Mills to check out prospects next month

Mills to check out prospects next month

HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills plans to spend a few days following the end of the season visiting the instructional league in Florida, where most of the Astros' top prospects will play and work out for a month at the team's Spring Training facility in Kissimmee.

The Astros close out the regular season Sept. 28, and Mills plans to be in Florida the following Monday and will stay for four days.

"I'll go down there for three or four days and watch those kids," Mills said.

Mills said the experience of watching the instructional league last year was beneficial, especially considering the direction the club is headed. Among the players Mills saw last year in Florida were Jose Altuve and Jimmy Paredes, both of whom were in the Major Leagues by the end of July this year.

"It's nice to get introduced to those guys and see how they play," Mills said. "There's a lot of benefit to it, I feel. Those guys that are in the instructional league, they've seen they're not very far away [from the Major Leagues]. A lot of times, you're in the Minor Leagues and you think the Major Leagues are a long way away and it's going to take forever to get there. Those guys see a lot of youngsters [helping the Astros this year] and see how quickly they can get there."