With the draft less than a month away the Astros front office is busy scouting and evaluating amateur talent from just about everywhere. Last year the Astros made Carlos Correa the first player out of Puerto Rico to ever be selected with the first overall pick in the draft. This year the Astros are picking first again and, according to reports, have narrowed it down to seven or eight players.
Baseball America provides us with our first two links for today — a great piece by Conor Glassey and a mock first round from Jim Callis.
"We’re just pushing ourselves even more this year to remain open-minded, not come to any premature conclusions and almost play devil’s advocate with ourselves about these guys so that we don’t rule anyone out too soon."
"While Appel has less leverage this time around because he’s now a college senior, Houston won’t be able to take as much of a discount as it did with Correa, who signed for $4.8 million. The Astros’ pick is valued at $7.8 million, and whichever arm they pass on likely will be snapped up by the Cubs ($6.7 million) or the Rockies ($5.6 million)."
Philip Humber seeks help from college coach Graham (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
"I’ve been kind of down on myself. I didn’t think my stuff was very good this year and kind of focused on that, rather than really just making pitches down the zone. My stuff’s going to get better, but right now it is what it is."
"Happ was hit on the 56th anniversary of Indians pitcher Herb Score being struck in the face by a line drive hit by Gil McDougald of the Yankees, an injury that cost Score the rest of the 1957 season. On Tuesday, pitchers across the Majors identified with the situation and sent their regards to Happ and the Blue Jays."
Former Astro J.A. Happ is the latest pitcher to be hit in the head by a line drive. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)