The Astros moved to protect some of their top prospects from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, putting three minor leaguers on the team’s 40-man roster.
Outfielder Domingo Santana, and pitchers Luis Cruz and Asher Wojciechowski were all added to the Major League roster.
If the players were left off the Astros’ Major League roster, they would have been available for any team to draft away from Houston, provided they met certain conditions.
Santana hit .252 with double-A Corpus Christi in 2013, with 23 doubles and 25 home runs. He also drove in 64 runs and stole 11 bases in 112 games for the Hooks. The 21-year old outfielder was acquired by the Astros from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade.
Cruz had a combined 10-6 record with a 4.56 ERA at high-A Lancaster and Corpus Christi last year. The 23-year old appeared in 31 games in 2013, starting 20. Cruz was a ninth round pick of the Astros in the 2008 draft.
Wojciechowski, 24, split time at Corpus Christi and triple-A Oklahoma City in 2013, finishing with an 11-8 record and a 3.32 ERA with a pair of complete games. Despite the tandem rotation system the Astros employed last year, Wojciechowski had 24 starts in 28 games pitched last year. Though he did pick up one save in a relief appearance. The right-hander was acquired by the Astros as part of a 10-player trade with the Blue Jays in June of 2012.
With the additions, the Astros have 37 players on the 40-man roster.