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 get things going with the catcher position.
1. Garrett Stubbs (AAA)
Stubbs was drafted by the Astros in the 8th round of the 2015 draft. He was drafted as a solid defensive catcher but has made improvements with the bat. He has steadily moved through the system and had a solid season in 2018. In 84 games for the Grizzlies he hit .310 striking out just 53 times. He also caught 19 of 42 base stealers for a 45% caught stealing rate. Overall he had a 120 wRC+ with a solid 10.3 BB%. He will probably make his major league debut sometime next season. Stubbs is 25 years old but is a solid depth piece for the Astros right now.
2018 Stats: 84 G, .310 BA/.382 OBP/.455 SLG, 19 2B, 6 3B, 4 HR, 38 RBI, 6 SB, 35 BB/53 SO
2. Jamie Ritchie (AAA)
Ritchie is a lesser known prospect in the Astros system who was drafted in the 13th round of 2014 draft. But Ritchie had hit well during his time in the Astros system. In 2018 he split time between AA and AAA and hit .293 with .390 OBP in 70 games. Overall he had a 121 wRC+ and 11.0 BB%. He threw out 32% of base stealers in 2018. While he doesn’t have a ton of power, Ritchie makes up for it with his bat to ball skills and on base percentage. Like Stubbs, he is also 25 years old.
2018 Stats: 70 G, .293 BA/.390 OBP/.405 SLG, 16 2B, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 31 BB/57 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. Given his power and age, he probably has the highest ceiling of any catcher in the Astros system. Perry started the season well in rookie ball and was later promoted to Tri-City where he struggled a bit. He is only 19 years old and could be a full season player next year.
2018 Stats: 37 G, .214 BA/.289 OBP/.344 SLG, 8 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 16 BB/33 SO
Chuckie Robinson (A+): Robinson had a breakout 2017 season in which he hit .274 with 32 2B, 15 HR, 77 RBI in 108 games. He played the 2018 season with Buies Creek and his numbers suffered hitting just .238 with .661 OPS. He did finish strong hitting .328 over his last 33 games. He was great throwing with a 54% caught stealing rate.
Lorenzo Quintana (AA): Quintana was signed by the Astros in 2017 out of Cuba. He is an older prospect, playing at 29 in 2018. He played in 70 games and posted a .799 OPS with 19 2B and 11 HR. Overall he had a 116 wRC+. The bat is solid, but hard to imagine his future at 30 years old.
Michael Papierski (A): Papierski was drafted by the Astros in the 9th round out of LSU in the 2017 draft. He caught the most games in the Astros system this season with 89. He also had a 35% caught stealing rate. Unfortunately he struggled offensively hitting just .185. He did walk 69 times though good for a 17.3 BB%.