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  1. 1. Forrest Whitley | RHP
    Forrest Whitley
    Born: Sep 15, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 195
    Drafted: HS—San Antonio, 2016 (1st)
    Signed By: Noel Gonzales
    Minors: 0-2 | 3.76 ERA | 34 SO | 11 BB | 26.3 IP

    Whitley’s 2018 season has been notable more for all the time he’s missed than for the six brief appearances he’s made. He was suspended 50 games for a positive drug test (MLB never specified the drug) at the beginning of the season. Then, when his suspension ended, Whitley missed further time with a lat injury. He finally made his 2018 debut on June 6 and was named to the Futures Game, but he left his July 6 start with an oblique injury that will cost him further time. He’s been just as dominant when he’s been on the mound as he was in years past, but the suspensions and injuries make it less likely he can help the big league club in any way this year, something that seemed a possibility coming out of the 2017 season.

  2. 2. Kyle Tucker | OF
    Kyle Tucker
    Born: Jan 17, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 190
    Drafted: HS—Tampa, 2015 (1st)
    Signed By: John Martin
    Minors: .332/.400/.590 | 24 HR | 20 SB | 407 AB

    Kyle "Ted” Tucker isn’t going to be Ted Williams (even if he mimics the Splendid Splinter’s swing in a new PBS documentary), but the sweet-swinging outfielder is being asked to play a large role in the Astros’ second half. The club’s left field job is his if he can hit well enough to hold onto it. Tucker has plus power potential, but it’s not clear yet if he wants to be a .300 hitter with modest power or if he’s willing to sacrifice 40-50 points off his average to get to that power more consistently. After a slow start in his first two weeks in Houston, he needs to hit for average first to show he’s ready to hold onto the job.

  3. 3. Yordan Alvarez | 1B
    Yordan Alvarez
    Born: Jun 27, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 225
    Drafted: Cuba, 2016
    Signed By: Ismael Cruz/Mike Tosar (Dodgers).
    Minors: .293/.369/.534 | 20 HR | 6 SB | 335 AB

    Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez are free agents at the end of this season while Brian McCann has one club option remaining on his contract. So the Astros may have an opening for a first base/DH/left fielder in the near future and Alvarez looks ready to fill the job. Alvarez has battled minor wrist and hand injuries that have kept him off the field, but when he’s on the field and healthy he’s posted .600-plus slugging percentages at two different levels. He uses the whole field with a high-average approach, but his plus-plus raw power means that sometimes those line drives clear the fence.

  4. 4. Corbin Martin | RHP
    Corbin Martin
    Born: Dec 28, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Drafted: Texas A&M, 2017 (2nd)
    Signed By: Noel Gonzales-Luna
    Minors: 9-2 | 2.51 ERA | 122 SO | 35 BB | 122.0 IP

    After just four appearances, Martin pitched his way out of high Class A Buies Creek as his combination of solid stuff and advanced feel and control allowed the Astros to aggressively push him to Double-A Corpus Christi in his first full pro season. Martin doesn’t have any one pitch that he can simply blow away hitters with, but his fastball and secondary offerings work well enough because he commands all of them. He’s a future No. 4/5 starter who isn’t far away from being ready to help.

  5. 5. Jairo Solis | RHP
    Jairo Solis
    Born: Dec 22, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 160
    Signed By: Oz Ocampo/Tom Shafer/Roman Ocumarez/Enrique Brito.
    Minors: 2-5 | 3.55 ERA | 51 SO | 32 BB | 50.7 IP

    In his 2018 debut, Solis faced seven batters and recorded only one out. It was a reminder  that the young Venezuelan pitcher is far from a finished product. He’s been very wild at times and he’s rarely been pitch efficient this year, which explains why he has made it out of the fifth inning only once in eight starts. But Solis’ clean delivery, athleticism and impressive physicality should allow him to have above-average control one day. His stuff is already some of the best in the system, which is why scouts preach patience.

  6. 6. Freudis Nova | SS
    Freudis Nova
    Born: Jan 12, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted: Dominican Republic, 2016
    Signed By: Oz Ocampo/Roman Ocumarez/Jose Lima.
    Minors: .308/.331/.466 | 6 HR | 9 SB | 146 AB

    Nova has made it to the States this year as he continues to show the hands, bat speed and potential power to be an above-average offensive contributor at an up-the-middle position. His ETA is likely not until after Carlos Correa is eligible for free agency in 2022, but Nova has more than handled his own in the Gulf Coast League so far and he continues to improve defensively. His hands and athleticism give him a solid shot of sticking at the position.

  7. 7. Hector Perez | RHP
    Hector Perez
    Born: Jun 6, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Oz Ocampo/Roman Ocumarez/Leocadio Guevara.
    Minors: 3-5 | 3.76 ERA | 133 SO | 64 BB | 115.0 IP

    Perez was spraying the ball all around (but rarely in) the strike zone early in the season, but after some work to simplify and clean up his delivery, he’s throwing many more strikes and seeing the results that come with improved control. With a mid-90s fastball, an improving splitter and a hard 88-91 mph slider, Perez has the stuff to dominate if he can get ahead in counts.

  8. 8. J.B. Bukauskas | RHP
    J.B. Bukauskas
    Born: Oct 11, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 196
    Drafted: North Carolina, 2017 (1st)
    Signed By: Tim Bittner
    Minors: 4-2 | 2.14 ERA | 71 SO | 24 BB | 59.0 IP

    It’s been a lost season for Bukauskas, as a spring training car accident led to an eventual diagnosis of a back injury, which led to a three-month stint on the disabled list. He’s back on the mound now and has slowly rounded into form with rehab appearances in the Gulf Coast League and the New York-Penn League. He’s now back in Quad Cities where he began the season.

  9. 9. Seth Beer | OF
    Seth Beer
    Born: Sep 18, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Drafted: Clemson, 2018 (1st)
    Signed By: Gavin Dickey
    Minors: .304/.389/.496 | 12 HR | 1 SB | 260 AB

    When he was in college, Beer struggled when he was asked to hit with wood in the Cape Cod League and with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. Now, he’s proving he doesn’t need a metal bat in his hands, as he has had no problems so far as a pro. He hit four home runs in 11 games to play his way out of Tri-City and he’s immediately become Quad Cities’ best hitter upon his promotion. Beer is too advanced a hitter for the lower rungs of the minors, but his defense has plenty of work to do as he splits his time between first base and the corner outfield spots.

  10. 10. Cionel Perez | LHP
    Cionel Perez
    Born: Apr 21, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 170
    Minors: 7-1 | 2.08 ERA | 89 SO | 28 BB | 73.7 IP

    The first time Perez was promoted to Houston this year, he was sent back to Double-A Corpus Christi without ever throwing a pitch. He’s been brought back up for a second stint in the Astros bullpen and now has a chance to play a useful role in helping the Astros try to repeat as world champions. Perez has the stuff to be a big league starter one day, as his changeup has improved to the point where it is a viable fringe-average third pitch. His 93-97 mph fastball and hard-slider combo can eat up lefties, as Double-A lefties managed just one extra-base hit against him in 44 at-bats.

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