Now, I know I wasn't all that kind myself during the rambling portion of last night's post, but what is this, bash the Astros week? Hot on the heels of Phil Rogers' hatchet job, we now have to digest Jim Callis' story on the supposed poor state of the Astros' farm system for ESPN/Baseball America.
It's fairly apparent that the Astros don't have the system that they had in the early to mid nineties, but it would take some serious 'splaining to convince me that they aren't currently somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Fellow Sports Blogger John Sickels says, "somewhat thin," but goes no further, and I would point to the 2004 draft as a fairly successful one. Appalachian League MVP doesn't mean all that much, but Mitch Einertson just destroyed that league--he was probably the most dominant player in the last ten years for the team that was after all the 2004 Appy League Champions. Troy Patton and Hunter Pence--both from the same '04 draft as Einertson--are also pretty well thought of.
Further up the chain, the two best catching prospects, Hector Gimenez and Kevin Davidson, may be experiencing some offensive problems this year, but then again so is Brad Ausmus. I have heard several times that Gimenez' glove is major league ready, NOW.
He may not have a great impact as might have been imagined a couple years back, but Tommy Whiteman still should make the majors as well.
Josh Anderson, Wade Robinson and Charlton Jimerson have at different times and in different ways shown themselves to be explosive position players.
Although I expressed my puzzlement on his status the other day, until someone tells me otherwise, I still expect to see Taylor Buchholz make the majors. Fernando Nieve appears to be expanding his ceiling with Corpus Christi in the early going of 2005, and Jimmy Barthmaier and Jason Hirsh are also at the very least reasonable prospects. And of course we have the continuing but fascinating enigma of Felipe Paulino, who may just throw a hundred miles an hour. . .
Not great and certainly better than last year, but the farm system is definitely not the embarassment the BA/ESPN people were trying to make out.