Houston Astros Draft Review

Here's a look at the Astros draft.

Houston Astros Draft Review
1) Delino DeShields, Jr, 2B, Georgia HS: Shot up draft boards in the last weeks. Rather raw for a major league bloodline player, but with outstanding speed and some power potential. Should be signable away from LSU at this spot in the draft.

1) Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Illinois HS: Will have to be bought out of Texas, but should be doable in this spot. 91-96 MPH fastball and a fresh Midwest arm stand out, and his changeup is strong. Needs a better breaking ball, but should be teachable.

1S) Mike Kvasnicka, 3B, University of Minnesota: Called as a third baseman, but pre-draft teams saw him as a future catcher despite playing mostly outfield in college. Obviously has a strong arm. Bat is solid across the board, may take some time to settle in defensively.

2) Vincent Velasquez, RHP, California HS: Athletic, can hit 93, curveball has a great deal of potential, but he was very erratic this spring and many teams didn't rate him this highly. Cal State Fullerton recruit.

3) Austin Wates, 2B, Virginia Tech: Called at second base; many teams saw him as a future center fielder, though he played right field and first base in college. Very effective line drive hitter with good speed, good strike zone judgment, power may be average.

4) Bobby Doran, RHP, Texas Tech University: Already signed for $237,700. 90-94 MPH heater, strong curveball, decent changeup, pitched well in difficult environment at Texas Tech. I like him as a sleeper to watch closely.

5) Ben Heath, C, Penn State University: Lots of power in his bat, but probably won't hit for average and defense needs polish. Probably an overdraft to some extent, but catchers often go earlier than expected in the draft.

6) Adam Plutko, RHP, California HS: Velocity was average this spring but faster in the past. He's raw and many scouts think he could use three years of development at UCLA. Be interesting to see how much they push to sign him.

7) Roberto Pena, C, Puerto Rico HS: Very strong defensive catcher with good work ethic, son of former major league catcher Bert Pena. Questions about his bat kept him from going higher.

8) Jake Buchanan, RHP, North Carolina State University: 87-92 MPH fastball, very good changeup, decent breaking ball, good command. 6-0 size and stocky build turns off scouts, but he knows how to pitch.

9) Tommy Shirley, LHP, Xavier University: Tall 6-5 power lefty can hit 93 MPH with sink. His slider and changeup need a lot of work and he's still rather raw for a college guy, though he made a lot of progress this spring.

10) Evan Grills, LHP, Canada SS: High school lefty has a good curve and a fastball that hits the upper-80s and could get faster as he matures. He's projectable but will need development.

FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 12-Andrew Robinson, RHP, Georgia Tech; 15-Jamaine Cotton, RHP, Western Oklahoma State JC; 19-Jacoby Jones, SS, Mississippi HS; 25-Rodney Quintero, RHP, Chipola JC.

COMMENT: The Astros have gone against consensus in recent drafts and have had good results with it. DeShields and Folty were moving up draft boards rapidly, and while both might be slight overdrafts, neither were going to be around for subsequent picks and I don't think either are super-stretches. The Astros wanted them, so they picked them. I don't see anything wrong with that. Kvasnicka was slotted well, and college guys Wates and Doran went in appropriate rounds. Velasquez will need lots of time. Shirley is pretty raw for a college guy but intriguing from the left side. If they somehow sign Jacoby Jones away from LSU, this would be a terrific class. As it stands, it still looks pretty decent to me.

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