We will be releasing our recently recorded Astros Top 30 Prospect List in hour increments starting Tuesday and running through Wednesday, to your favorite podcast directory.* If you can't wait until then you can go to our showreel on Mixlr and listen to the live recording there. In the meantime lets take a look back at our list from four years ago. The year this thing started. Five of us contributed to those first rankings: David, Clack, Brooks, Christian, and myself. Here is that list in all its glory and the accompanying post.
*If we're not on your favorite podcast directory contact me and I'll see what I can do.
The Crawfish Boxes' Top 30 Prospect List by David Coleman
Four years isn't enough time to extensively evaluate a set of rankings, however, the picture has become a little clearer on guys who will make it and guys who won't.
What we missed
Outfielder Ariel Ovando was number two on our list in 2010 coming off a freshly signed $2.5M contract. He's now a minor league pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.
Outfielder Jay Austin is sixth on our list. He was that toolsy guy that just never panned out for the Astros. He was released in 2012 and played for the Southern Illinois Miners last year in independent ball.
Catcher Ben Heath was eighth on our list. The dude could put on a show in batting practice, unfortunately, that didn't translate to success on the field. He was out of the Astros system after 2012.
Pitcher Dallas Keuchel was in our top 10 with a C+ grade teetering on being a B- grade. Clack was the highest out of all of us with a B grade, proving yet again why he is the smartest person on staff. I don't know that we missed this per say, but he probably should have been rated higher considering he has a 4.16 ERA in the majors and is coming off quite a fantastic year. He's certainly pitched better than Jordan Lyles, so far.
Second basemen Jose Altuve was 13th on our list. A two-time all-star, Altuve was definitely ranked lower than he should have been. Clack gave him a B grade, which just reiterates how much smarter he is than all of us.
Infielder Enrique "Kike" Hernandez was 37th on our list. He's proven to be a nice little player at the major league level.
What we got right
Pitcher Jordan Lyles topped our list. There's an argument to be made that Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel or even J.D. Martinez should have topped our list, but Lyles has been a fairly productive major league player. He'll be 24 next season and appears to be on an upswing. Altuve probably should have topped our list, but Lyles wasn't a bad choice either. Our grade also put him in the Top 50 prospects in baseball, which is something Baseball America also did prior to the 2011 season.
Outfielder J.D. Martinez was no where to be found on Top 100 prospect lists his entire career, yet we had him third on our list and graded him a Top 100 prospect overall. His time in Houston was up-and-down, but he put together a fantastic year last year.
Pitcher Mike Fotlynewicz is about right where he should be and would probably end up in the same area if we redid the list.
To be determined
Guys like Delino DeShields, Vincent Velasquez, Tom Shirley and Michael Feliz are all players in the 2010 top 30 that still need some time to develop to see what value they provide as players.
We got some things right, we got some things wrong. Ultimately, prospect lists are an exercise that help us pass the time in the offseason. I think we did pretty good for our first list, but I would love to hear you thoughts on the list.