HomeTrending MLB NewsAstros release former top prospect

Astros release former top prospect

Published on

The Astros have released outfielder Justin Dirden, according to his player page on MLB.com (h/t Chandler Rome of The Athletic).

Dirden signed with Houston as an undrafted free agent following the shortened 2020 draft. Already 23 when he debuted in the Astros system in 2021, the lefty batter quickly made an impact at the plate, putting up a .936 OPS in 58 games at Single-A Fayetteville and a .928 OPS in 25 games at High-A Asheville. He kept slugging the following season, producing a 1.027 OPS in 92 games at Double-A Corpus Christi. It wasn’t until he was called up to Triple-A in August 2022 that Dirden finally looked overmatched, and even then, he had 12 extra-base hits in 32 games.

Following his strong 2022 season, Dirden made the Astros’ top prospect lists at Baseball America (No. 9) and MLB Pipeline (No. 9). He also earned an invitation to spring training in 2023 and put on a show in the Grapefruit League. Over 19 games, he slashed .324/.425/.618, good for a 1.043 OPS and 171 wRC+.

Asked in early March if Dirden was a candidate for the Opening Day roster, then-Astros manager Dusty Baker replied, “Who knows? We’ll see who’s injured, who’s not, who’s playing well and what we need…I’m impressed with him. We’re impressed with him. That’s why he’s here,” per Rome.

Unfortunately, Dirden was not selected to the Astros roster and continued to flounder at Triple-A. He posted a .709 OPS and 68 wRC+ while nagging injuries limited him to just 84 games. This past offseason, he dropped to No. 30 on Baseball America’s organizational prospect list and fell off MLB Pipeline’s list entirely. The Astros chose not to protect him in the Rule 5 draft, and he ultimately went unselected.

Dirden’s professional career has had its high highs and low lows. The 26-year-old is now eligible to sign with a new team, where he can hope to reach a new high — perhaps the major leagues.

source

Latest articles

Rockies Designate John Curtiss, Select Josh Rogers

The Rockies are making a series of roster moves today, relayed by Luke Zahlmann...

Five Things I Liked (Or Didn’t Like) This Week, 5/24/24

Welcome to another edition of Five Things I Liked (Or Didn’t Like) This Week....

Mets’ Pete Alonso addresses trade deadline uncertainty

All-Star first baseman Pete Alonso suggested on Sunday he isn't yet sweating uncertainty related...

Sale of the Century?

This content is for Premium, Super-Premium, and Premium Monthly members only. Visit the site...

More like this

Five Things I Liked (Or Didn’t Like) This Week, 5/24/24

Welcome to another edition of Five Things I Liked (Or Didn’t Like) This Week....

Mets’ Pete Alonso addresses trade deadline uncertainty

All-Star first baseman Pete Alonso suggested on Sunday he isn't yet sweating uncertainty related...

Sale of the Century?

This content is for Premium, Super-Premium, and Premium Monthly members only. Visit the site...