We take a look back at the Houston Astros picks in the 2010 MLB draft.
When characterizing the Houston Astros 2010 draft, I wouldn’t call the results a home run, but I wouldn’t call them a strikeout either. I’d say it’s more of a flyout to center field. There were some decent picks here, but not much that materialized for this club.
Three of their first four picks actually have reached the majors leagues and are currently on major league rosters — but none of them are with the Astros. Two were traded and one was lost via the Rule 5 Draft. The rest of the selections didn’t pan out too well.
The team actually had three picks in the first round. One was their original pick, coming in eighth overall, and the other two were compensation picks for the loss of Jose Valverde in free agency. They could’ve done worse with these picks, but they also could’ve done much better.
The First Rounders
Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon, Manny Machado, Drew Pomeranz and Matt Harvey were already off the board by the time the Astros got to make their first selection at No. 8 overall. They went with speedy high school center fielder Delino DeShields, son of a former major leaguer by the same name. Players picked shortly afterward included Yasmani Grandal and Chris Sale.
DeShields hit .317/.405/.468 in High-A ball in 2013, but slumped to .236/.346/.360 in Double-A in 2014. The Astros left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft that December, so the Rangers took him. He stuck on their major league roster all season in 2015 by hitting .261/.344/.374 with 25 stolen bases.
That, however, has proven to be his ceiling in the majors. He’s totaled a .246/.326/.342 line in five seasons, simply not hitting enough to make it as an everyday player. He’s a solid guy to have on a roster, but not the dynamic leadoff man the Astros were hoping he’d be when they drafted him.
With their second pick, coming in at No. 19 overall (previously belonging to the Tigers), the Astros selected high school right-hander Mike Foltynewicz. He made his major league debut pitching out of the bullpen in 2014 before being sent to Atlanta in the Evan Gattis trade.
He’s been about average, or slightly below average, with the exception of 2018 when he went 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA and finishing eighth in the Cy Young voting. This wasn’t a bad pick, except for the fact that four spots later, the Marlins took Christian Yelich.
The Astros selected catcher Mike Kvasnicka out of the University of Minnesota with their supplemental pick, coming in at No. 33 overall. He only made it to A-ball in three seasons with the Astros, then spent a couple of years with the Twins organization, getting as high as Double-A. He hasn’t played affiliated ball since. Players taken shortly after included Noah Syndergaard, Taijuan Walker and Nicholas Castellanos.
Second through Fifth Rounds
In the second round, the Astros grabbed high school right-hander Vince Velasquez. He made his major league debut in 2015 before being sent to the Phillies in the Ken Giles trade, which we recently reviewed. In short, Velasquez simply hasn’t been able to stick in the rotation in Philly. Going shortly after him in the draft were Jedd Gyorko, Jimmy Nelson and Andrelton Simmons.
With their third round pick, the Astros took outfielder Austin Wates from Virginia Tech. He made it all the way to Triple-A by 2014, but was sent to the Marlins in the Jake Marisnick trade, which we also recently reviewed. He couldn’t hit well enough at Triple-A and was out of affiliated ball after 2015. Taken later in that round were Addison Reed, Tyler Thornburg and J.T. Realmuto.
The team’s fourth round pick was pitcher Bobby Doran out of Texas Tech (Wreck ‘Em). He made it to Triple-A by 2013 but struggled there in 2014 and hasn’t pitched in affiliated ball since. Players going later in the fourth round include Sam Dyson, James Paxton and Eddie Rosario.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
The Astros went with catcher Ben Heath out of Penn State in the fifth round. He briefly reached Double-A in 2012, but that was his last year in affiliated ball. Players picked later in that round include Heath Hembree and Tommy Kahnle.
Notable Late Round Picks
Four of the team’s remaining picks eventually reached the majors, but the Astros only signed one of them. Right-hander Jake Buchanan out of NC State appeared in the majors in Houston in 2014 and 2015 before being released in early 2016. He’s bounced around since then, appearing in the majors with the Cubs and Reds, but has struggled at Triple-A the past two seasons. Outfielders Corey Dickerson and Kole Calhoun went later in that round.
Sixth rounder Adam Plutko did not sign and was re-drafted in the 11th round in 2013 by the Indians. He’s pitched to a 5.08 ERA in parts of three major league seasons.
19th-round pick JaCoby Jones elected to attend LSU and was drafted in the third round in 2013 by the Pirates. He was traded to the Tigers and has appeared in the majors in parts of four seasons with Detroit, hitting .211/.276/.369 in 286 games.
The Astros 21st-round pick, Aaron Blair, attended Marshall University. He was re-drafted in the first round in 2013 by the Diamondbacks and then traded to Atlanta. He’s made only one appearance the past two years thanks to injuries and has a 7.89 career ERA in the majors.
The rest of the team’s picks have not reached the majors. So in hindsight, there are several excellent players the Astros missed out on, and they got almost nothing from their picks in terms of on-field contribution in the majors. They made a couple of decent selections, but no one who made any real difference for this team.