I have decided to tackle the Astros prospect list. I have previously tackled the Twins top 50 prospects here. The Twins are my favorite team, but recently, I have move to Texas and am in the employ of Drayton McLane. Since I am being exposed to the Astros anyway, I figured I might as well learn their prospects. Prospect lists can be found on most any baseball blog this time of year, so I am not breaking new ground here. I have decided to rank the prospects with as little media influence as possible. Prospects are not going to be ranked based on hype but on what they have done since they have entered the Astros organization. Since I don't yet know many of these players, this was a good way to learn the system. I am also not familiar with most of the leagues these teams play, so there is a chance I could have missed some league adjusted finer points. Most of the numbers considered are from the 2009 season.
The formula for how I came upon this top 50 is included below:
For hitters I used OPS as my control. This is the formula I used: OPS +.025 per level above GCL +/- .025 for every year above or below age 22 by August 2009 + .025 for CF/SS/C + .025 for base stealers. I also perused the total numbers to look for anomalies and at this point I favored the higher hyped prospects.
For pitchers I used WHIP as my control. This is the formula I used: WHIP -.05 per level above GCL +/- .05 for every year above or below 22 by August 2009 -.2 for starters. I also favored those with high K/9 rates and gave a break to those with higher BABIP (batting average of balls in play), because they may have been unlucky. I perused the total numbers to look for anomalies and at this point I favored the higher hyped prospects.
50. Brian Wabick Reliever 8/3/1987.
He was drafted by the Astros in the 34th round in 2007 out of Oakton Community College. He went 7-3 with a 3.96 ERA in 86.1 innings for Low A Lexington, giving up 87 hits while striking out 66 and walking 21. He had decent numbers and if he could improve his strikeout rate, he could be an effective reliever.
49. Frank Almonte Outfield 1/24/1989.
He was signed in 2006 out of Santiago, Dominican Republic. He batted .246/.314/.428 for Greenville in the Appalachian League. He's shown a little power but needs to improve his walk rate and strikeout rate to have a chance to move very far.
48. Kyle Greenwalt Starter 9/29/1988.
He was drafted by the Astros in the 20th round in 2007 out of Sellersville, PA. He went 8-13 with a 4.20 ERA in 25 starts/139.1 innings for Low A Lexington, giving up 154 hits while striking out 90 and walking 28. Perhaps has a chance at a backend starter.
47. Miguel Arrendell Infield/DH 3/26/1988.
He was signed by the Astros in 2006 out of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. He batted .235/.394/.368 for Greenville. He walks a TON. He needs to hit more or for more power. It would help if he could stay playing in the infield.
46. Kyle Godfrey Reliever 2/6/1986.
He was drafted by the Astros in the 13th round in 2008 out of Hiwassee Junior College. He went 1-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 51.1 innings between A ball Tri-City and Lexington, giving up 47 hits while striking out 41 and walking 12. He doesn't give up too many hits or walk too many. He could be a serviceable middle reliever.
45. Marcos Cabral Shortstop/Infield 4/4/1984.
He was drafted by the Mets in the 31st round in 2002 out of Broward Community College. He batted .298/.358/.461 for high A Lancaster. He has decent power and a decent walk rate, but is going to be 26 and just finished a season in High A. He was not successful in small stints above A-ball for Toronto. This will be a big year for Marcos.
44. Patrick Urckfitz Lefty Reliever 7/21/1988.
He was signed by the Astros in 2008 out of Monroe Community College. He went 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 57.2 innings between Class A Lexington and Lancaster, giving up 53 hits while striking out 49 and walking 18. He will most likely top out as a LOOGY.
43. Thomas Manzella Shortstop 4/16/1983.
He was drafted by the Astros in the 3rd round in 2005 out of Tulane University. He batted .289/.339/.417 for AAA Round Rock. He made his major league debut in 2009 and should be in the mix for shortstop or as a bench infielder.
42. Kirk Clark Reliever 7/19/1988.
He was signed by the Astros in 2009 out of Creighton University. He went 2-0 with a 189 ERA in 19 innings in Tri-City, giving up 14 hits while striking out 24 and walking 3. Not a lot to go on just yet, but a good start to his pro career.
41. Erik Castro Infield 11/13/1987.
He was drafted by the Astros in the 10th round in 2009 out of San Diego St. He batted .266/.351/.453 for Tri-City. He has a good walk rate and some power. If he improves on both, he could be a decent MLB player in a few years.
That's it for now. The write-ups are pretty general, but this list is stats run anyway.
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