As I expected, with the first overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft, the Astros selected hard throwing right hander, Josh Fields. Fields comes from the Red Sox organization after he was traded there last year by the Mariners, the team who originally drafted him in the first round in 2008. With our second selection of the major league portion of the draft, the Astros selected Nate Freiman. Freiman is a big power hitting 1B from the Padres Organization.
In a perfect world, both of these selections would solve the holes we have at closer (Fields) and DH (Freiman) though that is not likely to happen, at least not to begin the season. Fields, as I somewhat profiled yesterday, worked as the closer for the Red Sox AA and AAA affiliates last year and was dominant. He could eventually take over as Astros closer as currently, there isn’t a prime candidate for the job. He will begin the season as a bullpen arm and I’m sure will be given an opportunity to close some games out. Fields looks to have gotten past his early career struggles and could be the text book definition of needing a change of scenery. Very nice pickup of the Astros here.
In Freiman, the Astros have themselves a big, power hitting 1B/DH type. Freiman has tons of raw power and a very patient approach at the plate. He has mashed a total of 71 home runs spread across four years in the minor leagues. He hasn’t played in particularly good hitters parks either so those are legit numbers. He will begin the season as a bat off the bench and get the occasional spot start at 1B and DH. Another nice pickup by the Astros.
I expect both Fields and Freiman to last the year with the big league club unless one of them plays absolutely dreadful. The Rule 5 Draft generally signifies the conclusion of the Winter Meetings.
Also in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Astros made two selections. First, OF Michael Burgess was poached from the Cubs organization and later, RHP Cameron Lamb was taken from the Giants organization. Neither will be on the big league team but will report to one of the Astros minor league affiliates for the 2013 season.