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Astros

Astros MiLB Position Review: Outfield

Houston Astros' Joey Loperfido
Joey Loperfido | Credit: Corpus Christi Hooks

Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2023 season. This week we will look at the outfield position.

Previous Positions:

Catcher

First Base

Second Base

Third Base

Shortstop

TOP PERFORMERS

Joey Loperfido

The Astros minor league player of the year, Loperfido followed up a strong 2022 with a breakout 2023 season. The 7th rounder from 2021 hit .278 with a .880 OPS and 25 HR/27 SB, making his way up to Triple-A. He played all over the outfield and some first base. He is going to be a favorite to debut next year and has a chance to make an impact and multiple positions at the big league level.

2023 Stats: 124 G, .278 BA/.370 OBP/.510 SLG, 27 2B, 3 3B, 25 HR, 78 RBI, 27 SB

Zach Cole

I wrote before the year that Cole could be a steal and he is looking just like that. The left handed hitter started the year in Single-A and had 11 HR, 25 SB with a .892 OPS in 70 games. He was promoted to High-A where he had a .829 OPS with 8 HR, 12 SB. He is a legit power/speed threat and is a plus athlete. He finished with 47 XBHs and 37 stolen bases this season.

2023 Stats: 111 G, .258 BA/.380 OBP/.489 SLG, 20 2B, 8 3B, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 37 SB

Jacob Melton

Arugably the Astros top prospect, Melton put together a nice 2023 season. The 2nd rounder from 2022 started the season in High-A and despite some bad luck, still had 18 HR and 41 SB in 86 games. He was promoted to Double-A where he had a .861 OPS with 5 HR, 5 SB in 13 games. He is another power/speed threat in the Astros system.

2023 Stats: 99 G, .245 BA/.334 OBP/.467 SLG, 17 2B, 23 HR, 55 RBI, 46 SB

Kenedy Corona

Corona has been in the system a few years following a trade from the Mets. The 23-year-old played majority of the season in Double-A and showed off his talents connecting on 20 homers and stealing 31 bases. He also made a ton of highlight reel plays in the outfield. Corona is another prospect who won’t be far off and could be a contributor soon.

2023 Stats: 56 G, .251 BA/.331 OBP/.458 SLG, 21 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 65 RBI, 32 SB

Quincy Hamilton

Hamilton is another good looking outfield prospect in the Astros system. The 25-year-old made it up to Triple-A in 2023 posting a .792 OPS in 72 games. He had 13 homers but only stole 6 bases, which was unlike him. We later found out he had surgery on a bilateral core muscle, which ended his season. It was one of the reasons his speed fell off this year. You can listen to our interview with him below.

2023 Stats: 72 G, .250 BA/.350 OBP/.442 SLG, 14 2B, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 6 SB

Colin Barber

Barber was a 4th round pick in 2019 and each year has shown his ability, just struggled to stay healthy. 2023 was no different. The 23-year-old played in 79 games in Double-A posting a .792 OPS with 16 double and 11 homers. When healthy, he has shown to be an above average hitter at every level. He just needs to make it through a full season now. Read more on him here.

2023 Stats: 56 G, .283 BA/.397 OBP/.429 SLG, 10 2B, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 2 SB

Zach Daniels

Daniels was a high upside pick out of Tennessee in 2020. In 2023, he showed some of that upside slashing .278/.348/.469 with 20 doubles, 13 homers and 22 stolen bases in 79 Double-A games. He is another power/speed threat who has continued to get better. Strikeouts are a little high, but he produces when he connects.

2023 Stats: 84 G, .277 BA/.349 OBP/.462 SLG, 21 2B, 13 HR, 52 RBI, 22 SB


THE REST OF THE PACK

Luis Baez

Baez is one of the higher potential prospects in the system. At 19 years old, he played in the FCL where he had 7 homers in 17 games earning a quick promotion. He played the next 41 games in Single-A posting a .737 OPS. He has some legit pop and will be one to watch next year.

2023 Stats: 58 G, .248 BA/.357 OBP/.481 SLG, 15 2B, 11 HR, 38 RBI, 1 SB


Cam Fisher

Fisher was the Astros 4th round pick in 2023 and had a really good showing following the draft. The lefty hitting posted a .896 OPS with 6 double, 5 homers and 5 stolen bases in 31 games for the Woodpeckers. He also drew 22 walks, good for a 16.4 BB%.

2023 Stats: 32 G, .266 BA/.387 OBP/.487 SLG, 6 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 5 SB


Pedro Leon

Leon has been in the system for a few years and despite enormous upside, he hasn’t really progressed like some expected. He has great power and speed, evident by the 21 homers and 21 stolen bases this year, but he struck out 160 times in 128 games. He can still be a contributor but needs to cut down on the strikeouts.

2023 Stats: 128 G, .244 BA/.343 OBP/.435 SLG, 23 2B, 3 3B, 21 HR, 72 RBI, 21 SB


Justin Dirden

After a monster 2022 season and a great spring training, the hopes for Dirden were extremely high. He struggled at times posting just a .710 OPS in 84 games. He will get another opportunity this year to show what he can do in Triple-A.

2023 Stats: 84 G, .231 BA/.314 OBP/.396 SLG, 12 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 42 RBI, 4 SB


Logan Cerny

Cerny, like some other outfield prospects, has a ton of upside. He struggled a bit in 2023 posting just a .677 OPS in 84 games in High-A. He is 24-years-old and still has some time to turn it around in 2024.

2023 Stats: 84 G, .221 BA/.297 OBP/.380 SLG, 10 2B, 13 HR, 42 RBI, 20 SB


2024 OUTLOOK/CONCLUSION

The Astros outfield appears to be set on the surface. With Yordan Alvarez in left field, Chas McCormick in center field and Kyle Tucker in right field, it doesn’t appear there are any holes. But given Yordan’s injury history, he will end up DHing more times than not. This opens up a spot for a guy like Jake Meyers, or a prospect like Loperfido or Melton. 2024 spring training will be big for those guys to show what they can do with the big league club.

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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