Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Astros Farm Report: 3/6

Catching you up on the latest Astros MiLB news ...


Carson LaRue - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

3-6: RHP Carson LaRue (22)
3-8: RHP Josh James (25)
3-10: RHP Elian Rodriguez (21)


3/5/18: According to Jake KaplanLHP Anthony Gose has been placed on outright waivers
2/28/18: RHP Jherson Pereira signed out of Venezuela; he was 21 in January

In addition, I somehow missed a few international signings from the end of last season. It's a mixed bag as far as the information I could find, but here you go!

9/22/17: LHP Julio Robaina, originally from Cuba, signed for $220,000; he will be 17 later this month and is reported to throw in the low 90's with a developing curve
8/30/17: SS Hector Leon signed out of Venezuela; he turned 17 in February
8/24/17: RHP Franny Cobos, a converted pitcher out of Cuba, signed for $125,000; he turned 17 in February
8/23/17: RHP Jeremy Molero signed out of Venezuela; he was 18 in November
8/21/17: IF Rolando Espinosa, originally from Cuba, signed for $175,000; he turned 17 in January
8/18/17: LHP Daniel Bello signed out of the Dominican Republic; he was 21 in January
8/14/17: C Jonarkys Lopez signed out of Venezuela; he will be 17 on 8/13
8/9/17: SS Jose Mendoza signed out of Venezuela; he will be 17 on June 19th (click on link for a short, artsy video of Mendoza)
7/20/17: SS Sebastian Grullon signed out of the Dominican Republic for $150,000; he will not be 17 until July 19th

For those of you keeping track, that now makes 14 Cuban players in the Astros system. They are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the Astros future.

You can check the cumulative Astros offseason transaction list here to see if you've missed any of the posted moves this offseason.


After a dozen Spring Training games, the Astros are 8-3-1 and there are several minor league standouts in big league camp.

Cionel Perez - August 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Although several position players have done well, Jack Mayfield and Kyle Tucker have gotten the most playing time and have made the most of it. In nine games, Mayfield has hit .294/.368/.706 with a double, two home runs, four RBI and two walks to three strikeouts while Tucker has compiled a .381/.381/.857 line in eight games, with a double, three home runs, eight RBI and zero walks to five strikeouts.

Tucker's swing isn't always as pretty as Ted Williams, though ...

Aside from RHP Rogelio Armenteros, who made an early impression with the Astros front office and has currently pitched five innings over two games with a 1.80 ERA and 0.800 WHIP, a few other MiLB pitchers have more than held their own in multiple appearances. LHP Cionel Perez has allowed only one unearned run in three appearances and has held hitters to a .143 batting average. RHP Brendan McCurry's four appearances include a win and a save; he has allowed no runs and has a 0.857 WHIP. RHP Trent Thornton has pitched in three games and has a 1.42 ERA and 1.105 WHIP. And, although LHP Framber Valdez has an identical ERA to Thornton (1.42), he has flirted with disaster at times and has allowed a .304 batting average.


MiLB finished their position player farm system rankings last week. Here are the bottom 10 systems, the middle 10 systems and the top 10 systems. The Astros are ranked at #15 which feels fair to me since the Astros traded a number of position player prospects this past season and, although, I feel that there is a lot of talent in the system, much of it is still very raw. But most importantly, the Astros are ranked more highly than the Rangers (#20)!

MiLB also started their pitcher farm system rankings this week. Here are the bottom 10 systems and the middle 10 systems. The top 10 systems will presumably be posted tomorrow and will include the Astros. I don't know where the Astros will rank, but a ranking in the top 10 also feels fair to me. The Astros pitching depth in their farm system is, IMHO, definitely ahead of the position players in that many of the better pitchers in the system are further along in their development.

In case you missed it, I finalized my Astros Consensus Top 32 Prospect Rankings last week, incorporating rankings from Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs.

Also, in case you missed it, I started a "Beyond the Top 30" series, looking at both those Astros players who are considered Top 30 prospects and others at each position who may not be top talents (or may grow to be), but will be interesting to watch nonetheless. So far we've looked at ...

Second Basemen
First Basemen
Third Basemen
Center Field
Right Field
Left Field
Utility Players - Coming this week


  1. My only concern this season is defense. Way too many errors. Love your stuff, Jayne.

  2. All this prospect talk and I completely forgot about LaRue. He looked great last year at Quad Cities. Thanks for the news about those international signings.