HOUSTON -- Despite trading several top prospects in the last year in deals that landed outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Mike Fiers and Ken Giles among others, and the promotion of some big names (Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers) to the big leagues last year, the Astros' Minor League system
HOUSTON -- Despite trading several top prospects in the last year in deals that landed outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Mike Fiers and Ken Giles among others, and the promotion of some big names (Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers) to the big leagues last year, the Astros' Minor League system remains strong.
Several of the club's top prospects will be in Major League camp this spring, where there could be a job or two to win. The club is pretty much set when it comes to defensive positions, save for first base where Tyler White, Matt Duffy, A.J. Reed and Jon Singleton will be battling it out, and backup catcher.
• Newcomers | Comeback candidates
Part III of our Spring Training preview takes a look at Prospects to Watch:
SS Alex Bregman: The No. 2 overall pick in last year's Draft, the former LSU shortstop finished the year at Class A Lancaster, where he hit .319 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 160 at-bats. He's likely to begin the year as the starting shortstop at Double-A Corpus Christi and should rise quickly.
RHP Michael Feliz: The hard-throwing Feliz made his Major League debut last year and appeared in five games in relief. His overpowering fastball remains his bread and butter, and a move to the bullpen could be forthcoming if his secondary pitches don't catch up to the fastball.
IF/OF Tony Kemp: Kemp will be in Major League camp after splitting last year between second base and the outfield at Double-A and Triple-A. He put up solid offensive numbers (.308/.388/.386) with 48 RBIs and 35 stolen bases, but his fit on a big league roster has yet to be determined.
3B Colin Moran: The sixth pick in the 2013 Draft, Moran hit .306 with nine homers and 67 RBIs in 366 at-bats. He's likely to be the starting third baseman at Triple-A Fresno and could make his Major League debut this year and eventually take over for Luis Valbuena.
RHP Joe Musgrove: Musgrove was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year after leading all of the Minors in strikeout-to-walk ratio (12.38). He went 12-1 with a 1.88 ERA combined between Corpus Christi and Lancaster. He could be in the Majors this year, but definitely will contribute by 2017 because of his ability to throw strikes.
1B Reed: Reed led all of the Minors in home runs (34), RBIs (127) and OPS (1.044) last year while batting .340 in a 135 combined games between Corpus Christi and Lancaster. He'll likely play for the Astros at some point this year.
IF White: White doesn't appear on prospect lists because of his age (25) and where he was drafted (33rd round), but there's no ignoring the numbers. He will come to camp competing for the first-base job after hitting .325 with 14 homers, 99 RBIs, 84 walks and only 73 strikeouts in 403 at-bats last year between Double-A and Triple-A.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.