Houston Astros Top MiLB Tools

Fontana, Nolan

With the minor league season officially wrapped up, it’s time to look back at the each organization’s top tools. Note: only everyday players with 250+ plate appearances, starting pitchers with 80+ innings, and relievers with 40+ innings were considered. For more Top MiLB Tools click here.

Houston Astros Top Prospects for 2013.



Hit Tool: Carlos Correa, SS

Power: George Springer, CF

Eye: Nolan Fontana, SS

Base Stealer: Delino Deshields, 2B

K-Ability: Lance McCullers, RHP

Control: Jake Buchanan, RHP

[/pullquote] Best Hit Tool: Overshadowed by the player chosen directly after him – Minnesota’s Byron Buxton –shortstop Carlos Correa performed up to potential superstar standards in his own right. As an 18-year-old in the Midwest League, Correa hit .320/.405/.467 while showing an incredibly advanced feel for hitting.

Best Power: Arguably the top power/speed combo in the minor leagues, center fielder George Springer came up just three homeruns shy of the vaunted 40/40 club. His 37 dingers was the second most in the majors.

Best Plate Discipline: Owner of the elite eye in all of the minor leagues, shortstop Nolan Fontana sports a career 144-to-167 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has walked in more than 23% of his career plate appearances.

Best Base Stealer: Not as fast as Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton, but with a better hit tool and power, Delino Deshields Jr. grabbed 51 bases this season and 101 in 2012. Since turning pro Deshields has stolen 187 bags with a 79.2% success rate.

Best Ability to Miss Bats: Lance McCullers, who was nabbed in the supplemental first round, punched out 117 hitters in 104.2 innings this season in the Midwest League. Not bad work for a 19-year-old.

Best Control: A breakout year, at least in terms of his career arc up to that point, Jake Buchanan posted a 2.96 ERA thanks in large part to issuing just 22 free passes in 158.1 innings across Double-A and Triple-A.


Photo of Nolan Fontana Courtesy of James Schubert via MiLB.com.


After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.