Who is Joey Loperfido? If you’re a Houston Astros fan, you may have seen this young outfielder/first baseman making a name for himself in the Double-A Corpus Christi. But for those who haven’t heard of him yet, let me introduce you to one of the most exciting prospects in the Astros’ minor league system right now.
Joey Loperfido is a young talent to keep an eye on. At just 23 years old, he has shown incredible versatility on the field, playing all three outfield positions as well as first base. But it’s not just his defense that has caught people’s attention. In the past two weeks, he has gone 22-for-46 with five home runs and 17 RBI, stolen six bases without getting caught, drawn eight walks, and provided highlight-reel level defense at second base. And did I mention that he was just promoted from the High-A Asheville Tourists to the Double-A Hooks?
Born on May 11, 1999, in Philadelphia, PA, Loperfido was a standout player at Duke, hitting .317 in four seasons with 18 home runs and 96 RBI, along with 41 steals in 53 attempts. He caught the attention of the Houston Astros, who chose him in the seventh round of the 2021 MLB Draft. But Loperfido didn’t start out blazing hot in his initial professional assignment with the Single-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers. He hit just .116 in 19 games. However, his 2022 campaign showed significant improvements as he hit .304/.399/.473 for the Woodpeckers, with nine home runs, 45 RBI, and 30 stolen bases. Then promoted to Asheville, he raked to the tune of .354/.434/.552 with another three jacks and 24 RBI in 26 games.
This season, things seem to have clicked for Loperfido, and he has hit safely in all eight games since joining Asheville, collecting multiple hits in half of them. Overall, he is 14-for-32 with two doubles and four homers, along with 14 RBI, eight walks, and three more stolen bases. Last season, he was entirely outside of MLB’s Prospect Pipeline, but he’s currently 16th on that same list, where he has an overall scouting grade of 40.
But here’s what really excites me about Loperfido. Despite being graded above 40 in all five tools (hit 50, power 45, run 55, arm 45, field 50), I’ve always thought he was still graded a little low. When I saw him play for the Woodpeckers last season, he was flying under the radar with no hype surrounding him. But to me, it was clear that he was special. Loperfido has solid speed, and his instincts allow him to steal bases and cover ground in the outfield. I wouldn’t be surprised if his ceiling is somewhere around Christian Yelich’s peak years, and his floor is somewhere in the neighborhood of Josh Reddick’s Astros years.
MLB Pipeline predicts Loperfido’s arrival time in Houston to be sometime during the 2024 campaign, but if he keeps playing like this, he may just beat that prediction this year. So, if you’re a Houston Astros fan, Joey Loperfido is a name that you must keep an eye on in the coming years. This young talent has all the potential to make a significant impact in the team’s future.