Astros: Revisiting the 2006 amateur draft hits, misses

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 24: Bud Norris #20 of the Houston Astros throws in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on July 24, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 24: Bud Norris #20 of the Houston Astros throws in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on July 24, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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We take a look back at the Houston Astros picks in the 2006 MLB amateur draft.

We just looked at the Houston Astros 2007 draft, which was about as bad as a draft can get. The year prior was certainly better, though still not a home run by any stretch. The team found one gem in this class but missed on a few others.

The team picked 23rd overall, so there were plenty of future impact players off the board already. Evan Longoria, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum and Max Scherzer all went in the first 11 picks of this draft. At the very least, the Astros didn’t pass on all those players just to take Greg Reynolds at No. 2 overall (sorry, Rockies fans).

The First Five Picks

With their first round pick, the Astros drafted high school catcher Max Sapp. He never made it past A-ball, playing only three seasons with the organization. The team missed out on Adam Ottavino, Joba Chamberlain, Chris Tillman, Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill, none of which seem like crippling losses.

In the second round, the Astros took pitcher Sergio Perez out of the University of Tampa. He reached Triple-A but never could crack the big league roster. Players taken after this include Jon Jay, Justin Masterson, Zack Britton and current Astro Joe Smith.

The team drafted outfielder Nicholas Moresi out of Fresno State in the third round. His bat never progressed enough, and he fizzled out after advancing to Double-A. Players taken after him included Zach McAllister, Alex Cobb and Jared Hughes.

The Astros drafted third baseman Chris Johnson out of Stetson University in the fourth round. He actually did reach the majors, playing in Houston in parts of four seasons and compiling a .274/.314/.421 line with 26 homers. He hit for a solid average and had a little power, but he struck out too much, walked too little and played subpar defense. He last played in the majors in 2016. Players they missed here included Chris Davis and Jeff Samardzija.

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In the fifth round, the Astros drafted pitcher Casey Hudspeth out of the University of South Florida. He made it to Double-A but worked to a 5.88 ERA there in parts of two seasons. The team missed on Chris Archer, George Kontos and Andrew Bailey with this pick.

Notable Later Picks

The best pick the team made in this draft was in the sixth round when they took pitcher Bud Norris out of Cal Poly. He pitched to a 4.33 ERA out of the Astros rotation in parts of five seasons before being traded to Baltimore.

In the 10th round, the team selected high school pitcher Nate Karns. He would not sign, opting instead to attend Texas Tech. He’s since put up 3.2 WAR in parts of six major league seasons.

None of the team’s other selections ever reached the majors. There were many that did not sign, including 20 of the team’s picks in the 20th round or later. But they never made it to The Show anyway, so perhaps it wasn’t a big loss. Nonetheless, they managed to snag a couple of decent players in this draft, which is more than can be said for many other draft classes.

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