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Astros Minor League Position Review: Center Field

Some good performances at the center field position!

Syndication: The Corpus Christi Caller Times
Hooks outfielder Justin Dirden (33) catches a fly ball near the left field wall in a game against the Wichita Wind Surge on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at Whataburger Field. The Hooks lost 8-3.
Lucas Boland/Caller Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2022 season. This week we will move onto the center field position. Some of these prospects played all over the outfield but for this article I will will focus on guys who played majority of their games in center field.

Previous Position Reviews:


First Base

Second Base

Third Base


Left Field


Justin Dirden

Dirden was another undrafted free agent following the 2020 draft and put together a great 2022 season. After having a breakout 2021, the lefty hitter slashed .302/.384/.558 with a system leading 40 doubles. He also had 24 HR and led the system with 101 RBI. Dirden played 92 games in Double-A and 32 games in Triple-A. He should be pushing for a call-up to the Astros at some point in 2023. Check out our interview with him below on the podcast link.

2022 Stats: 124 G, .302 BA/.384 OBP/.558 SLG, 40 2B, 5 3B, 24 HR, 101 RBI, 12 SB

Pedro León

Leon had a strong season playing the full year in Triple-A. Despite tailing off at the end of the year, he still posted a .796 OPS with 27 2B, 17 HR, 38 SB in 115 games. He also drew 71 walks, good for a 14.1 BB%. He will have to make some more contact in the future but he was able to show off his skillset with the power/speed combination that made him such an intriguing international signing. He played some shortstop too but it seems most think he will be an outfielder.

2022 Stats: 115 G, .228 BA/.365 OBP/.431 SLG, 27 2B, 3 3B, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 38 SB

Quincy Hamilton

Hamilton made quite the rise during the 2022 season. After starting the year in Single-A and posting a .885 OPS, he was promoted to High-A where he had a .966 OPS in 49 games. He was then promoted to Double-A where he played another 34 games. Overall he had a .857 OPS with 28 2B, 17 HR, 27 SB and 76 BB in 119 games. He will turn 25 in 2023 and should be in Triple-A at some point.

2022 Stats: 119 G, .280 BA/.396 OBP/.461 SLG, 28 2B, 17 HR, 68 RBI, 27 SB

Logan Cerny

Cerny was acquired in the off-season trade that sent Garrett Stubbs to Philadelphia. Cerny came over as a high potential outfield prospect who had loud tools and he showed that in 2022. The 23-year-old posted a .832 OPS with 15 HR and 35 SB in 86 games. He finished the season really well hitting .318 with a .997 OPS over his final 48 games. He also made improvements with the strikeouts as the season went on, which is a good sign moving forward.

2022 Stats: 86 G, .253 BA/.360 OBP/.472 SLG, 16 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR, 54 RBI, 35 SB

Drew Gilbert

Gilbert was the Astros first round pick in the 2022 draft after a dominant junior season where he hit .362 with a 1.128 OPS for Tennessee. Gilbert played in 10 games following the draft and hit .313 with a .937 OPS before suffering an elbow injury when he ran into a wall. In the 10 games though he showed his abilities and will be one of the Astros top prospects.

2022 Stats: 10 G, .313 BA/.405 OBP/.531 SLG, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 SB

Jacob Melton

Melton was the Astros 2nd round pick in 2022 after a dominant college career at Oregon State. Following the draft he played in rookie ball where he was hitless in 4 games. He was moved to Fayetteville where he finished the year playing 19 games where he had 1.001 OPS with 6 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI. Like Gilbert, Melton will be one of the Astros top prospects moving into next season.

2022 Stats: 23 G, .261 BA/.426 OBP/.390 SLG, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 2 SB

Colin Barber

Barber was a 4th round pick in 2019 and has shown some good ability so far, he just has to stay healthy. In 2022 Barber played in 63 games for Asheville slashing .298/.408/.450 with 10 2B, 7 HR. He missed some time with injuries but when on the field he has played well. He needs a healthy season in 2023.

2022 Stats: 66 G, .294 BA/.400 OBP/.439 SLG, 10 2B, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 7 SB


Michael Sandle

Sandle was drafted by the Astros in the 10th round of the 2021 draft and has been pretty consistent. In 2022 he played the full season at High-A Asheville where he .744 OPS with 38 XBH in 114 games for the Tourists.

2022 Stats: 114 G, .268 BA/.342 OBP/.402 SLG, 23 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 57 RBI, 23 SB

Alex McKenna

McKenna has been in the system a while and made it up to Triple-A in 2022. He played in 106 games between AA and AAA posting a .689 OPS. He has some tools but it hasn’t fully translated to the field yet.

2022 Stats: 106 G, .232 BA/.337 OBP/.352 SLG, 18 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 51 RBI, 16 SB


Center field has been a position of question at the big league level but Chas McCormick put together a solid 2022 season. Looking down on the farm, the Astros have some good options coming. León is super toolsy with a power speed combination. Dirden looks like he could make an impact next year. Hamilton is good depth to have and Cerny has massive upside too. Then we have a couple high draft picks, Gilbert and Melton, who have great upside and could be the future in the outfield for the Astros. The Astros should be able to find a long term option on the farm in the next couple years.