The Houston Astros are working on finalizing the players they would like to target in the 2017 draft.
With hours left before the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft begins, there are no clear favorites for the Astros. We can’t focus on the top draft prospects, so we have to focus on prospects 10-20 who could be available. One of the names that we have heard from the experts who the Stros hope falls is Jeren Kendall. This is who Jim Callis suggested in his most recent mock draft. However, this was after Callis thought they were going with a pitcher in other mock drafts.
With the 15th pick, there have been only a handful of stars drafted from that draft slot. Jim Rice and Chase Utley could be the best drafted in that slot. With that being said, the 15th pick could be a good get for the Astros this year. The Stros are deep into playoff contention. There will be a trade at some point to take away from current Top-30 prospects.
What do we know about Kendall? He is a player that Keith Law has suggested for the Astros for a while. Callis on the Edward Jones Chatting Cage on MLB Network said that the 13-16 spots would be the sweet spot for Kendall. A junior from Vanderbilt, Kendall bats from the left side of the plate.
Some scouts think of him as a five-tool talent but wonder if his swing and miss will hold his talents back. As a junior, he batted .307 with 15 homers and 20 SBs. He did strikeout 74 times in 261 at-bats. The 21-year-old has drawn comparisons to Jacoby Ellsbury by MLB Pipeline. Kendall could drop down to the Astros but is ranked the 6th overall prospect in MLB Pipeline’s Top-200 list. Stats from Baseball Cube.
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MLB Pipeline rates him as 70 grade in speed, 55 in arm strength, and a 60 in fielding. The Stros front office could see him as a leadoff hitter with some speed and pop. Would they draft Kendall over some intriguing arms? That is yet to be seen, but I’m curious to see who the Astros choose. As a side note, the Stros can trade their 75th pick, but it’s not likely to happen at this point.
***Stats from Baseball Cube***