|Houston Astros Top 5|
|1||Jason Castro||C||10th overall pick in '08; good bet to stick at catcher -- bat probably wouldn't play anywhere else||21.3||SS|
|2||Bud Norris||RHP||Solid in AA (23.9% K, 8.8% BB) -- limited by an elbow injury; 27.8% in AFL (72 PA); future RP?||23.6||AA|
|3||Ross Seaton||RHP||3rd rounder signed for $700,000; his fastball has touched 94, breaking ball could be very good||19.1||R|
|4||Brian Bogusevic||CF||Former 2-way NCAA player transitioning from SP to CF; .190 IsoP, 11.6% BB, 14.5% K (172 PA)||24.7||AA|
|5||Jordan Lyles||RHP||Outstanding rookie debut (4.8% BB, 30.8% K, 208 TBF); seen as an overdraft (38th overall)||19.0||R|
|Honorables: Chris Johnson (3B), Sam Gervacio (RHP), and Drew Sutton (SS).|
|* Our rankings combine a player's ceiling with the odds that he'll reach it and favor recent production|
|** Ages are as of November 1st, 2008|
|*** Level is the highest level the player has reached|
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Jason Castro -- Though he was a surprise pick in the 2008 Draft (10th overall), Castro, at that moment, became thetop prospect in the system. A lefty hitting catcher with some power andthe ability to stay behind the plate, Castro is the catcher of thefuture in Houston. He produced a 13.4% walk rate, 19.7% K, and .105 IsoP in his pro debut (157 short-season plate appearances).
Bud Norris -- Sporting the best fastball in thesystem and a good curve, Norris could see time in Houston this year.He struck out 27.8% of the 72 AFL hitters he faced last year, while walking 18.1%. During the regular season, Norris walked 8.8% versus 23.9% K (352 AA TBF) -- he missed about two months with an elbow injury. Norris needs to sharpen his control a bit, but he could be a valuablebullpen arm in the very near future.
Ross Seaton -- Signed to a $700,000 bonus, intelligent righty Ross Seaton passed up an opportunity to pitch for Tulane. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder'scurve could be a plus pitch and he has a fastball that has touched 94. Seaton only pitched four pro innings in 2008 (8 H, 2 BB, 4 K).
Brian Bogusevic -- Bogusevic (pictured to the right) willneed to prove that he can hit outside the Texas League, but hisconversion from pitcher to position player has shown positive resultsso far -- he was a fine two-way player at Tulane. A good runner who maybe able to stick in center field, Bogusevic was helped to a .408 Double-A wOBAby a .443 BABIP. Even if he can repeat his 21% Double-A line-drive rate, he'snot going to have as many balls drop for hits in 2009 as he did lastseason. Bogusevic is certainly a wild card, as he's getting old for aprospect but clearly has talent at the plate.
Jordan Lyles -- Considered an overdraft bysome (38th overall), Lyles responded with an encouraging pro debut, showing theability to miss bats as a teenager in rookie ball (4.8% BB, 30.8% K, in 208 rookie TBF). Lyles was promoted to short-season ball for his final two appearances of the season, where he walked seven in his first outing (1.2 IP) before finishing on a better note (4.0 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K).