Astros Draft Targets: The Case for Kyle Funkhouser


On June 8th, 2015, The Astros will be making two early selections in the first round. Depending on which mock draft you read, the Astros will be taking one of the shortstops and then an outfielder or pitcher. Having the second and fifth overall pick could give the already good Astros farm system a boost. If Carlos Correa does get called up to Houston soon, that will take a big fish out of the Astros system. So, who has been mentioned as one of the players that might be Astros draft targets? Time to get some “Uptown Funk in the House”, aka Kyle Funkhouser.

Who is Kyle Funkhouser?

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Funkhouser was undrafted out of high school because he had a strong commitment to attend Louisville and play for the Cardinals. The Illinois pitcher went on to lead the Cardinals to two straight College World Series appearances.  He also was the star player on the college national team last summer that included several other prospects at the top of this years draft.

Funkhouser is six foot and two inches tall and weighs 218 pounds, the 21-year-old pitcher profiles more as a reliever with his delivery, but should hold his own in the starting rotation as well. Prior to the beginning of the 2015 college season, many scouts thought that Funkhouser had the best chance of any of the college pitchers to make a quick move to the majors. As you will see later, he has hit a few more bumps in his junior year than he did as a freshman and sophomore.

Scouting Funkhouser

This past Friday night, Kyle Funkhouser pitched for the last time prior to next Monday’s MLB draft in the 2015 Regionals series. He led Louisville to a 7-2 victory, and his performance showed what a potential first round pick. However, is he good enough to be the second or fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft for the Astros? Let’s read a report of the game from Baseball America, which can be found here.

"“Funkhouser showed why he should not be available for long in the first round. The big righthander limited high-powered Morehead State to just two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six over seven innings. Funkhouser relied on a solid fastball-slider combo with the heater sitting 91-94 mph and topping at 96 while the slider sat in the low 80s and was down in the zone and on the corners.” – Brent Drevalas."

Baseball-America MLB Mock Draft has Funkhouser being taken by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 23rd overall pick.

MLB Pipeline has Funkhouser as the 13th best prospect overall in the 2015 draft.

Funkhouser’s College Stats

Starts are courtesy of Louisville website.

As you can see from the above data, Funkhouser has struggled a little more recently. Prior to last Friday’s start, he was 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA while allowing 16 earned runs in 16 innings. This is partially why his draft status has plummeted recently because prior to his rough patch he was considered by some as a top-ten pick. Over those few starts, Funkhouser’s velocity dropped, but he mentioned that it was for mental reasons and not physical reasons according to Brent Drevalas.

During his 2014 campaign, Funkhouser led the NCAA with 13 wins. So maybe things will turn around for Funkhouser, who needs to sign on with a pro team pretty quickly to continue developing with the pro coaches.

What others are saying about Funkhouser?

The following quote is from a scouting report on Funkhouser from Baseball-America, the authors name was not present.

"“The fastball has a chance to be a plus pitch that he can lean on heavily when the offspeed isn’t working (and even when it is) due to premium velocity (90-95, 97-98 peak) and movement. The missing component there is command, an area of Funkhouser’s game that remains inconsistent despite the progress he is made there this spring. He’s overall command has improved (fastball more so than offspeed, which I’d rather see if forced to choose), but it’s still not much better than average on his best day. I don’t see why he couldn’t make a jump in his command grade in the future because his delivery is clean and repeatable (I’m far from an expert, but I personally really like his motion — really well-balanced with outstanding tempo — minus the rushed finish), he’s reasonably athletic, and he’s already shown the capacity for improvement going back to his high school days in Illinois. The assortment of secondary offerings (SL, CB, and CU) speaks to the relatively high floor that a strapping four-pitch righthander with a track record of striking out a batter an inning at a big-time baseball school is expected to bring to the pro ranks.” – Baseball-America"

While I do not think the Astros will be drafting Funkhouser, if Jeff Luhnow has proved anything in his time as the Astros GM, is to expect the unexpected. Luhnow could see a certain quality in him that would cause them to reach for him, but I give the Astros chances a 8% chance of drafting him, I think they go and draft two hitters.

More from Astros Draft

Keep up with the rest of the series below.

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: Introduction to CTH's Draft Coverage

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