Sunday, March 1, 2020

Five Astros Minor-Leaguers

I picked five Astros minor-leaguers whose 2020 season I'm excited about. This isn't the Five Best Minor-Leaguers In The System, or anything like that, just five dudes I'm looking forward to following in 2020...

Valente Bellozo

Bellozo just turned 20 years old and made his domestic debut in 2019. In 58.1IP, Bellozo allowed 35H/11ER, 69K:12BB for a 1.70 ERA/0.81 WHIP with 10.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. He has not allowed a home run in 110 professional innings pitched. Obviously it's early, but I'm looking forward to what he can do at Quad Cities to start 2020, and get to Fayetteville mid-season.

Willy Collado

Really interested in Willy Collado's 2020 season. In 69 nice IPs in 2019, Collado - a reliever - allowed 56H/18ER, 78K:20BB, a 1.83 ERA/1.10 WHIP. Collado allowed three home runs all season. By the time he got to Corpus (2.84 ERA/1.18WHIP) he was 3+ years younger than the average hitter he was facing. He had thrown 77.2IP from 2016-2018 total, so 2020 should see a full slate of innings from him.

Brett Conine

Conine, an 11th Round pick in 2018 out of Cal State-Fullerton, will be in his Age 23 season in 2020. In 63.1IP for Fayetteville in 2019 Conine allowed 52H/17ER, 80K:17BB, a 2.42 ERA/1.09 WHIP. He has 171K:40BB in 146 career pro innings. He got 18IP in Corpus at the end of 2019 and allowed 20H/4ER, 14K:6BB. Really interested in seeing what he can do in a full season at Corpus with some Round Rock thrown in there.

Luis Garcia

Garcia has thrown 205IP in the Astros organization in his career with a 2.50 ERA / 1.17 WHIP, but the strikeouts are alarming: 284 strikeouts for a 12.5 K/9. Garcia just turned 23 and at Fayetteville, where he was just over a year younger than his competition, he struck out 108 batters in 65.2IP. The walks are an issue - 4.1 per 9 innings - but he seemingly has the stuff to overpower hitters. Refine that location, and Garcia is A Guy.

Colton Shaver

Shaver is fascinating. A 39th-Round pick in 2017, and there were only 40 rounds, out of BYU where he had seasons of a 1.000 and 1.034 OPS in 2015 and 2016. Shaver retreated a little bit (.837 OPS) in 2017, which probably led to the 39th Round pick. Shaver had a .755 OPS with 10 home runs between the Appalachian League and the New York-Penn League in 2017, then a .724 OPS between Quad Cities and Buies Creek in 2018. 2019 was his coming out party. Shaver hit 15 home runs in 55 games at Corpus and posted a .223/.357/.500 line. I like late-round draft picks that contribute, so if Colton Shaver can hit for a better average and still draw those walks (34 in 227 PAs), things could get fun.