Dynasty Directives Houston Astros Prospects

by Andrew Spurling
Dynasty Directives Houston Astros Prospects

Thank you for joining me again this week for Dynasty Directives Houston Astros Prospects.

I will take a look at the Houston organization and then provide some insights for Dynasty league purposes.

I also like to keep myself up to date with the Dynasty Market, and my favorite place to start is with Dave Eddy's Dynasty Rankings.

Dynasty Directives Houston Astros Prospects

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The Houston Astros organization is not currently what I would perceive to be a deeply talented organization in the minors. However, they possess a few very intriguing prospects, most of which are also very close to debuting at the MLB level.

Proximity is something I find myself valuing more with each passing day. Roster spots are valuable, therefore it's a disservice to our teams to clog them with too many hope and a prayer type of prospects.

Today I am going to take a look at the AAA - Sugarland Space Cowboys, AA - Corpus Christi Hooks, High A - Asheville Tourists, and the Low A - Fayetteville Woodpeckers.

Forrest Whitley, AAA Sugarland Space Cowboys, SP, 24 yrs 9 mo

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Forrest Whitley has had an arduous journey in the minor leagues as one of the game's most talented pitching prospects. Injuries and suspensions have delayed his development and inhibited him from being able to find a consistent groove.

At 6' 7" and nearly 240lbs he has all of the tools, including a big fastball to be Dynamo. I still believe that if Whitley can maintain health for an extended period that he can lead a rotation someday. He is currently recovering from TJS which in and of itself is not an ideal situation, however, what it does mean for Dynasty leagues is that is acquisition cost is at an all-time low.

Pedro Leon, AAA Sugarland Space Cowboys, OF, 24 yrs

It would seem that currently, Pedro Leon is the safest bet for MLB and then also fantasy production as well. As such he is often appropriately priced in Dynasty leagues as the most difficult to acquire of the Astros prospects at the moment. He has all of the tools you look for in fantasy baseball, he is a quick-twitch athlete with dynamic bat speed and also has shown a propensity to draw walks.

Pedro Leon has 32 walks and one intentional walk in just 46 games, fueling a wonderful .361 OBP as well as a .821 OPS. He also has 14 stolen bases this year in just 18 attempts good for a 77.8% success rate.

There is one area that, if he can reign it in, could really propel him forward. Like many other prospects I have looked at so far he struggles with strikeouts, as Pedro Leon currently has 65 strikeouts in just 216 plate appearances for a 30.1% K rate.

Hunter Brown, AAA Sugarland Space Cowboys, SP, 23 yrs 10 mo

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Perhaps the most exciting pitching prospect in the Houston Astros organization after Whitley would be Hunter Brown. Brown has had a wonderful 2022 thus far with Sugarland with opponents sporting a meager .574 OPS as well as delivering a 12.27 K/9 and 2.45 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP.

He would seemingly be very close to contributing at the big league level in some form. It has been reported that perhaps the short-term path could be in the bullpen but there is no reason to think they don't want him to be a starter long term.

Korey Lee, AAA Sugarland Space Cowboys, C, 23 yrs 11 mo

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Another prospect seemingly very close to making a contribution at the big league level is Sugarland Space Cowboys Catcher Korey Lee. 2022 has been a mixed bag for Korey Lee. The good is that he does have seven home runs and four stolen bases in just 196 PAs. Unfortunately, he also has just 12 walks, ten doubles, and one triple to accompany his line in 45 games.

Ultimately what this means is he has a less than impressive .657 OPS. and it's not helping that it is accompanied by a 28.5% K rate.  The good news is there should definitely be a little positive regression on the horizon as he currently has a .261 BABIP which is 48 points below his career .309 batting average on balls in play.

Joe Perez, AA Corpus Christi Hooks, 1B/3B, 22 yrs 10 mo

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2022 has been a struggle so far for Joe Perez at AA Corpus Christi. Currently, Perez finds himself on the 7-day Injured List. Before being injured Perez has one home run in 57 plate appearances along with 6 walks. Culminating in a rough slash line of a .196 Batting Average, .281 OBP, .275 SLG, and .556 OPS.

With Perez, we are still banking on some historic performances that land him on the deeper end of the Astros depth charts.

Colin Barber, High A Asheville Tourists, OF, 21 yrs 6 mo

Colin Barber has had a stellar 2022 so far with the High-A affiliate Asheville Tourists. With six home runs and four stolen bases in just 37 games, that is roughly a 25 HR and 15 SB pace over a full MLB season.

He is currently batting .328 to go along with a 12.8% walk rate resulting in a phenomenal .428 OBP. Colin Barber also has 12 XBH and a .956 OPS. In 81 games as a professional, he is batting .286 with a .406 OBP and a .462 Slugging percentage.

This could be someone that is currently a bit under-ranked. At the very least he should be somewhat reasonable to acquire in most dynasty leagues. I would definitely recommend targeting Barber at anything perceived as close to a reasonable value.

Alex Santos, Low A Fayetteville Woodpeckers, SP, 20 yrs 4 mo

Alex Santos is undoubtedly a talented player for the Low A Fayetteville Woodpeckers. As a professional Santos has a 3.70 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 95 strikeouts in 80 and 1/3  IP.

I would have to say at this point there is still a wide range of potential future outcomes from this player. He could be a successful mid-rotation starter, a long reliever, or potentially fill any role in the bullpen, without listing the other less desirable outcomes unfortunately associated with pitchers, see Forrest Whitley above.

Pitching is very difficult to predict, and while I do see a talented prospect, I think at this point I am more inclined to temper my expectations until he gets a little more seasoning under his belt.

He is definitely someone to roster or put on your watchlist in all of your deeper dynasty leagues. I would just be careful not be counting on him to lead your pitching staff at least at this point in time.

Parting Thoughts

At the moment there are three prospects I am clearly targeting above the rest. They would all be from the AAA Sugarland Space Cowboys affiliate.  SP Forrest Whitley, OF Pedro Leon, and finally SP Hunter Brown.

The next tier on my watch list would be AAA Catcher Korey Lee and High-A OF Colin Barber. Lee hasn't had a great 2022 so far, but there is definitely still something here. I believe Korey Lee will contribute to the Astros in the future. Colin Barber has done just about as much as you could expect from him so far as a pro, it is possible he is a bit underrated at this point.

I would have to think if he continues this level of production when he is promoted to AA that he will start to rise up more lists.

Next, we have a prospect with a bit of long-term upside in Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers SP Alex Santos. Finally, leaving AA Corpus Christi Hooks 1B/3B Joe Perez currently looking more like a depth option in their system.

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