We’re looking at every player to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.
Deury Carrasco is a six-foot, 182 lb. infielder from Villa La Mata, DR. Born on September 20, 1999, he signed with Houston through free agency on July 2, 2016. He didn’t appear above the A- level through 2020, then joined the High-A Asheville Tourists for the 2021 season. He banged out a .202/.332/.353 line, with four homers and 18 RBI.
Carrasco remained with the Tourists for the 2022 season, and aside from a two-week stint on the IL in late-May early-June, remained with the club all year. On June 29, in an 11-9 win against the Bowling Green Hot Rods, he hit a single and a double, scoring twice and knocking in three more.
Carrasco only appeared in 52 games for the Tourists this year, slashing .202/.332/.353. Of particular note are his splits. Not only is he way better against right-handers (.754 OPS to .358), he also posted an .857 OPS at home versus .501 on the road.
Defensively, Carrasco played 159 1⁄3 innings at third base, posting an .811 fielding percentage. He also played 154 1⁄3 innings at shortstop (.920), 76 1⁄3 innings at second (.973), and nine innings in center field (no chances).
Two full seasons at the same level in the minors without a sniff of Double-A doesn’t bode well long-term for Carrasco. At 23, he’ll need to start the year with the Corpus Christi Hooks if the Astros keep him on.
Ryan Clifford is a six-foot-three, 200 lb. corner outfielder / first baseman from Raleigh, NC. Born on July 20, 2003, he was taken by the Astros in the 11th round of the 2022 draft with the 343rd pick out of Crossroads Flex HS. Six players have made the majors after getting taken at the position, but only Brandon Belt has greater than 1.0 WAR.
Clifford had committed to Vanderbilt, but was enticed into signing the deal for a $1,256,530 bonus. Houston had to politick their draft class into signing for less than their slot values in order to cut the deal.
Clifford was first assigned to the FCL Astros Orange on August 8, and also named the Astros number eight prospect by MLB Pipeline. In 13 games he went eight-for-36 with three doubles, a homer, and five RBI. He drew 12 walks against 16 strikeouts, giving him a strange looking slash line of .222/.440/.389. On August 24, he was promoted to the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
Nearly two years younger than the “average” player at the Low-A level, Clifford appeared in 12 games through the season’s conclusion for the Peckers. He saved his best for last, going five-for-nine with a double and a home run with three RBI over his final two games of the season. Just like with the rookie team, Clifford put up a strange looking slash line, .268/.412/.390. It’s notable that each of the two figures come from a pretty small sample size, but also telling that his SLG was the same at both locations.
Overall, Clifford drew walks in 21.8 percent of his plate appearances, which is incredible for a player so young. He’s clearly got a good eye for the strike zone, but he also struck out 30.7 percent of the time. Chalk most of it up to youthful exuberance.
Per MLB Pipeline:
Clifford has the ingredients to hit for power and average, starting with a sweet left-handed swing and efficient bat path. With his bat speed and strength, he could deliver 20 or more homers per season.
Defensively, Clifford played 110 innings in left, 30 innings in right, and 19 at first base. His only error was committed in right field. Look for Clifford to start next season back with Fayetteville, with an eye toward the High-A Asheville Tourists by June.