Baseball America released their Top 100 prospects rankings and the Houston Astros were well represented once again. Five minor-leaguers made the list, led by Francis Martes (No. 15) and Kyle Tucker (No. 19). Fellow pitchers David Paulino (No. 51) and Franklin Perez (No. 54) joined Martes. First base prospect A.J. Reed (No. 72) rounded out the five.
MLB.com published their list a couple weeks ago and while there are some similarities, there are noticeable differences between the two.
Baseball America is buying into Perez
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two lists is their rankings of young pitcher Franklin Perez. Baseball America has the 19-year-old as the 54th best prospect, while MLB.com does not have him listed at all. Perez will probably show up on all Top 100 rankings soon, but he is still only in Low-A and has pitched only 66 2/3 innings stateside. The right-hander was impressive nonetheless. He had a 2.84 earned run average with 75 strikeouts and just 19 walks. While no one can argue Perez isn’t deserving of his Top 100 prospect status, it is shocking Baseball America is so high on him so soon.
Tucker is elite
When MLB.com released their list and Tucker ranked 35th, it was noted that another solid year would cement his status as a Top 20 prospect. Well, Baseball America believes he is already there. He jumped up 42 spots from their 2016 list after hitting .285 with 41 extra base hits and 32 stolen bases. This year has the opportunity to be better as he grows into more power. The future is bright for the 20-year-old.
They still believe in Reed
In 2016, Baseball America ranked Reed the 11th best prospect in the game. While his power was down and his brief cameo in the majors was disappointing, they still believe in the first baseman. Although he dropped a whopping 61 spots, his power and on-base ability are still elite. Reed deserves to remain in these rankings, but he will need to make adjustments in what will be the biggest year of his pro career.
Martes ranked as second best
Martes ranked below only Cardinals stud Alex Reyes among pitching prospects. That is a huge compliment to be ahead of the likes of Tyler Glasnow and Michael Kopech. The right-hander had impressive numbers as the youngest player in the Texas League, which is a notoriously easy place to hit. He will play the entire season at 21 years old and should make his MLB debut sometime in 2017.
Dillon Healy is a Staff Writer for Outside Pitch MLB. You can follow him on Twitter here.