|Original Published Date: April 15, 2014|
|Updated: June 9, 2014|
Break up the Astros!
In mid-June, the Houston Astros are one of the hottest teams in baseball. They have promoted both George Springer and Jonathan Singleton and with Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel pitching very well, the Astros are a rejuvenated team. The team is better but the team is still not good. But you know what, they are going to be good…very good. Correa, Appel, Aiken, Tucker, Santana, Hader, Ruiz, and Foltynewicz are just a few of the elite prospects that will make their debut over the next couple of years.
Fun times in Houston are on their way.
1. Next in Line Infield Prospects
- Max Stassi (C, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
- Jonathan Singleton (C, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: High – PROMOTED: 6/3/14
Notes: Max Stassi got a cup-of-coffee in the big leagues in 2013 and managed to poke two hits in the three games in which he played. He has a nice approach at the plate with above-average power. While the Astros are committed to Jason Castro, Stassi might force the issue. Jonathan Singleton signed a major league contract on June 3rd and was promoted for good the same day. With a long swing, he’ll be prone for a lot of strikeouts, but he’ll also hit 20-25 home runs on an annual basis hitting in the middle of an improving Astros lineup.
2. Next in Line Outfield Prospects
- George Springer (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: High – PROMOTED: 4/16/14
- Domingo Santana (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
Notes: George Springer is up and contributing. The tools are special and in 450 at-bats, he could hit 20 home runs while stealing 20+ bases. There will be swing and miss in his game, so don’t expect him to match his .300 lifetime minor league batting average. But the total package is going to be very, very good. Domingo Santana is a 6-foot-5 prototypical right fielder with plus raw power but swing and miss in his game. While he is the third option behind Singleton and Springer, he could easily see Houston in the second half and take at-bats away from Chris Carter or Robbie Grossman – in fact, you can bank on it.
3. Next in Line Pitching Prospects
- Paul Clemens (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low – PROMOTED: 6/1/14
- Mike Foltynewicz (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
- Vince Velasquez (RHP, High-A) – Fantasy relevance: High
Notes: Paul Clemens is a back-of-the-rotation pitcher that could carry some fantasy relevance. He has a nice fastball with a lot of sink but his curve ball is inconsistent. If he can throw his curve for more strikes, he could take a step-up. Mike Foltynewicz routinely hits triple-digits on the radar gun but can overthrow and lose his release point causing him to have poor control. Ultimately, the package might work better in the bullpen, however for now, the Astros will keep him a starter. He should be up in the second half. Vince Velasquez is a lesser known entity across mainstream baseball fans, but is extremely polished even though he is in High-A. While it’s unlikely he will see Houston this year, he might move quicker than anyone imagined. The guy can really pitch.
4. Next in Line Relief Prospects
- Chia-Jin Lo (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Mike Foltynewicz (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: High
Notes: If the Astros move Foltynewicz to the bullpen, he could become a force.
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