Earlier this week, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the Houston Astros.
It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Astros or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.
What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.
Steamer Projections: Houston Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Houston batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.
|13||Delino Deshields Jr.||21||2B/CF||550||6.9%||21.0%||.278||66||0||-21||2||-0.1|
Steamer Projections: Houston Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Houston pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has been calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.
• Despite the fact that he feels like a certain sort of 60-year-old woman whilst saying it, the author is prepared to describe Houston’s as a “fun” organization, so far as its prospects are concerned. Here one finds a pleasant diversity of young talent: slugging international signees (Domingo Santana), atypically athletic college draftees (George Springer), high-school first-base types (Jon Singleton), quietly effective pitchers (Vincent Velasquez), intriguing high-upside arms (Mike Foltynewicz), and, of course, conspicuously high-end talents (Mark Appel, Carlos Correa).
• Regarding Springer, specifically, he’s projected by Steamer to produce the highest WAR, on a rate basis, of any prospect considered thus far in this series, which now includes 10 teams. His figure here, for example, is even higher than Dexter Fowler’s, whom Houston has acquired this offseason from Colorado.
• The right-handed Vincent Velasquez missed all of the 2011, and about half of the 2012, season due to Tommy John surgery and the subsequent rehab. Since returning, however, he’s struck out ca. 27% of opposing batters in about 170 innings pitched between Low A, regular Class A, and High A. Marc Hulet has more information regarding the former California high-school draftee in his organizational list.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.