The Houston Astros called up one of their top prospects on Thursday, bringing in Canadian infielder Abraham Toro.
Currently considered by MLB Pipeline as Houston’s sixth-ranked prospect, Toro is an intriguing utilityman with plenty of offensive upside.
After spending the bulk of the 2019 season playing double-A Texas League ball with the Corpus Christi Hooks, a short stint with the triple-A Round Rock Express was all Astros brass needed to bring the Canuck up to the bigs.
2019 Texas League All-Star Houston @Astros infielder
— Corpus Christi Hooks (@cchooks) August 22, 2019
Here’s what you need to know about Toro as he prepares for his big-league debut.
Age: 22 (born Dec. 20, 1996)
Birthplace: Longueuil, Que.
Drafted: Fifth round, 157th overall, 2016 (Houston)
Height | Weight: 6-foot-1 | 190 lbs.
He’s a versatile defender
Toro has made the majority of his 2019 starts at third base, and considers that his most natural position — he primarily played third base during his college ball career at Seminole State College and Houston drafted him at the position. He has however slotted in at various infield positions in the minors, covering first base, second base and, in 2017, he even completed a short stint as catcher.
His versatility around the diamond doesn’t stop with his defending. Toro is also a switch-hitter — though MLB Pipeline points out that he generates more power from the left side — no doubt making him an increasingly intriguing prospect and adding to his budding reputation as a solid utilityman.
He could be the offensive spark the Astros need
The Astros are struggling on offence lately — maybe they wore themselves out with that monstrous 23-2 outing against the Orioles earlier this month — and injuries are no doubt slowing them down, too, with Aledmys Diaz and Carlos Correa both out.
Toro put together a batting line of .306/.393/.513 with 16 home runs and 70 RBIs in 376 at-bats over 98 double-A games this year to earn a promotion to triple-A. The switch-hitter then registered a .424/.506/.606 line with one homer and 10 RBIs in 66 plate appearances in 16 triple-A games before getting the call from the Astros.
From Houston Chronicle writer Chandler Rome:
What the scouting reports say:
From MLB Pipeline:
“Scouts inside and outside of the organization believe he’s one of the better all-around hitters in the Houston system … Toro has a plus arm and reliable hands at third base, though he lacks quickness and has fringy range.”
MLB Pipeline also gave Toro the following scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 45 | Overall: 45
From Baseball America:
“Yet another bat-first position prospect among several in the upper levels of the Astros’ organization, Toro has improved to be a potentially fringe-average defender at third base, and he’s trying to prove he can fill in at second base, as well. While he’s fringy defensively, he makes tons of hard, solid contact at the plate.”