Some things to talk about while we enjoy the cool new Greeneville Astros looks...
1) MLB.com Top 100 list revealed
Last night, MLB.com unveiled its second Top 100 prospects list. Houston placed four prospects there, with Jonathan Singleton leading the way at No. 27, followed by Carlos Correa at No. 30, George Springer at No. 57 and Jarred Cosart at No. 89.
Both Springer and Cosart dropped in the rankings while Delino DeShields, Jr. dropped off the list entirely. All of these lists are subjective, but those six names seem to be the top six prospects in Houston's system in some order.
However, the biggest outcry seems to be that DDJ fell off the list after stealing 100 bases and generally having a breakout season. That's a bit puzzling, too, when Billy Hamilton raced to No. 11 on the list. There are also only two second basemen period on the list, and MLB.com listed DDJ as the seventh-best second base prospect in the minors. So, it's not surprising they didn't list him in the Top 100 in context, but still puzzling from an overall performance standpoint.
The other thing that jumps out is that two 2012 draftees were ranked ahead of Correa. Byron Buxton clocked in at No. 19 while Mike Zunino comes in at No. 23. The questions surrounding Correa, at least on the explanation given on his player card, center around his hitting ability. The scouts like his defense and running ability, but Correa didn't show enough bat for them to rank him higher.
Overall, it's a little disappointing for the Astros to lose ground on the Top 100, but it's only one list. What do you think? Any surprises for you on the list?
2) THT looks at Astros rebuilding plan
Jeff Moore wrote about Houston's rebuilding plans over at The Hardball Times, and he came to some of the same conclusions that Chris did last week, just focused on prospect instead of the big picture. One of Moore's best points is that the Astros have done a great job of creating a deep farm system:
The influx of talent that has entered the Astros farm system—both through trades and through better drafting—has given them one of the deepest farm systems in baseball. Not necessarily one of the best, especially in terms of major league-ready impact talent, but one of the deepest.
Read the rest for notes on specific prospects like Marc Krauss and Matt Dominguez. While some of you don't agree with Houston's decision to bottom out and it may be frustrating to read another defense of the indefensible. But, if you're worried about how all those prospects will turn out, this is yet another endorsement of how the Astros future is shaping up.
3) FanGraphs thinks the Astros won't influence WC much
I was shocked (SHOCKED) to read an article on FanGraphs recently that held no real snark or cutting jokes about your local nine. Jeff Sullivan looks at what kind of impact the Astros may have on the AL Wild Card race next season and comes up with a pretty fair solution.
Because of the current distribution of talent, teams in the AL East appear to be at something of a disadvantage, because they don’t have a Twins team or an Astros team at their disposal. But any disadvantage would be small, on the order of one or two or three wins, most likely, meaning the results won’t be determined by the schedules. The results will be determined almost entirely by performance and luck.
Check out the whole thing for more of his logic, because he does make some good points about why the Astros won't be a ticket to the playoffs for AL West teams. He also links to an early standings projections that sees the Astros as a 61-101 team next season, which would actually be a six-game improvement over last season. Given the difference between the AL and NL, a bump in wins would be somewhat encouraging, no?