This weekend’s links focus on the first two days of the draft. The Astros concentrated their early efforts on college arms and followed that up by going after position players with good plate discipline.
"…when Kemp played well Vanderbilt usually won. Vandy’s star second baseman finished with a league leading .408 batting average. He also led the conference in on base percentage (.490), runs (58) and stolen bases (27). Kemp often dazzled fans with his defensive heroics some of which became YouTube sensations."
"It’s very easy to look at this group and call it a high floor/low ceiling group and I would argue with that. I think that Nottingham, Martin, and Nicely have some better upside but are larger risks."
"Basically, by holding out past the July 12th deadline, Boras and Appel can put the Astros in a bit of a pickle by holding the majority of their draft bonus pool hostage. Signing the rest of their selections without knowing exactly how much it will cost to get him signed is a risk, as it will leave the Astros with no flexibility to negotiate once they’ve already allocated the rest of their pool to picks 2-10."
"Greatest asset on the mound is pitchability; oozes with confidence and doesn’t take a pitch off; demonstrates aptitude for command of fastball-changeup; attacks hitters despite lack of a plus offering."
"It’s actually quite easy to see a scenario where he provides plus power. The batting average won’t be great, but it can be good enough. He also has a pretty good eye and discipline. So, even though there are holes in his swing, he could have a pretty good OBP down the road."
Mark Appel (Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports)