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Houston Astros Top 20 Prospects in Review

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This list was originally published November 29, 2007. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST!!!!!  THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST!!!

1) Troy Patton, LHP, Grade B+
     Traded to Baltimore. Torn labrum, out for year.
2) J.R. Towles, C, Grade B 
     Lost job after .143/.255/.264 performance for Houston. Hitting .287/.361/.575 for Triple-A Round Rock. Will get more chances.
3) Felipe Paulino, RHP, Grade B
     Out with a pinched nerve in his throwing arm.
4) Bud Norris, RHP, Grade B-
     3.48 ERA with 60/17 K/BB in 54 innings for Double-A Corpus Cristi, 55 hits allowed. Fine command with a good K/IP, interesting prospect.
5) Mike Costanzo, 3B, Grade B-
     Traded to Baltimore. .258/.330/.393 with 10 homers, 128 strikeouts in 103 games in Triple-A. Not enough power to get away with that strikeout rate.
6) Michael Bourn, OF, Grade B-
     .233/.290/.306 with 33 steals in 96 games for the Astros. Great speed obviously, but other offensive skills are lacking. 
7) Mitch Einertson, OF, Grade B-
      .226/.271/.375 in Double-A. Up-and-down performance record is down again.
8) Juan Gutierrez, RHP, Grade C+
      Traded to Arizona, 6.83 ERA with 64/33 K/BB in 82 innings for Triple-A Tucson, 118 hits allowed. Horrible numbers, obviously.
9) Brad James, RHP, Grade C+
      4.55 ERA with 45/32 K/BB in 91 innings in Double-A, 106 hits allowed. On the DL since early July. Don't like the K/IP ratio.
10) Sam Gervacio, RHP, Grade C+
       3.53 ERA with 76/24 K/BB in 59 innings in Double-A, 55 hits allowed. Very impressive strikeout rate. still needs to sharpen command.
11) Chad Reineke, RHP, Grade C+
       4.41 ERA with 100/35 K/BB in 112 innings for Round Rock. Traded to Padres for Randy Wolf, has pitched well in his first two starts for Triple-A Portland. A nice solid C+/B- prospect.
12) Jordan Parraz, OF, Grade C+
       .304/.409/.443 with 19 steals for Class A Salem. Good tools, fast and strong, good strike zone judgment. Why doesn't he get promoted?
13) Josh Flores, OF Grade C+
       Hasn't played this year due to knee injury. Blew out two ligaments.
14) Eli Iorg, OF, Grade C+
      .254/.297/.399 with 16 steals, 10 homers in Double-A. Held back by poor strike zone judgment.
15) Collin DeLome, OF, Grade C+
       HItting a combined .247/.309/.484 with 19 homers, 27 walks, and 108 strikeouts in 380 at-bats between Low-A and High-A. Obviously has good power, but bad plate discipline is a big problem.
16) Paul Estrada, RHP, Grade C+
       Hasn't pitched this year due to shoulder injury.
17) Polin Trinidad, LHP, Grade C
       2.32 ERA with 34/11 K/BB in 62 innings in the Carolina League, 4.28 ERA with 41/13 K/BB in 67 innings in the Texas League. Good command, but low strikeout rate and fly ball tendencies are a bad combo.
18) Max Sapp, C, Grade C
       .204/.285/.306 in the Sally League is not what the Astros were looking for. High strikeout rate with no offensive production.
19) Sergio Severino, LHP, Grade C
       2.66 ERA with 54/24 K/BB in 51 innings in the Sally League, followed by 8.12 ERA and 26/31 K/BB in 41 innings in the Carolina League. Command is the big problem here.
20) Koby Clemens, 3B, Grade C
       .273/.360/.432 for Salem. Good walk rate, not a lot of home run power but hits plenty of doubles. Has a chance to advance in a weak system.

Injuries and trades ripped the guts out of this list. There isn't a lot to get excited about in this system, which suffered years of neglect. Towles should still be a good player, and Parraz has always interested me, but otherwise there is not much here, with a definite paucity of impact types.