Astros draft two prospects on the Cardinals tab, Jeff Luhnow is all smiles.
Fast forward ten years and there will be a Houston Astros trivia question about who they drafted with the picks forfeited by the Cardinals in Hackgate? They received the 56th and 75th overall picks in this years MLB Draft in compensation for Chris Correa hacking the Astros ground control. The Astros got the extra prospects in this year’s draft and added to the already talented system.
With the 56th pick, the Astros select Corbin Martin, a right-handed pitcher out of Texas A&M. The local Cypress product was 7-3 with a 3.35 ERA while striking out 94 hitters in 84 innings with the Aggies. Martin was listed as the 32nd top prospect by MLB Pipeline. Listed as 6’3”, Martin mostly pitched out of the bullpen his first two years with the Aggies.
While he started 2017 in the bullpen, but he did join the rotation and became a second-round pick by the Houston Astros. Martin was not drafted by what he did with the Aggies but what he did in the summer Cape Cod League. There he featured a mid-90s fastball, dropping down to the low 90s with the Aggies.
MLB Pipeline describes him as a pitcher who has a power curveball and a slider in the mid-80s. He also has a changeup that could develop with the help of professional coaches in the minors. The only real knock on him is his control, which MLB Pipeline gives him a 45-grade. His fastball and curveball are both 60-grade with his slider as 55-grade.
According to Jake Kaplan, the Astros plan to develop Martin as a starter. Martin doesn’t have too much time to celebrate as the Aggies will be playing in the College World Series. Baseball America had Martin ranked as the 55th top draft prospect.
With the 75th pick surrendered by the Cardinals, the Astros draft University of Arizona second baseman J.J. Matijevic. Just when it was hard enough to spell J.B. Bukauskas, I’ve got it memorized now, here comes Matijevic to confuse us again. However, his pick sure up a defensive position that this system lacked behind Jose Altuve.
After a so-so first two seasons with the Wildcats, Matijevic broke out with the bat in 2017. He batted .383 with ten homers and nine stolen bases. Scouts say that he doesn’t have any tools that stand out, but the Astros decided to take a risk on him. They had an extra pick, so why not?
The cons about Matijevic is his below average speed and defense from MLB Pipeline. He was limited to first base in college, but the Astros must feel like they can work with him to play second. His arm is limited so that the second base position may work out for him. He will have to hit his way to the big leagues. We will see what happens here. MLB Pipeline did have him ranked 62nd.
***Stats from the Aggies website and The Baseball Cube***