Houston Astros Prospects: 2024 Midseason Top 30 Update


For years, the Astros have lacked high end prospects but have consistently gotten the most out of homegrown players. The system isn’t as shallow as it was a few years back, but there’s still a serious lack of impact at the top of the farm system.

Baseball America subscribers can see the full updated Astros Top 30 here. Notable risers, fallers, new additions and injury updates are below.

Notable Risers 

Joey Loperfido, 1B/OF

Seemingly against all odds, Loperfido has continued to hit, and in 2024, he earned his first callup to the major leagues. Loperfido started the season on a hot streak in Triple-A, and while his swing-and-miss is concerning, he provides impact and the ability to play multiple positions. 

Jake Bloss, RHP

It was a whirlwind opening to the season, as the 23-year-old Bloss went from High-A to Double-A to the major leagues in just a few short months. A shoulder injury cut short his MLB debut, but he’s on the mend and recently began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land. 

Shay Whitcomb, SS

The Astros churn out potential major leaguers from less heralded backgrounds year after year. Whitcomb looks like he could be the next in line, as all his skills have taken a significant step forward over the last two seasons. Only July, Whitcomb is one home run away from clinching a 20/20 season and has shown improved on-base ability, as well. If an opportunity arises, Whitcomb could see time with the Astros this summer.

Notable Fallers

Camilo Diaz, SS

One of the Astros’ more notable signings from the 2023 class, Diaz’s stateside debut has been a tough landing. He’s striking out more than 40% of the time in the complex league and is showing some of the worst contact rates in professional baseball. Diaz dropped off the list for now, but can recover some value with improvements to his plate skills. 

Cesar Hernandez, OF

Hernandez was signed in January 2024 for $1.7 million out of Cuba and was expected to be a fast mover. He made his North American professional debut in Low-A in 2024 and has struggled to hit. Showing fringe contact skills and below-average power, Hernandez has so far been hardly the player the Astros expected for their newly $2 million investment.

Notable New additions

18. Jacob Amaya, 2B/SS

BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

Track Record: Amaya has a lengthy track record in the minors, having spent five seasons in the Dodgers system before being traded to the Marlins in 2023 for infielder Miguel Rojas. Amaya was moved to the Astros in an early-season trade for pitcher Vincent Bellozo.

Scouting Report: Amaya has a quiet setup in the box with a slight bend in his lower half and normal handset. He has a minimal load with a small stride and average bat speed. Amaya extends well through the baseball and does a nice job creating leverage in his swing. He’s shown the ability to drive the baseball to all fields and has borderline above-average power the pull side. Amaya has a decent approach and above-average bat-to-ball skills, as evidenced by his 87% in-zone contact rate. His best tool is his defense, which is highlighted by quick feet, smooth actions and a plus arm.

The Future: Amaya will have a strong chance to crack the big league roster out of camp next year, especially with Joey Wendle becoming a free agent. Should the club bring in no further reinforcements from outside the organization, Amaya seems destined to be the Opening Day shortstop. If the club does elect to sign a free agent to fill the void left by Wendle, Amaya could be on the move.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45 | Power: 50 | Speed: 45 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 60

21. Pascanel Ferreras, 2B/SS

BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

Track Record: Ferreras spent three seasons at Western Carolina, earning first-team All-Southern Conference honors his sophomore and junior seasons. Ferreras became baseball’s “Mr. Irrelevant” when the Astros selected him with the final pick of the 2023 draft. He debuted with the Astros’ FCL squad, making one appearance before spending the remainder of 2023 with Low-A Fayetteville. Ferreras began 2024 at High-A Asheville, earning a promotion to Double-A on May 6th.

Scouting Report: An undersized shortstop who stands just 5-foot-7, Ferreras shows fringe-average bat-to-ball skills and approach with surprising above-average power. He exhibits particular dominance against fastballs. There’s increased swing-and-miss against breaking pitches, but he has shown the ability to make consistent hard contact against spin. Ferreras’ power is average, but he produces above-average exit velocities that you wouldn’t expect from a player of his stature. A well below-average runner and below-average defender, Ferreras has seen time at third base, second base and shortstop where his average arm plays.

The Future: Ferreras is a bat-first utility infielder that can play multiple positions in a pinch.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45 | Power: 50 | Speed: 30 | Fielding: 40 | Arm: 50

22. Chase Jaworsky, SS

BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

Track Record: Jaworsky was selected in the fifth round of the 2023 draft out of Colorado and signed for a bonus of $847,500. He debuted in the Florida Complex League, playing in nine games and showing solid plate skills. Jaworsky began his 2024 season with Low-A Fayetteville.

Scouting Report: A cold weather bat from the Colorado prep scene, Jaworsky is still raw at times at the plate but has made significant strides in 2024. He’s shown average bat-to-ball skills and an approach that, along with his plus speed, drives his profile. His power is below-average, and he lacks significant strength to project more impact in the coming years. Jaworsky’s game is predicated around his contact and speed tools. Defensively, he’s shown the ability to develop into an above-average defender at short, and he’s impressed scouts with his internal clock and actions.

The Future: Jaworsky should develop into a utility infielder capable of providing defense and speed off the bench.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50 | Power: 30 | Speed: 70 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 50

25. Pedro Leon, OF/SS

BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

Track Record: Having signed out of Cuba for $4 million in 2020, Leon was once a highly-touted international signing expected to move quickly. Things haven’t worked out that way, however, as Leon is 26 years old and in Triple-A for the fourth consecutive season. That said, Leon is experiencing his most successful campaign to date in 2024.

Scouting Report: Leon has always possessed power and speed, but his lack of bat-to-ball skills and an overly passive approach has dragged down his profile. In 2024, Leon has taken a more aggressive approach. While his swing-and-miss is still prevalent, it’s allowed him to get more out of his power consistently. Leon is showing potential for plus power based on his high-end exit velocities, including a 108.6 mph 90th percentile EV. He still hasn’t mastered the ability to optimize his launch angles on his best contact, but he does enough damage to show high-teens to low-20s home run totals. Leon is a below-average outfielder despite his plus speed and arm.

The Future: Leon is a bench outfielder capable of providing speed and power.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 40 | Power: 55 | Speed: 60 | Fielding: 40 | Arm: 60

30. Ethan Pecko, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

Track Record: Pecko was limited to just 17.2 innings over his first two seasons in college before breaking out in his draft spring with 11 starts for Towson and pitching to a 3.21 ERA over 42 innings. The Astros selected Pecko in the sixth round of the 2023 draft. He debuted in the Florida Complex League, making two appearances before being promoted to Low-A Fayetteville. Pecko made 13 appearances with Fayetteville to begin 2024 and was promoted to High-A in late June.

Scouting Report: Pecko is an average sized righthander with a prototypical pitcher’s build. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a bit of a claw in his finish. Pecko mixes five different pitch shapes: Fastball, slider, cutter, curveball and changeup. While he lacks power, all five of his pitches have defined shape. Pecko generates above-average swing-and-miss against his fastball that sits just 92-93 mph, and he shows, in general, the ability to generate whiffs against his arsenal. He has just fringe-average command but shows the ability to generate more strikes than you’d expect based on his location.

The Future: Pecko is a rotation depth starter with true starter’s traits.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50 | Slider: 45 | Curveball: 40 | Changeup: 40 | Cutter: 50 | Control: 45

Significant injuries

Andrew Taylor, RHP

Taylor has been on the shelf since May 7 nursing an elbow injury. No determination has been made around a return date, but Taylor is not expected to need surgery at the moment.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone