Astros Draft Targets: Introduction to Draft Week

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With the 2015 MLB Draft around the corner, on June 8, 2015, the CTH writers will write about the top prospects available in the draft. The Astros are in a unique situation, as they have two draft picks within the first five overall picks. The two picks are the second overall pick (from failing to sign Brady Aiken) and the fifth overall pick (from finishing with the fourth worst record in 2014). With the extra first round pick, the Astros also have a larger draft bonus budget to spend than do other teams. We will look at which Astros draft targets would make the most sense for the team.

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During Luhnow’s first draft, he was able to be cute and sign (ss)

Carlos Correa

to an under the slot value to be able to spend a little more to sign (RHP)

Lance McCullers

Jr and (3B)

Rio Ruiz

. Some people wondered if Luhnow tried to do the same thing in the 2014 MLB Draft by an attempt to use Aiken’s medical report as a way to sign him for less. If this was indeed the case, this maneuver sure backfired on him last year as he lost two other players also to Aiken.

You might ask why they did not try to do the same thing with Mark Appel in the 2013 MLB draft? My belief is the Astros were aware that Appel turned down the Pirates offer when he was drafted in 2012 with the seventh overall pick. They knew that they would not be able to fudge Appel’s signing bonus, so they drafted accordingly.

If the Astros were to draft a high school shortstop, which most people think could go number one, would he ask for more from the Astros than they are willing to give to forgo playing at college? These are the things the Astros need to consider as they are meeting with the scouts over the next few days, making final updates to their draft board.

What do the Astros need?

With the second and fifth overall pick, the Houston Astros can hit two needs in the first round. Earlier in the offseason, I wrote about perceived weakness positional wise in the Astros farm system here. This was my list at the time.

Catcher

1) Max Stassi

2) Tyler Heineman

3) Jacob Nottingham

1st-base

1) A.J. Reed

2) Conrad Gregor

3) Tyler White

2nd-base

1) Tony Kemp

2) Ronald Torreyes

3) Joe Sclafani

1) Carlos Correa

2) Nolan Fontana

3) Chan Moon

3rd-base

1) Colin Moran

2) Rio Ruiz

3) J.D. Davis

Outfielders

1) Domingo Santana

2) Teoscar Hernandez

3) Derek Fisher

4) Brett Phillips

5) Preston Tucker

6) Danry Vasquez

Pitchers

1) Mark Appel

2) Michael Foltynewicz

3) Lance McCullers

4) Michael Feliz

5) Vincent Velasquez

6) Josh Hader

7) Kyle Smith

8) Asher Wojciechowski

Of course Foltynewicz and Ruiz were traded away, Kyle Smith had Tommy John surgery, and Torreyes was recently DFA away. From the list above, the biggest glaring weakness appears to be at second base and shortstop after Kemp and Correa. While we do not seem to have a need for an outfielder, there might be a desire to draft a current Astros’ younger brother. As the Astros are currently learning, you can never have too much pitching.

However, the Astros are also at a point in their development that they do not need to draft towards a particular need, but look for the best available player at the time. The Astros are set at second base and shortstop for years to come. We will count down from the 13th best draft prospect all the way down to the best draft prospect.

Astros Draft Prospect: Kyle Funkhouser

Astros Draft Prospect: Trenton Clark

Astros Draft Prospect: Walker Buehler

Astros Draft Prospect: Jon Harris

Astros Draft Prospect: Tyler Jay

Astros Draft Prospect: Andrew Benintendi

Astros Draft Prospect: Kyle Tucker

Astros Draft Prospect: Daz Cameron

Astros Draft Prospect: Dillon Tate

Astros Draft Prospect: Alex Bregman

Astros Draft Prospect: Carson Fulmer

Astros Draft Prospect: Dansby Swanson

Astros Draft Prospect: Brendan Rodgers

CTH Mock Draft (First Five Picks)

Look for the Kyle Funkhouser write up next.

Next: Does Luhnow Have Aces up his Sleave with 2 & 5 Picks?

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