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MLB.com Releases Astros Top 30 Prospects List, System Ranks 10th Best

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Jim Callis and the good folks at MLB.com have released their Top 30 prospects list for the Astros, and the love feels good.

Alex Bregman leads an incredibly deep Houston Astros farm system to the tenth best ranking in baseball, per Jim Callis.
Alex Bregman leads an incredibly deep Houston Astros farm system to the tenth best ranking in baseball, per Jim Callis.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros have the tenth best farm system in baseball according to Jim Callis' piece on MLB.com.  Fourteen of the hitters in the Astros system are grade 50 (on the 20-80 scale) or better, which flies in the face of the narrative that the Astros lack depth following the high-profile acquisitions of Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers from the Brewers and Ken Giles from the Phillies.  Make sure to check out his piece breaking down the Astros and their tenth overall ranking in its entirety, as it is well thought out and written, but here's a quick look at his list:

  1. Alex Bregman, SS
  2. A.J. Reed, 1B
  3. Francis Martes, RHP
  4. Kyle Tucker, OF
  5. Daz Cameron, OF
  6. Colin Moran, 3B
  7. David Paulino, RHP
  8. Joe Musgrove, RHP
  9. Derek Fisher, OF
  10. Michael Feliz, RHP
  11. Albert Abreu, RHP
  12. J.D. Davis, 3B
  13. Tyler White, 3B/1B
  14. Tony Kemp, 2B/OF
  15. Jonathan Arauz, SS/2B
  16. Gilberto Celestino, OF
  17. Miguelangel Sierra, SS
  18. Franklin Perez, RHP
  19. Jandel Gustave, RHP
  20. Riley Ferrell, RHP
  21. Jon Kemmer, OF
  22. James Hoyt, RHP
  23. Brendan McCurry, RHP
  24. Chris Devenski, RHP
  25. Alfredo Gonzalez, C
  26. Teoscar Hernandez, OF
  27. Matt Duffy, 3B/1B
  28. Andrew Aplin, OF
  29. Akeem Bostick, RHP
  30. Michael Freeman, LHP

Of note from his breakdown of the system includes the point that, of the 13 pitchers featured in Houston's top 30 list, only one is left-handed...and he's number thirty on the list.  Catcher, first base, and seond base are also fairly thin among the top thirty prospects, as each position only has one representatie on the list...but it's quite an impressive "one" when it comes to first base in A.J. Reed, and all four of the Astros third base prospects are considered possible first basemen going forward.  At second base, only Tony Kemp is listed as a second baseman first, but Jonathan Arauz is considered a candidate going forward for the position if he doesn't stick at shortstop.  Catchers and left handed pitchers stand out as the most glaring holes with regards to depth in the system currently, though Jamie Richie, Max Stassi, and Tyler Heineman - the latter of whom are, in fairness, considered backup catchers at best at the top level by most - are auspiciously absent from these rankings.

Also included with Mr. Callis' piece is a breakdown according to expected ETA, which shows two distinct waves of players currently among the system's best talent...twelve (12!!!) of the top thirty prospects are expected to arrive as soon as this season, with another nine arriving as a rear guard next season.  There's a lull in 2018 where only one of our top thirty are expected to arrive, followed by another small Rennaissance in 2019 when seven of the Astros' top prospects from this list are expected to arrive.  Of course, these ETAs are not to be considered gospel - just general expectations.  It's still very interesting as a fan to see a clear delineation in "waves" shaping up, knowing that 2019 is the leading edge of the first wave of the current core roster nearing or reaching free agency.