2013 Houston Astros Top 10 Prospects

Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects
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1. Carlos Correa, ss
2. Jonathan Singleton, 1b
3. George Springer, of
4. Lance McCullers, rhp
5. Mike Foltynewicz, rhp
6. Delino DeShields, 2b
7. Jarred Cosart, rhp
8. Rio Ruiz, 3b
9. Nick Tropeano, rhp
10. Nolan Fontana, ss
Best Hitter for Average Jonathan Singleton
Best Power Hitter Carlos Correa
Best Strike Zone Discipline Nolan Fontana
Fastest Baserunner Delino DeShields
Best Athlete George Springer
Best Fastball Lance McCullers
Best Curveball Jarred Cosart
Best Slider Lance McCullers
Best Changeup Nick Tropeano
Best Control Brady Rodgers
Best Defensive Catcher Roberto Pena
Best Defensive Infielder Carlos Correa
Best Infield Arm Carlos Correa
Best Defensive OF George Springer
Best Outfield Arm George Springer
Catcher Jason Castro
First Base Jonathan Singleton
Second Base Jose Altuve
Third Base Jed Lowrie
Shortstop Carlos Correa
Left Field Domingo Santana
Center Field Delino DeShields Jr.
Right Field George Springer
Designated Hitter Rio Ruiz
No. 1 Starter Lance McCullers Jr.
No. 2 Starter Mike Foltynewicz
No. 3 Starter Bud Norris
No. 4 Starter Jordan Lyles
No. 5 Starter Nick Tropeano
Closer Jarred Cosart
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 John Buck, c Marlins
2004 Taylor Buchholz, rhp Out of baseball
2005 Chris Burke, 2b Out of baseball
2006 Jason Hirsh, rhp Out of baseball
2007 Hunter Pence, of Giants
2008 J.R. Towles, c Twins
2009 Jason Castro, c Astros
2010 Jason Castro, c Astros
2011 Jordan Lyles, rhp Astros
2012 Jonathan Singleton, 1b/of Astros
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Jason Hirsh, RHP Out of baseball
2004 Hunter Pence, OF Giants
2005 Brian Bogusevic, LHP Astros
2006 Max Sapp, C Out of baseball
2007 Derek Dietrich, 3B Rays
2008 Jason Castro, C Astros
2009 Jio Mier, SS Astros
2010 Delino DeShields, 2B Astros
2011 George Springer, OF Astros
2012 Carlos Correa, SS Astros
Carlos Correa, 2012
Ariel Ovando, 2010 $2,600,000
George Springer, 2011 $2,525,000
Lance McCullers Jr., 2012 $2,500,000
Delino DeShields Jr., 2010 $2,150,000
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Houston Astros

No organization needed a fresh start more than the Astros.

And no team has made more alterations since November 2011, when Major League Baseball approved Jim Crane’s purchase of the team from Drayton McLane.

The changes have come in rapid-fire fashion. For a $70 million discount on the $680 million purchase price (which included a 60 percent share in the Houston Regional Sports Network), Crane agreed to move the Astros to the American League West, effective in 2013. Then he fired general manager Ed Wade and hired Jeff Luhnow, formerly vice president of scouting and player development for the Cardinals, to succeed him.

Luhnow immediately started a makeover of Houston’s front office. Assistant GM Bobby Heck, who ran the club’s drafts from 2008-12, didn’t have his contract renewed, and several amateur and pro scouts also were fired. Farm director Fred Nelson, a member of the organization since 1985, was offered a different position after getting replaced by former big league outfielder Quinton McCracken.

Luhnow also completed the dismantling of the big league roster that Wade started in 2010-11, when he traded veterans such as Lance Berkman, Michael Bourn, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. The 2012 Astros weren’t competitive to begin with, and fell to absurd levels after Luhnow dealt Chris Johnson, Carlos Lee, Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez through the season, slashing an Opening Day payroll of $61 million to barely more than $10 million.

The Astros suffered through a 4-33 stretch after the deals, costing manager Brad Mills his job, and went 55-107 overall. Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco took over for Mills on an interim basis, until Luhnow hired Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter as the permanent replacement.

While five of the 2011 trade acquisitions made the Astros Top 10 Prospects list a year ago, none of this year’s additions cracked this Top 10. Houston did add potential impact players in the draft, however, while picking No. 1 overall for the first time since 1992.

Twenty years earlier, the Astros passed on Derek Jeter to take the more signable Phil Nevin. This time around, Luhnow, Heck and scouting director Mike Elias devised and executed a plan to stretch Houston’s $11.2 million bonus pool with impressive results.

Though the consensus had the Astros taking Stanford righthander Mark Appel at No. 1, they opted instead for Puerto Rican prep shortstop Carlos Correa. Houston signed him quickly for $4.8 million, $2.4 million less than the assigned value for his pick, and used the savings to sign supplemental first-round righthander Lance McCullers Jr. ($2.5 million) and fourth-round third baseman Rio Ruiz ($1.85 million) to above-value bonuses.

The trades and recent drafts have brought depth the system had lacked for years. That allowed the Astros to let former first-rounders Delino DeShields Jr. and Mike Foltynewicz repeat low Class A at age 20, and they both responded with strong seasons. After finishing the worst cumulative minor league record in 2008, 2009 and 2011 (and 29th in 2010), Houston affiliates had the best winning percentage (.546) in the game in 2012.

At the end of the season, the Astros unveiled a new uniform and logo, harkening back to their 1980s caps and introducing a blue-and-orange color scheme. Coming off back-to-back seasons that were the worst in franchise history, it’s a good time to make a clean break with their recent past.

Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects
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