Now that 2018 is here, it is time to start looking at the top three prospects at each position as we lead up to the Astros top 30 prospect list. This week I will get things going with the catcher position.
1. Garrett Stubbs (AAA)
Stubbs was drafted by the Astros out of USC in 2015. He was known as a great defender but has really made good strides with the bat all the way up to 2017. Stubbs put together a breakout 2016 season which saw him slash .304/.391/.469 with 10 HR, 15 SB in 84 games between A+/AA. Unfortunately, he didn't hit as well in 2017. He started the 2017 season with Corpus and missed some time early with a hamstring injury. He came back strong in April but struggled to get his BA up in the following months. He still posted an exceptional walk to strikeout ratio despite the low BA in AA (32 BB/44 SO). He was eventually promoted to AAA where he finished out the season. Stubbs is 24 years old and will need a solid 2018 to put himself in a position for a callup.
2017 Stats: 98 G, .232 BA/.328 OBP/.321 SLG, 18 2B, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 43 BB/59 SO
2. Chuckie Robinson (A)
Robinson was drafted by the Astros in the 21st round of the 2016 draft and has played well so far in his MiLB career. After hitting .275 in rookie ball, Robinson started the 2017 season with the Quad Cities River Bandits. The 23 year-old hit .274 with 15 HR, 77 RBI in 108 games (122 wRC+) helping the River Bandits to the Midwest League Championship. He also posted a respectable 41% caught stealing rate. He was a solid contributor all season long and established himself as a legit prospect in the Astros system. Robinson is known as a good defender so if he continues to improve with the bat he could start to really move through the system. You can read more on Robinson here.
2017 Stats: 108 G, .274 BA/.330 OBP/.463 SLG, 32 2B, 15 HR, 77 RBI, 7 SB, 31 BB/98 SO
3. Nathan Perry (Rookie)
Perry was drafted out of Bassett High School in Virginia. There wasn’t a ton of information on him during the draft but one scout did not that he has big left handed power. Perry is already well put together listed at 6'2" and 195 lbs. Give his power and age, he probably has the highest ceiling of any catcher in the Astros system. He showed good plate discipline in his time with the GCL Astros last year with 10 BB/14 K in 27 games (99 wRC+). He was also drafted at 17 putting him in the younger group for high school draftees.
2017 Stats: 727 G, .229 BA/.325 OBP/.357 SLG, 3 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 10 BB/14 SO
Michael Papierski (A-): Papierski was drafted by the Astros this summer in the 9th round out of LSU. He showed some power and a good walk to strikeout ratio at LSU despite a low BA. This trend continued with the Tri-City ValleyCats this year as he hit just .198 but had 5 HR and 30 BB/29 K in 37 games good for a 134 wRC+.
Any others you would like to add?