Outside of the numerous baseball publications that churn out constant content, Keith Law has been the stalwart force for ESPN's prospect coverage. In the past few seasons, Mr. Law has had plenty of Astros to pick from for his top 50 and top 100 lists. This year there are three players on the midseason Top 50 MlB prospects -- Alex Bregman, Brett Phillips, and Mark Appel.
The Astros first pick in the 2015 draft, Alex Bregman, checks in at number 29. Law noted Bregman as "probably the best pure college hitter in the 2015 draft class". TCB's leistomania409 said of Bregman in his draft profile:
Bregman was a highly touted prep shortstop when he came out of Albuquerque, NM in 2-12. Drafted by the Red Sox that year in the 29th round, Bregman didn't sign die to an ACL injury. (Of note: this makes Boston a logical floor for Bregman's draft stock should he fall to the 7th pick). Bregman has been nothing short of a rock solid piece of LSU's team for the last few years, if not dominant. He's durable (over 700 college at-bats), hit for average and power while maintaining a patient approach (.340 career average, 21 homers and a K:BB ratio under 1). Bregman has also shown some speed with his 57 steals, and he projects as at least an above average runner in the pros.
Brett Phillips has been rocketing up prospect boards since his 2014 campaign. Law slotted him at number 35. Brian noted in our Top 30 Prospects post:
"Meteoric" might be an understatement when discussing Phillips' rise in the rankings. This kid came in at #46 last year. Graduations at the top can't explain that kind of rise away. Phillips went from a far-away two-way prep-project with some intriguing tools to a legit prospect that can't be ignored in the space of 12 months, putting up Correa-eqsue numbers between Quad-Cities and Lancaster. He drew some walks, held his strike outs nicely in check, stole some bases, and most notably, didn't see a crazy spike in power in Lancaster; his .219 ISO from Quad-Cities merely held up and continued to look real. Reports say his route running still needs considerable work, but if that improves and he continues ripping up the A-levels, expect him in AA at some point this year, where he can really begin to prove he's as good as we want to believe. Jeff Luhnow may just hit the jackpot with his first drafted lottery ticket.
The 2013 first-overall pick Mark Appel ended up at number 41. Law talked about Appel's appearance in the Futures Game and his use of the four-seamer. Here are Brooks' notes from our Top 30 Prospect post:
I just can't...well I guess I should. I'm a big Appel fan and anything I say about last season runs the risk of being called an apologist. The time in Lancaster was dreadful. Double-A was better. AFL was very good and at times called dominant. The stuff is still there to be a top of the rotation type, but he needs to tighten up his command and attack hitters. He seemed too hesitant this year.