Monday, December 31, 2012

Astros County Top 25 Prospects: 15-11

These five and the previous five are virtually interchangeable. As a matter of fact, if I were to re-rank this group, my number 15 would be number 20 today. If you missed it, check out the first two posts 25-21 and 20-16 first, then come back to check out this one. 

15.  Kevin Chapman

As a lefty reliever, Chapman finally showed some ability to get out right handed hitters in 2012, though his walk rate remains too high. Admittedly, it's risky to rank a minor league reliever this high, but with a floor as a lefty specialist I think Chapman has a good shot of reaching the majors some day. He was originally a 4th round pick by the Royals and came to the Astros in the Humberto Quintero deal. He should spend most of the season in AAA and has the chance to earn a cup of coffee this season.

14.  Andrew Aplin

Aplin is a centerfielder with a little pop and a lot of speed. As is the case with many of the prospects added to the system recently, he also shows some patience at the plate. Aplin was taken in the 5th round of the 2012 draft by the Astros. He should spend the season in A ball.

13.  Preston Tucker

Tucker is a corner outfielder with some power, a decent walk rate, and a low strikeout rate. I could see him and Aplin playing side by side for a few years to come. Tucker should also be in A ball in 2013. He was the Astros 7th round pick in 2012.

12. Austin Wates

Wates is best known for his Sportscenter Top Plays catch over the wall, but the attention he received afterwards is warranted. As a left fielder who can play a little center, Wates' best tools are his defense and his strong batting average. He's also very engaging with fans on Twitter. Wates was the 3rd round pick by Houston in 2010 and earned a shot at AAA pitching this year.

11.  Nolan Fontana

Fontana got a lot of attention for walking 65 times in just 49 games in 2012. That said, he also struck out a lot and only hit .225, though that's a direct result of him taking so many pitches and working to two-strike counts. A more balanced approach will help this shortstop going forward. Picked in the 2nd round by the Astros in 2012, Fontana should spend the year in A ball.