Two San Diego area prep stars on Astros short list


If the Houston Astros decide to pass on N.C. State lefty Carlos Rodon, expect them to choose one of two San Diego area prep stars with the first pick in today’s draft. Left-hander Brady Aiken has surged ahead of Rodon on most of the “experts” mock draft boards and Alex Jackson is considered by many to be the best power hitter in this year’s class.

Both players will be waiting anxiously to hear their name called — as their high school careers ended on a down note earlier in the week. Aiken’s Cathedral Catholic Dons and Jackson’s Rancho Bernardo Broncos both lost in San Diego Section semi-final games on Tuesday.

Aiken, whose fastball reaches the upper nineties,  finished the year with a 7-0 record and a 97/13 K/BB ratio in 53 & 1/3 innings. The athletic 6′ 4″, 210 pounder also features a plus curveball and workable changeup. Aiken’s overall repertoire may be better than that of Rodon, and his arm has seen less wear and tear than that of the older lefty.

Alex Jackson’s power is somewhat legendary in the San Diego area and has caught the eye of scouts from around baseball. The catcher/outfielder’s 47 career homeruns helped Rancho Bernardo win two section championships. Tuesday’s loss left the Broncos one game short of a fifth straight section title game. Alex had three hits and scored a run in the 3-2 defeat at the hands of La Costa Canyon.  The Rancho Bernardo squad is coached by Sam Blalock, father of former big leaguer and RBHS standout Hank Blalock.

Either one of these players would be an excellent addition to one of the top rated farm systems in baseball. It all depends on which way the Astros want to go. Hitter? Or pitcher?