3 star Astros prospects who must be on expanded September roster for World Series push
The Houston Astros are trying to run away with the top seed in the American League. As the New York Yankees crumble in the AL East, the Astros have only gotten stronger, and could turn the race into a laugher with some more strong play over the next few weeks of the season.
Houston is clearly a World Series favorite, and they made some solid moves at the 2022 MLB trade deadline to help them make another deep postseason run. Those additions have already proved to be helpful, and should continue to pay off as the season progresses.
Rosters will expand to 28 players in September, and Houston will have some choices to make in terms of who they add to their major-league roster. This is always a great time to give some prospects in the organization their first taste of the majors, and that could prove true for Houston this season. Let’s take a look at three star prospects in Houston’s farm system that could be called up to aid their World Series push in September.
3 prospects the Houston Astros should promote in September
3. Pedro Leon
Each of the three players we will look at here are among the Astros top five prospects, so getting them some major league experience down the stretch of the season would seem to be quite beneficial for them. Pedro Leon is the Astros fourth overall prospect, and he’s certainly an interesting player to look at.
Leon can play all over the field, and has spent time at second base, shortstop, third base, center field, and right field throughout his minor league career. In 2022, Leon has primarily spent time in the outfield, but his positional versatility should help keep him in the lineup if he were to emerge as a starter down the line.
Leon has spent the entire 2022 season with the Super Land Space Cowboys, and has been a bit inconsistent (.237 BA, 14 HR, 53 RBI, .822 OPS). It would be nice to see Leon’s batting average be higher, but he’s shown enough potential with his bat to warrant a call-up in September. Leon is currently on the injuried list after getting hit in the face with the ball, but he may be able to return this season, and if he does, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Houston to give him a taste of major league baseball.
2. Yainer Diaz
Yainer Diaz is another do-it-all prospect who could make some noise for the Astros in September. Diaz is currently the Astros third overall prospect, and has been on fire for most of the season in the minors. He earned a midseason promotion to Triple-A with the Space Cowboys, and his success there could help him reach the majors in September.
Diaz primarily plays at either catcher or first base in the field, but he’s also filled in at left and right field a couple of times as well. Similar to Leon, that versatility in the field should help him stay in the lineup throughout his career. Diaz has been really solid since being promoted to Triple-A (.258 BA, 12 HR, 35 RBI, .846 OPS), and he could provide a nice little spark off the bench for the Astros in September.
It’s worth noting that Diaz’s average has dropped nearly 60 points (.316 to .258) since he was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A. That is a bit concerning, but Diaz has proven to be a solid power hitter regardless over the past two seasons, and giving him a quick run in the majors could help him establish himself in the majors next season. Diaz has a lot of upside as a hitter, and he could make an immediate impact in Houston if he were to get promoted this season.
1. Hunter Brown
Hunter Brown is the Astros top prospect, while also being the 71st prospect on the MLB’s recently updated top 100 prospects list. Brown has spent the entire 2022 season in Triple-A, and he’s been dominant. His numbers (7-3, 2.45 ERA, 118 K, 1.12 WHIP) paint the picture of a player that is ready to get called up the majors immediately.
Brown is a versatile pitcher who can slot in wherever the Astros would need him. He’s made most of his appearences as a starter this season, but he’s also been used out of the bullpen too. Houston’s starting rotation is pretty much set, so it would make sense to throw Brown in the bullpen in September and see what he’s got.
Chances are Brown will make it on the Astros major league roster to start the 2023 season, and he could play a big part in the team’s future. Giving him a chance to experience the majors now would make a world of a difference come next season. And given how good he’s been in Triple-A, it isn’t out of the picture to think he could dominate early and make a case for a spot on Houston’s playoff roster later this season, which would be the perfect scenario for Brown if he ends up getting promoted.