Houston Astros Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects

A look at the Astros top prospects.

The Astros farm is in an interesting state. There isn’t a clear top prospect, and many of the names that fill out this list are already into their mid-20s. That is partly due to the fact that the MLB roster has been so good that it hasn’t allowed for many promotional opportunities, and partly due to the system not being quite as strong as others across the league.


Top Astros Prospects


The Top Tier


1) Brice Matthews, SS, 21 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (CPX/A): .208 AVG | .365 OBP | .352 SLG | 4 HR | 18 SB | 26.3 K% | 16 BB%

The Astros selected Matthews with the 28th overall selection in the 2023 draft. He’s a tooled-out athlete with a questionable hit tool. If he shows some improvement with his hit tool as he climbs through the minors, there aren’t many players in the minors with this type of upside. You can just look at his 2023 numbers at Nebraska (.359/.481/.723 with 20 home runs and 20 steals in 54 games) to get a glimpse of what type of ceiling we are looking at with Matthews.

The question, of course, is whether or not he will hit enough to maximize his speed/power combination. Although it was a small sample, his 35-game sample of minor league baseball didn’t do much to erase those worries. He hit just .208 with a strikeout percentage in the upper 20s. Houston has arguably been the best organization in the majors at developing their hitter prospects over the last decade, so Matthews’ stock got a tick up in my book after going to Houston, but he, just like others toward the top of this list, carries a high-risk profile.


2) Luis Baez, OF, 20 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (CPX/A): .248 AVG | .357 OBP | .481 SLG | 11 HR | 1 SB | 24.3 K% | 12.9 BB%

Baez has big power. The righty-hitting outfielder put up silly numbers at the Complex level before earning a promotion to Single-A. In those 17 rookie-ball contests, Baez hit seven home runs, posted a .390 ISO, and walked at a clip north of 20%. Combine this with an incredibly strong DSL performance the year before and Baez was an immediate add in all dynasty leagues and had quickly jumped up prospect lists.

Following his promotion, he was fine at Single-A, finishing 41 games with a .239/.324/.413 triple slash and a 108 wRC+. He only hit four home runs but still had a .174 ISO. Even if it didn’t fully show up at Single-A, the power is legitimate for Baez, and expect him to tap into it more in 2024. He’s never going to be a base stealer so his entire fantasy profile is tied to his production at the plate. There are some concerns that he may strike out too much (26.8% K rate at Single-A) to maximize his potential fully, but there is 30+ home run upside in the bat.


3) Jacob Melton, OF, 23 YO

2023 Stats (A+, AA): .245 AVG | .334 OBP | .467 SLG | 23 HR | 46 SB | 22 K% | 11.6 BB%

It’s not too difficult to make an argument for Melton as the top dynasty prospect in the system. There aren’t many prospects in baseball that cleared 20 home runs and 40 steals in 2023, and Melton did it in 99 games. Most of those games came at High-A, as he earned a late-season promotion to Double-A and clocked 13 contests there to close out the year.

Like Matthews, there are a lot of tools here for Melton and his 2023 production showcases just what type of power and speed numbers the outfielder has the potential to put up. Like Matthews, there are some questions surrounding his bat-to-ball ability and just how much he will be able to maximize his tool. Even with his solid production in 2023, his batting average and BABIP numbers were lower than you’d expect from a speedy left-handed bat. Melton should open the year up in Double-A, and if he produces there he could find himself in the big leagues sooner by the end of 2024.


4) Joey Loperfido, INF/OF, 24 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA, AAA): .278 AVG | .370 OBP | .510 SLG | 25 HR | 27 SB | 24.8 K% | 12 BB%

Hey, look! Another dual power/speed threat with some hit tool concerns. In 124 contests, Loperfido hit 25 home runs and stole 27 bags. Maybe most impressively, he walked at a double-digit rate and was an efficient base stealer, only getting caught four times.

In the field, he is a Swiss Army knife; he can play all over the diamond. In 2023, he logged playing time at first base, second base, and all three outfield positions. This type of positional versatility is extremely valuable in most fantasy formats because you can plug a player like this in several different spots.

There are a few red flags here, though. Loperfido tore up Double-A to the tune of a 143 wRC+, but struggled following his promotion to Triple-A, hitting just .235 and striking out 32% of the time. Pair that with the fact that he’s going to be entering his age-25 season, and it’s pretty easy to talk yourself into him being more of a versatile role player than a full-time starter. That being said, he hits the ball as hard as about anyone else in the minors, so there could be big upside in the bat.


5) Zach Dezenzo, 1B/3B, 23 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A+/AA): .304 AVG | .383 OBP | .531 SLG | 18 HR | 22 SB | 25.9 K% | 10.2 BB%

From a production standpoint, Dezenzo somewhat mirrored Loperfido, but just a level behind. The 6’4 righty had a monster season, hitting over .300 while flirting with a 20/20 output in just 94 games between High-A and Double-A. It’s tough to argue against that type of production. And yet…I am a little skeptical of Dezenzo. He looks to be a corner infield-only prospect at this point and he’s heading into his age-24 season with just 63 games above High-A. And while he was still good in 63 games at Double-A last year, his overall numbers above are inflated by a ridiculous output as a 23-year-old at High-A where he triple-slashed .407/.474/.486. His Double-A slash line of .257/.339/.486 is still encouraging, albeit less dominant, and his strikeout rate at that level jumped to 28.5%. There is big power here if it all comes together, but I’m less bullish than others that that will happen.


6) Spencer Arrighetti, P, 24 YO

2023 Stats (AA/AAA): 124.2 IP | 4.40 ERA | 27.1 K% | 11.3 BB%

Arrighetti was a bit of a riser in the prospect community during the first half of the season. He tossed 60.2 innings at Double-A, logging a 4.15 ERA, but a 3.38 FIP with a 22.1% strikeout-minus-walk rate. That type of K-BB rate puts him in the upper tier of minor league arms, and earned the right-hander a promotion to Triple-A.

There, he struggled. The ERA rose to 4.64 and the FIP ballooned to 5.36. His strikeout rate dropped eight ticks while his walk rate climbed four. Perhaps Arrighetti’s stuff is just not as dominant as he continues to move up the minor league ladder, or perhaps fatigue set in. Still, his ability to get strikeouts gives him an interesting fantasy ceiling, even if he ends up in the bullpen at the MLB level.


7) Trey Dombrowski, P,  22YO

2023 Stats (A): 119 IP | 3.71 ERA | 30.1 K% | 7.3 BB%

Dombroski is a 2022 fourth-round pick who enjoyed a nice season at Single-A. The lefty’s fastball sits in the low 90s, which caps his ultimate upside, but a nearly 23% K-BB rate is an eyebrow-raiser. If Dombrowski can find a velocity spike, he’s likely to skyrocket in prospect rankings.

We can’t assume that will happen, of course, and even if it doesn’t Dombrowski has the look of a high-floor arm due to a versatile four-pitch mix and feel for the strike zone. Having multiple options in his arsenal makes him less reliant on his below-average fastball, which should help him as he moves through the minors.

I’d be more bullish on Dombrowski had Houston moved him to High-A at some point in 2023. The fact that he spent the whole season in Single-A is a little bit of a red flag, given his production, but maybe he can climb multiple levels in 2024.


Prospects Dynasty Managers Should Know


8) Colin Barber, OF, 23 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA): .244 AVG | .358 OBP | .433 SLG | 11 HR | 5 SB | 22.7 K% | 14.0 BB%

Barber knows how to take a walk, as evidenced by his 14% walk rate in 2023. The lefty’s hit tool is his carrying attribute, and that combined with his approach could lead to Barber turning into an OBP-machine. He doesn’t have a ton of power or speed, but he won’t hurt you in either.


9) Alonzo Tredwel – P, 21 YO

2023 MiLB Stats: N/A

The Astros took the 6’8″ Tredwell in the second round of the 2023 draft. He battled injuries in his college career and split time as a starter and a reliever, but the end result was a 2.83 ERA with 113 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 92.1 innings. I imagine Houston will try him as a starter and he could quickly rise up this list if he has success out of the gate.


10) Rhett Kouba, P, 24 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 128.0 IP | 3.45 ERA | 25.3 K% | 6.9 BB%

We can’t handwave Kouba’s 2023 – the right hander performed. He logged almost all of his innings at Double-A, but he kept runs off the board, struck out a good percentage of hitters, and limited free passes. He’s under the radar as a former 12th-round pick, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Kouba make some MLB starts this year.


11) Kenedy Corono, OF, 23 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (A+/AA): .251 AVG | .331 OBP | .458 SLG | 20 HR | 31 SB | 26.2 K% | 10.0 BB%

Corona has a good power/speed combination, as evidenced by his 20-homer, 31-steal campaign, all but six games of which came at Double-A. The righty outfielder has been an above-average hitter at every stop in the minors and his speed and defense are good enough for him to see regular playing time in the majors.


12) Colton Gordon – P, 25 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 128.1 IP | 4.14 ERA | 27.1 K% | 10.4 BB%

Gordon was a very solid pitcher in 93.1 Double-A innings, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 21.6% K-BB rate. That earned him a promotion to Triple-A where the results were ugly. He’s entering his age-25 season and he probably projects as a spot starter, but there could be more here.


13) Kenni Gomez – OF, 18 YO

2023 Stats (CPX): .208 AVG | .311 OBP | .321 SLG | 2 HR | 8 SB | 19.7 K% | 9.8 BB%

Gomez only appeared in 16 games due to injury, so let’s just throw away that stat line. Essentially missing all of 2023 due to injury isn’t great for a young player, but Gomez produced extremely well in the DSL in 2022 (.294/.402/.500). He has a higher upside than a lot of the names ahead of him on this list.


14) Michael Knorr – SP, 23 YO

2023 Stats (A/A+): 58.1 IP | 4.01 ERA | 31.1 K% | 9.6 BB%

Knorr had a nice 2023, though like a lot of the arms in this system, he’s not on track to make the bigs until he’s well into his mid-20s. He has the look of a backend starter.


15) Will Wagner – INF, 25 YO

2023 MiLB Stats (CPX/AA/AAA): .337 AVG | .420 OBP | .518 SLG | 7 HR | 6 SB | 15.0 K% | 10.8 BB%

Wagner had a statistically great season in 2023. It’s encouraging and maybe there is something here, especially for someone who can play multiple positions on the dirt, but he’s already 25 and has barely played above Double-A.


The Next Five


Although these prospects do not crack the top 15, dynasty managers should keep their eye on these five players.

Zach Cole– 23 YO- Cole put up nice counting stats in 2023, but he was old for the levels and still struck out a bunch.

Pedro Leon – 25 YO – Leon is a 20/20 threat with good OBP skills but has consistently posted low batting averages in the minors.

Camilo Diaz – 18 YO – It was a disappointing debut for Diaz, who hit just .209 in the DSL. He’s still young enough to bounce back, and he walked at a ridiculous 21% clip.

Miguel Palma – 22 YO – Palma has hit at every level he’s been at so far (his highest level is High-A), but it’s going to be difficult for a catcher or first baseman this small to carve out a full-time role in the bigs.

Jake Bloss – 22 YO – Bloss was the third-round selection for the Astros in 2023. His college career was a mixed bag but had a breakout at Georgetown last season. A name to watch in case it carries over to the pros.

Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on X)

One response to “Houston Astros Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects”

  1. Josh says:

    Surprised Forrest Whitley didn’t make the back end of this at least. Reports are he could be in the bullpen opening day, and his arsenal was always something to dream on.

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