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Here are the Astros' 2019 Top 30 Prospects

@JimCallisMLB
February 28, 2019

The Astros came in sixth in MLB Pipeline's latest farm system rankings, and they stand apart from the five teams who ranked ahead of them in an enviable way.

The Astros came in sixth in MLB Pipeline's latest farm system rankings, and they stand apart from the five teams who ranked ahead of them in an enviable way.

Top 30 Prospects lists
AL East BAL, BOS, NYY, TB, TOR
NL East ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI, WSH
AL Central CLE, CWS, DETKC, MIN
NL Central CHC, CIN, MIL, PIT, STL
AL West HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX
NL West ARI, COL, LAD, SD, SF
Division Team
Breakdown of all 30 team lists

Houston has enjoyed four consecutive winning seasons that include the 2017 World Series championship and 17 postseason victories. During that same time period, the Blue Jays, Braves, Padres, Rays and White Sox -- listed alphabetically so as to not give away the yet-be-revealed order of our top five -- have combined for four over-.500 seasons and 11 playoff wins.

No organization is doing a better job than the Astros at sustaining success in the big leagues and player development at the same time. Each of their six Top 100 Prospects could contribute in the Majors in 2019 if needed, with Kyle Tucker and Josh James pushing for Opening Day jobs and Forrest Whitley, Yordan Alvarez, Corbin Martin and J.B. Bukauskas ready later in the season.

The methods in which those six players were acquired testifies to the thoroughness of Houston's efforts. Whitley, Tucker and Bukauskas all were first-round picks, while Martin was a second-rounder. By contrast, Alvarez was stolen in a trade with the Dodgers for Josh Fields before he even made his pro debut, and James was a 34th-rounder from Western Oklahoma State JC whose stuff took off after the Astros worked with him. They're also doing good work on the international front, with their next-best prospects after the Top 100 group hailing from the Dominican Republic (shortstop Freudis Nova, right-hander Bryan Abreu) and Cuba (left-hander Cionel Perez).

Here's a look at the Astros' top prospects:

1) Forrest Whitley, RHP

2) Kyle Tucker, OF

3) Yordan Alvarez, OF

4) Josh James, RHP

5) Corbin Martin, RHP

Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2018 preseason list to the 2019 preseason list:

Jump: Josh James, RHP (2018: NR | 2019: 4) -- Stuff exploded last season as he led Minors in strikeout rate (13.5 per nine innings), pushed his way onto Houston's postseason roster.

Fall: Joe Perez, 3B (2018: 14 | 2019: NR) -- Former pitcher still has intriguing offensive potential but has played in just four pro games in two years after having Tommy John surgery.

Best tools

Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.

Hit: 60 -- Kyle Tucker

Power: 60 -- Kyle Tucker

Run: 70 -- Myles Straw

Arm: 70 -- Deury Carrasco

Defense: 60 -- Jeremy Pena (Myles Straw)

Fastball: 70 -- Josh James (Forrest Whitley)

Curveball: 65 -- Bryan Abreu

Slider: 65 -- J.B. Bukauskas

Changeup: 65 -- Forrest Whitley

Control: 55 -- Corbin Martin

How they were built

Draft: 18 | International: 8 | Trade: 4

Breakdown by ETA

2019: 11 | 2020: 8 | 2021: 6 | 2022: 5

Breakdown by position

C: 1 | 1B: 0 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 1 | SS: 4 | OF: 8 | RHP: 13 | LHP: 2

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.