With catcher Jason Castro on the paternity list, the Houston Astros promoted catching prospect Max Stassi to the big league roster yesterday. Stassi has been on prospect lists for years and had cups of coffee in 2013, 2014, and 2015. He is still a technical rookie however, so here's a quick profile.
Stassi was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the fourth round in 2009 from high school in Yorba Linda, California. He came over to Houston in the 2013 Jed Lowrie deal. Viewed as a potential major league regular when drafted, Stassi's outlook has been dimmed by a series of significant injuries including serious shoulder and ankle injuries, a sports hernia, and a concussion. He hit just .211/.279/.384 in Triple-A last year.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Max Stassi, C, Houston Astros
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 5-10 WT: 205 DOB: March 15, 1991
2010: Grade B-; 2011: Grade B-; 2012: Grade C+; 2013: Grade C+; 2014: Grade B-
2015: Grade C+
The scouting reports for Max Stassi have not changed much. He has power and is a home run threat but his aggressive approach cuts into his contact ability; he’ll struggle to hit .240 in the majors and his OBP will be low. He is a quality receiver who makes few mistakes, blocks the ball well, and has the requisite field generalship skills to hold a job for years, but injuries have depressed his arm strength and his basestealer kill rate hovers around 25%. At this point I think he is a backup catcher, albeit one who can stay employed for a long time based on his power and intangibles. Grade C.
Stassi hasn't played much this year, just 14 at-bats over four games for Fresno, his availability limited this time by surgery to repair a broken hamate.
The pre-season outlook has not changed: he has some sock in his bat but will not provide much batting average or OBP. His defense is solid but not exceptional. Overall a reserve catcher profile. Real teams need guys like this on the roster, but his value in a fantasy context is minimal except in the deepest leagues.