BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Houston Astros

Prospects Overview

Top 30 Prospects

Click prospect for player report

Prospect Lists

Best Tools

Top Prospects of the Decade
(Listed with 2022 organization)

Top Draft Picks of the Decade
(Listed with 2022 organization)

Player Reports

  1. 1. Korey Lee | C
    Korey Lee
    Born: Jul 25, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: California, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Tom Costic.
    Minors: .205/.256/.410 | 1 HR | 0 SB | 39 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Fourteen years after the Astros drafted and developed Stanford product Jason Castro as their catcher of the future, another California-based backstop is following a similar path. The Astros surprised the industry by selecting Lee in the first round of the 2019 draft at No. 32 overall. Many teams thought Lee would be available in later rounds, but the Astros pounced due to their confidence in a bat that showed promise in his final collegiate season at California hitting behind Andrew Vaughn. The team hoped Lee’s athleticism would pay dividends behind the plate. He signed for $1.75 million and delivered a solid, if unspectacular, debut season in Rookie ball in 2019. The upside and potential Houston saw finally manifested in Lee’s first full minor league season in 2021. Lee hit .277/.340/.438 with 11 home runs in 88 games and reached Triple-A Sugar Land during a revealing campaign that included noticeable adjustments to both his batting and catching stances. He continued to make contact and control the strike zone across three minor league levels while distinguishing himself as a defensive standout. The Astros exposed Lee to both first base and third base in 2021, but his short-term future is behind the plate, where his athleticism is obvious and an opportunity for imminent major league playing time looms.

    Scouting Report: Making so many adjustments left Lee somewhat inconsistent throughout the 2021 season, but his upside is apparent. He now catches in a one-knee stance to generate quicker releases with a plus-plus throwing arm. He produces pop times as low as 1.8 seconds in the one-knee stance. He shortened his arm slot to help the throws, too, but it has led to some accuracy issues. The two major changes sometimes leave Lee looking ragged behind the plate but his consistency and work ethic outweigh the occasional off days. He’s developed into a better receiver but still needs work. Concerns still surround Lee’s bat, but scouts believe he can hit enough to become an everyday catcher. He hit far too many ground balls to his pull side during his first minor league season, necessitating a few stance alterations. Lee came into pro ball with a busy batting stance—complete with a long stride and too much pre-pitch movement. Lee is far more stable and quiet now, which allows him to use his whole body, drive the ball more frequently and hit line drives. Lee can still tap into more of his above-average power, and the strides he made in 2021 portend well for the future.

    The Future: Lee is the Astros’ catcher of the future and is nearly ready for the major leagues. Both Castro and starter Martin Maldonado are signed only through 2022 and the team traded longtime third catcher Garrett Stubbs to clear a space on the 40-man roster and at Triple-A Sugar Land, where Lee should spend most of 2022. His MLB debut could come during the season.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 50. Speed: 40. Fielding: 55. Arm: 70.

  2. 2. Jeremy Pena | SS
    Jeremy Pena
    Born: Sep 22, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 202
    Drafted/Signed: Maine, 2018 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Bobby St. Pierre.

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Even after fracturing his left wrist while diving for a ball in April, Pena cemented himself as the Astros’ heir apparent to Carlos Correa at shortstop during the 2021 season. He returned from a four-month absence to abuse pitching at Triple-A Sugar Land, collecting 16 extra-base hits in a 30-game cameo with the Skeeters. The Astros included Pena on their playoff taxi squad before he departed for a winter ball assignment in the Dominican Republic. Pena drew rave reviews from major league coaches and players for his presence and makeup during his time on the taxi squad and was added to the 40-man roster in November.

    Scouting Report: Known as an above-average defender since his third-round selection in the 2018 draft, Pena is making the offensive strides and showing a power surge that will make him an everyday major league option. He came back from a four-month injury absence with more muscle and tapped into the power some waited long to see. Pena’s power may come at the expense of strike-zone control and an ability to hit for average, but his transformation from a handsy college hitter to one who can unearth more power is evident. Pena’s body and build have generated praise from across the sport, but he has not sacrificed plus defense at shortstop, where he shows one of the organization’s best infield arms. His major league bloodlines—his father, Geronimo, played seven major league seasons—influence a makeup about which many rave.

    The Future: Pena’s offensive adjustments make him a potential everyday regular at shortstop. He should start the 2022 season at Triple-A Sugar Land and, provided he produces similar offensive numbers, will be in position to make his major league debut during the season.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 45. Speed: 55. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  3. 3. Hunter Brown | RHP
    Hunter Brown
    Born: Aug 29, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 203
    Drafted/Signed: Wayne State, 2019 (5th round).
    Signed By: Scott Oberhelman.
    Minors: 0-0 | 1.04 ERA | 11 SO | 5 BB | 9 IP

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Brown burst onto the draft scene in 2019, striking out 114 batters in 85.1 innings as a junior at Division II Wayne State. The Astros took him in the fifth round that June and signed him for $325,000. Brown’s first full minor league season in 2021 featured much of the same traits that attracted the Astros. He struck out 131 batters in 101.1 innings with a 4.04 ERA between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Sugar Land. The performance put Brown, a Detroit native who grew up idolizing Justin Verlander, in the thick of conversations to join him in the Astros’ rotation.

    Scouting Report: Brown relies on a power four-seam fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and can reach 99 mph. He can elevate the pitch when needed and misses bats due to the late riding life it generates. Brown possesses two breaking pitches, a spike curveball in the low 80s and a sweeping slider that generates swings and misses. Both his four-seamer and curveball are major league-caliber, but a lack of consistency prevents Brown from being a bona fide, big-league starting pitching prospect. He is frequently unable to repeat his delivery and has the occasional propensity to lose his release point. His fastball command issues are apparent and must be solved for him to stick as a starter, although he could still be dominant in the bullpen.

    The Future: Brown should begin 2022 at Triple-A Sugar Land, where perhaps a year of seasoning will yield the breakout season many within the organization envision.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 50. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 40.

  4. 4. Pedro Leon | OF/SS
    Pedro Leon
    Born: May 28, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba, 2021.
    Signed By: Charlie Gonzalez.
    Minors: .226/.385/.387 | 1 HR | 4 SB | 31 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: The Astros invested $4 million in Leon as the crown jewel of their 2020 international signing class, stating their belief the Cuban center fielder could be a “rapid mover” to the majors. He had a 1.098 OPS in two seasons in Serie Nacional, including an all-star appearance as a 20-year-old. The pandemic prevented Leon from playing in 2020 and a visa issue delayed his arrival to spring training in 2021, but he still jumped straight to Double-A to begin his professional career. The Astros informed Leon he would see loads of time at shortstop upon signing him and, despite not playing the position since childhood, Leon made 48 of his first 71 minor league starts at shortstop.

    Scouting Report: Leon has enough athleticism and defensive aptitude to handle both center field and shortstop. He flashes plus-plus speed and has plus arm strength, as evidenced by a throw clocked at 98 mph from center field in spring training. However, many of the plus tools promised before Leon’s arrival never materialized during his first minor league season. He has a long swing and struggled first with velocity at Double-A and then with breaking pitches in the Arizona Fall League. Though strong in his frame, his small stature and contact concerns preclude him from having more than fringe-average power. Leon’s learning curve is steep, but his makeup and initial adaptation are encouraging. After striking out 33 times in his first 85 plate appearances, he posted a .766 OPS the rest of the season while earning a promotion to Triple-A.

    The Future: Leon’s best path to the big leagues is in center field, but he must continue to adjust offensively to be an everyday player. He is widely viewed as a future utilityman.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45. Power: 45. Speed: 60. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  5. 5. Joe Perez | 3B
    Joe Perez
    Born: Aug 12, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 215
    Signed By: Charlie Gonzalez.
    Minors: .077/.077/.077 | 0 HR | 0 SB | 13 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: The Astros drafted Perez in the second round and signed him for $1.6 million in 2017 knowing he’d need Tommy John surgery. He had it one day after his selection, starting a circuitous career that finally seems on track. His Tommy John recovery, a shoulder surgery in 2018 and the coronavirus pandemic limited Perez to just 209 professional plate appearances prior to the 2021 season. He lost around 15 pounds during the pandemic to become more durable and reached Double-A Corpus Christi during his first full minor league season. Perez posted an .849 OPS and showed serviceable enough defense at third base to earn a spot on Houston’s 40-man roster.

    Scouting Report: Perez isn’t an excitable player but boasts an offensive skill set many feel will give him a chance to make the major leagues. He is still a power-over-hit offensive prospect, but he demonstrated a better ability to use the opposite field in 2021 while making far more contact and staging competitive at-bats. Perez’s swing can still get too long, but he has enough strength to produce above-average power. The Astros will keep pushing him at third base—where a plus arm can compensate for a lack of range—but could expose him to left field to increase his value.

    The Future: Perez reshaped his body and refined his focus to put himself back on the map in 2021. Having another season similar in 2022 at Triple-A Sugar Land would make him an intriguing bench option in the major leagues.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 50. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 60.

  6. 6. Alex Santos | RHP
    Alex Santos
    Born: Feb 10, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 194
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Bronx, N.Y., 2020 (2nd round supp).
    Signed By: Bobby St. Pierre.

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: The Astros selected Santos No. 72 overall in the 2020 draft despite him missing his entire senior high school season due to the pandemic. Rapsodo data from Santos’ bullpen sessions during the shutdown, coupled with his continued presence on the showcase circuit, gave Houston confidence in its selection. Santos did not appear in a professional game until 2021, when he threw 41.2 innings for Low-A Fayetteville and demonstrated some of the potential that tantalized the Astros.

    Scouting Report: Santos sits in the low-to-mid 90s with a high-spin four-seam fastball that can sneak up on hitters and always seems to miss bats. His fastball is usually 91-93 mph, but can touch 95 in spurts. Santos’ ability to spin both the four-seamer and a plus curveball align well with the Astros’ pitching philosophies. His confidence is growing in a fading changeup that he barely threw in high school, and it now has average potential. Continued progression of the changeup and a slider will serve Santos well if he hopes to start in the major leagues. Santos’ arm action and failure to repeat his delivery consistently leave some wondering whether he’s better suited as a reliever, but his strike-throwing ability stood out throughout the draft circuit.

    The Future: Perhaps no young pitcher in Houston’s system has more upside as a potential starter than Santos. He’ll need to refine his repeatability and curtail some of his bouts of bad command, but hope is high given his age and relative inexperience.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.

  7. 7. Jose Siri | OF
    Jose Siri
    Born: Jul 22, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Richard Jimenez (Reds).

    BA Grade: 45/Medium

    Track Record: Siri signed with the Reds when he was 17 and spent most of his career frustrating teams as a player with immense tools who could never seem to put it all together. The Reds, Mariners and Giants all waived him before the Astros signed him as a minor league free agent, and he finally broke out at Triple-A Sugar Land in 2021. He finished in the top five in Triple-A West in batting average (.318), runs (70), doubles (29), stolen bases (23) and OPS (.921) and earned his first callup in September. He earned postseason starts in the ALCS and World Series and made the Astros’ 2022 Opening Day roster.
    Scouting Report: Siri has some of the loudest tools in the game. He is a plus-plus runner who flashes 80-grade times, is a plus defender in center field with plus arm strength and has plus raw power that results in loud contact when he connects. Siri’s drawback is he’s an extraordinarily aggressive hitter who gets anxious at the plate and frequently chases bad pitches. He goes on incredible hot streaks when his plate discipline is dialed in, but they rarely last as he reverts to his free-swinging ways. His speed and knack for getting good jumps make him a stolen base threat when he does reach base. Siri is a high-energy player who flips his bat, pumps home runs and plays aggressively. He’s had to work on controlling his emotions to handle the ups and downs of a long season.
    The Future: Siri has the tools to be an everyday player if he can tamp down his aggressiveness. He’ll get a chance to show he can with the Astros in 2022.
    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 60. Speed: 80. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  8. 8. Jaime Melendez | RHP
    Jaime Melendez
    Born: Sep 26, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'8" Wt.: 170
    Signed By: Miguel Pintor.
    Minors: 0-1 | 3.38 ERA | 12 SO | 3 BB | 8 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Melendez signed for $195,000 out of Mexico in May 2019 as a slender prospect known more for his craftiness and pitchability than overpowering stuff. He appeared in 11 complex league games upon his arrival and did not pitch in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Melendez added more than 20 pounds to his frame and upped his velocity to ascend three levels of the minors during a breakout 2021. He reached Double-A Corpus Christi for his final three appearances of the season.

    Scouting Report: Melendez draws comparisons to a fellow Mexican Astros pitcher: Jose Urquidy. Melendez throws from a high slot and is armed with a sneaky fastball that has substantial carry. After sitting 87-91 mph when he signed, Melendez now sits at 91-93 mph with his fastball and touches 95 on occasion. He generates swings and misses up in the strike zone, aligning perfectly with the Astros’ organization-wide pitching philosophy. His changeup has developed into one of the organization’s best. It has a similar spin rate to his fastball and some two-seam action. He throws a short slider with late break that has plus potential along with a curveball seen as average. His deception, ability to mix all four of his pitches and average control make him an intriguing starting candidate.

    The Future: Melendez has four average pitches that he mixes and commands well, but durability remains a concern. He has the upside to be a starter but some evaluators feel he’s destined for middle relief. A full season at Double-A in 2022 may help clear up his future.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 50. Curveball: 45. Changeup: 55. Control: 50.

  9. 9. Tyler Whitaker | OF
    Tyler Whitaker
    Born: Aug 2, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Ryan Leake.
    Minors: .206/.317/.324 | 0 HR | 1 SB | 34 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: In their final draft without a first- or second-round pick as punishment for their electronic sign-stealing scandal, the Astros took Whitaker 87th overall and praised him as a potential first-rounder who fell into their lap. Houston paid Whitaker $1.5 million—more than $800,000 over slot value—to break his commitment to Arizona. Whitaker played primarily right field during his senior season due to a team need, but the Astros view him as a center fielder long term. He started in center field in 19 of his 29 games in the Florida Complex League in his pro debut.

    Scouting Report: Whitaker is toolsy and raw, but exudes enough energy and athleticism to portend well for his future. He has room to add more size and muscle to his lanky 6-foot-4 frame, and his athleticism is apparent. He has plus-plus speed and plus raw power, but his grooved swing produces too many swings and misses. He struck out 40 times in 114 plate appearances in the FCL and projects to be a below-average hiter. Whitaker has enough tools to play all three outfield positions. His plus arm profiles in right field ,but his enticing speed will keep him in center field for now.

    The Future: Whitaker needs more seasoning and playing time, but he stands out as a bright spot in a system light on young position player talent. His first full season in 2022 should start in Low-A Fayetteville.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 40. Power: 55. Speed: 60. Fielding: 45. Arm: 55.

  10. 10. Peter Solomon | RHP
    Peter Solomon
    Born: Aug 16, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 201
    Drafted/Signed: Notre Dame, 2017 (4th round).
    Signed By: Nick Venuto.
    Minors: 0-1 | 3.24 ERA | 10 SO | 2 BB | 9 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Solomon and Astros teammate Brandon Bielak played together at Notre Dame, where Solomon struggled as a starter and was relegated to the bullpen. The Astros turned him back into a starter after selecting him in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. He thrived before Tommy John surgery sidelined him for most of 2019 and the pandemic prevented him from pitching in 2020. Solomon put it all together in 2021, making his major league debut as a fill-in long reliever while demonstrating his potential future as a back-end starter with an impressive season at Triple-A Sugar Land.

    Scouting Report: Solomon’s four-seam fastball only averages 92 mph and is too straight at times, but it generates late ride that helps him miss bats at its best. He can run his four-seamer up to 96 mph in short spurts out of the bullpen. Solomon pairs his fastball with a new cutter he developed prior to Tommy John surgery that hovers around the mid 80s and proved effective in a short major league cameo. His slider is fringe-average and takes a back seat to a downer curveball and changeup that both continue to creep toward above-average

    The Future: Solomon showed enough command and durability in 2021 to project as a back-end starter. He should begin the 2022 season in Sugar Land as a depth option for the Astros rotation.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Cutter: 45. Curveball: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 50.

  11. 11. Shawn Dubin | RHP
    Shawn Dubin
    Born: Sep 6, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 171
    Drafted/Signed: Georgetown (Ky.), 2018 (13th round).
    Signed By: Travis Coleman.
    Minors: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 6 SO | 2 BB | 3 IP

    Track Record: Dubin signed for $1,000 after a circuitous college career during which he almost gave up playing baseball. He finished at NAIA Georgetown (Ky.) after Buffalo shuttered its program. Dubin has added 30 pounds and substantial fastball velocity since reaching pro ball. He struck out 12.5 per nine innings at Triple-A Sugar Land in 2021 and was added to the Astros’ 40-man roster after the season despite throwing just 49.2 innings due to elbow inflammation.
    Scouting Report: After hovering around 90 mph in college, Dubin’s fastball now sits anywhere from 93-96 mph with explosive life and reaches 99 mph. His plus slider, which he didn’t throw until college, sweeps enough to generate swings and misses from both righties and lefties and is a legitimate out pitch. Both his slider and curveball are high spin and aided by a deceptive delivery. He can incorporate a cutter he learned at Houston’s alternate site along with a developing changeup. Dubin’s delivery is now far more efficient and he uses his lower half more instead of the whippy, long stride he showed in college.
    The Future: Dubin’s plus slider and a fastball that plays up in short spurts make him an obvious reliever candidate, but the Astros are still giving him a chance to start with a five-pitch mix.

  12. 12. Grae Kessinger | SS/3B
    Grae Kessinger
    Born: Aug 25, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 204
    Drafted/Signed: Mississippi, 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Travis Coleman.
    Minors: .139/.244/.333 | 2 HR | 3 SB | 36 AB

    Track Record: No Astros prospect has richer bloodlines than Kessinger, whose father, uncle and, most notably, his grandfather, Don, all played professionally. Houston selected Grae in the second round of the 2019 draft out of Ole Miss and paid him $750,000. He spent his first full minor league season at Double-A Corpus Christi and ended it with a stint in the Arizona Fall League.
    Scouting Report: Kessinger does a lot of things well but nothing spectacular. His baseball instincts and makeup mask some shortcomings. Kessinger’s exit velocities jumped after he added some pre-pitch hand movement and widened the base of his stance to produce more line drive contact. He displays some of the organization’s best strike zone control and pitch recognition but has below-average raw power. Kessinger is an average defender with an average arm at shortstop and could easily shift to second or third base if asked. He played first base in the Arizona Fall League, but only due to team roster construction.
    The Future: The Astros view Kessinger as a major league average defender at shortstop but will continue to move him around the infield. He projects to be a utilityman, but if he can tap into some power, he could ascend to greater heights.

  13. 13. Forrest Whitley | RHP
    Forrest Whitley
    Born: Sep 15, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 238
    Drafted/Signed: HS--San Antonio, 2016 (1st round).
    Signed By: Noel Gonzales-Luna.

    Track Record: Whitley’s fall from baseball’s top pitching prospect continued in 2021 when he had Tommy John surgery after a few spring training bullpen sessions. He’s thrown just 59.2 innings in affiliated ball since 2018—and had a 7.99 ERA. He finished the 2019 season at Triple-A with a 12.21 ERA but Houston still put him on its 40-man roster. Whitley flashed promise at the team’s alternate training site in 2020 and in some summer camp simulated games at Minute Maid Park
    Scouting Report: Whitley hasn’t pitched to his potential since 2017. A series of changes always seem to follow him, be it with his delivery, training regimen or weight, and none have stuck. His arsenal remains one of the organization’s best: a plus four-seam fastball at 92-97 mph complemented by two high-spin breaking balls and a plus changeup. His collection of five pitches that are all above average or plus remains unmatched, but commanding that arsenal is another issue entirely. His fastball tends to sail over the top of the strike zone and his cutter was often a ball out of his hand before surgery. He also struggled to keep his composure when things weren’t going well.
    The Future: Whitley still possesses front-of-the-rotation type stuff. He could return to game action in summer 2022 and will try to actualize his tantalizing promise.

  14. 14. Matthew Barefoot | OF
    Matthew Barefoot
    Born: Sep 20, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 205
    Signed By: Gavin Dickey
    Minors: .000/0/0 | 0 HR | 0 SB | 4 AB

    Track Record: Barefoot signed for $150,000 as a sixth-round pick in 2019 after destroying mid-major college pitching for three seasons at Campbell and earning the Cape Cod League MVP award in 2018. He purchased a pitching machine, indoor batting cage and Rapsodo machine during the coronavirus pandemic to produce a breakout 2021 season. Barefoot hit .301 with 36 extra-base hits between Low-A and High-A before hitting a wall with a .525 OPS and .299 slugging percentage in 36 games at Double-A Corpus Christi.
    Scouting Report: Barefoot is a “backwards” player who throws lefthanded and hits righthanded. He has simplified his swing since college and is able to make easy, elevated line-drive contact with elite hand-eye coordination. He’s shown prodigious home run power at the lower minor leagues, but it profiles as doubles power against better pitching. Still, his approach is sound and he projects to at least hit for average. Barefoot has plus speed and uses it efficiently to steal bases. He struggles with reads and routes in center field, making him a better corner option. He has an average arm that fits better in left than right.
    The Future: Barefoot profiles as a platoon player or fourth outfielder unless he taps into more power. He must conquer higher-level pitching better than he did in his brief Double-A cameo in 2021.

  15. 15. Cristian Gonzalez | SS
    Cristian Gonzalez
    Born: Oct 22, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Roman Ocumarez/Alfredo Ulloa/Jose Lima
    Minors: .212/.206/.212 | 0 HR | 0 SB | 33 AB

    Track Record: During a 2019 international signing period in which the Astros could not exceed a $300,000 signing bonus, Gonzalez got one of the two maximum bonuses Houston handed out. He played in the Dominican Summer League after signing and opened 2021 in the Florida Complex League. He played just 13 games before earning a promotion to Low-A Fayetteville, where he struggled to a .244/.299/.341 slash line.
    Scouting Report: Gonzalez has a projectable body that is still filling out. He is nimble but long-limbed, leading to questions about where his true defensive position is. The Astros play Gonzalez primarily at shortstop, where he shows a plus arm that could translate to the outfield if needed. Gonzalez has enough athleticism to stick at shortstop and the Astros intend to try it. He has above-average power and makes harder contact than some of his stats may suggest, but a stiff swing and poor strike zone discipline limit his production. As Gonzalez adds more weight and adjusts his swing, more of this power should manifest.
    The Future: Gonzalez has physical upside, but needs to figure out his swing, approach and defensive home. He will likely open 2022 back in Fayetteville.

  16. 16. Yainer Diaz | C
    Yainer Diaz
    Born: Sep 21, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Rigo De Los Santos/Johnathan Leyba/Koby Perez (Cleveland)
    Minors: .263/.300/.368 | 0 HR | 0 SB | 38 AB

    Track Record: Cleveland signed Diaz for $25,000 during the 2016 international signing period. Five years later, the Astros acquired him and Phil Maton in exchange for Myles Straw at the trade deadline. Diaz played just 12 games at Low-A Fayetteville before earning a promotion to High-A Asheville. He hit .396/.438/.781 in 105 plate appearances there to finish his season batting .324.
    Scouting Report: Diaz is an above-average hitter and a well-sequenced swing that easily produces contact. His hit-over-power profile does not fit a typical catcher, but the Astros are intrigued by the possibility. His exit velocities are near major league average and he hits hard line drives to all fields, but needs to tap into more power within his thick frame. His pitch selection needs to improve, and that may help in unlocking some power. Diaz has an above-average arm, but needs to refine his receiving and defense if he will stick behind the plate. He plays first base, too.
    The Future: Diaz has hit at every level and passed every test. Facing more advanced pitching at Double-A in 2022 could dictate his immediate trajectory.

  17. 17. Alex McKenna | OF
    Alex McKenna
    Born: Sep 6, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Tim Costic.
    Minors: .231/.348/.333 | 1 HR | 1 SB | 39 AB

    Track Record: McKenna won Big West Conference player of the year honors in 2018 at Cal Poly and received a $432,500 signing bonus after the Astros selected him in the fourth round. He played just 65 games after dislocating his finger and straining a hamstring during his first minor league season in 2019. He reshaped his body during the coronavirus shutdown and got off to a torrid start at High-A Asheville in 2021, hitting .305/.389/.616, but he encountered more injury issues during an unproductive stint in Double-A Corpus Christi to end his season.
    Scouting Report: McKenna shows above-average raw power, but it comes with a propensity for swings and misses. He is a feast or famine hitter with huge exit velocities and a bevy of strikeouts. His ability to handle advanced pitching is suspect after a subpar end to his 2021 season at Double-A, and he is likely a below-average hitter, at best. McKenna’s above-average speed and instincts translate well in the outfield, but his range is suspect in center field. He has an average arm.
    The Future: McKenna profiles best as a fourth outfielder who doesn’t hit enough to play everyday in a corner. He’ll return to Double-A in 2022.

  18. 18. Chayce McDermott | RHP
    Chayce McDermott
    Born: Aug 22, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 197
    Signed By: Scott Oberhelman
    Minors: 0-0 | 7.71 ERA | 12 SO | 4 BB | 7 IP

    Track Record: McDermott redshirted in 2018 at Ball State while recovering from Tommy John surgery, suffered another injury in 2019 and threw just three times before the coronavirus pandemic stopped college baseball in 2020. He ended his only full collegiate season in 2021 with 13.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and the Astros took him in the fourth round and signed him for $372,500. McDermott continued piling up punchouts at Low-A Fayetteville, striking out 33 in 18.1 innings during his professional debut.
    Scouting Report: McDermott has a solid set of four pitches. He misses bats with an above-average fastball that sits 92-96 mph and can get up to 98 on occasion. He pairs his heater with two potentially above-average breaking pitches in his 12-to-6 curveball in the mid 70s and a titling slider that gets chase swings out of the strike zone. McDermott’s changeup is still a major work in progress, as is his control of both breaking pitches. Even during his excellent pro debut, he walked 10 batters in 18 innings at Fayetteville.
    The Future: McDermott’s pitch mix gives him the potential to start, but he won’t overwhelm at the top of a rotation. He should have a full season at a Class A affiliate in 2022.

  19. 19. Tyler Ivey | RHP
    Tyler Ivey
    Born: May 12, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Grayson (Texas) JC, 2017 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Jim Stevenson.
    Minors: 0-0 | 10.80 ERA | 3 SO | 0 BB | 2 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Ivey is a Rowlett, Texas, native who made his major league debut during a spot start at the Rangers’ Globe Life Park in May 2021. The emotions of a hometown debut, coupled with a family tragedy and an elbow injury he hid from the organization, caused the lanky righthander to take four months off from baseball. Ivey was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, but he did not require surgery and made one minor league rehab appearance in the Florida Complex League in late September. Coupled with persistent elbow pain in spring training and in May at Triple-A Sugar Land, Ivey threw just 17.2 innings all season.

    Scouting Report: Ivey has a herky-jerky delivery and a high leg kick that generates most of the attention. The Astros have made some minor adjustments so he can better control the running game, but by and large allow Ivey to continue his unorthodox ways given his good command. He averaged just 90 mph with his four-seam fastball during his major league debut due to his injured elbow. When healthy, Ivey is in the low-to-mid 90s with the pitch and can touch 96. His delivery affords some deception on the fastball, which Ivey elevates well, and a high-spin curveball that pairs effectively with it. Ivey’s changeup is still evolving to go along with a slider that can have cutter-like tendencies. Ivey has demonstrated the command and control some scouts doubted he’d discover due to his delivery and now has fringe-average control overall.

    The Future: Ivey is a potential middle-to-back-of-the-rotation starter candidate if he can stay healthy. With two elbow injuries in three seasons, that’s a big if.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Slider: 50. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 45. Control: 55.

  20. 20. Colin Barber | OF
    Colin Barber
    Born: Dec 4, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 194
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Chico, Calif., 2019 (4th round).
    Signed By: Tim Costic.
    Minors: .294/.400/.353 | 0 HR | 0 SB | 17 AB

    Track Record: Barber received a $1 million signing bonus after the Astros took him in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. He played 20 games of independent ball during the coronavirus pandemic and joined the Astros’ alternate training site in September for developmental purposes. He was touted as a potential breakout candidate when minor league play resumed in 2021, but he played just 16 games at High-A Asheville before injuring his shoulder and having season-ending surgery.
    Scouting Report: Barber has retooled his stance and swing to eliminate some of the rollover ground balls to the right side that previously plagued him. He digs his heel into the ground before starting his hands and finishes with his top hand up, allowing him to loft the ball and capitalize on his above-average raw power from the left side. Barber’s patient approach disappeared during his brief 2021 season in favor of an aggressive, strikeout-filled stint that caused some worry. He has above-average speed and an average arm that could stick in center field or profile well in right. Within the organization, Barber’s elite work ethic and determined demeanor have drawn comparisons to Alex Bregman.
    The Future: Barber has perhaps more upside than any of the Astros’ crew of young, recently drafted outfielders, but he has to show he’s healthy. He should start 2022 back at Asheville.

  21. 21. Jordan Brewer | OF
    Jordan Brewer
    Born: Aug 1, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Michigan, 2019 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Scott Oberhelman.
    Minors: .364/.481/.909 | 3 HR | 3 SB | 22 AB

    Track Record: Brewer played football and baseball in high school before blossoming into the Big Ten Conference player of the year at Michigan during its run to the 2019 College World Series finals. The Astros drafted him in the third round that July and gave him a $500,000 signing bonus. A nagging toe injury limited Brewer to 16 games in 2019 and left knee surgery sidelined him for most of 2020. He spent his first full minor league season at Low-A Fayetteville, stealing 21 bases and hitting .275/.375/.410 in 297 plate appearances.
    Scouting Report: Brewer has a bevy of tantalizing tools that haven’t yet come together. He is one of the fastest and most athletic players in the Astros organization and showcases plus speed. He has above-average raw power, but a grooved swing prevents him from displaying it much in games. Brewer swings and misses inside the strike zone too often and needs to improve his overall approach. He is an average defender in center field with an average arm but played in the more corners during his Michigan tenure despite his running ability.
    The Future: Brewer held his own at Low-A despite some offensive flaws. He’ll move up in 2022, where better pitching may be the best test for his toolsy profile.

  22. 22. Dauri Lorenzo | SS
    Dauri Lorenzo
    Born: Oct 29, 2002
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 186
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2019.
    Signed By: Roman Ocumarez/Francisco Ulloa/Leocadio Guevara.

    Track Record: The Astros signed Lorenzo as the crown jewel of their 2019 international class, giving him a $1.8 million bonus. He did not play in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic but flashed spurts of promise at instructional league. Lorenzo got a late start in 2021 and played 41 games in the Florida Complex League in his pro debut, hitting .248/.316/.312 in 157 plate appearances.
    Scouting Report: Only 19 years old, Lorenzo appeals to the Astros because of his mature approach. He is a switch hitter who is better from the right side, but he has a swing that stays through the strike zone and allows him to make easy contact from both sides. He is still filling out and has yet to show much power. Though heralded as a shortstop when he signed, the Astros played Lorenzo primarily at second base in his debut. He has an average arm and speed, but a lack of quickness at shortstop makes him more suited for the keystone.
    The Future: Lorenzo is the latest in a long line of promising, young Latin infielders in the Astros system. He should get to Low-A in 2022, where his mature approach and contact-centric swing will be tested.

  23. 23. Zach Daniels | OF
    Zach Daniels
    Born: Jan 23, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: Tennessee, 2020 (4th round).
    Signed By: Landon Townsley.
    Minors: .128/.171/.308 | 2 HR | 1 SB | 39 AB

    Track Record: The Astros drafted Daniels in the fourth round in 2020 after a loud 17-game showing prior to college baseball’s shutdown. He had struggled the previous summer in the Cape Cod League and during his first two seasons at Tennessee, when he hit .176 and struck out 69 times in 64 games. The Astros saw enough in that small sample to give Daniels $400,000, but his first professional season matched the results of his early college days. He hit .224/.342/.358 with 129 strikeouts in 85 games across both Class A levels.
    Scouting Report: Daniels has some of the loudest and most tantalizing tools in the Astros farm system. He is a plus-plus runner with plus raw power and enough quick twitch ability to put on an amazing batting practice show. But games demonstrate his lack of feel for hitting and a grooved swing that generates too many swings and misses inside the strike zone, preventing him from making much offensive impact. He has an average arm and speed that profiles well in center field. Daniels is the most athletic player in the Astros’ system, which affords him a better chance to make adjustments.
    The Future: Daniels must continue to make adjustments in games to realize the potential the Astros have for him. He will likely open 2022 back in High-A.

  24. 24. Jimmy Endersby | RHP
    Jimmy Endersby
    Born: Jan 16, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 194
    Signed By: Ryan Leake
    Minors: 0-0 | 1.23 ERA | 5 SO | 6 BB | 8 IP

    Track Record: Endersby threw just 45.1 collegiate innings in a circuitous career. He came to Cal State Fullerton as an infielder and made occasional relief appearances, but transitioned to a full-time pitcher once he transferred to Division II Concordia-Irvine (Calif.) in 2020. Endersby made just five starts there before the pandemic shutdown, but the Astros still signed him as an undrafted free agent for $20,000 following the five-round draft. Endersby reached Double-A Corpus Christi with a 3.90 ERA and struck out 10.2 batters per nine innings in his first professional season.
    Scouting Report: Endersby has an excellent arsenal for someone with so little in-game pitching experience. He throws a 92-95 mph four-seam fastball that reaches as high as 2,600 rpms with the elevation and ride Houston desires. He throws a big breaking curveball and slider he’s still developing to go along with a below-average changeup. Endersby’s command and control suffer at times from a lack of experience, but the Astros are helping him adjust quickly.
    The Future: Endersby should start 2022 back in Double-A. As he gains more innings and experience, he could cement himself as valuable rotation depth.

  25. 25. Jojanse Torres | RHP
    Jojanse Torres
    Born: Aug 4, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Roman Ocumarez.
    Minors: 0-1 | 23.62 ERA | 5 SO | 9 BB | 3 IP

    Track Record: The Astros signed Torres for $150,000 as a 22-year-old during the 2018 international signing period. He dominated the Class A levels in 2019 and was invited to summer camp in 2020. Torres threw a few times in exhibitions at Minute Maid Park, but was shut down with elbow soreness shortly after. He appeared in eight games for Triple-A Sugar Land in 2021 before he having season-ending arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his right elbow.
    Scouting Report: Torres has a tremendous four-seam fastball that sits in the high 90s and touches 100 mph. He is unafraid to challenge hitters with it and has had success in the minors doing so. His changeup could be his best secondary pitch, especially with the velocity difference off his fastball. He also throws a hard, mid-80s slider that gets chase swings along with a curveball, but he does not have enough consistency with either pitch. His control and command are suspect and will be tested against better competition.
    The Future: Torres’ age and injury history invite questions whether he has time to develop the command and breaking pitches to be a starter. His overpowering fastball and changeup combination profile best out of the bullpen.

  26. 26. Brett Conine | RHP
    Brett Conine
    Born: Oct 16, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: Cal State Fullerton, 2018 (11th round).
    Signed By: Ryan Leake.
    Minors: 0-1 | 8.31 ERA | 11 SO | 5 BB | 9 IP

    Track Record: Conine closed throughout his three-year career at Cal State Fullerton, but the Astros drafted him in 2018 with the intention to develop him as a starter. He had a 2.20 ERA and reached Double-A Corpus Christi during his first minor league season before continuing his impressive ascent at the alternate training site in 2020. His performance suggested Conine could be a major league depth option in 2021, but his command and performance regressed at Triple-A Sugar Land, where he finished with a 5.66 ERA and 1.500 WHIP.
    Scouting Report: Conine is a finesse righthander who mixes his four-pitch arsenal well, relying on changing eye levels and deception more than bat-missing ability. His four-seam fastball sits 89-92 mph, but he’s shown the ability to hit 94-95. A big, overhand curveball is his out pitch. He’s shown good feel for an above-average changeup and needs to refine his slider, which he uses primarily early in counts but only started throwing in 2019.
    The Future: Conine took a step back in 2021. He should start 2022 back in Triple-A, where he could reestablish himself as a depth starter on the big league doorstep.

  27. 27. Shay Whitcomb | SS
    Shay Whitcomb
    Born: Sep 28, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: UC San Diego, 2020 (5th round).
    Signed By: Ryan Leake.
    Minors: .267/.333/.367 | 1 HR | 0 SB | 30 AB

    Track Record: Whitcomb signed for $56,000 after Houston took him with its final pick during the five-round draft in 2020. He flew under the radar at Division II UC San Diego, but popped onto the Astros’ radar with a strong showing in the Cape Cod League after his sophomore year. Whitcomb affirmed the Astros’ faith in him with a strong debut season in 2021 that ended at High-A Asheville. He and Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe were the only two minor league players that finished 2021 with at least 20 homers, 25 doubles and 30 stolen bases.
    Scouting Report: Whitcomb has above-average raw power and some of the organization’s highest exit velocities. He gets pull-happy and is strikeout-prone, creating worry that his swing-and-miss issues will be exploited by advanced pitching. Offense will be Whitcomb’s ticket to advancement. He is a fringe-average runner and a below-average defender at shortstop. With limited range, bad footwork and a below-average throwing arm, some scouts think he is destined for second base while others contend he may slug his way onto a corner.
    The Future: Whitcomb quieted some doubts with his excellent 2021, but will face stiffer competition in 2022, when he could reach Double-A.

  28. 28. Jonathan Bermudez | LHP
    Jonathan Bermudez
    Born: Oct 16, 1995
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 237
    Signed By: Evan Bannon
    Minors: 1-0 | 0.87 ERA | 8 SO | 3 BB | 11 IP

    Track Record: Bermudez had a 1.95 ERA and earned NAIA pitcher of the year honors at Southeastern (Fla.) in 2018, after which Houston selected him in the 23rd round and gave him a $75,000 signing bonus. He reached Double-A Corpus Christi during the 2019 season, but the Astros did not include him in their 60-man player pool during the 2020 season. Bermudez came back with a breakout 2021 season, garnering Astros minor league pitcher of the year honors and a spot on the club’s 40-man roster after a strong showing at Triple-A Sugar Land.
    Scouting Report: Bermudez is a pitchability lefty with enough deception to project as a back-end starter. His four-seam fastball sits 91-93 mph with enough rise and run to miss some bats. Both his changeup and splitter have huge tailing action and sit in the low to mid 80s. He throws two variations of a slider: one short with cut in the low 80s and a sweeper in the high 70s. Bermudez hides the ball well in his delivery and has some funk to keep hitters off balance. Astros officials think he has more velocity in his big frame, too. He throws plenty of strikes with average control.
    The Future: Bermudez broke out in 2021 and is on the major league doorstep because of it. He should start 2022 in Triple-A and could be in line for his major league debut.

  29. 29. Seth Martinez | RHP
    Seth Martinez
    Born: Aug 29, 1994
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Scott Cousins (Athletics)
    Minors: 1-1 | 6.75 ERA | 5 SO | 2 BB | 4 IP

    Track Record: The A’s gave Martinez a $70,000 signing bonus after selecting him in the 17th round of the 2016 draft out of Arizona State. He peaked at Double-A in the A’s organization before the Astros selected him in the minor league phase of the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Martinez had a 2.81 ERA in 36 relief appearances at Triple-A Sugar Land before the Astros summoned him for his major league debut in September. He appeared in three games and survived the offseason 40-man churn.
    Scouting Report: Martinez has morphed into a long reliever after beginning his career as a starter. He throws five pitches, but his most recent success came after the Astros’ player development staff overhauled his slider. Martinez now throws a horizontal, sweeping slider as opposed to the two-plane offering he had with Oakland. Martinez’s four-seam fastball sits in the low 90s and he mixes in a cutter, sinker and a changeup to remain unpredictable. His control is above average and hitters struggle to square him up.
    The Future: Martinez is already 27, but he has a spot on the 40-man roster and will figure into the Astros bullpen. He should bounce between Triple-A Sugar Land and the majors during the 2022 season.

  30. 30. Jairo Solis | RHP
    Jairo Solis
    Born: Dec 22, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 209
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2016.
    Signed By: Oz Ocampo/Tom Shafer/Roman Ocumarez/Enrique Brito.

    Track Record: Solis signed for $450,000 as a 16-year-old during the 2016 international signing period, but has thrown just 112 innings in the four subsequent seasons. He hasn’t appeared in a game since 2018, after which he had Tommy John surgery and missed the 2019 season. The Astros added Solis to their 40-man roster after a look at his stuff during the 2020 instructional league. He reported to spring training in 2021, but elbow problems persisted. An initial surgery to remove loose bodies did not solve it, and Solis had his second Tommy John surgery in June.
    Scouting Report: When healthy, Solis has some of the best upside of any starting pitching prospect in the Astros system. He’s shown above-average control at times with a four-pitch mix. He threw 93-94 mph in spring training and has shown the ability to touch 98. Solis’ above-average changeup is his best secondary pitch and he shows feel for both a slider and curveball, though they both get slurvy. Some scouts say he’s too thin and needs to add muscle, but his constant injuries make it difficult.
    The Future: The timing of Solis’ second Tommy John won’t allow him to pitch until late 2022. He’s still young enough to be excited about, but his injuries provide obvious concern.

View Players 11-30

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  


Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining