The Astros will likely break Spring Training with five players who have Houston-area ties on their Opening Day roster. (Byrdak and Berkman-Rice; Bourn-Aldine and UofH; Towles-Crosby HS; Sampson- Channelview HS)
The Astros also have two top prospects (Ross Seaton and Koby Clemens) who are products of Houston-area high schools. This collection of Houston-based talent in the system along with the large number of prospects throughout the league from the Bayou City make me wonder what potential Farmstros are currently playing on the ball fields in the shadow of Minute Maid Park.
NOTE: Baseball America's Prospect Handbook rates this top 31 prospects from each Major League franchise. These lists include 26 players with Houston connections.
Three Houston area high school players are rated in the top 50 by Baseball America as the season begins. #48 is LaPorte outfielder Kendrick Perkins. Perkins is committed to play at Texas A&M in 2011. Meanwhile, two high school arms from The Woodlands are worth watching. Jameson Taillon, RHP from The Woodlands High School is rated #1 in the nation. John Simms, RHP from College Park High School, also in The Woodlands, is rated #40.
If you are planning some high school baseball watching The Woodlands and College Park will face off three times this spring during the regular season: March 16 @The Woodlands HS (7:00); March 30 @College Park HS (7:00); and April 1 @ The Woodlands (7:00).
Meanwhile on the collegiate level, Rick Hague, Rice's Junior Shortstop, is rated as the 10th best draft eligible collegian heading into the season. Looking a little further into the future, Owls sophomore Third Baseman Anthony Rendon is on many All-American lists and should be highly rated as the 2011 Draft approaches.