Dynasty: Houston Astros’ 2020 Top 50 Prospects

The Top 50 prospects in the Astros farm system for dynasty purposes.

The Houston Astros have seen their farm system dwindle in recent years, thanks in part to the graduations  Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, and Josh James, as well as high profile trades which cost them players like Seth Beer, Corbin Martin, Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron and more.

That, coupled with Houston’s loss of picks in the shortened 2020 draft and the upcoming 2021 draft, could keep this system down for the next few years — although I’m sure the Astros and their fans/ownership won’t mind if they keep contending for World Series victories.

Regardless, here is a look at their top 50 prospects, including when they are expected to debut and how you should value them in deep dynasty formats, as well as shallower leagues and for some of them, redraft and AL-only formats.

Note: These Top 50 lists are all done through a fantasy baseball-focused lens. Many players who are ranked higher or lower on other platforms will get a boost here. For example, players who profile as middle relievers or glove-first infielders likely won’t have much fantasy relevance, so they won’t be ranked as highly. 

Note 2.0: At the time of submission, Myles Straw had accrued 125 MLB at-bats, just five short of the 130 that precludes him from being a prospect. For that reason, I left him off this list, although he would have slotted in at No. 11 thanks to his stolen base potential.

 

1. RHP Forrest Whitley

 

Age: 22

Highest level: AAA

Forrest Whitley‘s stock has fallen after a disastrous 2019 season that saw him post a 12.21 ERA in eight games at AAA, along with a 5.56 ERA in six AA starts. His control absolutely vanished, as he walked 35 guys in 47 innings between those two levels.

However, Whitley is still among the most tantalizing pitching prospects in all of baseball, with an elite fastball-changeup combination, and a developing cutter that looks like a true weapon. He could have really used a minor league season to make mechanical and mental adjustments to his game, but regardless he should get his first taste of the big leagues in 2020 — assuming he is able to get healthy — and he remains a potential future ace who shouldn’t be discounted too much despite the rough showing last year.

ETA: 2020

 

2. 3B Abraham Toro 

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: MLB

Toro had 78 at-bats in MLB last year, and he already has 15 in 2020 (as of this writing), so in a normal season he would already have graduated from this list. The 23-year-old had an absolutely monstrous 2019 campaign, hitting .306 with a 153 wRC+ and 16 home runs at AA in 98 games, before exploding for a .424/.506/.606 slash line at AAA in 16 games, good for a wRC+ of 179 and a quick promotion to the big leagues, where he hit .218 with a pair of home runs in 25 games.

Toro is a bench bat so far in 2020, behind Alex Bregman at third and Yuli Gurriel at first, but he still holds value in dynasty leagues thanks to his revamped swing, added power and solid contact rates. I’m not sure he will be a true fantasy star until he gets traded, or if something happens to give him a starting role in Houston, but he’s worth taking a shot on in dynasty leagues.

ETA: 2020

 

3. RHP Jose Urquidy 

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: MLB

Another player who would almost certainly have graduated from this list had the season started on time, and were he not inflicted with COVID-19, Urquidy burst onto the scene by posting huge strikeout numbers and very low walk numbers in AA and AAA last year. That led to a late season promotion and a 40/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 41 big league innings down the stretch – along with a 3.95 ERA (3.68 FIP) and a 1.10 WHIP.

Urquidy may not get back into the rotation this season thanks to his delayed start (he’s still on the injured list) but he should provide fantasy owners in dynasty leagues with value thanks to his command and his above-average four-pitch mix – not to mention an elite offense giving him run support. Urquidy should be a fantasy-relevant pitcher for years to come.

ETA: 2020

 

4. SS Freudis Nova 

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A

Nova’s stock dropped a bit after his first foray into affiliated ball saw his strikeout rate increase by nearly 10%, while his batting average fell about 50 points from his rookie-ball numbers in 2018.

However, Nova was just a 19-year-old in A-ball last season, and he still posted a respectable .259/.301/.369 slash line with three home runs, 10 steals and a 95 wRC+ in 75 games.

He has elite bat speed, but will need to improve his plate discipline at the higher levels if he wants to reach his potential as a consistent everyday player at shortstop or third base. He’s worth rostering in deeper dynasty formats.

ETA: Late 2022

 

5. RHP Cristian Javier

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: MLB

Javier got his first major league start out of the way and all he did was strike out nine in 6.2 sharp innings against the Dodgers. The showing turned a lot of heads, and even got our fearless leader Nick Pollack to dedicate a couple hours and 3,000 words to break it all down.

Javier is a tough pitcher to project. He’s been largely unhittable throughout his minor league career, posting elite ERA and strikeout marks at every stop of the way. However, his walk totals are glaringly bad, which will almost certainly curb his value as a big league starter.

Additionally, his stuff doesn’t appear overwhelming, at least not in the way you’d expect a guy who regularly posts 30+ percent strikeout rates to be. His fastball touches the mid-90’s but sits 92-94, and while his breaking stuff is good only his curveball really projects as a plus pitch. He’s working on a cutter, which will help, and his ability to pitch backward and flummox hitters has helped him up to this point, but I think there’s a chance he becomes the next Chris Devenski/Brad Peacock type guy in Houston, a useful multi-inning reliever that has little value in fantasy.

ETA: 2020

 

6. RHP Bryan Abreu

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: MLB

I’m normally way lower on relief prospects than most, but a combination of things – namely Houston’s lack of elite talent in the farm system and Abreu’s ridiculous strikeout potential – make him a borderline top-5 dynasty asset in this system.

Abreu had an excellent cameo in the big leagues in 2019, posting a 1.04 ERA and a 40.6% strikeout rate in 8.2 innings out of the pen. Obviously those numbers are not sustainable, but he did strike out 216 in 145.2 MiLB innings between 2018-2019, and his arsenal (97 mile per hour fastball and two plus breaking balls – with a 70-grade curveball) make him a potential top-5 closer in all of baseball at his peak.

That peak may not be far away either, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Abreu closing out games in Houston as soon as 2020 if things shake out his way. Investing in relievers in dynasty is not always advisable, but Abreu is defensible in deep dynasty and redraft leagues at this point.

ETA: 2020

 

7. SS Jeremy Pena

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A+

Pena originally joined the Astros as a third rounder in 2018, and he hit well in a small sample at High-A last year, slashing .317/.378/.476 with a 146 wRC+ in 43 games played. He added about 20 pounds of muscle heading into the season, and while the numbers were good, he’ll need to prove he can tap into some over-the-fence power in order to reach his ceiling as a regular shortstop. If not, he’ll be a high-contact middle infielder or utility guy, which doesn’t do much in fantasy.

ETA: Late 2021

 

8. RHP Brandon Bielak

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: MLB

Bielak’s numbers in 2019 at AAA don’t look great, thanks in part to a nine-run outing in Las Vegas, but he showed good strikeout numbers throughout the season, and his control returned down the stretch. He has a solid four-pitch mix with plus command, and while it’s unlikely he will wow anyone he seems destined for a role as a solid No. 4/5 starter.

I don’t think he will light the fantasy baseball world on fire, few in this system will, but he’s close to being relevant in deeper formats and AL-only leagues, and could hold mixed league appeal as soon as 2021.

ETA: 2020

 

9. RHP Alex Santos

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: N/A

The Astros lost a big opportunity to strengthen their weakened farm system when they had their first two draft picks stripped from them in the trash can scandal. They still snagged a nice upside arm, right-hander Alex Santos, at No. 72 overall – giving them yet another young arm to mold.

Santos sits in the low-90’s and can reach 95, while also boasting a plus slider and a changeup that seems to be developing well. All teenage pitchers are risky, but Santos seems like a fairly safe bet to stick as a starter, and Houston’s pitching development has been very strong in recent years, making Santos an arm worth paying attention to in deeper dynasty leagues and any still unfinished first year player drafts.

ETA: 2023

 

10. C Korey Lee

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A-

I’m rarely a fan of catching prospects, especially ones who haven’t played above short season A-ball, but Lee has the athleticism and pedigree (first rounder in 2019) to merit inclusion near the top of this list.

He exploded his junior year at Cal before Houston picked him up in the first round in 2019, where he proceeded to slash .268/.359/.371 with three homers and eight steals in 64 games in short-season, along with a nice 10.8% walk rate, 18.9% strikeout rate and a 122 wRC+.

Lee didn’t catch great pitching at Cal, leading to concern about his ability to hack it behind the dish at the next level, but there’s enough intrigue to at least keep him on the radar in deeper dynasty formats heading into 2021.

ETA: 2022

 

11. OF Jordan Brewer

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A-

Houston’s system really doesn’t have a lot of high-upside hitters, so Brewer finds a spot just outside the top-1o because of his loud power and speed tools, which is what made him a third round pick in 2019.

However – what prevented him from being a first round pick is his ridiculously bad plate discipline, which is almost certainly going to hold him back at the next level. If he gets that under control, he could be a budding star or at least fantasy-relevant regular. If not, he’s probably a Jake Marisnick or Keon Broxton type, at best. In this system, however, that upside is enough to get top-11 treatment.

ETA: 2022

 

12. OF Zach Daniels

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: N/A

Daniels never really put it together his first two seasons at Tennessee, and his struggles in both the Northwoods league and the Cape made it seem almost impossible he would get drafted at all in 2020 – even if a 40-Round draft occured.

However, Daniels finally put it all together in a small sample during 2020, hitting .357 with four home runs in just 17 games with the Volunteers. He is a toolsy outfielder who Houston hopes is a late-bloomer they can turn into a low-end regular or another Marisnick-type fourth outfielder. Not getting to continue his hot hitting this season in the minor leagues will slow his development, but he’s a bat worth keeping an eye on in 2021.

ETA: Late 2022

 

13. RHP Enoli Paredes

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: MLB

I can’t think of many (any?) farm systems that have two strictly relief pitchers among their top-13 prospects, but the Astros have a lack of hitting talent and, more importantly, have proven excellent at creating these high-velocity, high-spin rate monsters that can come in and immediately make an impact out of the bullpen.

Paredes might be the best of the bunch, with a 99 mile per hour fastball with riding life as well as a curveball that was voted among the nastiest pitches in the minor leagues.

Paredes is currently pitching out of Houston’s bullpen, and while he’s pretty far down the pecking order for saves, he’s worth a look in deeper (AL-only) leagues that count holds and/or K/9.

ETA: 2020

 

14. 1B/3B/OF Taylor Jones

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: MLB

I’m higher on Jones than most, but the late-blooming corner infield prospect has shown prodigious power the last two years in the minors, and I think he’s just tapping into his potential.

Jones crushed, I mean crushed, the ball last year in AAA. He had an average exit velocity of 91 miles per hour and hit 48% of his balls over 95. His 35.7% hard-hit rate was indicative of this, and—perhaps most importantly—Jones showed the ability to get some lift on the ball, with an excellent 27.1% line drive rate in 2019 at AAA. His sky-high 18.3% HR/FB rate was thanks in part to the super balls the PCL was using last year, but Jones proved he can put really solid wood on the baseball and can generate plenty of barrels and fly balls as needed.

Jones also stands an imposing six-foot-seven and 225 pounds, and while his swing is (understandably) long, it has not hurt him in the strikeout department—in fact his 21.1% strikeout rate last year was exceptional for a guy with his build and raw power, and his 12.8% walk rate indicates a guy with an above-average knowledge of the strike zone and patience at the dish.

Jones will get a chance in the big leagues this year, behind Abraham Toro, and I think there is a possibility he’s a platoon masher in the near future, which could hold some value in deeper leagues.

ETA: 2020

 

15. SS/3B Grae Kissinger

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A

Kissinger is one of the few hitting prospects in this system with true appeal as a potential future big league regular, and a swing change to tap into some power could elevate him into a Brandon Crawford-esque success story.

A second rounder in 2019, Kissinger is considered a glove-first shortstop at this point, although recent bulking cost him some agility – and could necessitate a move to third. That will play if the power shows up, making Kissinger a name to watch in a system without many of those.

ETA: 2022

 

16. RHP Jairo Solis

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A

The lack of a minor league season in 2020 has a big impact on the development of Jairo Solis, who had Tommy John surgery late in the 2018 season and missed all of 2019. Now, the 20-year-old will need to be placed on the 40-man roster to avoid being taken in the Rule 5 Draft, even though he will go two full seasons without pitching in a regular season game.

Solis has some of the best stuff in the system, including a potential 65-grade curveball and an above-average fastball. Scouts believe his changeup is progressing as well, leaving some to believe he has mid-rotation potential.

Missing two years suppresses the value here quite a bit, but if you want to take a gamble on a potential starting pitcher – especially in a system that develops them well, Solis is not a bad place to start.

ETA: 2022

 

17. SS Dauri Lorenzo

 

Age: 17

Highest Level: N/A

Lorenzo, like Solis, loses out without a minor league season. A J-2 signing in 2019, the 17-year-old middle infielder has yet to play a professional game, and won’t get to until 2021. He’s a switch-hitter with a projectable frame and some lift in his swing, which makes him appealing – although it’s hard to know where to slot him until we can see some real footage of him in affiliated ball.

ETA: 2025

 

18. OF Colin Barber

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

Barber is a projectable center fielder with speed whom the Astros snagged in the fourth round in 2019. He needs the hit tool to catch up, although even the most optimistic projections likely have him as a bench bat/stolen base threat with limited power.

ETA: 2023

 

19. RHP Hunter Brown

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: A-

Brown broke out in his final season at D-II Wayne State, but slipped to the fifth round after signability concerns. That’s great for Houston, who got a polished right-hander with a fastball that touches 97 and a workable slider-changeup combo. If both pan out, he has the build to be a starter. If not – he almost certainly profiles as a late-inning reliever who could routinely light up the radar gun. Either way, he’s worth keeping an eye on.

ETA: Late 2022

 

20. SS/3B Yohander Martinez

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: R

Martinez was an All-Star in the DSL in 2019, slashing .313/.439/.383 with 19 stolen bases and an outstanding 15.3% walk rate with a 10.3% strikeout rate.

He’s a bit undersized, but his strong arm should keep him on the left side of the infield. He has no power to speak of, which curbs his value, but an uppercut swing could lead to some power as he progresses through the system and fills out. Another potential middle infield bat to keep an eye on.

ETA: 2025

 

21. SS Shay Whitcomb

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: N/A

Whitcomb was the only D-II player selected in 2020, going in the fifth round as the final overall pick in the shortened draft. Whitcomb possesses elite bat control which should allow him to hit for a high average in the show, and concerns about his arm strength at short have subsided after a strong showing in his final year at UC-San Diego.

He destroyed the Cape, his only real showing against good pitching, and while his power output is limited he seems like a good case for a super-utility role, and he could be quick to the big leagues.

ETA: 2022

 

22. RHP Tyler Ivey

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AA

Ivey, a third-rounder back in 2017, possesses a plus curveball and a fastball that we’ve seen touch 95, but often sits 90-92. His cutter-slider-change with plus command give him a typical starter repertoire, but he needs one or two of those pitches to pop to avoid becoming a multi-inning reliever, where his fastball/curve combo would play up nicely.

A suspension cut short his 2019 season, and he won’t appear at all in 2020 unless Houston adds him to the taxi squad, so for now he’s a wait-and-see arm who will almost certainly have a big league career, but is very questionable as a potential fantasy asset.

ETA: 2021

 

23. OF Ronnie Dawson

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: AAA

Dawson is a toolsy outfielder who is getting up there in age (25) but hit 17 home runs with 13 steals at AA in 2019, showing enough promise to merit a spot in the top-25.

The hit tool lacks, however, with a .221 average and a 30.7% strikeout rate limiting his potential. The .147 average in 39 plate appearances at AAA doesn’t help either.

Still, Dawson does fit that mold as a potential fourth outfielder with strikeout issues (another Marisnick comp) and he could be up this year at some point if the big club needs him.

ETA: 2020

 

24. RHP Jose Alberto Rivera

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: A

Rivera is a tall, whippy right-hander who gets his fastball up into the high-90’s with a hard breaking curveball and a developing splitter. Like so many of Houston’s arms, he seems like a tweener and could be elite in a multi-inning relief role, or as a full-on late inning weapon, but command concerns may make life as a traditional starter difficult.

ETA: 2021

 

25. RHP Luis Garcia

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: A+

Yet another reliever in Houston’s top-25 prospects – once again a sign they are great at developing arms but don’t have a lot of hitting talent to get excited about. Garcia is a beefy six-foot-one, 216 pound right-hander who reaches the high-90’s with an above average slider. That was enough for him to plow through High-A hitters in 2019, posting a 39.4% strikeout rate in 65.2 innings.

Garcia’s command isn’t good enough to project him as a starter, and he needs a third pitch to really pop as a late-inning stud, but for now he is an easily projectable multi-inning relief ace – and he’s on the perfect team to capitalize on his skill-set.

ETA: 2021

 

26. 2B/3B Luis Santana

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: AA

Santana is a stocky second base prospect who the Astros acquired in the Jake Marisnick trade. He hit well in AA as a 20-year-old, but he has almost no power to speak of and has seen his stolen base numbers decline at every level.

Best case here is a poor man’s David Fletcher or Luis Arraezbut more than likely he’s a utility infielder with a decent batting average, which doesn’t help much in fantasy.

ETA: 2021

 

27. RHP Ty Brown

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: N/A

Brown was the closer at powerhouse Virginia the last few years, racking up 17 saves and 58 strikeouts in 41.2 innings before Houston snagged him in the third round of the abbreviated 2020 draft.

Brown is an imposing six-foot-four, 242 pound monster with a mid-90’s fastball with high spin rate, as well as two solid breaking pitches and a changeup. He fits the bill perfectly as a quick-rising relief prospect, although the Astros seem content to try him out as a starter. That makes him tougher to judge on this list, but he’s an arm worth keeping an eye on no matter how Houston employs him.

ETA: 2022

 

28. C Garrett Stubbs

 

Age: 27

Highest Level: MLB

Stubbs is the No. 3 catcher currently on Houston’s roster, behind Martin Maldonado and Dustin Garneaubut he recently played some left field and even a little second base in 2019, so there’s the potential for him to be a super-utility 26th man. I doubt he has the breakout potential of an Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, but he’s shown a little speed and good contact numbers thus far in the minors.

A catcher-eligible player who can swipe a few bags is valuable in deeper leagues, even if Stubbs doesn’t play every day and offers little power.

ETA: 2020

 

29. RHP Jojanse Torres

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: A+

Torres exploded onto the scene in 2020, posting a 1.94 ERA with a 24.9% strikeout rate at High-A, splitting time as a starter and a reliever. Torres boasts an incredible 99 mile per hour fastball that he has absolutely no control over, and a plus slider that he throws more often since he can control it.

All told, he’s almost certainly another relief prospect, albeit one with closer stuff if he can rein in the command.

ETA: 2020

 

30. RHP Brandon Bailey

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: MLB

Bailey was the second overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft by the Orioles, but they returned him to Houston and he ended up making his big league debut early in the year, a scoreless inning against the Mariners. Bailey is a spin-rate monster who loves to go fastballs up and breaking balls down – which is why he’s succeeded at getting strikeouts despite below average velocity.

His stuff is more likely to play up in the pen, which is where he is presently, and he looks like a candidate to be a long reliever or multi-inning setup guy if he stays in Houston – where they tend to create guys in this mold.

ETA: 2020

 

31. OF Alex McKenna

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A

McKenna joined the Astros as a fourth rounder in 2018, lauded as a power-speed guy who could handle center. His strikeout issue has reared its ugly head however, and he managed just one home run and seven steals in 65 games in Single-A last year, with a 28.9% strikeout rate.

He still has the potential to be a toolsy fourth outfielder, but he has some stuff he needs to work on first.

ETA: 2022

 

32. OF Chas McCormick

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: AAA

I’m a sucker for guys who make swing changes in the minors that produce results, and McCormick has improved his launch angle tremendously since joining the Astros in 2017. That resulted in 14 home runs and 16 stolen bases last year between AA and AAA, along with an elite walk rate and a sub-15% strikeout rate.

McCormick, like so many on this list, looks likely to settle in as a toolsy fourth outfielder, although his penchant for contact could allow him to hit for a higher average than most.

ETA: 2020

 

33. RHP Rogelio Armenteros

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: MLB

Armenteros looked solid in an 18 inning big league cameo in 2019, posting a 4.00 ERA (2.95 FIP) with an 18-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He boasts solid command and a plus changeup, but his velocity dipped last year and that will need to come back into the mid-90 range for him to reach his ceiling as a No. 4/5 starter.

He’s on the IL currently, jeopardizing his chances of pitching at all in 2020, and the lost development time won’t do him any favors this year.

ETA: 2020

 

34. LHP Cionel Perez

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: MLB

Perez and Armenteros are at similar spots in their careers: both are starters who are (likely) converting into relievers. Both made their big league cameo’s last season, and both are currently hurt, which could impact their ability to pitch at all in 2020.

Armenteros I think has a better likelihood of starting long-term, so he’s higher, while Perez strikes me as another candidate for a multi-inning relief role if he can harness that hard heater and keep his control in check.

ETA: 2020

 

35. RHP Carlos Sanabria

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: AA

If Sanabria had any level of command, he’d probably be 10-15 spots higher on this list. He possesses a 98 mile per hour fastball and a plus change and average curveball – with some still believing he will be a starter. I think he’s destined for a relief role, where he can scrap his bad slider and work on his command over just three pitches. He could be a late inning guy down the line, but he’s tough to project until we see if the command will improve.

ETA: 2021

 

36. OF Matthew Barefoot

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A-

Barefoot was Houston’s sixth round pick in 2019 out of Campbell University. He absolutely tore the cover off the ball in the Cape Cod league heading into 2020, but he struggled in his final collegiate season and did even worse in short-season ball, hitting just .155 in 23 games played. However, he has good speed and defense, and is reportedly undergoing a swing change which could unlock some power. He’s a name to keep an eye on.

ETA: 2023

 

 

37. RHP Nivaldo Rodriguez

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: MLB

The Astros are currently using Rodriguez out of the pen, even though he has yet to pitch above High-A, and the results haven’t been great so far.

Rodriguez profiles more as a fifth/sixth starter long-term, with below average velocity, elite command and a solid four-pitch mix. If he’s coming out of the bullpen, he likely has zero fantasy relevance. If he gets a chance as an innings-eater type starter, he could be worth streaming in deeper leagues.

ETA: 2020

 

38. C/3B Colton Shaver 

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AA

Shaver was a 39th (!) round pick in the 2017 draft, but he’s continued to post strong power numbers throughout his minor league career, including 21 home runs between A+ and AA last year, along with a 140 wRC+. Considering he’s doing this while playing catcher and third base (and a little first base) there’s an outside chance he becomes Garrett Stubbs 2.0, a versatile 26th man who can catch and handle a few other positions, while hitting for some pop.

ETA: 2021

 

39. RHP Angel Macuare

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A-

Macuare’s numbers last year aren’t particularly eye-popping, except his ugly 15.9% walk rate, but he possesses an advanced feel for pitching at age 20, and flashes a 60-grade curveball and a plus fastball at times. If the changeup follows suit, and the command gets under control, he has enough pitchability and movement to be a back of the rotation starter.

ETA: 2023

 

40. LHP Blake Taylor

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: MLB

As of this writing, Taylor has thrown 7.1 shutout innings out of Houston’s bullpen in 2020, with a 9:2 K:BB ratio. He’s probably not a candidate for late-inning stuff just yet, that will go to Ryan Pressly and Bryan Abreu first, but he’s worth keeping an eye on even in redraft leagues, and now in dynasty leagues that count holds.

ETA: 2020

 

41. C Nathan Perry

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: A-

Prep catchers are always risky, but after two subpar years in the low minors, Perry broke out in 2019 with 12 home runs in 67 games of short-season ball, good for a 145 wRC+. The raw power is still lacking, but the swing looks good from the left side and the defense is improving, enough to project him as a potential high-OBP backup catcher at the next level.

ETA: 2023

 

42. RHP Shawn Dubin

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: A+

Dubin looked excellent in his 22 appearances (18 starts) at High-A last year, posting a 132:42 K:BB ratio, a 3.92 ERA (2.62 FIP) and a 1.15 WHIP. Most of that can be credited to a velo spike and his excellent curveball, although scouts are concerned about the longevity of the uptick in velocity, considering his small frame.

If he can maintain that velo and command, he’ll fly up this list as a potential 4/5 starter. If not, he’s another relief prospect, albeit one with good stuff.

ETA: 2021

 

43. 1B/OF J.J. Matijevic

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: AA

Matijevic was not able to carry the momentum from his strong 2018 season over to 2019, as he hit just nine home runs in AA with a .246 average and a 31.9% strikeout rate. Unless he gets the strikeouts under control, Matijevic is probably nothing more than a corner bench bat/AAAA type player at the next level.

ETA: Late 2020

 

44. RHP Brett Conine

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: AA

Conine dominated across three levels in 2019, never posting an ERA above 2.42. He possesses a low-90’s fastball and solid command of his four-pitch mix, which could put him in the mix for a back-end rotation role down the line – or at least a gig as a spot starter or a multi-inning reliever.

ETA: 2021

 

45. INF Nick Tanielu

 

Age: 27

Highest Level: AAA

Tanielu is a 27-year-old who is on the verge of being a non-prospect, but he did put up a .295/.360/.520 line in AAA last year, along with 19 home runs and respectable strikeout-to-walk numbers. Having played first, second and third so far in the minors, he’s knocking on the door of a big league utility role, where he could find himself knocking a few out of the park.

ETA: 2020

 

46. RHP Jairo Lopez

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: A-

Lopez took it to rookie and short-season hitters last year, although his walk numbers trended in the wrong direction. Still, he’s got a projectable frame and already an advanced feel for his four-pitch mix, making him a potential back-end starter down the line.

ETA: 2024

 

47. RHP Peter Solomon

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: A+

Solomon, a fourth round pick out of Notre Dame in 2017, missed most of the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, which has muddied up his future. Despite excellent numbers in his brief minor league career, Solomon likely projects as a middle reliever thanks to middling command and a plus fastball, without a true standout secondary offering.

ETA: 2021

 

48. OF Rainier Rivas

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

Acquired in the Max Stassi trade from the Angels, Rivas hits the ball really hard (92 mile per hour average exit velocity) but has yet to translate that into any game power. A few mechanical adjustments could unlock some of that raw power, making him a potential bench bat in time.

ETA: 2024

 

49. RHP Manny Ramirez

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A

Ramirez’s control is downright awful, to the point he may never even advance about the lower levels of the minors. However, his stuff is absolutely filthy when he’s on, led by a 95 mile per hour fastball and a wipeout curveball, that if he does ever learn to find the strike zone he could settle in as an above-average reliever. High-risk, medium-reward here for fantasy, but worth watching.

ETA: 2023

 

50. OF Bryan de la Cruz

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: AA

de la Cruz has posted solid numbers throughout his minor league career in Houston, including a .280 average with eight home runs and 12 steals in 2019 split between High-A and Double-A. He crushes left-handed pitching, making him a potential platoon candidate at the next level, although he probably needs a swing alteration to unlock more of his raw power.

ETA: Late 2021

 

Others given consideration: RHP Andre Scrubb, RHP Cy Sneed, RHP Dean Deetz, 3B Joe Perez, RHP Blair Henley, OF Ross Adolph and LHP Juan Pablo Lopez

Photos by Keith Gillett (Toro) and Cliff Welch (Whitley)/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Andy Patton

Andy is the Dynasty Manager here at PitcherList. He manages all of the prospect content on the site, while also contributing a weekly article on Deep League Adds and dynasty deep sleepers. Beat writer for the Seattle Seahawks (SeahawksWire) as well as the host of the Score Zags Score Podcast.

Account / Login
>