Outfielder Joey Loperfido began the season at High-A Asheville and ended it at Triple-A Sugar Land. In between, managers in the Double-A Texas League recognized him as the top power prospect in Best Tools voting.
“Loperfido is the guy who maybe has a chance to get to the major leagues a little bit quicker,” Astros general manager Dana Brown said. “I like that the makeup is pretty special. It’s a quality lefthanded swing, and he’s had pretty good numbers.”
The 24-year-old Loperfido set the tone early by hitting .293/.383/.546 with 20 home runs and 23 stolen bases through 92 games, most of them at Double-A Corpus Christi, at the time he was promoted to Triple-A on Aug. 15.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Loperfido appears poised to reach the major leagues next season, if he can prove himself against Triple-A pitchers.
He focused on center field and right field with Sugar Land but also proved his versatility by starting more than a dozen games at second base, first base and left field this season.
Drafted out of Duke in the seventh round in 2021, Loperfido seized the opportunity to stand out in an Astros farm system that was thinned when Houston dealt top prospects Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford to the Mets for Justin Verlander on Aug. 1.
The Astros are high on Loperfido’s makeup, versatility, numbers and work ethic. Astros farm director Sara Goodrum praised him for the work he has put in over the previous two offseasons to improve his physicality.
“He put on some good muscle and took ownership of his development,” Goodrum said at the start of the season.