LOD’s 2019 Offseason Top Prospects: Houston Astros #10-#6
Houston Astros Part 1
Here at Legends on Deck our passion is prospects and the offseason presents an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase some of baseball’s top up and comers. Throughout the offseason, we will be bringing you the top ten prospects from all 30 organizations. We will start with the Arizona Diamondbacks and work our way alphabetically all the way through the Washington Nationals. This series is the opinion of Jake Berry, Senior Editor at Legends on Deck and does not reflect any official MLB rankings.
#10 – RHP Tyler Ivey
2019 Opening Day Age: 22 ETA: 2021 Top Future Pitch: FB
2018 Stats (Single-A/High-A): 112 IP, 2.97 ERA, 135 SO, 29 BB
There are two players on this list I would consider myself the high man on. The first is Ivey. By no means do I think the 6’4 right hander will turn into an ace, but I do believe he has a solid floor with a strong repertoire and should be looked at as a future mid rotation arm. The fastball and curve are a present plus combo and the changeup has made strides and flashes above average. The command is also trending up as well.
#9 – RHP J.B. Bukauskas
2019 Opening Day Age: 22 ETA: 2020 Top Future Pitch: FB
2018 Stats (Four Levels): 59 IP, 2.14 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 71 SO, 24 BB
A UNC product, Bukauskas had one of the best FB/SL combos in the 2017 draft and may have that best combo in all of minor league baseball. A bold statement, but the righty’s fastball is in the mid 90’s with notable sink and the slider is tight with high spin and hard break. Outside of that combo, the rest of the tools are average and the delivery shows a lot of effort.
#8 – 1B Seth Beer
2019 Opening Day Age: 22 ETA: 2022 Top Future Tool: Power
2018 Stats (Rookie/Single-A/High-A): .304/.389/.496, 12 HR, 42 RBI
Beer was a standout during his days at Clemson and while he has a good swing and plate approach, there isn’t much more to his game outside of that. Defensively he is destined for first base and while he can draw a walk, I don’t see him hitting for much more power than the average 1B.
#7 – 3B Abraham Toro
2019 Opening Day Age: 22 ETA: 2021 Top Future Tool: Arm
2018 Stats (High-A/Double-A): .247/.345/.435, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 8 SB
The second guy that I am higher on than most, Toro has the defensive skillset to be a big league third baseman. The defense, especially the arm, has never been the question among scouts, its always been the hit tool. I don’t see it. Quick hands translate to plus bat speed and his swing generates a lot of pop. Factor in a great approach at the plate with above average strike zone discipline and I believe we have a plus hitter with Toro. I haven’t seen him crack another Astros top 10 yet, but for me he is a lock.
#6 – LHP Cionel Perez
2019 Opening Day Age: 22 ETA: 2019 Top Future Pitch: FB
2018 Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): 73.2 IP, 2.08 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 89 SO, 28 BB
A lefty that isn’t physically imposing on the mound, Perez lets his stuff do the imposing for him. The highlight is a sinking fastball in the high 90’s that generates weak contact and has also proven to be a good out pitch. There were elbow concerns after the 22 year old signed out of Cuba, but he has since left those in the past and went on to make his big league debut in 2018. It wasn’t a pretty debut, but the stuff and easy, repeatable mechanics will have Perez battling for a bullpen spot out of camp.
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