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Astros Top Three Catching Prospects for 2023

Yainer Diaz | Credit: Camera Plant Photography

As we inch closer to the 2023 season, I am going to give top three prospects at each position. This will be based on where they currently play and also where they may end up. This will culminate with my newly updated top 30 prospects before the season starts. This week, we are starting with the catcher position.

1. Yainer Diaz

Diaz was acquired this season from the Indians in the trade that sent Myles Straw to Cleveland in 2021. He has hit well at every stop in this minor league career and had his best season in 2021 where he hit .324 with 25 2B, 17 HR in 98 games. Diaz is a bat first catching prospect who has proven his ability with the bat where ever he has been assigned. In 2022, Diaz played in 105 games between Double-A and Triple-A hitting .306 with 25 HR, 96 RBI. He also received a call-up and got some time with the big league club. Diaz has a good command of the strike zone and rarely strikes out. He has plus power and has shown the ability to drive the ball the other way at a high rate. He has solid arm strength behind the plate and should continue to improve as a receiver.

2022 Stats: 105 G, .306 BA/.356 OBP/.542 SLG, 22 2B, 4 3B, 25 HR, 96 RBI

2. Korey Lee

Lee was the Astros first round pick in 2019 out of California. Lee is a strong athlete with a strong lower half and shows solid across the board defensive skills and above average arm strength, projecting as a solid average catcher at the highest level. With the bat, Lee has shown the ability to drive the ball to the pull side at a high rate. Lee projects as a potential 20+ home run threat down the line. While he may not be as advanced with the bat as Diaz, Lee provides good defense behind the plate and should be able to carve out an MLB role. Read more on Lee here.

2022 Stats: 104 G, .238 BA/.307 OBP/.483 SLG, 20 2B, 2 3B, 25 HR, 76 RBI

3. Luke Berryhill

Berryhill, originally drafted by the Reds and traded to the Astros prior to the 2021 season. After making some adjustments on advisement from Astros coaches, he turned in a phenomenal 2021 season. He had a career year posting a .974 OPS with a 159 wRC+ in 73 games across three different levels. Berryhill has flashed above average raw power and the potential to work counts and draw walks. In 2022, Berryhill got on base at a high clip despite battling a few injuries. Behind the plate, he has above average arm strength and is a good receiver. You can read more on him here.

2022 Stats:  99 G, .256 BA/.380 OBP/.408 SLG, 19 2B, 12 HR, 60 RBI

Other Notables:

Collin Price: Price is a big bodied catcher, standing at 6’6″, who was drafted in 2022. He put up some good numbers as a senior at Mercer hitting .315 with 18 HR and 52 BB/34 K. He is a good athlete who has also seen some time in the outfield. Price is very patient at the plate and drives the ball well. Price had a good debut (.839 OPS) before breaking his foot in August. He will be back for 2023 and should get a good look this year.

J.C. Correa: J.C. was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020 after a solid college career at Lamar. Correa put together a good season offensively in 2021 slashing .310/.368/.464 with 32 2B, 9 HR and followed that up with a 2022 which saw him hit .309 with 8 HR, 64 RBI. 2022 was Correa’s first season at catcher and it has been a work in progress for him. He has shown a solid arm behind the plate but still working on the blocking/receiving part.

Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly updates on the Astros minor league system. Also be sure to follow on Twitter, @AstrosFuture, and like my Facebook page, facebook.com/AstrosFuture.

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