Trade season is over so this list of prospects should stay true. The loss of some prospects this year stung a little and usually waiver trades don't sting as much. So this list should carry you into the off-season. It's more than just a removal of traded prospects, there were players added that were missed in the other update and a few flips thrown in as well.
1. Vincent Velasquez RHP-B+ (7.222)
Just one spot improvement but again an improvement from B to B+. He's shown an ability to get outs at the major league level which is partly the reason for his upgrade. But, he also showed some weaknesses with his pitch selection and pitch counts.
2. Joe Musgrove RHP- B+ (7.056)
Twenty point improvement. Definitely on the low side in the off-season but he's sky-rocketed up the system and up the prospect list with dominance of two full-season leagues. He's ran into some bumps in Corpus but is quite young and it's to be expected for someone who started the season in Low-A. We had him as a C+. That's a full letter grade. Huge improvement.
3. A.J. Reed 1B- B+ (7.000)
Barely made it to a B+ and is quite a change from the B- in the off-season. He was originally ranked as the 6th best prospect but pure dominance offensively in every way of the California League helps. Not just power, but a strong ability to hit and draw a lot of walks. Double-A will surely solidify this grade or knock him down a rung in the second half of the season.
4. Mark Appel RHP- B+ (7.000)
Oh Mark. Again you frustrate the fan base. Flashes of being really good. Then there's the bad times. And the bad times just seem to last so long. The velocity is still there. The slider is still an above-average pitch (when he can control it) and the change is at least average (again if he can control it). He lacks command and continues to try to paint corners rather than attack with his high-end stuff.
5. Derek Fisher OF- B (6.444)
He's healthy and has done nothing but display the tools he showed in college. The difference is that he's showing the skills he was never on the field consistently enough to showcase in college. He's dominated the MWL and has hit quite well in stints in the Cal League. His arm might still limit him to LF but he appears to have the offensive profile to be an impact bat. For his progress he was upgraded from his B- and ranked one position higher.
6. Michael Feliz RHP- B (6.000)
He holds steady at 8 but went up from a B- to a B. But is barely a B. Showed his stuff at the ML level but has his fair share to work on in the minors before he's a regular contributor in the majors.
7. Colin Moran 3B- B- (5.778)
A year later and we're still talking about if he can hit for enough power for the hot corner. He missed some time because of a fractured jaw from an outfield throw, but that shouldn't have held him back much at the plate. Another year older and no development leaves him degraded from a B and drops from 4th.
8. Tony Kemp 2B/OF- B- (5.389)
Another standout season so far for Kemp and it includes a selection to the Future's Game. He is phenomenal at making contact and getting on-base but lacks impact speed for stolen bases or the arm to fit anywhere else except 2B and possibly CF/LF. He's a real grinder that has caught many eyes. John Sickels mentioned him as a possible inclusion to a top 100 list at year end. He's upgraded from C+ and moves up three spots.
9. Frances Martes RHP - B- (5.333)
He's another C grade to B-. He was ranked 32 so he just barely missed the top 30 and now is in the middle of it. He's shown very good overall stuff in a full-season league which helps believe the numbers he posted after being brought over via trade. His calling card is an electric fastball and is a good card to have.
10. Jason Martin OF - B- (5.056)
Another breakout this year. We predicted this one a bit better with the help of a good performance last season in rookie ball. He got a late start due to an injury but since he's shown an ability to hit, good plate discipline, and power. If he can stick in center, which he should be able to, he could continue to climb. He was a C+ in the off-season and 20th overall.
11. Teoscar Hernandez OF - B- (5.056)
Easily one of the biggest disappointments of the season so far. His season in Lancaster had some compelling comparisons to George Springer's and had drawn lots of praise for his work ethic. But, this season has been quite rough as has an incredibly low BABIP but a lot of his peripheral stats are holding fairly steady indicating he could still adjust. He holds on to his B- grade but drops six spots from 9th.
12. J.D. Davis 3B - C+ (4.944)
He hasn't been bad but he hasn't been great. He's hitting for a good average and draw walks. He hits for good power. But, as always at this area on a list there's a but, he is striking out at a rate near 30%. That's a problem. He's still a C+ but drops one spot.
13. Akeem Bostick RHP - C+ (4.778)
He ranked 33rd in the off-season with a straight C grade. This season he's come out and looked like the second round pick the Rangers made him. He was very good in the MWL and showed an almost nonexistent walk-rate there. But, his strikeout rate dropped in the Cal League.
14. David Paulino RHP - C+ (4.667)
He was ungraded in the off-season and somehow was missed in the original mid-season update. He's pushed himself onto the scene this year with a big fastball/breaking ball combination that has allowed for him to rack up strikeouts all the way to High-A Lancaster. He wasn't on a full season roster to start the year but his performance has pushed him from Tri-City and through Quad Cities. Significant ascent this season.
15. Conrad Gregor 1B - C+ (4.625)
He maintains a C+ grade but his overall score dropped some and dropped him from 14th pre-season to this. He still just doesn't hit for the power needed to be a serviceable first base prospect. The strikeout rate has climbed some and he's not hitting that well either. For an offensive dependent position, he doesn't really provide it.
16. Aaron West RHP - C+ (4.500)
The difference being healthy makes. He goes up from 24 with the same letter grade but higher in that grade. He has a very low ERA and an even lower walk rate. He's lacking the strikeout rate that he showed in Lancaster which is what holds him from the ranking of 15th after owning the Cal League.
17. Miguel Angel Sierra SS - C+ (4.500)
Apparently he's performed better than expected and has pushed himself into the stateside baseball in his first season. That's an achievement and something the Astros haven't done since Ariel Ovando who never played in the DSL. He's 17 and has earned praise from the industry. He has a lot of tools and significant polish for a prospect his age and background.
18. Andrew Aplin OF - C+ (4.375)
Hasn't really been anything notable in AAA this season but he hit the ball at will in AA. He's solidifying a ceiling of a reserve outfielder as he's very good defensively and has good plate discipline to help him consistently have a decent chance of getting on base. He drops just one spot.
19. Brady Rodgers RHP - C+ (4.111)
Nearly identical numbers in AAA this year to AA last year. Great BB/SO ratio but the overall k-rate is sub-par. The ground ball rate continues to be around 48-49%. Because he's doing the same thing in the PCL, he creeped up from a C to C+ and he moves up from 29th.
20. Joe Sclafani IF - C+ (4.063)
Almost identical rating and also drops one spot. His BABIP has come down from last season but he still has a good OBP but near nonexistent ISO. Utility guy type role is solidified pretty much. Hard not to root for him though.
21. Kyle Smith RHP - C (3.944)
Lost season due to undergoing TJ surgery. Dropped from 19th with a C+.
22. Asher Wojciechowski RHP - C (3.944)
Rated behind Smith because Smith was given a B- grade by one rater. Wojo had a stint in the majors but he had some bad luck and overall wasn't very good. He's been better in the PCL but can't seem to end things at the plate with the strikeout which limits his future role. He was a C pre-season but his grade has risen in the number. He was 30th pre-season.
23. James Hoyt RHP - C (3.938)
Don't let his ERA fool you. His swinging strikeout rate is higher than many overall strikeout rate. He's cut his walk rate in half. The 7+ ERA is not representative of his season thanks to a BABIP over .400. The 1.70 FIP and 3.23 SIERA are much more encouraging. He was 33rd in pre-season and also rated a C.
24. Tyler Heineman C - C (3.889)
Still doesn't walk. Still doesn't strikeout. Still doesn't hit for power. However, he's hitting for a better average thanks to his BABIP coming back up. He was 26th in the pre-season rankings as a C.
25. Tyler White 3B - C (3.857)
He can hit and draw a lot of walks. The power is average at best and is likely to be average at best at the hot corner. Will have to answer more questions in AAA but this is some recognition as he was 63rd in the pre-season as a C- prospect.
26. Jandel Gustave RHP - C (3.833)
It might be surprising to see him this low if you know just two things about him. Number one, he was in big league camp with another team as a Rule Five draftee. Number dos, he's twenty-two years old and throws 100 MPH. But, in 44 innings this season, he has a 31/18 SO/BB ratio which is not pretty. He has a ridiculous arm but that triple digit reading on the radar gun is close to being all he has. The lack of average off-speed will keep him out of a rotation and the lack of control could keep him off the 40-man yet again.
27. Danry Vasquez OF - C (3.750)
The big publications have made it clear that they don't like Danry's demeanor and have tagged the ever damaging #slack to his name. Well he came out hot in Lancaster which was nice to see since he struggled there last season. But, that promotion to Double-A Corpus has been a very tough transition.
28. Kristian Trompiz SS - C (3.688)
He just missed the cut in pre-season as he was 36th with a C grade. He's had a very up and down season this year. He has streaks where he looks really good but then will slump very badly. He's also racking up the errors.
29. Kent Emmanuel LHP - C (3.667)
Another pitcher with a lost season. After just 14 2/3 innings, he found himself on the operating table for the second Tommy John surgery in the organization this season.
30. Chris Devenski RHP - C (3.643)
Early in the season it looked like he couldn't buy a promotion as he had a ridiculous stint of scoreless innings. However, July wasn't kind to him as the strikeout rate dropped and the walk rate increased. He has decent stuff and has shown he can put things together in stints, but he lacks enough of a true ceiling to be considered a big prospect.