The Houston Astros have whittled their spring training roster to 32 after sending a number of players to their minor league camp including a pair of promising prospects.
Announced prior to their game against the Braves at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex today, the Astros optioned RHP Michael Feliz and IF Jon Singleton, and reassigned RHP Jake Buchanan, C Tyler Heineman, OF Eury Perez, 1B/DH A.J. Reed, IF Joe Sclafani and RHP Cesar Valdez, all to their minor league camp.
Feliz, 22, is the organization’s No. 10 rated prospect, according to MLB.com, and No. 8 by Baseball Prospectus. Signed by the Oakland Athletics as an amateur free agent on February 11, 2010, the contract was voided a month later. He then signed with the Astros on May 19 that same year.
The Dominican Republic native is a power arm who, at 6’4” and 230 pounds, throws consistently in the mid-to-upper 90s. He needs to refine his command including his slider and will likely return to the majors in the bullpen. He got into five games with the Astros last season and had no record with a 7.88 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. This spring he was 1-0/1.29/1.21.
Reed is only behind highly touted Alex Bregman as the best in the organization. He is ranked No. 2 by both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus after being taken in the second round, 42nd overall, of the 2014 draft out of the University of Kentucky. Three years earlier the Mets took him in the 25th round, but did not sign.
The 22-year old has made quite an impression in his brief minor league career after breaking in at low A-ball through Double-A and has amassed 46 homers and 181 RBI, not counting his time in the Arizona Fall League, in just two seasons of pro ball. If there is a knock on him is a “lack of elite bat speed,” but his pure brute strength will carry him to the majors in short order. He is not a slick fielder so it’s a good thing the Astros are now in the American League where he can be a permanent designated hitter.
Jon Singleton, 24, struggled this spring hitting just .125 although he did hit a pair of homers and drove in six. In his brief major league career, the former eighth round pick by the Phillies in the 2009 draft has shown to have big power, but doesn’t hit for average and strikes out too much. In his rookie campaign two years ago, he belted 13 round-trippers driving home 44 in 95 games, unfortunately he fanned 134 times with a .168 average. He was acquired from Philadelphia on July 29, 2011 as part of a multi-player deal.
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