In news that should come as no surprise, the Astros top prospect is none other than Jordan Lyles. Baseball America has ranked the young starter as the 42nd best prospect in baseball. They praise his command and his changeup, and expect him to be MLB ready this year. Lyles will probably start the year in Oklahoma City, but could earn a midseason promotion. The Astros figure to open the year with Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, J.A. Happ, and Bud Norris in the rotation, but haven't really figured out who will occupy the fifth slot yet.â†µ
In news that actually is a surprise, the Astros have a second player on the list. Barely. SS Jonathan Villar, acquired in last season's Roy Oswalt trade with the Phillies, checks in at No. 94 on the BA Top 100. BA likes his speed and they grade him as a high potential prospect who will be ready in 2013. Villar has stolen 83 bases in three professional seasons, and figures to start the year at the Astros A+ affiliate in Lancaster. He hit just .225 in a small sample size there last season. It's somewhat of a coup for Ed Wade to land Villar on this list, as he was roundly criticized for the Oswalt trade, but Villar still has a long ways to go to become a good player. He's all projection at this point, like most Astros prospects.