1. Jason Castro, C – I thought Castro was a reach when they drafted him; they probably could have gotten him in the second round. He’s proved to be worth the pick though. He’s advanced quickly and could be the starting catcher at some point this year.
2. Jordan Lyles, P – Lyles is an ace in the making. He’s got a mid-90s fast ball that moves. He’s working on a curve and change-up that could be above average secondary pitches. If he can get one of those 2 to complement his fastball, he’ll be a solid pitcher. I wouldn’t expect him until the end of the 2011 season, at the earliest.
3. Jiovanni Mier, SS – There is no doubt that Mier’s glove will allow him to stick at short. He’s got an advanced bat, which should have decent power when he’s done maturing. He’s also got good speed. He’s another one to watch for at the end of 2011.
4. Sammy Gervacio, P – Gervacio was the reason that Houston didn’t want to commit to a multi-year deal for Jose Valverde. He’s got 2 good pitches (a fastball and a slider), which is all he needs in relief. Look for him to get his feet wet this year.
5. Ross Seaton, P – Seaton has very good control, but his fastball definitely needs some work. If he could get a little movement to it, it’ll be a great pitch. He’s got time to develop into a quality starter; right now I’d say he’s back of the rotation.
6. Tanner Bushue, P – Bushue recently switched to pitching full time, so he’s going to be a little bit of a project. He needs to develop secondary pitches. The other concern is his injury history – while no injury has been serious, they tend to nag. We’ll see how he does in a full season league.
7. Jonathan Gaston, OF – Gaston took a step forward this past season, but there are still a lot of concerns. He’s one of those guys that will hit a homer or strike out. He also broke out in a hitter’s league. I see him as a Matt Stairs type player – useful, but not unique.
8. Chia-Jen Lo, P – Lo is a reliever with a live arm. He’s working on a curve and change as a secondary pitch, and his fastball lacks accuracy at times. Until he fixes both, he may not see much success.
9. Jay Austin, OF – Austin appears to be another version of Mike Bourn or Wily Taveras; no power but good speed. It’ll be interesting to see how his raw bat develops; will he be able to get on base like Bourn or be a bust like Taveras.
10. Brad Dydalewicz, P – Dydalewicz has a good sinking fastball that induces groundballs. This also means that he doesn’t strike out a lot of hitters. There are plenty of successful pitchers in this mold, but none were ever considered top prospects. He’ll be an end of the rotation starter.
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