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Baseball America Rates The Astros Farm System

One of the most anticipated books of the spring has been previewed on Baseball America's website, when they released part of their organizational report for the Astros. In it, they break down the Astros' top 10 prospects, the players with the best tools, and a projected lineup in 2014.

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Their top 10 isn't surprising and actually fits pretty nicely to the one TCB did earlier this year. Sure, TCB ranked Ariel Ovando higher and Jonathan Villar lower, but all in all, it was pretty close. The surprise there for me is Jimmy Paredes, who doesn't strike me as a particularly good prospect right now. But, that's just quibbling over rankings.

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What really struck me was the list of projected starters in four years. In particular, the starting rotation BA predicts for the Astros is a lot older than I would have expected. Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and JA Happ are all there and will be 35, 33 and 31 that season. Three of the top five in a rotation over the age of 30 seems a little, well, OLD to me for a team that would still be rebuilding.

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Also interesting is that Jonathan Villar is slotted in as the starting shortstop, even though Jio Mier is the fifth best prospect in the system. I could've bet that BA would rate him this highly, since they talk with numerous scouts to get their rankings in order and Villar has a ton of toolsy talent but not a lot of production. A guy who's opposite that trend fell three spots behind Villar despite the fact that J.D. Martinez may have a better shot of sticking in the majors this season.

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On a side note, I've really missed talking about prospects. Is spring training here yet?

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