Given just how recent the Astros trade for Evan Gattis and James Hoyt was, it's appropriate to take a glance at how the trio of prospects traded away affects the system. The top 30 list was actually already completed at the time of the trade so we had already rated Mike Foltynewicz, Rio Ruiz, and Andrew Thurman.
We have removed them from the list for obvious reasons, but it's interesting to see where they would have fallen had the trade never happened (something I'm sure some readers would have preferred).
Last years rank: 5
Last years average grade: 6.60
This years rank: 7
This years average grade: 5.714
The overall fall of two spots isn't bad on the surface, until you consider that Jonathan Singleton and George Springer graduated from the list ahead of him. That means he was passed up by four other prospects. Not incredibly surprising considering the near full grade drop in his average grade.
Folty had a range of grades from 7-5. Meaning some of the staff rated him anywhere from a B+ prospect to a B- prospect. He's a rather polarizing prospect since he has that 100+ MPH and mechanics that I like, however he has a walk rate that could potentially limit his role as well as his effectiveness at the major league level. His triple-A numbers were not nearly as impressive as his double-A numbers, which begs many to question if the walk rate has caught up to him.
There is a chance that he could take a step forward in that area, but the window is closing. He's young and that's why the Braves have taken on the risk involved. The ceiling remains high but the likelihood is closing.
Last Years Rank: 10
Last Years Average Grade: 5.53
This Years Rank: 8
This Years Average Grade: 5.679
Rio found his way climbing up the ladder a bit. Grades ranged from 4.5 to 6.5. Couldn't quite get that B+ grade but he did receive that lonely C+/B- grade.
There's little doubt that he knows what he knows: the strike zone. He showed improvements in walk rate and strikeout rate while advancing a level and still being younger than league average. In fact he's awfully close to having that 1:1 BB/SO ratio that so many of the college hitters that the Astros have targeted in recent drafts, possess. His batting average rose despite a small drop in LD%. The concern continues to be whether his power will develop. It takes until early 20's for power to truly show up, but you don't like to see power decline in Lancaster of all places.
Scouts think the power will come and I do as well. However, until it does there's significant risk that it won't. There's potential for an above average third baseman, and the Braves are banking on it.
Last Years Rank: 18
Last Years Average Grade: 4.52
This Years Rank: 21
This Years Average Grade: 4.462
We rated him almost the exact same grade wise, but with added depth in the system via the 2014 draft, and development from prospects like Teoscar Hernandez, we pushed him down the list.
His grade primarily stayed between 4 and 5 but did have one outlying 3.5. That puts him solidly around the C+/B- range.
Thurman had a rough first full season as his ERA looked quite poor sitting north of 5.00, but his FIP stayed in the mid-3's, which suggests he's much better than his ERA. However, I have some concerns moving forward. The knock on him coming out of the draft was his breaking ball. Scouts loved his change up and his velocity can get into the mid-90's. But, the breaking ball just can't consistently put hitters away. His KS% was significantly lower than the league average. That could be a hangup moving forward.