Astros 2019 MLB Draft Preview: Needs and projections

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros and general manager Jeff Luhnow talk during batting practice at Minute Maid Park on April 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros and general manager Jeff Luhnow talk during batting practice at Minute Maid Park on April 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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How is the 2019 MLB Draft shaping up for the Astros?

The 2019 MLB Draft kicks off June 3, and the Astros’ front office has doubtlessly been working around the clock to prepare. Jeff Luhnow and Co. will be looking to add to MLB.com’s sixth-ranked farm system. Even though there are plenty of non-prospects who make impacts in the majors, adding talent to the organization is key.

The Astros’ first pick comes at the end of the first round (No. 32 overall). They then have the penultimate pick in each regular round after that, with picks at No. 68, No. 106 and No. 136.

Notably, the team does not have any compensation picks. They did tender a qualifying offer to Dallas Keuchel, but as he remains unsigned, they do not get the compensation pick they would have received if he had signed.

Potential Areas of Need

A look at MLB.com’s list of the team’s top 30 prospects shows a dearth of left-handed pitching. Exactly half of those top 30 prospects are pitchers, but only one (Cionel Perez) is a lefty. Given that Perez has been unable to establish himself in the majors and is struggling at Round Rock this year, the organization could use some promising southpaws.

Another area that’s lacking is at catcher. Only one of the team’s top prospects (Garrett Stubbs) is a backstop, and there are concerns about Stubbs’ ability to be a full-time catcher due to his size. Plus, Stubbs is already in the majors. The farm system could use a promising battery mate or two for these top pitchers.

One more potential target area is the infield (aside from first base). Only one of the team’s top 18 prospects (Freudis Nova) is a full-time infielder, and while there are some options in the lower levels of the prospect rankings, they could stand to add here, especially at third base.

What the Projections Say

Considering the Astros pick at the end of the first round, projecting their eventual pick is a pretty tough business. But there are a few projections out there that are worth noting, if only to get an idea of what the prognosticators say.

MLB.com’s latest mock has the Astros going with a local product, Cy Ranch HS right-handed pitcher J.J. Goss. CBS Sports also has the Astros taking Goss, who apparently has the talent to go higher, but there are concerns he may end up going to Texas A&M.

Draftsite.com projects the Astros to draft UNC first baseman, Michael Busch. Bleacher Report has the Astros going with Louisville first baseman Logan Wyatt. Finally, ESPN’s Keith Law projects Houston to take Clemson shortstop Logan Davidson.

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Buckle Up!

The ride begins on Monday at 6 p.m. central time with the first two rounds. Rounds 3-10 begin at noon central time on Tuesday, and rounds 11-40 begin at 11 a.m. central on Wednesday.

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