According to ESPN’s Keith Law (Insider link), the Houston Astros have the number one ranked farm system in Major League Baseball. Considering that the Astros have only ranked first in negative categories in recent years, this recent development should come as welcome news to Houston fans.
However, to be fair, this is not a “recent development.” The Astros have been shrewd businessmen in the last couple years and while the results have been horrendous on the field, good times appear to be on their way. Houston has used its recent futility to use their high draft picks to stock their farm system with young talent, from position players to pitchers.
The 2012 number one overall draft pick, nineteen-year shortstop is ranked as the 8th best prospect by MLB.com. Top pick in the 2013 draft, right-handed starter Mark Appel is ranked 17th. There are five other Astros ranked in the top 70 and the Astros already have some good young talent on their active roster.
Brett Oberholtzer, Josh Zeid, and Jarred Cosart all contributed in their stints as pitchers last season and will look to have a full season worth of work in 2014. Outfielder Robbie Grossman and third baseman Matt Dominguez also showed promise in 2013.
The Astros have lost an astounding 324 games in the last three seasons and in 2013 they were defeated 111 times. These are lean times in Houston and it probably won’t be much better in 2014, but good times are just around the corner.