Houston Astros first round draft pick Korey Lee talks with Robinson Chirinos #28 during batting practice at Minute Maid Park on June 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
A review of the catcher position in the Astros minor league system
Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2019 season. This week we will start with catcher position.
The Astros signed Quintana for $200,000 back in November 2017 out of Cuba. Quintana put up a solid season in 2018 playing in AA. In 2019, he had a breakout, albeit at age 30, when he had a .889 OPS across AA and AAA. He played in 74 games and clubbed 17 HR. He destroyed AAA to the tune of a 166 wRC+ and had an 81 wRC+ in AAA. He will be 31 before next season starts, so interesting to see how his career path goes from here.
2019 Stats: 74 G, .299 BA/.342 OBP/.547 SLG, 16 2B, 17 HR, 56 RBI, 132 wRC+
Lee was the Astros first round pick in the 2019 draft (32nd overall). He had a solid start to his professional career hitting .268 with .730 OPS in 64 games. He also finished with 6 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, and 8 SB. He finished the season strong hitting .365 with .959 OPS in the final 15 games of the season. He also posted respectable walk (10.8 BB%) and strikeout (18.9 K%) as a 20 year old with a 122 wRC+. He is easily the top catching prospect in the system.
2019 Stats: 64 G, .268 BA/.359 OBP/.371 SLG, 6 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 8 SB, 28 BB/49 SO
Perry was a 5th round pick out of high school back in the 2017 draft. He had a mini coming out party as a 19 year old in the NYPL posting a .816 OPS in 67 games. He showed nice power finishing with 11 2B, 12 HR and a .462 OPS while being almost 2 years younger than the average player. This also came with a great 13.1 BB% and a 145 wRC+. While Lee has the edge on him, he is probably #2 in terms of catching prospects at this point.
2019 Stats: 67 G, .244 BA/.354 OBP/.462 SLG, 11 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 35 RBI, 36 BB/62 SO
THE REST OF THE PACK
Stubbs, the brother of Garrett, had a nice professional debut playing for Tri-City and Quad Cities. He posted a .799 OPS with 19 XBH in just 55 games. Overall this was good for a 10.4 BB% and a 137 wRC+.
2019 Stats: 55 G, .249 BA/.340 OBP/.459 SLG, 10 2B, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 7 SB, 22 BB/50 SO
Ritchie has been in the system since 2014, but has made his way through the system and played at AAA in 2019. He was solid with the bat, posting a .787 OPS. He doesn’t have much power but did hit 20 2B in 79 games this season.
2019 Stats: 79 G, .270 BA/.375 OBP/.409 SLG, 20 2B, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 41 BB/56 SO
Manea was acquired in the trade that sent J.D. Davis to the Mets. The 23 year old finished the season with 14 2B, 12 HR in 102 games, good for a 118 wRC+ for the season.
2019 Stats: 102 G, .235 BA/.347 OBP/.387 SLG, 14 2B, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 36 BB/83 SO
Rodriguez played this season in the GCL as a 19 year old. His overall numbers were solid with a .833 OPS and a very good walk rate. Overall he had a 140 wRC+ this season.
2019 Stats: 31 G, .263 BA/.391 OBP/.442 SLG, 8 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 19 BB/29 SO
The Astros were lacking a top prospect at the position, but got one this season with Korey Lee. They have developed depth as well with the emergence of Nathan Perry, Nerio Rodriguez and the acquisition of Scott Manea. Lee and Perry should both be in full season ball, and Manea should have a chance to play in AA next season. Finally, the catcher position will actually be interesting to keep an eye on.