While it’s still early in the college baseball season, it’s never too early to start looking at Astros draft targets for the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft. In this series of post, I will look at the top-ten prospects available to the Astros to draft with the second and fifth overall pick. While it all depends on who the Arizona Diamondbacks take with the number one pick, the Astros will be able to scoop up whatever leftovers are available when they are on the clock.
Who is Brendan Rodgers?
Brendan Rodgers is a 18-year old Florida high school shortstop who now attends Lake Mary High School. He is committed to attend Florida State in the Fall of 2015. However, with the chance to be one of the top picks of the MLB draft, he probably will go pro. He could be the first High School shortstop drafted with the first pick since the Astros selected Carlos Correa.
Why pick a shortstop when the Astros have Carlos Correa?
Many scouts say that Carlos Correa could eventually be moved to third base, like Manny Machado did for the Orioles. With the Astros trade of Rio Ruiz, I am not sold on Colin Moran being able to generate the type of power needed for a corner infielder player. Luis Valbuena will be good for the Astros for a couple of years, but he may not be the answer at third long-term. Adding Rodgers to the Astros system will allow the time to develop him to play shortstop, then when he’s ready, Correa can be moved to third base to possibly extend his career.
What do scouting reports say about Brendan Rodgers?
Below is a scouting report from MLB Pipeline:
"A Florida State recruit, Rodgers has gotten considerably stronger in the last year and he generates power with an easy, compact stroke. He doesn’t have to muscle up to hit home runs, and his bat speed and all-fields approach bode well for his ability to hit for average as a pro.A quality athlete with solid speed and above-average arm strength, Rodgers should be able to remain at shortstop. He has soft hands and good instincts in the field. His all-around toolset is reminiscent of that of Addison Russell, who went 11th overall in the 2012 draft to the Athletics and joined the Cubs as part of the Jeff Samardzija trade last July."
Below is a scouting report from Perfect Game:
"Outstanding at PG National. Very good bat-speed, Ball flies off his barrel. PG AA. Huge potential with the bat. Outstanding at WWBA and led the Orlando Scorpions to 3 rings in 2013! Outstanding defensively"
From what I have read about Rodgers, he has a short stroke that generates power, so he will not need to bulk up to hit for power. He plays great defense and has a strong arm. He should be able to hit for average, and could be a smaller Troy Tulowitzki clone when he makes his debut. Hopefully Rodgers will be more durable than Tulowitzki has demonstrated over his career.
Will he be there when the Astros are on the clock?
My guess is that he won’t be on the draft board for the Astros with the second draft pick. The Diamondbacks have Chris Owings at shortstop at the moment, and they felt comfortable trading Didi Gregorius to the Yankees because they probably feel like they will draft Rodgers. Rodgers is too much of a sure thing, even though he is a high school student. If he was a college player with his talents, there would be no discussion about whether to take him number one.
If he fell to the Astros with the second pick, it would mean than either the Diamondbacks decided to go pitching instead or that some player really improved his stock during the 2015 college season. At the beginning of the 2014 season, Carlos Rodon was viewed as the number one pick in 2014 draft, but the Astros went with Brady Aiken instead. Rodon was then selected with the third pick overall to the Chicago White Sox.
Adding Brendan Rodgers to the Astros would set them up on the left side of the infield for a while. Correa at third base and Rodgers will lead the Astros into the future. Rodgers would immediately move to the top of the Astros prospect list behind Correa.
Keep up with the rest of the series below.
Astros Draft Prospect: Daz Cameron
Astros Draft Prospect: Alex Bregman
Astros Draft Prospect: Carson Fulmer
CTH Mock Draft (First Five Picks)
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