I have been reviewing the top 20 prospects by Sickles from a month ago http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/12/11/3755850/houston-astros-top-20-prospects-for-2013 . It is a very interesting list of players. While I was looking at the grades and players I started to look at a few other top minor league systems to compare. The Astros minor league system is somewhere in the top 5-8 ranked system from my judgement. I also think that would be the consensus by many fans and evaluators, as well. If that is something that you are interested in or you like to see the minors ranked highly, there is some better news. I think the system will be ranked higher next year.
Out of the top 20 prospects 9 were drafted in the last two years. There were 14 players given a B- or better and 8 players are B's or better. Sickles also names 8 additional C+ graded players and a total of 43 players of interest. "Interest" is the key term I am excited about. I was one of the more pessimistic Astro fans and posters here from 2006-2011 because of the lack of "interesting" prospects. Those days are long gone. The system is very strong today.
As I went through the list I was amazed at how young the players were. Out of the top 20 the only players that may be used in the majors next year are Cosart, Grossman, and Villar, in order of likelihood. There is a decent chance that none, or only Cosart, has significant ML time and loses rookie eligibility. I believe this is a great thing not only because the minor league system could be ranked very high in another year, it also means the prospects are rated highly even in the lower minors. While these players have a higher bust rate, they also have higher upside. And the Astros need impact players at the ML.
I don't have time now to get in more depth. I got a great feeling looking at the prospects today and wrote this to spur some conversation about the system. It looks great. In Luhnow we trust.
Who are your sleepers? ETA on any guys? Whatever....