Francis Martes and Derek Fisher joined the Astros organization less than two months apart in 2014. Almost three years later, they'll be joining Houston together at Spring Training.
Martes, the Astros' No. 1 prospect, is ranked 29th overall by MLB.com; Fisher checks in at No. 5 in the organization and No. 83 overall. Houston invited a total of 15 non-roster players to big league camp, a number that also includes No. 11 prospect J.D. Davis, 28th-ranked farmhand Ramon Laureano and No. 30 prospect Garrett Stubbs.
Bouncing back after a rough six appearances -- five starts -- to open the season at Double-A Corpus Christi, Martes finished with 131 strikeouts, 47 walks and a 3.30 ERA in 125 1/3 innings. After allowing three earned runs in five innings against San Antonio on May 10, the 21-year-old right-hander posted a 2.52 ERA in his final 19 appearances (17 starts) and went 7-4 with a 114 to 31 strikeout-to-walk ratio -- a big improvement over his 17 to 16 mark through May 10.
Fisher batted .245/.373/.448 in 102 games with the Hooks before earning a promotion to Triple-A Fresno, where he hit .290/.347/.505 with five homers, 17 RBIs and five stolen bases in 27 games in August and September. Overall, the outfielder posted a .255/.367/.448 line with 21 long balls, 76 RBIs and 28 stolen bases while drawing 83 walks.
Davis has hit at every stop in the Minors since being drafted in the third round in 2014, and the third baseman tore up the Texas League last season, ranking second in slugging (.485), third in RBIs (81), tied for third in home runs (23) and fifth in OPS (.818). Laureano was drafted 13 rounds after Davis in 2014, but the outfielder enjoyed a breakout 2016 at Class A Advanced Lancaster and Corpus Christi, hitting .319/.428/.528 with 15 homers, 43 stolen bases and 89 runs in 116 games. Stubbs was promoted to the Hooks 17 days before Laureano and posted a .304/.391/.469 line with 10 homers and 15 steals, showing plus athleticism and baserunning ability for a catcher.
Others invited to Astros camp are right-handers Edison Frias, Jordan Jankowski, Tyson Perez, Cy Sneed and Aaron West, left-hander Brian Holmes, outfielders Alejandro Garcia and Jon Kemmer, catcher Tyler Heineman and infielder Jon Singleton. Houston also signed three free agents to Minor League deals -- infielder Reid Brignac, catcher Juan Centeno and left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser -- with invites to Spring Training.