Astros announce 2016 non-roster invites

Perez and Valdez, newly signed to Minors deals, among group of 19

January 1st, 2016

Less than a year after the Astros made him the second overall pick in the 2015 Draft, shortstop Alex Bregman will come to Major League camp with Houston this spring.

Bregman is one of 19 non-roster players the Astros invited to Spring Training on Friday, a list that includes seven pitchers and 12 position players. Several other top prospects are among the group, along with outfielder Eury Perez and right-hander Cesar Valdez, whom Houston signed to Minor League deals on Friday.

Bregman, 21, is ranked by as the Astros' No. 1 prospect and baseball's No. 21 prospect overall. The LSU product split 66 games between Class A Quad Cities and Class A Advanced Lancaster in his pro debut, batting .294/.366/.415 with four home runs and 13 stolen bases.

Other prospects in the Astros' top 30 who received invites were first baseman A.J. Reed (No. 4), outfielder Derek Fisher (No. 7), third baseman Colin Moran (No. 9), second baseman Tony Kemp (No. 10), third baseman J.D. Davis (No. 11), right-hander Chris Devenski (No. 16), righty Brady Rodgers (No. 21), infielder Tyler White (No. 28) and righty Brendan McCurry (No. 29).

The other invitees are righties Jake Buchanan, James Hoyt, and Jordan Jankowski; catchers Tyler Heineman and Roberto Pena; infielder Joe Sclafani and outfielder Jon Kemmer.

Perez, 25, played 47 games for the Braves last season and hit .269/.331/.303 with no homers and three steals. He has played all three outfield spots during parts of four seasons with Atlanta, the Yankees and the Nationals.

Valdez, 30, made his only nine big league appearances for the 2010 D-backs. He spent last season with Tabasco of the Mexican League, posting a 2.63 ERA and 161 strikeouts over 160 2/3 innings.

With these 19 non-roster invitees, Houston's Spring Training roster stands at 57 players, including 28 pitchers. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Feb. 18, with position players following on Feb. 22.