Bregman, Reed, Martes highlight Houston's strong system
By Brian McTaggart
HOUSTON -- The Astros landed five players on MLB.com's annual Top 100 prospects list, led by shortstop and former No. 2 overall Draft pick Alex Bregman at No. 22. First baseman A.J. Reed (40), right-handed pitcher Francis Martes (41) and outfielders Kyle Tucker (74) and Daz Cameron (75) also appear on the list.
Based on a point system in which 100 points are gained for having the No. 1-ranked player and 99 for No. 2, etc., the Astros rank ninth with 253 points. Only the Phillies (seven), Rockies (six), Twins (six) and Cubs (six) have more prospects on the Top 100 than the Astros.
The annual ranking of baseball's Top 100 prospects list is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2016 season are eligible for the list. The rankings follow the guidelines laid out by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, in terms of who falls under the international pool money rules: Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Bregman hit a combined .294 with four homers and 34 RBIs at Class A Quad Cities and Lancaster last year after being drafted out of LSU. He appears to be the complete package and plays the same position as 21-year-old American League Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa, so a position switch could be in his future.
Reed will come to big league camp next month competing for a starting spot. The left-handed slugger led the Minor Leagues in home runs with 34 last year and has power to spare. He hit a combined .340 with 127 RBIs and a 1.044 OPS between Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi last year.
Martes, 20, came from the Marlins in the Jarred Cosart trade of 2014 and has a good fastball with a hard curve. He was a combined 8-3 with a 2.04 ERA in 19 games (16 starts) over three levels last year, finishing at Corpus Christi.
Tucker (No. 5 overall) and Cameron (No. 37) were both high Draft picks a year ago and split time between the Gulf Coast League and Rookie-level Greeneville in their professional debuts. Tucker is the older brother of Astros outfielder Preston Tucker, and Cameron is the son of former Major League outfielder Mike Cameron.