Friday, December 28, 2012

Astros County Top 25 Prospects: 20-16

So, the last five spots generated quite a bit of discussion. If you missed it, go check it out first. Otherwise, let's get right down to business.

20.  Tyler Heineman

Heineman quickly made his presence known in a big way with Tri-City. As a catcher, he threw out 41% of would be basestealers while putting up a monster OBP, spraying doubles, and showing a strong inability to strikeout. As an 8th round pick out of college, Heineman will likely move through the system quickly if he keeps up this level of production. He should start the year in A ball and could sneak into AA by the end of the season, though I think it's unlikely.

19.  Robbie Grossman

Grossman is another high on-base ability prospect added this past season. He's played all three outfield positions relatively solidly and has the ability to steal a few bases as well. Originally a 6th round pick out of Cy-Fair High by the Pirates, Grossman was acquired in the Wandy Rodriguez trade. He spent the season in AA and should start in AAA next year, with an outside shot of seeing time as a late-season call-up.

18.  Carlos Perez

Despite spending the season in High A ball, there was some concern Perez was a potential Rule 5 selection this off-season. Thankfully, that didn't happen so the Astros get to keep this strong catching prospect in the system. Perez has gained acclaim for his improved defensive ability while routinely hitting for a good average with a strong on-base percentage as well. Perez was originally signed out of Venezuela by Toronto and came to the Astros in the multi-player deal this past summer. Perez will likely start the year in AA.

17. Ariel Ovando

Ovando took steps towards fulfilling his massive potential as he repeated with Greeneville. Known for his massive power potential, Ovando is still quite raw. However, eyewitness reports indicate that he appeared much more focused this past season, both at the plate and in the field. Ovando was given a $2.6M signing bonus by the Astros when they inked him out of the Dominican Republic. I imagine Ovando will get his first test of full-season ball this year, likely with Quad Cities.

16.  Josh Fields

Fields has the ability to put up eye-popping strikeout numbers, but always had control issues to go along with them. However, 2012 may have been the year he figured it out and started realizing the potential that led to him being a 1st round pick by Seattle in 2008. After being traded to Boston in 2011, Fields was selected by Houston in the 2012 Rule 5 draft. Assuming he doesn't implode during Spring Training and get returned to Boston, he'll break camp in 2013 as a member of the 25 man roster.


Conroestro said...

This group seems about right. I am leery about getting over excited about a college catcher dominating the NYPL (we will call it the Ben Heath effect), but 20 seems like a good spot for him.

The only thing that I would have different is Fields, given his age, and reliever spot he would probably be lower for me. However he has popped up on a few charts right around that area. Hopefully he has a good year.

Conroestro said...

I'm a big Carlos Perez fan. It's not that often that your top catching prospect in the system gets left unprotected, but it was a gamble that paid off as the Astros get a full year to see Perez before having to make the decision to likely add him to the roster in the offseason.

Anonymous said...

I hope all of the guys turn out. I know that it's a high wish, but I like all of these players. I would like to see a catcher really pop up that has some real potential so we don't have to take a pick and draft one again. I really hope we focus on high ceiling pitching in the draft. NO 3-4-5 starters... focus on 1-2's.

Anonymous said...

Heineman is as complete a catching prospect as I have seen in quite some time. Kid switch hits and numbers are almost identical from both sides and couple that with his defensive prowess and fact almost every pitcher he caught had better numbers with him behind the dish and you have a top rate prospect. He allows pitchers to have the confidence that they can make a mistake and it won't cost them or team. Love to see him at Lancaster to start 2013!

Reuben said...

The knock on Heineman seems to be that he doesn't hit home runs, at all. Me, I have no problem whatsoever with a catcher who won't hit any homers if he can get on base at a high clip, which it seems like Heineman can do. Also, the 2 games I saw him, he definitely runs well for a catcher, which helped him hit a good number of doubles. Hopefully he can prove the skeptics wrong.