LOD’s 2019 Offseason Top Prospects: Houston Astros #5-#1
Houston Astros Part 2
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.
#5 – RHP Corbin Martin
2019 Opening Day Age: 23 ETA: 2019 Top Future Pitch: FB
2018 Stats (High-A/Double-A): 122 IP, 2.51 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 122 SO, 35 BB
Born in Houston, attended Texas A&M, and drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft by the Astros, Martin is a hometown favorite. The 6’2 righty just turned 23 this past December and he, like much of the top of this Astros list, is knocking on the door of the show. Martin couples a running fastball with two plus breaking pitches.
#4 – RHP Josh James
2019 Opening Day Age: 26 ETA: 2019 Top Future Pitch: FB
2018 Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): 114.1 IP, 3.23 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 171 SO, 49 BB
I’m about 98% sure he prefers Joshua now, but hey, who am I to argue with the player linker? The 6’3 righty is going into his age 26 season, but has burst onto the MLB and fantasy baseball scene thanks to the eye-popping strikeout rates he has been producing.
#3 – 1B Yordan Alvarez
2019 Opening Day Age: 21 ETA: 2020 Top Future Tool: Hit
2018 Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): 335 AB, .293/.369/.534, 20 HR, 74 RBI, 6 SB
A big left handed swinger with great bat speed and a power type of swing plane, Alvarez’s hitting stock is raised even more due to a knack for barreling the baseball. He makes contact often and the ball flies off of the 6’5 Cuban’s bat. Typically when you all see me write about a prospect with physical skills and a plus offensive game and you see him at number three, you are waiting for me to bash his defense. That isn’t the case with Alvarez. He has the arm and glove to stick in either corner outfield spot and if worse comes to worst, his bat is good enough for him to take over first base.
#2 – OF Kyle Tucker
2019 Opening Day Age: 22 ETA: 2019 Top Future Tool: Power
2018 Stats (Triple-A): .332/.400/.590, 24 HR, 93 RBI, 20 SB
Tucker is a consensus top 10 prospect in all of baseball and the highlight of the freshly turned 22 year old’s skillset is a left handed power swing. He also possesses outstanding plate discipline and a knack for getting on base at a high rate. The former fifth overall pick struggled in 64 MLB at bats last season, but struck out just 13 times and had a BABIP of just .176 which will head back towards the mean in the future.
#1 – RHP Forrest Whitley
2019 Opening Day Age: 21 ETA: 2019 Top Future Pitch: FB
2018 Stats (Double-A): 26.1 IP, 0.99 WHIP, 34 SO, 11 BB
The top pitching prospect in all of baseball, Whitley possesses four above average pitches highlighted by a fastball/curveball combo that is unmatched by any in the pipeline. Chances are if you’re here, you know the 6’7 righty pretty well so I will spare you the scouting report and let you know I am throwing the “Ace” tag on him.
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