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TCB Top 30 Astros Prospects Podcast Special - Hour 1

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We discuss several Astros players outside the Top 30 of note. Then we dive into our Top 30 and discuss players 30 to 27.

Timothy De Block

Sponsored by Leiturgia Communications

TCB Audio Productions ready to tickle your ear drums and invade your thoughts with Houston Astros baseball talk.

TCBP 2014 Top 30 Astros Prospects - Part 1

In the first hour Tim De Block, Brooks Parker, Spencer Morris, and Anthony Boyer discuss

PLAYER AGE POS LEVEL RANK GRADE
MP Cokinos 25 C AA 107 C (2.000)
Adrian Houser 22 RHP A 50 C (3.071)
Leo Heras 25 OF AA 45 C (3.308)
Thomas Shirley 26 LHP AAA 40 C (3.542)
Jordan Jankowski 26 RHP AA 39 C (3.542)
Danry Vasquez 21 OF A- 38 C (3.625)
James Hoyt 28 RHP AAA 33 C (3.700)
Akeem Bostick 20 RHP A 33 C (3.700)
Francis Martes 19 RHP RK 32 C (3.750)
Kevin Chapman 27 LHP MLB 31 C (3.786)
Asher Wojciechowski 26 RHP AAA 30 C (3.821)
Brady Rodgers 22 RHP AAA 29 C (3.846)
Ronnie Torreyes 22 INF AAA 28 C (3.864)
Tyler Heineman 24 C AA 27 C (3.923)

107 - MP Cokinos

Many were skeptical of his season in 2013 and chalked it all up to the Lancaster effect. Some bought into and ranked him very aggressively. 2014 showed that 2013 was likely the Lancaster effect. He’s limited to first base. He’s a decent hitter. He doesn’t strikeout much, but he also doesn’t walk. There’s also that issue of having below average power for a corner infielder. All credit has to be given to him though because as a player, he’s good and knows the game well. He’s just not a prospect. -Subber10

50 - Adrian Houser

A second-round pick, Houser has moved more slowly than the Astros would have liked, but age remains on his side. He’ll be turning 22 prior to the start of the season and figures to spend most of it in A+ Lancaster, where further refining of his game will be needed to survive the harsh environment. Houser is a peculiar player; though he generates grounders at an impressive rate (55% in 2014), he tends to get hit pretty hard at other times. His command can still wobble, as well. FIP has always liked him better than his ERA, and his first year in full season ball in 2014 was no exception. Though progress has been slow, he seems like a guy who’s always one step or adjustment away from a breakout. Mid-rotation starter remains his upside. -Brian

45 - Leo Heras

One of the Jeff Luhnow’s forays into the Mexican League but like Leo Heras’ former teammate, it hasn’t panned out. There is still a chance that Heras’ could claw his way into a bench OFer role at the ML level, but it’s looking less likely. He is limited defensively and lacks the power you look for out of a corner OF bat. If only his defense would have transitioned to the States as a legitimate CFer. -Subber10

40 - Thomas Shirley

Injuries have had a huge impact on his professional career. Between his ACL and, if I remember correctly, a shoulder issue have kept him off the mound for significant time. However, when he’s been healthy, he’s shown some promise. With his age, funky mechanics, and lack of command, he’s not someone you hang your hat on. His future is likely limited to a LOOGY which is tough to hang a high grade on. -Subber10

39 - Jordan Jankowski

Age is always a limiting factor in a players prospect grade as well as their potential role. Jankowski is likely a relief prospect at this point, but that’s fine. He has decent velocity but he has one of the best sliders in the Astros system. He has performed very well as a relief guy and if he continues to do so this year in AAA, he could get a shot at the ML level. -Subber10

38 - Danry Vasquez

There are some issue with Vasquez. His power didn’t take a step forward this year. In fact it stepped back despite playing full time in the hitter’s haven of Lancaster. The twitter scouting community has even referred to him as Mr. #Slack indicating that hustle and drive for the game has some question. There is some talent loitering around as he has a good feel for hitting, but power will have to develop. -Subber10

33 - James Hoyt

The other piece coming back to Houston in the trade for Evan Gattis, Hoyt is a twenty-eight-year-old reliever who came to professional baseball from a very unconventional path. Though he has less mileage on his arm than many minor leaguers his age, the clock is still ticking, and the time to capitalize is now. From his monstrous 6’6" frame, Hoyt throws a mid-nineties fastball and what some call a "wipeout" slider. He’s struck out more batters in his professional career than have reached base against him. Though he doesn’t have much of a ceiling, he’s likely to pitch in the major leagues very soon. - Anthony Boyer

33 - Akeem Bostick

It’s easy to see why Luhnow’s think tank targeted this second-round draft pick. Bostick, with a low-90’s heater that he can consistently ramp up into the 95-97 MPH range, as well as a solid showing of control already, has the foundation in place to build something special on. With several years of continued refinement, an eventual future as a ground ball-getting, three-pitch, mid-rotation starter is absolutely a possibility. His performance, and stock, could rise quickly depending on how soon and how much he can refine his secondary offerings. -Brian

32 - Francis Martes

When news of the Jarred Cosart trade broke, Martes was announced in a way that made him seem like a throw-in, but there’s some real upside here, similar to Bostick, though further away. His velocity could be even better, though (he regularly sits around 94 right now), and he could be as good as a #2 starter if he develops some consistent secondary pitches. As it stands, he’s already flashed both some strike out and ground ball ability at the rookie level, and could be poised for a breakout if the Astros think he’s ready to start the year in Quad Cities. -Brian

31 - Kevin Chapman

The lefty reliever has a nack for striking out hitters but also has a nack for allowing them to walk to first base. He would be nothing short of a dominant lefty if his walks improved but that remains a big IF. He’ll get a chance to earn a spot on the ML roster as a reliever this spring. -Subber10

30 - Asher Wojciechowski RHP - C (3.821)

With a difficult 2014 behind him, Wojo has some work to do on the mound if he figures to find a spot in the Astros rotation at some point. He struggled to recover from a lat strain during the spring and again had problems with finishing hitters off at the plate. He has pretty average stuff but the breaking ball is limiting his ability to garner the strikeout when he needs it. He flashes an ability, but at his age, flashes need to meet production. -Subber 10

29 - Brady Rodgers RHP - C (3.846)

Rodgers is one of those polished, sum-of-his-parts players who might just exceed expectations, thanks to his ground ball-generating ability and his propensity to not walk anyone. Ever. In fact, Rodgers has walked 54 total batters in his professional career, spanning parts of three seasons and 310.1  innings. While his arsenal may be mediocre (heater tops out at 92 and sits lower), it is varied and his command of it is a huge strength. He may not ever be special, but his floor means he likely will be something, and there’s real value to that. -Brian

28 - Ronald Torreyes IF - C (3.864)

Torreyes is not a sexy prospect but is the type of player that can provide value greater than his typical prospect rating would suggest, which is why he was protected from the rule five draft. He has two primary assets and that he’s versatile defensively and doesn’t strikeout. He can play just about anywhere on the field and not be an embarrassment. He makes plenty of contact at the plate albeit rarely with authority. -Subber10

27 - Tyler Heineman C - C (3.923)

Good all around catchers are hard to find. They’re either good offensively but bad defensively or vice versa. After last year, many fans felt that the Astros had found one. However, Heineman regressed significantly at the plate both in batting average and power. He continued to have decent plate discipline as he draws a few walks and doesn’t strikeout out a ton. His defensive reviews are still good but to be more than a future backup, the offense needs to take a step forward. -Subber10

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