Top Astros prospect Kyle Tucker was among 19 players invited to Houston's Major League Spring Training camp on Thursday.Tucker, a 21-year-old outfielder and reigning Astros Minor League Player of the Year, headlines the group of non-roster invitees headed to Florida next month. Other notables include catcher Garrett Stubbs, lefty Framber
Top Astros prospect Kyle Tucker was among 19 players invited to Houston's Major League Spring Training camp on Thursday.
Tucker, a 21-year-old outfielder and reigning Astros Minor League Player of the Year, headlines the group of non-roster invitees headed to Florida next month. Other notables include catcher Garrett Stubbs, lefty Framber Valdez, right-hander Rogelio Armenteros and outfielder Drew Ferguson.
Tucker, the Astros' first-round pick in 2015, hit .274 with 25 homers and 90 RBIs in 120 games across two levels last season, earning himself the No. 8 spot on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list. He wrapped up 2017 as the No. 5 outfield prospect in baseball. The 2017 Futures Game All-Star appeared in three Major League Spring Training games last year, going 1-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts for Houston.
Stubbs, 24, finished 2017 as the Astros' No. 8 prospect after hitting .232 with four homers and 37 RBIs for Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno. He was Houston's eighth-round pick in 2015.
Valdez, a 24-year-old lefty from the Dominican Republic, went 7-8 with a 4.16 ERA in 25 outings last year across two levels. The Astros' No. 12 prospect in 2017 struck out 126 and walked 53 over 110 1/3 innings.
Armenteros, signed out of Cuba in 2014, reached Triple-A in his second season last year, going 10-4 with a 2.04 ERA in 123 2/3 innings. He finished last year as the Astros' No. 19 prospect.
Ferguson batted .275 with nine homers and 41 RBis in 113 games, mostly with Double-A Corpus Christi. The Texas League All-Star ended the season as Houston's No. 26 prospect.
Others included as non-roster invitees were righties Jacob Dorris, Matt Ramsey, Riley Ferrell, Mike Hauschild, Brendan McCurry and Trent Thornton. Infielders Randy César, Jack Mayfield and Nick Tanielu made the list, as did outfielders Alejandro Garcia, Jon Kemmer and Myles Straw. Catchers Tim Federowicz and Jamie Ritchie will also join the big leaguers.
Notably absent from the list was 20-year-old right-hander Forrest Whitley, the Astros' first-round pick in 2016 who went 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA in 23 games last year before earning Houston's Minor League Pitcher of the Year award. He struck out 143 and walked 34 in 92 1/3 innings.