* - denotes left-hander
# - denotes switch-hitter
Jorge De Leon
CLIMBING THE CHARTS:
Over the past two seasons, the combined record of the Astros minor league system has been the best in baseball (915-754, .548)...Houston set a franchise record when their top six minor league affiliates all qualified for the playoffs in 2013, and two clubs ended up winning championships (Class A Quad Cities, Class A Short Season Tri-City)...the Astros became the first organization to have six domestic affiliates qualify for the postseason since the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003...along with the Royals and Mariners, the Astros were one of three organizations to have multiple championship teams in 2013.
This Spring, the Astros minor league system was rated as the best in baseball by both ESPN.com and The Sporting News...Baseball America, who ranked the Astros system as the worst in baseball in both 2009 and 2010, tabbed Houston's system as the fifth-best in the Majors...seven Houston prospects made the 2014 MLB.com Top 100 Prospects list, which ranked tied for second among all 30 clubs...of the top 100 prospect lists put out by ESPN.com, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America and MLB.com, the following Astros prospects made at least one of those lists: SS Carlos Correa, RHP Mark Appel, CF George Springer, 1B Jon Singleton, RHP Mike Foltynewicz, RHP Lance McCullers, OF Delino DeShields, RHP Vincent Velasquez.
There were 25 Astros prospects who were named All-Stars in their respective leagues across all eight levels of the minors in 2013...CF George Springer hit 37 home runs and stole 45 bases, becoming the first minor leaguer to reach the 30-30 plateau since Oakland's Grant Desme in 2009...Springer was named Minor League Baseball's 2013 Offensive Player of the Year and was named the Double A Texas League Player of the Year...at 18 years old, SS Carlos Correa was the second-youngest player in the Class A Midwest League but still led the league in OPS (.872) while finishing second in OBP (.405) and third in batting average (.320)...Correa led all Midwest League shortstops in fielding percentage.
THE TALENT INFUSION:
Since Jeff Luhnow was appointed Astros General Manager in November of 2011, the Astros have acquired talent through the draft, trades and international signings...when looking at Baseball America's top 30 Astros prospects, 17 were acquired during Luhnow's current tenure with the club:
Through the Draft: SS Carlos Correa (#1), RHP Mark Appel (#3), RHP Lance McCullers (#5), 3B Rio Ruiz (#11), RHP Andrew Thurman (#15), OF Andrew Aplin (#19), SS Nolan Fontana (#20), LHP Kent Emanuel (#23), OF Brett Phillips (#30)
Via Trade: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (#10), C Max Stassi (#12), LHP Josh Hader (#14), LHP Kevin Chapman (#17), RHP Kyle Smith (#22), RHP Gonzalo Sanudo (#26), OF Danry Vasquez (#29)
International Signings: OF Leo Heras (#25)
THE SYSTEM BY THE NUMBERS:
Last year, the Astros minor league system led all 30 organizations in OPS (.731) and on-base percentage (.342) while finishing second in walks (3208), homers (611) and runs (4101)...on the pitching side, Houston's minor league system ranked second among all 30 organizations in walks per 9.0 innings (3.1) and strikeout to walk ratio (2.53)...led by Domingo Santana (25 HR), George Springer (19 HR) and Max Stassi (17 HR), Double A Corpus Christi finished third in the minors with 158 homers...Class A Advanced Lancaster led all of the minors in runs, walks, OBP and OPS in 2013.
2014 BREAKDOWN - MLB.COM ASTROS TOP 20 PROSPECTS BY TEAM:
- Triple A Oklahoma City (6): Jon Singleton (#2), George Springer (#3), Mike Foltynewicz (#6), Domingo Santana (#9), Nick Tropeano (#17), Max Stassi (#18)
- Double A Corpus Christi (2): Delino DeShields (#7), Nolan Fontana (#18)
- Class A Advanced Lancaster (9): Carlos Correa (#1), Mark Appel (#2), Lance McCullers (#5), Vincent Velasquez (#9), Rio Ruiz (#11), Teoscar Hernandez (#13), Josh Hader (#15), Kyle Smith (#19), Danry Vasquez (#20)
-Class A Quad Cities (2): Michael Feliz (#10), Andrew Thurman (#16)