The Astros got their man when they selected Cathedral Catholic High School left-hander Brady Aiken with the first pick in the 2014 draft. But that was the easy part. It’s the next few picks that will make or break the team’s draft.
Houston would pick again at #37, a competitive balance pick acquired from Baltimore in the Bud Norris trade. The Astros’ would get another selection five picks later, at the beginning of round two. For these two picks, the Astros’ brain trust went for offense, specifically college hitters.
Jeff Luhnow and company chose University of Virginia outfielder Derek Fisher with the 37th overall pick (not to be confused with the basketball player/soon-to-be coach). A broken wrist cost Fisher a large portion of his junior season at Virginia, making this a truly intriguing pick.
Fisher owns a .296/.387/.489 career slash line in three seasons at Virginia. He projects as a corner outfielder with 25 homerun pop and about a .265 average. Fisher was drafted by the Texas Rangers out of high school, but opted to go to college instead.
The Astros took University of Kentucky 1B A.J. Reed with the 42nd pick. Also a left-handed pitcher with a career 2.83 ERA, it’s Reed’s bat that the Astros were after. Reed led the nation with 23 homers, a .735 slugging percentage, and a 1.211 OPS in 2014, his junior year.
It looks like the Astros may have made a some good choices here. Hopefully the rest of the draft goes as well.