Four of the Astros best prospects were acquired from the Phillies in trades, including top player Jonathan Singleton.
Read the latest edition of Baseball America and you'll understand why Ed Wade and the Astros were motivated to replenish the farm system through trades. Since 2002, most of their top-rated talent has either played its way out of organized baseball or into irrelevancy.
If the Astros have any hope of improving from doormat status in their new American League digs than a quartet of former Phillies will need to factor heavily in their future, starting with Singleton, who hit .333/.405/.512 with four homers in 129 at bats for Class-A Lancaster in the weeks following the Hunter Pence trade. "Scouts use words like 'explosive' and 'impact' when describing his bat," according to Baseball America, who rated his power and pure hitting skills as the best in the Astros' chain and tabbed him as the best first base prospect in the minors. Singleton's ETA is 2013 with a high-side projection of 25-30 homers a year.
Six of the seven top prospects came to Houston in either the Pence deal, the Michael Bourn trade with Atlanta or the 2010 Roy Oswalt swap. Right-hander Jarred Cosart rates second and "has No. 1 starter stuff," but not necessarily ace command. The magazine rates his fastball, and curveball, as the best in the system. Shortstop Jonathan Villar, part of the Oswalt package, rated fourth and "may be the toolsiest shortstop in the minors," according to BA. Massive, raw outfielder Domingo Santana, who rated sixth, has drawn comparisions to Jermaine Dye and went on a tear following his trade from Philadelphia, hitting .382/.447/.662 with five homers for Low-A Lexington. He's only 19.
Indeed, Philadelphia's desire to win now could mean that Houston wins tomorrow.