This chat will be to discuss the Houston Astros Top 10 Prospects List, released today.
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: Time to chat about the Astros. No not that Astros stuff. No, not that Astros stuff either. Astros prospects
Jim (Georgetown): There are going to be guys in the Top 101 with pretty similar AA stats, at basically the same age, as Cristian Javier. I know nothing about scouting. What keeps him from joining their ranks?
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: So I think there's two ways to approach this. On the one hand the line between backend 101 arm and Javier isn't that big in some ways. A little less size, a little less fastball, you have to squint a little harder to find average command. But that stuff adds up, and projecting all of those bumps (and yeah, he's not getting any taller) takes us past the bounds of our 75th percentile OFP. The K numbers are nice but they imply better stuff than is there at present, and an above-average curve will always rack up Ks in Double-A. It's nice to have in the majors too, but the stuff around that limits the upside some for Javier compared to oh say Tarik Skubal or Edward Cabrera.
Jacob (Nottingham): No organization has made themselves easier to root against than the Astros. And all within the span of about a month! Can you tell me something pessimistic about their farm system, to make me feel that the big-league team will fall out of competition sometime soon?
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: For all the jumps they've gotten with their pitching prospects in the minors over the years, they haven't really turned any of them into rotation stalwarts, which has left them trading for Cole and Greinke. Granted, that works pretty well, but they have some pretty big pitching questions if they don't re-sign Cole. I assume McCullers fills a slot, but they haven't gotten the kind of help from the farm over the last couple years to fill out a staff, and they are beginning to get thin on arms behind Urquidy.
pete (queens): what will you be looking for from Jairo Solis in 2020? and how would you compare his ceiling to other pitchers in Astros' system? thanks!
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: Health and the stuff coming most of the way back. If you do want to look for an actual upside arm that could be a rotation option, Solis fits that bill better than every arm ahead of him other than Urquidy, but there's just too much uncertainty overall until he's back on a minor league mound.
James (Providence): Do you think Myles Straw ever gets a chance for consistent playing time in Houston? Or would he have to change organizations? So far, they haven't seemed interested in trading him, but I don't know how they see him fitting in.
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: Back when the Astros were linked to Syndergaard trade rumors I was extremely sure he had future Met written all over him as part of that deal. He's certainly a change of scenery candidate, but he's also a very, very useful bench piece for a contender like Houston. I'm sure they'd be willing to part with him if it came to it, but I don't think they'd see it as imperative. He's worth the 25-man spot to them even if it doesn't really give him a chance to show what he might have.
Carl (San Antonio): Jose Urquidy has weird shoulders.
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: As long as his right one stays healthy, he should be fine.
Yuri (Israel): This Astros cheating scandal seems pretty god damn awful, like Craig. Anyway, do you think there's any chance they've used similar sign stealing tactics in their minor leagues?
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: I'd guess no. There's nothing really to be gained by it since the goal down there isn't winning. And it's not like you need reps on a complicated system like "one bang = off speed." Plus a lot harder to keep a lid on it when you don't own the park or manage the employees down there.
Brian (Seattle): Since you mentioned him... Kyle Tucker. What should we expect? Are they finally going to give him a full-time job? What would expect for counting stats?
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: I donít know if there is an obvious spot for him given how well Brantley played. He might be the fifth best 1b/OF option. You also probably want to keep him around given Brantley/Reddick only are under contract for one more year so he might be on the shuttle again next year. Iím one of the lower guys on staff here for Tucker but I could see a Jay Brucesque. .260 and 30-35 bombs with full time PT
Jeff (NY): You're the commissioner of baseball. Given the info that we have, what is your punishment of the Astros?
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: Iíd expect a seven figure fine and maybe a couple first round picks forfeited. Iím mostly fine with that. The teams were specifically warned about this and they flouted it. Even if a lot of teams pull stuff like this, the Astros, as is their wont, took it 25% further than even the other ďcheatingĒ orgs by all accounts.
Houston Astros Top 10 Chat: The Icon and the Angels are up Monday.