Now that 2019 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 look at the third base position.
Top 3 Prospects By Position:
1. Joe Perez (Rookie)
Heading into the 2017 draft it looked like Perez would be drafted as a pitcher, though some teams stayed away from him due to his impending Tommy John surgery. The Astros announced him as a third baseman on draft night and have since stated they plan to have him play in the field. Perez has good power and the Astros believe he will hit for both average and power while having a plus arm at the hot corner. He missed the 2017 following the draft but made his debut in 2018. Unfortunately he only played in four games due to some nagging injuries. He has a very high ceiling and that is why he is #1 on this list.
2018 Stats: 4 G, .364 BA, 4-for-11, 1 SB, 3 BB/1 SO
2. Abraham Toro (AA)
Toro was drafted by the Astros in the 5th round of the 2016 draft. He made his full season debut in 2017 and made it up to AA in 2018. He started the 2018 season with Buies Creek where he hit .257 with .884 OPS and 20 2B, 14 HR in 83 games. This was good for a 136 wRC+ despite a low BABIP. He was promoted to Corpus Christi and hit just .230, but he did hit .296 over his final 20 games. Overall he had a 119 wRC+ with a solid 11.3 BB%. Toro has a very strong arm and good power, while being a switch hitter. Hopefully his late season adjustment to AA will continue in 2019.
2018 Stats: 133 G, .247 BA/.345 OBP/.435 SLG, 35 2B, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 62 BB/108 SO
3. Nick Tanielu (AAA)
Tanielu had steadily made his way through the system hitting at every level. He has flown under the radar some due to him missing the majority of the 2017 season due to injury. In 2018 he played at AA and AAA hitting .288 over 105 games. He also struck out just 50 times this season. While he doesn’t have a lot of power for the position, he is a career .295 hitter in the minors and seems to be a guy who will at least have passable doubles power while not striking out much at all.
2018 Stats: 105 G, .288 BA/.336 OBP/.418 SLG, 22 2B, 9 HR, 59 RBI, 28 BB/50 SO