Dynasty Prospect Deep Sleep: Myles Straw

A position change may clear a path for Astros' prospect Myles Straw.

Myles Straw will probably be the most advanced prospect featured in Dynasty Prospect Deep Sleep this season. It is rare that a prospect has such potential to be valuable and also is so close to the majors, or in Straw’s case, has actually been in the majors.

Still, two things keep Straw’s hype down below an acceptable level: (1) a complete lack of power and (2) there being more roadblocks thrown up his way than any Fast & Furious movie. Let’s start with the latter. The Houston Astros are absolutely stacked in the outfield, with Michael Brantley, George Springer, and Josh Reddick starting. They even have prospects that could start on other teams like Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez, and Derek Fisher. Needless to say, a lot would have to change in order for Straw to break through on the depth chart.

That change happened last week when Straw started at shortstop for Houston’s Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express. The Astros’ system is so deep that they are deciding to convert their most athletic and possibly strongest defensive centerfielder into a utility man. So far the Astros have said nothing more than Straw will continue at short, where he also spent part of this spring, but the writing is on the wall here. If Straw can prove himself a capable infielder, there is a spot for him in the majors. I don’t mean he will supplant Carlos Correa — I’m not insane — I’m saying he will be able to give everyone days off and fill in for injuries almost wherever they occur.

Now that we’ve broken through the roadblocks like Vin Diesel, let’s talk about Straw’s lack of power. Nothing has changed about his plate approach — basically because he doesn’t need to change anything. He might be one of the most patient hitters at any level. When he was up last September for his cup of coffee, he had an O-swing rate of 11% and a contact rate of 100% for all of his swings. Let me repeat that, anything Straw swung at, he made contact with … anything.

How is that possible? It’s simple, Straw does not guess. He has an old-school approach of waiting on pitches and fouling them off until he finds one he can hit. I’m not going to say he uses the whole field, because that would imply that he also pulls the ball. In fact, during that same period in the majors, Straw did not pull a single ball. That is an extreme example of his minor league rate of roughly 27% pull and an incredible 45% oppo. On top of that, he generates enough medium contact (44%) and hard contact (33%) to get extra-base hits.

Meanwhile, he has enough speed to lead the league in stolen bases, if given the opportunity. Straw’s 70-80 grade speed is easily the fastest in the Astros’ system. He may not quite be Billy Hamilton fast, but he’s seriously close. He stole 70 bases in 79 attempts during 131 games between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018. And he can steal just as many or more bases as Hamilton by actually hitting the ball and frequently getting on base:

Minor League Career 414 .303 .394 156 92 240 315
Major League Career 11 .311 .367 2 5 1 0
Spring Training – 2019 18 .364 .404 4 3 3 6

Now, looking at these numbers, Straw is in no way proven, but what he has done in his limited time against top competition (MLB/Spring Training) is encouraging. He hit for average, hit for enough power to not be a pushover and stole bases at a high rate. Straw has the kind of upside of Dee Gordon, Michael Bourn, Juan Pierre, Chone Figgins or Scott Podsednik. If you combine Straw’s production potential with the possibility of multi-positional eligibility you have a very valuable speed piece. Keep an eye on this guy, he’s going to be in the majors whether it’s with the Astros or someone else.

Travis Sherer

All Seattle Mariners fans have learned the future is all we have because the present is always too painful. I am Western Washington University alum, a local sportswriter, an official NCAA basketball statistician, a freelance radio and television production statistician, and a minor league standup comedian. Follow me @ShererTravis on Twitter.

One response to “Dynasty Prospect Deep Sleep: Myles Straw”

  1. theKraken says:

    Another organizational hurdle is Tony Kemp, who is quite similar and the Astros seem to value him as he is always around the roster. Of course, when these guys reach the majors we see that they aren’t as exciting as we hoped in most cases, but I prefer the prospect version of Kemp. I think the pipeline of prospects will ensure that these guys never get chances. Not long ago, they didn’t have room for Teoscar Hernandez and they sent Brett Phillips packing at his peak value. ABs are tough to come by in HOU. I don’t think the world has realized how well Yordan Alvarez is starting the year in AAA. If his name was Kyle Tucker we would be clamoring about service time manipulation. Guys that can lead MLB in stolen bases from the minor leagues are a dime a dozen – it’s almost not even worth placing much value in until you see if they want to do it in MLB IMO. Getting caught a few times is all it takes for most players to quit running. Looking forward to the regular column!

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