competitor like Brown at the back end of their bullpen. The performance of the Astros bullpen early in 2021 could have a big impact on his career path.

26. Shawn Dubin, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: A+
Like a number of Astros pitching prospects, Dubin has back end rotation potential with the stuff to be a leverage reliever if starting doesn’t pan out. His primary weapons are a tight spinning slider and a four seam fastball that has shown increased velocity since he turned pro. The slider will make him an asset even if he ends up in the bullpen.

27. Brett Conine, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Conine came to the Astros as a college closer but quickly transitioned into an effective starter thanks to a developing changeup and excellent command. He pairs the changeup with an average fastball that sits in the low 90’s and a pair of breaking pitches that he uses effectively. In 2019 Conine made 15 starts across high A and AA with 134 strikeouts across 114.1 innings with a 2.20 ERA. He spent the 2020 season at the Astros alternate training site and appears to be close to an opportunity with the big league club. His potential as a back end starter makes him worth considering in deeper dynasty leagues.

28. Blair Henley, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level: A-
Taken in the 7th round of the 2019 draft out of the University of Texas, Henley might have the perfect profile for an Astros pitching project. High spin rate curveball? Check. Four seam fastball that needs work? Check. The potential for a four pitch arsenal? Check. Early returns were promising in 2019 and if he reaches his full potential, Henley could be a middle of the rotation starter.

29. Brandon Bielak, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
Bielak made his big league debut during the shortened 2020 regular season with limited success. He started off well with three good starts in August before getting roughed up in his next three and being relegated to a middle relief role. He has good command of his four pitch arsenal and has averaged just over a strikeout per inning in his minor league career. Bielak should get another shot at the rotation in 2021 and if he can secure a spot he will have value in AL only and deeper leagues.

30. Ronnie Dawson, OF
Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA
Dawson is one of a number of toolsy outfielders in this system with big potential and a big problem with strikeouts. The power from the left side is tantalizing and his home run totals have increased each season since he turned pro. His combination of athletic ability and power will likely be enough to get a shot in the Houston outfield, but if he can’t cut back on the strikeouts he won’t hit enough to stay there.

31. Alex McKenna, OF
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
Taken in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, McKenna showed plus power and athleticism in his pro debut. His 2019 season was marred by several nagging injuries and he hit just one home run all season. He needs to cut down on the strikeouts if he is going to hit enough to get to the majors. He has also been caught almost as often as he’s been successful swiping bases and will need to work on his approach if he is going to be a factor in the run game.

32. Chas McCormick, OF
Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA
McCormick had been solid but unspectacular on his way through the Astros system before breaking out with 14 home runs and 16 steals in 2019. He fits best in a corner outfield spot though he can handle center in a pinch. The question is will he provide enough power to hold down an every day corner spot or enough playing time as a fourth outfielder to warrant consideration in dynasty leagues. With the Astros lack of outfield depth, McCormick is one worth keeping an eye on in 2021.

33. Nivaldo Rodriguez, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB
The Astros lack of bullpen depth in 2020 forced a number of their younger pitching prospects into early MLB debuts. Rodriguez jumped straight from high A to the Astros bullpen and his debut was a rough one. His results from 2019 in Fayetteville are far more indicative of his prospect status. 15 starts with 114 strikeouts in 105 innings and a WHIP under 1.00 suggest that there is some promise here. Another year in the minors, perhaps starting in AA could mean a late season call up or a shot at the rotation going into 2022.

34. Blake Taylor, LHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB
Taylor had a solid debut out of the Astros bullpen in 2020. His walk rate was a little bit concerning, but it was a small sample size and his minor league stats would suggest an improvement going forward. He should be in the mix to get holds in 2021 either in a leverage role or as a situational lefty.

35. Jairo Lopez, RHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: A-
Signed for $300,000 in 2017 out of Venezuela, Lopez put up good numbers in his first taste of short season A ball with 36 strikeouts in 26.1 innings. He did walk 16 batters, so there’s work to be done in the control department. Lopez is one of my top players to watch in the lower levels of the Astros system in 2021.

36. Peter Solomon, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: A+
After being drafted out of Notre Dame in 2017, Solomon missed most of 2019 with Tommy John Surgery. He impressed enough in the Instructional League to earn a spot on the 40 man roster and protection from the Rule 5 draft. He features a mid-90’s fastball and developing slider, curveball and changeup offerings. There’s some middle reliever risk here, but enough starter upside to consider in deeper dynasty leagues.

37. Austin Hansen, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: A+
A product of the Astros tandem starter program, Hansen is in the process of converting from college reliever to professional starter. He has four pitches that all flash plus including a fastball that sits in the mid 90’s and can touch 97. Whether or not he develops starter control and lowers his walk rate will determine if he ends up in the rotation or the bullpen.

38. Cionel Perez, LHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB
After a strong MLB debut late in the 2018 season, Perez has had short and difficult stints with the Astros the past two seasons. At this point in his career it seems unlikely that he sticks as a starter. If he can develop into an effective situational lefty, he could have value in leagues that count holds.

39. Colton Shaver, 3B
Age: 25
Highest Level: AA
Taken in the 39th round in 2017 out of BYU, Shaver has defied the odds and slugged his way through the minors while improving his home run totals each season. He strikes out too much and is blocked at third base, but he’s done some catching and could end up being an interesting bench bat or platoon catcher.

Tier 5

40. Shay Whitcomb, SS
Age: 22
Highest Level: College
Taken with the final pick in the shortened 2020 draft, Whitcomb’s calling card is his plus hit tool. His breakout came in the summer of 2019 when he raked his way through the Cape Cod League and carried that hot bat into the shortened 2020 college season. He probably won’t stick at short, but he profiles nicely as a offensive minded second baseman or super utility player.

41. Angel Macuare, RHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: A-
Macuare features a plus curveball and a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90’s. His numbers from his first season in A ball are encouraging, but he did walk a lot of batters. If his changeup develops and he develops better control of his pitches, he could be a back of the rotation starter.

42. Nathan Perry, C
Age: 21
Highest Level: A-
Perry took a step forward in short season ball in 2019 showing his plus power from the left side of the plate. His defense is improving and while his arm doesn’t profile as a game changer, he is efficient enough to control the run game and stick behind the plate. It’s not difficult to imagine Perry as the left handed hitting compliment to the more highly touted Korey Lee behind the plate in Houston.

43. Rainier Rivas, OF
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
Rivas had a solid 10 game debut in the GCL after coming over from the Angels in the Max Stassi trade. The strikeout rate is a worry, but he hits the ball hard and has time to make necessary mechanical adjustments. Rivas could rise up this list quickly with a big 2021 season.

44. Bryan de la Cruz, OF
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Two strong but unspectacular seasons in the low minors have de la Cruz in position to become part of the conversation in the Houston outfield. His fantasy appeal is limited by his lack of consistent power and the potential that he will end up on the wrong side of a platoon. Given his slow but steady development track, it’s not impossible that he grows into a larger role and becomes fantasy relevant.

45. Jayson Schroeder, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A+
Drafted in the 2nd Round of the 2018 draft out of high school in Washington state, Schroeder has the kind of talent that could see him much higher on this list. A disasterous 2019 where he struggled to find the strike zone puts him squarely in the wait and see category. He’s a power pitcher with middle of the rotation ceiling and he just turned 21, so there’s plenty of time for a breakout.

46. Julio Robaina, LHP
Age: 19
Highest Level: A
Signed in 2017 out of Cuba, Robaina found success in the GCL in 2019 striking out almost 13 batters per 9 innings. His fastball sits in the low 90’s and his arsenal also includes a curveball, a slider and a splitter. He has projection left in his frame and it will be interesting to see how his fastball develops in the Astros system.

47. Justin Dirden, OF
Age: 23
Highest Level: College
Dirden was off to a red hot start for SE Missouri State before the 2020 college season came to a premature end. The 6′-4″ first baseman had 9 home runs to go with an eye-popping .900 slugging percentage through 17 games. The Astros signed him as a free agent following the abbreviated 2020 draft.

48. Ross Adolph, OF
Age: 24
Highest Level: A+
Taken in the 12th round in 2018 by the Mets and traded to Houston in the J.D. Davis deal, Adolph’s appeal is a combination of power and speed. He has the athletic ability and instincts to stick in center field, but he needs minor league at bats to work on being a more consistent hitter.

49. Juan Pablo Lopez, LHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
Lopez is a tall, slender lefty with a classic fastball-curve combination. His numbers from 2018 to 2019 show he is developing his strikeout ability with 2019 being his first season with more strikeouts than innings pitched. With a shortage of quality left handed pitching across the system, Lopez has a clear path to a bullpen specialist role if he doesn’t develop into a starter.

50. Valente Bellozo, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
The Astros signed Bellozo as an international free agent in 2017. He broke out in 2019 after striking out 69 while walking 12 across 58.1 innings. He could develop into a fantasy relevant prospect if he sticks as a starter.

Here are a few names that are on my radar but just missed this list:
Joe Perez, 3B
J.J. Matijevic, 1B
J.C. Correa, SS
Cesar Gomez, OF
Daniel Pacheco, RHP
Diosmerky Taveras, RHP
Enmanuel Valdez, 3B
Kyle Gruller, RHP
Manny Ramirez, RHP
Matthew Barefoot, LHP/OF
Zack Matthews, RHP
Willy Collado, RHP
Joe Record, RHP
Seth Martinez, RHP

The Astros also agreed to terms with 9 international free agents NOT named Pedro Leon. Look for a follow up piece in February with more on these new additions to the Astros system.




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