Here's where the Astros' Top 30 prospects are starting the season

April 4th, 2024

With the Minor League season opening this week, here's where the Astros' Top 30 prospects are projected to start:

1. Jacob Melton (MLB No. 96), OF -- Corpus Christi (Double-A)
2. Luis Baez, OF -- Asheville (High-A)
3. Spencer Arrighetti, RHP -- Sugar Land (Triple-A)
4. Brice Matthews, SS -- Asheville (High-A)
5. Zach Dezenzo, 3B/2B -- Corpus Christi (Double-A) -- injured list (wrist)
6. Joey Loperfido, OF/2B/1B -- Sugar Land (Triple-A)
7. Zach Cole, OF -- Corpus Christi (Double-A) -- injured list (hamstring)
8. A.J. Blubaugh, RHP -- Corpus Christi (Double-A)
9. Jose Fleury, RHP -- Corpus Christi (Double-A)
10. Colton Gordon, LHP -- Sugar Land (Triple-A) -- injured list (lat strain)
11. Jake Bloss, RHP -- Asheville (High-A)
12. Kenedy Corona, OF -- Corpus Christi (Double-A)
13. Alonzo Tredwell, RHP -- Extended Spring Training
14. Rhett Kouba, RHP -- Sugar Land (Triple-A)
15. Will Wagner, 2B/3B -- Sugar Land (Triple-A)
16. Michael Knorr, RHP -- Corpus Christi (Double-A)
17. Andrew Taylor, RHP -- Asheville (High-A)
18. Waner Luciano, 3B/OF -- Fayetteville (Single-A)
19. Cesar Hernandez, OF -- Dominican Republic complex
20. Colin Barber, OF -- Corpus Christi (Double-A)
21. Miguel Ullola, RHP -- Corpus Christi (Double-A)
22. Trey Dombroski, LHP -- Asheville (High-A)
23. Cam Fisher, OF -- Asheville (High-A)
24. Miguel Palma, C/1B -- Corpus Christi (Double-A)
25. Alimber Santa, RHP -- Fayetteville (Single-A)
26. Pedro León, OF/2B -- Sugar Land (Triple-A)
27. Esmil Valencia, OF -- Extended Spring Training
28. Camilo Diaz, SS -- Extended Spring Training
29. Chase Jaworsky, SS -- Fayetteville (Single-A)
30. Misael Tamarez, RHP -- Sugar Land (Triple-A)

Team to watch
Double-A Corpus Christi is well fortified in the outfield with the system's lone Top 100 Prospect, Jacob Melton, as well as Zach Cole (currently on the injured list), Kenedy Corona and Colin Barber. Hard-hitting infielder Zach Dezenzo also is sidelined to start the season but should join the lineup before too long. The Hooks have mound depth with right-handers A.J. Blubaugh, Jose Fleury, Michael Knorr and Miguel Ullola.

Teams on MLB.TV and MiLB.TV
Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Triple-A)
Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A)
Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Single-A)

Players we could see in MLB in 2024
The organization's Minor League pitcher (right-hander Spencer Arrighetti) and hitter (outfielder Joey Loperfido) of the year in 2023 both are on the verge of contributing in Houston. Loperfido started this season with four homers in his first five Triple-A games. The Astros seem to come up with at least one underappreciated arm who makes an impact in the Majors every year, and left-hander Colton Gordon and righty Rhett Kouba fit that mold. Infielder Will Wagner is the son of the franchise's all-time saves leader and a classic overachiever who could grit his way to the big leagues this summer.

New faces
The Astros drafted right-hander Alonzo Tredwell in 2023's second round even though he went down in April with back issues at UCLA, and they've brought him along slowly while awaiting his pro debut. Cuban outfielder Cesar Hernandez's 25-25 upside helped him land a $1.7 million bonus in January. He's already 20 years old, so he could get time with a full-season affiliate later in the season.

On the shelf
Dezenzo (wrist) and Cole (hamstring) should be healthy enough to play at Corpus Christi in the near future. Gordon (lat strain) is expected to join the Triple-A Sugar Land staff by the end of April. Tredwell is building up in extended spring training and will make his pro debut at Single-A Fayetteville once he's ready.