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Premium Content Houston Astros Top-15 Prospects of 2010, No’s 1 – 5

March 23, 2010 BY ALEX EISENBERG No Comments Yet

Astros Prospects, No’s 1 – 5

    1. Jiovanni Mier | SS | Age – 19 | Grade – B
    2. Jordan Lyles | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B
    3. Jason Castro | C | Age – 22 | Grade – B/B-
    4. Tanner Bushue | RHP | Age – 18 | Grade – B-
    5. Chia-Jen Lo | RHP | Age – 24 | Grade – B-

For the full prospect listing, please click here

Key Links
› Prospect Primer (Grading Criteria Explained)
› Team Page Listings
› Index of 2010 Top Prospect Lists
› Index of Last Year’s Top Prospect Lists
Astros Links
› Astros Team Page
› 2009 Astros Top Prospects

ALSO SEEAstros Top Prospects, No’s 6 – 15

Grades are based on a prospect’s projected value over the course of his career and how likely it is that prospect will fulfill his projected value. Various factors are accounted for including upside, red flags, actual performance, and closeness to the majors. See the 2010 Prospect Primer for more information as it relates to prospect grading and philosophy.

Hitters must have 100 or fewer Major League ABs to qualify for this list. Starting pitchers must have 50 or fewer Major League innings to qualify for this list. Relief pitchers must have 25 or fewer Major League innings to qualify for this list. Ages are listed as of May 1st, 2010. Levels are based on the highest level in which a prospect played in 2009. All grades are subject to change based on any new information I receive before the season starts.

If you need to reach me in any way, please contact me via e-mail or post a comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. The first two prospects are available for everybody to read.

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1. Jiovanni Mier | SS | B – R | Age – 19
Greeneville (Rookie) | Drafted – Round 1 (21), 2009

Player Grades
Contact – 40 Now | 55/60 Future
Power – 35 | 50
Discipline – 40 | 55
Speed – 55 | 50
Defense – 50 | 55/60
Arm – 55 | 60
Instincts – 50 | 60
ETA – 2014
Final Grade – B

Body Type – He’s lanky but very projectable

Scouting Report

Jiovanni Mier surprised many by being a more advanced bat than previously thought. He performed well in most facets of the game in the Appy League, but it was particularly nice to see him walk in 13% of his plate appearances.

Mier is a true shortstop that should have no problem staying at the position even as he continues to fill out his frame. He’s a very good athlete with a good feel for the position, able to range both to his left and right. His arm is plus, but the ball seems to sink as it approaches first base. His footwork is pretty good as are his hands, but both are still a little rough around the edges.

The ability for Mier to stay at shortstop makes his bat more valuable. He’s not going to hit for big power, but with a few adjustments, he should be able to hit for average power at the Major League level.


*Credit to MLB Advanced Media

Mier has quick wrists and good bat speed, allowing him to make hard contact. He loads his hands well, but he needs to wait on the ball longer, let it travel deeper. Mier’s power suffers when he gets out an front, but an adjustment to his stride has helped him fix that problem.

The Astros have been pretty aggressive with young players in the past, so I fully expect Mier to be in Lexington next season.

Best Case Outcome – Borderline All Star

More Likely Outcome – Too soon to say

2. Jordan Lyles | RHP | Age – 19
Single-A Lexington | Drafted – Round 1A (38), 2008

Player Grades
Fastball – 50 Now | 55/60 Future
Curveball – 50 | 50/55
Change-Up – 55 | 60
Control – 50 | 60
Command – 45 | 55/50
Pitchability – 50 | 60
ETA – 2012
Final Grade – B

I’ve already looked extensively at Jordan Lyles. You can see articles on Lyles by clicking here or by clicking here.

I must say, it surprised when I saw Lyles’ DOB was 10/19/90. He seems like he’s been around for a while, but it’s amazing to think that he’s actually younger than some of the best high schools arms of the 2009 draft. He’s younger than Zach Wheeler, Matt Hobgood, and Matt Purke. He’s nine days younger than Shelby Miller and he was born on the exact same day as Tyler Matzek.

And despite his age, he ended up dominating the Sally League. Needless to say, Lyles was one of the youngest players to appear in the Sally last year. I have word that he’ll skip Lancaster and start in Double-A, where he’ll be a 19 y/o at the start of the season.

For a more extensive look on Lyles’ mechanics, click here

Best Case Outcome – No. 2 starter

More Likely Outcome – No. 3 starter






Brief Rundown on Prospects 3 – 5

3. Jason Castro | C | Grade – B/B- – I haven’t been as impressed with him as others have…he’s a high contact, well disciplined hitter without much power. He should be a solid-average everyday catcher, perhaps better, but he won’t be a star at the position

4. Tanner Bushue | RHP | Grade – B- – A sleeper for next year, he’s got good present stuff, but a few adjustments to his mechanics I think would do him wonders

5. Chia-Jen Lo | RHP | Grade – B- – Like his arm, but he needs to work on his control…could be in line for a call-up in mid-2010

*Based on the criteria I’ve set forth, Samuel Gervacio does not qualify as a prospect for this list

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UP NEXTHouston Astros Top Prospects, No’s 6 – 15

Other References and Resources Used for This ArticleFirst Inning and Minor League Splits





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