Jonathan Mayo posted an organizational preview of Eddie's Farm this morning. What does he say?
Don't look now, but the Astros farm system is starting to pay some dividends, too. It's still not where it needs to be, especially in terms of depth, but there are some homegrown players just about ready to contribute, with some more intriguing ones down the pike...
...Much of the talk surrounding the improvement of the previously barren Astros farm system has centered around the work of scouting director Bobby Heck, who's overseen the past two Drafts. He's shown a willingness to go a little off the board, and it's already playing dividends at the highest level in the form of 2008 first-round pick Jason Castro.
The other benefits may take a bit longer to be felt in Houston and, truth be told, there's still not a ton of talent in the organization. But it is encouraging that there are some legitimate prospects at various rungs on the ladder.
And some predictions:
Hitter of the Year: Jiovanni Mier
Unsure of how California League standouts like Clemens and Jonathan Gaston will fare up a level, we like how Mier, last year's first-rounder, kicked things off. He'll handle the jump to full-season ball just fine and compete for the South Atlantic League MVP.
Pitcher of the Year: Jordan Lyles
It's hard not to go with last year's winner since he's only going to get better. The only thing that could hold him back statistically would be extended time in Class A Lancaster, but even that might not keep him from being the organization's best in ERA and strikeouts.