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TCB 2017 Top 30 Astros Prospects: 11-20

Part II of our annual rankings featuring several new faces


The next portion of our top 30 prospects is a diverse group, featuring a combination of new and old faces. You can refer to the previous portion of our list here for the grading guidelines and the first batch of players. Without further ado, the list continues with former Vanderbilt standout Tony Kemp.

MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

#20: Tony Kemp, Age 25, LF/2B (4.40, C+)

2016 (AAA): .306/.389/.396 (116 wRC+), 11.3 K%, 10 SB

2016 (Majors): .217/.296/.325 (71 wRC+)

Tony Kemp was drafted out of Vanderbilt in the 5th round of the 2013 draft. The former commodore quickly caught the attention of scouts with his ability to hit for a high average.and draw walks. Kemp was moved to the outfield from second base since Jose Altuve blocked Kemp's path to Major League playing time. In 2016, Kemp made it to the big leagues, playing in 59 games for the Astros. His stats weren't great. He's probably going to wind up as a super utility player. - Stephen

MLB: Houston Astros-Workouts Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

#19: Jandel Gustave, Age 24, RHRP (4.42, C+)

2016 (AAA): 57 IP, 55 K, 23 BB, 3.79 ERA

2016 (Majors): 15.1 IP, 16 K, 4 BB, 3.52 ERA

After losing him in the Rule 5 draft in 2014, Jandel Gustave has really put himself on the prospect radar after having a brief hiatus in the Red Sox and Royals organizations. A power righty out of the pen, Gustave will go after hitters with a blazing fastball that sits at 98-99 MPH and can even reach triple digits. His signature pitch is his slider. When his two pitches are on, he’s unhittable. But sometimes he has trouble controlling his stuff, having in 3.63 BB/9 in Fresno last year. In his brief stint with the major league club last year, he impressed, striking out 16 in 15.1 innings. Hitters have trouble lifting the ball off him (0.3 HR/9 in his career), as he can induce a fair amount of ground balls. I can see a future setup man here. - Patrick

#18: Ronnie Dawson, Age 21, OF (4.50, C+/B-)

2016 (SS): .225/.351/.373 (123 wRC+), 7 HR, 14.1 BB%

Dawson was drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. Dawson's junior year at Ohio State was phenomenal. He hit .331 with 25 2B, 13 HR, 51 RBI and 21 SB in 65 games. Dawson was assigned to Tri-City after signing with the Astros. He started a bit slow but managed to turn it up and finish strong. In his limited time with the Astros he showed off his power, speed, and patience package. Although he hit just .225 (mainly due to a rough start), he finished with a respectable 123 wRC+. His best tool is his above-average raw power, thanks to his 6'2" 225 lbs frame. He also is a smart runner and has a strong arm for the outfield. - Astros Future

#17: Gilberto Celestino, Age 18, OF (4.64, C+/B-)

2016 (R): .279/.388/.434 (142 wRC+), 2 HR, 9 SB

The Astros signed Celestino for $2.25M in 2015. Celestino was seen as one of the most polished prospects available with elite athleticism and instincts in center field. He has above average speed and a strong ability to hit for average and power. In his first taste of professional ball he started out playing for the DSL Astros where he hit .279 with .388 OBP and 25 BB/23 SO in 38 games. He also had 14 extra base hits in those 38 games. He got moved up to GCL Astros where he .200, though in just 18 games. He could start the 2017 season with Quad Cities. - Astros Future

#16: Freudis Nova, Age 17, SS (4.80, C+/B-)

Yet to play professional ball.

Freudis Nova was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2016. rated Nova as the number 8 international prospect last summer. Brian McTaggart said this about Nova: "He has a good arm with soft hands and playable range on defense. He is considered an offensive-minded player who shows good bat speed and features a slight uppercut swing."

It is way too early to predict anything about Nova. That being said, a few of the reports that I have seen suggest a position change from shortstop to third base is in his future. - Stephen

#15: Miguelangel Sierra, Age 19, SS (4.82, C+/B-)

2016 (App): .289/.386/.620 (170 wRC+), 11 HR, 6 SB

2016 (SS): .140/.216/.183 (25 wRC+)

Sierra, who I like to call “Michelangelo Mountain” is one of the top middle infield prospects in the system and signed for $1 million out of Venezuela in 2014. He showed surprisingly good power potential in a solid stint in rookie ball last season, slugging .620 with 11 homers in Greeneville, but struggled upon a promotion to Tri-City. At 19, he has a ways to go before proving himself as a capable hitter, but currently projects as a plus defender up the middle and shows up in the top 10 of most industry prospect lists on the Houston system. - Curtis

#14: Cionel Perez, Age 21, LHSP (4.83, C+/B-)

Did not pitch professionally in 2016.

Perez is a prospect who offers both floor and ceiling. With two strong years in Cuba under his belt, he bolted for freedom and the Astros signed him twice, with the first, more expensive deal, having been scuttled by health concerns. Still just 20 years old, Perez’s heater already touches 95 MPH, and with room left to grow, that number may rise further. A solid curve and a developing change up and slider complement it; the former two could both be easy plus pitches in the future, with average-at-worst command. Good floor of a hard-throwing lefty reliever, maybe even closer, and the ceiling could see him as a strong #2 rotation man. - Brian

#13: Daz Cameron, Age 20, OF (4.90, C+/B-)

2016 (SS): .278/.352/.418 (134 wRC+), 2 HR, 8 SB, 29.2 K%

2016 (A): .143/.221/.221 (32 wRC+), 37.9 K%

Part of a long lineage of elite prep outfielders from the state of Georgia, Daz Cameron, son of Mike, was considered a huge get for Luhnow and the Astros when they were able to sign him overslot in the supplemental round two years ago. Known best for his defense and hit tool, Cameron shows outstanding versatility and his fans- myself included- believe he possesses five average or better tools. While he has been streaky with the bat, and on the whole slower to start than the other prep outfielder the Astros selected on the first day of the 2015 draft, Cameron is still just 20 years and one month old at the time of this writing and was very young for both levels at which he played in 2016. Likely to start the year in Quad Cities, Daz will look to hone his center field chops and hit for consistent average as he continues his climb up the ladder. While it will likely take more time for his average power to manifest, the upside for Cameron remains extremely high entering 2017. - Spencer

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Glendale Desert Dogs at Scottsdale Scorpions Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

#12: Jason Martin, Age 21, OF (5.20, B-)

2016 (A+): .270/.357/.533 (134 wRC+), 23 HR, 20 SB, 11.9% BB%

Drafted in the 8th round out of a California prep school, the very athletic Jason Martin quickly found the right step in the Astros organization. He can play all the three outfield positions. Most believe he will end up in LF due to the lack of arm strength. His best asset is his speed. A very instinctive baserunner, Martin can swipe bags with the best of them. His speed plays well with his route efficiency. He stills need overall tuning on his defense, but when that happens, he could turn into a very above-average defender. As for his bat, he has a very simple stance that helps him spray the ball all over the field. He had a huge power surge this year, with 23 homers, but I wouldn't expect that to stay. I see Martin ending up as a borderline staring outfielder that will hit for a nice average with some decent pop. - Patrick

MLB: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

#11: Teoscar Hernandez, Age 23, OF (5.43, B-)

2016 (AAA): .313/.365/.500 (128 wRC+), 4 HR, 4 SB

2016 (Majors): .230/.304/.420 (93 wRC+), 4 HR, 25.0 K%

Signed as an unheralded prospect from the Dominican for just $20,000 in 2011, Teo continued a rapid ascent through the system, earning a second-half call-up in 2016. Though Hernandez homered against Toronto in his first major league game, he only produced a .230/.304/.420 line in 112 plate appearances in part-time outfield duty. Hernandez is an average defender with good speed and a solid but inaccurate arm and is better suited to a corner. Offensively, he could stand to add some weight to his frame to better leverage his power potential. At this point, Hernandez is ready for a big-league role and has an outside shot to win a backup outfield spot over Jake Marisnick with a good spring, but will most likely open the season in Frenso. - Curtis