Jose Altuve just finished a streak where he was on base 11 times in 11 straight plate appearances, his batting average is over .300, and before Monday night's game the rest of the lineup had mustered 40 hits in their last three games. This is the lineup we expected coming into the 2017 season.
They are waking up, and the pitching staff is enjoying the offense behind their stellar start.
With these things in mind let's see who the prospects are in the Astros farm system most likely to contribute this season. Also, we will check out one prospect that is not far behind.
A.J. REED - MLB ETA 2017
A.J. Reed is off to the same start he is accustomed to at AAA, as he's hitting with a lot of power to begin the season. Although his campaign in 2016 was not what he nor Houston Astros fans expected, one things is for sure, this kid can MASH.
So far he is hitting .237 (9-for-38) with two doubles, two home runs and six runs batted in. He's drawn ten walks giving him an OBP of .396 and an OPS of .843 to start the season. The major alarm with him is his strikeout numbers, as Reed has already struck out 14 times this season for AAA Fresno.
Regardless of what the jury says, if the opportunity arises in Houston he deserves another shot. You reward those who are hitting and producing offense, the only problem is the log jam at the major league level.
From A.J. Reed to Kyle Tucker the Astros have a bright future. Now, let’s look at the top three Major league ready hitters in the minors.
DEREK FISHER - MLB ETA: 2017
Fisher is batting .229 (8-for-35) with seven runs, two doubles, two home runs, and four runs batted in. He plays in the outfield and there are questions regarding his defense. His arm is weak so him playing in center field where he is accustomed to may not come to pass.
If he does get the promotion expect him to play left field. He has power, and can hit for average as well. The Astros may seek out his services if they have holes to fill mid to late season.
Teoscar Hernandez - MLB ETA 2017
This season, Hernandez is hitting .256 (10-for-39) with two triples, three home runs, and six walks. The average may not be something to brag about but the potential and ceiling is still pretty high on this kid.
Hernandez is the seventh best prospect the Astros have, and in 2016 he saw time with the Astros at the major league level.
He has been improving his approach at the plate with more discipline. He cut down on his strikeout rate from 25% in 2015 to 18% in 2016 last season.
This is what this game is about, and many scouts still think highly of him, as 2017 rolls on expect to see him pop up, even if for DL stints he will contribute at some point in the season.
Kyle Tucker - MLB ETA: 2018
So far, Kyle Tucker is off to a great start at Advanced A ball hitting .333 ( 14-for-42) with ten runs, fourteen hits, five doubles, one triple, three home runs, and 14 runs batted in.
Tucker is more well rounded than his older brother Preston. Although his estimated arrival is not projected until 2018, (barring any setbacks) this kid is one to keep your eyes on.
There are many more to come, as the Astros have an organization full of young prospects with bright futures.
The Astros have the personnel on the field and in the front office to ensure these young talented players progress through the farm system and untimely contribute at the Big League level.