Houston Astros: Top 10 Prospects
1. Jordan Lyles / SP / Lyles doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, but his change-up makes it look better than it is. He has plus command and movement on everything he throws except for his curveball, which shows promise but is a long way off. He has a chance to be the next Oswalt-level Houston hurler.
2. Jiovanni Mier / SS / His defense should be an asset going forward, but he showed that improvement and consistency is needed. Offensively, his slight power and speed potential didn’t play much of a factor in 2010 and his strikeout rate was too high, but he showed effective plate discipline. He is still one of my favorite players in the minor leagues but needs to bounce back.
3. Delino DeShields / 2B/OF / DeShields looks like a bit of an overdraft at No. 8 overall in the 2010 draft. He has speed to burn, is a solid defender, and has a little bit of power potential, yet is raw in his plate approach. But that’s to be expected of a high schooler. I like him but don’t love him.
4. Mike Foltynewicz / SP / Foltynewicz fits the high-upside high school mold with his tall frame, athleticism, low-90s heat, and feel for his secondary offerings. The tools are likable, but there is so much to prove.
5. Tanner Bushue / SP / Bushue had a so-so full-season debut. His body has not taken a jump forward to this point, leaving his velocity in the low 90s at best. His curveball has shown promise, but his overall command has been inconsistent.
6. Jonathan Villar / SS/3B/2B / Villar’s strikeout rate and fielding percentage don’t inspire much confidence, but he is 19 years old, has some speed to work with, and a nice line-drive swing.
7. Jimmy Paredes / 2B / Paredes is an intriguing athlete with good speed, solid contact skills, and power potential, but is too undisciplined at the plate to fully buy in. Whether or not his power develops could be his make-or-break factor.
8. Austin Wates / OF / Wates has pretty much average skills across the board and still has some projection in his bat. Some say his power could take off, while others think his plate discipline could separate him.
9. J.D. Martinez / OF / His displayed home run power is pushing Martinez up prospect boards, but his flat swing makes me think it won’t show at higher levels. His strong approach at the plate should translate, giving him a shot at the majors.
10. Jay Austin / OF / After Martinez, Houston’s system thins out considerably. Austin has game changing speed, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio isn’t doing him any favors. He still has considerable upside and the ability to improve.
Houston Astros: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Jordan Lyles / SP
2. Brett Wallace / 1B/3B
3. Jason Castro / C
4. Jiovanni Mier / SS
5. Delino DeShields / 2B/OF
6. Mike Foltynewicz / SP
7. Tanner Bushue / SP
8. Jonathan Villar / SS/3B/2B
9. Jimmy Paredes / 2B
10. Austin Wates / OF
Arizona Diamondbacks: Top 10 Prospects
1. Jarrod Parker / SP / Reports are positive regarding Parker’s return from Tommy John surgery. I am cautiously optimistic. Even though he is a question mark, he is still the best that Arizona’s farm system has to offer.
2. Tyler Skaggs / SP / Skaggs has one of the best curveballs in minor league baseball. His fastball sits in the low-90s and his change-up is a below-average offering. He is intriguing but will need to show he has something else to scare hitters with besides his breaking ball.
3. Wade Miley / SP / Miley’s curveball isn’t far behind Skaggs’. He does a great job of inducing groundballs, and his defense aided him on his way to a breakout 2010.
4. Bobby Borchering / 3B/1B / Borchering is still whiffing more than anyone expected, but posted a stellar 2010. His best tool, his power, took a great first step. Defensively it got ugly at times. It would be a shame if he needs to move to first base, as his arm would be wasted there.
5. Pat Corbin / SP / Corbin has sharp command of a balanced and advanced-for-his-age three-pitch mix, plus he is young enough to gain velocity and potentially develop his slider into an out pitch.
6. Matt Davidson / 3B/OF/1B / Davidson posted a year that was very similar to Borchering’s, although I don’t see as much future power projection for Davidson. Other than the power, they are similar prospects.
7. Charles Brewer / SP / Brewer showed superb command of a modest repertoire against Single-A competition. He will be 23 when he hits Double-A in 2011 and will either sink or swim.
8. Chris Owings / SS/2B / Owings is young but rather limited in his upside. The best thing he has going for him is that his defense looks stellar at shortstop. He also has some speed to work with and a short, disciplined swing.
9. Marc Krauss / OF / Krauss has disappointed with his contact rate, which was supposed to be a skill that was at least average. His power played up in the California League (whose doesn’t?), but doesn’t project to be anything more than average.
10. A.J. Pollock / OF / Mike Belfiore and Ryan Wheeler received consideration, but Pollock is the better all-around prospect and also the better bet to reach the majors one day, despite his lack of a standout tool and injury history.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Justin Upton / OF
2. Daniel Hudson / SP
3. Jarrod Parker / SP
4. Brandon Allen / 1B/OF
5. Tyler Skaggs / SP
6. Barry Enright / SP
7. Wade Miley / SP
8. Bobby Borchering / 3B/1B
9. David Hernandez / RP/SP
10. Gerardo Parra / OF