Top Prospect Alert has beaten Baseball America to the punch and named the top 10 Astros Prospects and yes, I KNOW they really REALLY had to look long and hard to think of 10 of em. Just because you sign all the guys you draft doesn’t mean that the guys you drafted were all that. This year, especially, pretty much all guys signed almost immediately (and there were no guys who had to be paid more because of signability and no Boras prospects, like duh.) And, by the way, the Astros haven’t signed any more guys/year than in the previous 10 drafts…
#1 Jason Castro : We all know about The Next Big Thang, our 1st rounder in 08 – age 22, has now caught 158 games in the minors, finished the season at AA hitting .293/.362/.387/.747. He has shown doubles but not homer power and is not a particularly fast runner – the Biggios and even Towles are unusual for catchers. Pretty much everyone really thinks that Castro will be the starting catcher in 2010, and who knows, he may very well be, but I just hope the fans don’t turn on him when he doesn’t come up and immediately hit like Mike Piazza.
It is actually much more likely that he will start the year at AAA and if he does well, will probably not be called up before the Super 2 limit has passed so that the team can get an extra cheap year out of him before FA.
#2 Jordan Lyles : The Astros supplemental 1st round pick in 08, will be 19 at the start of the 2010 season. He spent 2009 at A ball, started 26 games over 144.1 IP with a 3.25 ERA, 5 HR, 34 BB, 167 K. Not bad for A ball, but the guy is at LEAST 2 years away from the majors – he is NOT Rick Porcello, and the fact that he’s #2 on this list tells you what kind of shape this farm system is in.
#3 Jiovanni Mier : First Rounder in 09, now age 19. Just finished rookie ball (and yes, he’s the #3 guy on the list. Yeah, I know. Over 192 AB, he hit .276/.380/.484/.824, stole 10 bases and was caught 5 times. No reports about his glove, but his numbers aren’t particularly impressive and if he was the 30th round pick, he wouldn’t be 3rd on this list, would he?
#4 Jon Gaston: picked in the 7th round of the 08 draft, 23 yo RF, just finished the year at high A, where he was the league home run champion. in 518 PA over 139 games, he hit .278/.367/.598/.965 with 31 doubles, 15 triples, 35 HR, 71 BB, 164 K, 14 SB, 4 CS, 10 sac-fly and only 3 GIDP. (The boy best work on cutting down those Ks and upping those GIDPs.)
#5 Chris Johnson 4th round pick in the 06 draft, now age 25. Kind of young for an Astros prospect, but hey, they had to find SOMEbody. He repeated AAA this year after playing 30 lousy games there last year and did tolerably well over 104 games/384 PA, posting a .281/.323/.461/.784 line. He walked 21 times and struck out 90 AND he GIDP 16 times, too!!! No walks, plenty of DPs???!! The boy is a born Astro!!! All he has to do is jump around like Miggy with all that enthusiasm out there and the fans won’t even notice the difference, except for the 13.5 mill savings in salary.
Granted, the fans didn’t get to see real too much of the boy the month he was up here in the bigs because Drayton didn’t want the manager to play the youngsters because he thought, for some reason that escapes me, that we would prefer to watch Blum and Keppinger suck. He got 13 whole ABs over 4 games in 4 weeks and he learned some valuable things, watching the Old Guys “go about their business” and I’m sure he’s determined to do his best to help the Astros reach that goal of setting the NL GIDP record next year….
If Miggy agrees to re-sign for real cheap this year to play 3rd, Johnson had best do his darndest to be traded because the fans think that absolutely NOTHING matters except for BA and low strikeouts and “enthusiasm” out there on the field. Especially when they are screwing up fielding…
#6 Brian Bogusevic : the Astros 1st rounder in the 05 draft who will be 26 (the guy who was a GOOD college hitter who the Organization decided to make into a pitcher and stuck to it for 3 hideous years before letting the poor guy do something he actually could DO.) After tearing the cover offn the ball in AA in 08, he produced more pedestrian numbers at AAA this year, and, unfortunately, not much power, which is not good for a corner OF. He has played some CF, but lacks the speed and glove to displace Bourn, to put it mildly.
Over 520 PA in 138 G, he hit .287/.342/.365/.707 with 53 BB and 118 K, 22 SB and 3 CS. I know he’s old for a prospect, but it is really only his second year as a position player. I doubt he’d start the year as the 4th OF/DR, which means either trade/release or another year at AAA to try to learn to hit for power. I’d actually prefer him to Michaels/Erstad, but then again, I’d rather watch eager young guys than crappy old “clubhouse guys.” And I sure as heck didn’t see those supposed “clubhouse guys” doing much of anything last year. But then again, maybe I’m wrong and without The Gritmeister doing his Thang, maybe things would have been worse. But then again, if things had been much worse, maybe Drayton would have gotten rid of Cooper a LOT sooner…
#7 Ross Seaton : 3rd round pick in the 08 draft, 20 year old RHP. 2009 was really his first year, as he only threw 4 innings in 08. He spent the year in A ball, started 24 games over 136.2 IP with a 3.29 ERA, 1.29 WHIP: 137 H, 50 ER/69 R (whoaaaaa, tells you a LOT about the crappy fielding) 11 HR, 39 BB, 88 K (which is 5.8K/9 IP, pretty low for A ball.)
He most definitely does not look like a guy who will even sniff the majors for a minimum of 3 years and I’m not real too particularly impressed with those numbers. As I’ve said before, only on the Astros where the guys have to pick SOMEbody…
#8 Tanner Bushue : 2nd round pick of 09 draft, 18 year old RHP who threw 22 innings at Rookie ball. And they were not hitless, walkless innings or all strikeouts or something which would make an 18 year old kid stand out in any way. 22 innings pitched in freaking ROOKIE ball – not AAA or something, and this kid is #8 on the Astros prospect list. I’m not making this stuff up. Maybe the guy will amount to something, who could POSSIBLY have any idea? After 22 innings????!!!! I have NO idea and I don’t know how these prospect hounds made a decision like that after 22 freaking innings. Why do I think that he wouldn’t have made this list if he was the 40th round pick?
#9 Jay Austin : You’re not gonna believe this one neither. 2nd rounder in the 08 draft, age 19, CF. Just finished A ball, 397 AB over 101 games, hit .267/.320/.360/.680; 31 BB, 78 K, 23 SB, 13 CS; 1 HR, 22 doubles, 6 triples.
This guy is on the list WHY??? What the ****???? He beats out Koby Clemens, like WHY???? Not that Koby Clemens is exactly Teh Good, but still, Jay Austin???
#10 Jose Altuve : (will be) 22 yo Venezuelan second baseman who split the year between the rookie league and low A. He had a .916 OPS over 179 AB at the rookie level, but hit .250/.337/.316/.635 over 79 AB at low A.
I have NO idea why this prospect site picked the guys they did, unless they just decided to pick the #1 and 2 rounders for the past few years. However, I would like to know why Chia-Jen Lo, Koby Clemens and TJ Steele didn’t make this list. Just to name a few guys who were no question better than Tanner Bushue and Jay Austin.
I suppose I should say a lil something about the picking of a new manager.
I read that Ed Wade is pushing for 67 year old Jim Fregosi, who hasn’t managed in 9 YEARS and was a complete and total failure in has last 2 years (last job) as Blue Jays manager. He got less than zero from a decent pitching staff and basically nothing from his hitters either. He also refused to play young guys. Yes, I know that Fregosi led the 93 Phils to the WS and lost because he foolishly insisted in sticking with his shaky closer.
I’m sorry, but Fregosi is just TOO freaking old to be a ML manager, ESPECIALLY when you haven’t managed in 9 YEARS.
Remember the last 3 years of Felipe Alou managing the Giants? He was just too old, even for a 100% veteran team.
As for Manny Acta, yeah, I know he was in the Astros Organization for a long time and would be JUST the kind of yes-man Drayton likes, but Manny couldn’t manage to get anything from ANY of the Nats players and he sure as heck couldn’t stand up to ANYONE. He would have been the perfect guy to hire in the Baggy/Biggio years because he would have just left everything to those 2, who thought they should be running everything anyway and disrespected and undermined every manager the Astros had – maybe even Art Howe, who knows.
I simply don’t see ANYTHING to recommend Acta as a ML manager and this is NOT because he was given a terrible team to manage. It is because he clearly didn’t motivate his players at ALL and he was not any sort of leader.
I hear tell that the players want to keep Dave Clark – and if those players include Lee, Berkman and Oswalt, well, that is 90% of the battle right THERE because it is more important for a manager to get players to play hard and do their best than anything else. And after Cooper, a guy who the players CLEARLY didn’t respect of play for, it would be a most welcome change.