Astros: Revisiting the 2005 amateur draft hits, misses

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Brian Bogusevic #19 of the Houston Astros in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 26, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Astros 2-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Brian Bogusevic #19 of the Houston Astros in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 26, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Astros 2-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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We take a look back at the Houston Astros picks in the 2005 MLB amateur draft.

The 2005 season was one of redemption for the Houston Astros. After losing the 2004 NLCS in a heartbreaker and then losing Carlos Beltran to free agency, the team rebounded from a 15-30 start to reach its first World Series. Along the way, there was a draft.

Unfortunately there’s not much more to be said about it. The Astros even had two additional picks as compensation for the loss of Beltran, but they failed to find an impact major leaguer at any point in this draft. It’s drafts like this that paved the way for the team needing to rebuild.

The First Rounders

The Astros didn’t pick until No. 24 overall, so plenty of talent was off the board already. Players picked ahead of them included Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce and Jacoby Ellsbury. With their selection, the Astros took pitcher Brian Bogusevic out of Tulane.

Now most fans will remember Bogusevic as an outfielder, and that’s how he got to the majors. He was drafted as a pitcher, but he didn’t make it on the mound, posting a 5.91 ERA in Double-A. So he switched to the outfield and did make the majors, but couldn’t stick, hitting .227/.310/.346 in parts of three seasons. Players drafted shortly afterward included Matt Garza and Colby Rasmus.

With their supplemental pick coming at No. 38 overall, the Astros took outfielder Eli Iorg out of the University of Tennessee. He briefly reached Triple-A but hit only .209/.227/.302, and did not reach the major leagues. Players going shortly after this included Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie and Chase Headley.

Second through Fifth Rounds

In the second round, the Astros drafted high school catcher Ralph Henriquez. He struggled offensively in three minor league seasons before being traded to the Mets for reliever Josh Appell, who put up a 5.96 ERA in High-A ball after the trade. Players going after this pick included Yunel Escobar, Nick Hundley and Brian Duensing.

HOUSTON – JUNE 20: Shortstop Tommy Manzella #12 of the Houston Astros is seen during action against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on June 20, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON – JUNE 20: Shortstop Tommy Manzella #12 of the Houston Astros is seen during action against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on June 20, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Astros received the ninth pick in the third round from the Mets as compensation for Beltran, and they selected shortstop Tommy Manzella out of Tulane. He did reach the majors but didn’t stick, hitting just .224/.266/.262 in 90 major league games. The team didn’t miss much between this pick and their next, though.

Later in the third round, the team took high school pitcher Josh Lindblom. He did not sign, electing to attend Purdue before being taken in the second round by the Dodgers in 2008. Players taken after him included Brett Gardner and Jeremy Hellickson.

In the fourth round the Astros drafted outfielder Josh Flores out of Triton College. He made it as far as Double-A but hit just .228/.295/.332 at that level. However, there weren’t any notable future major leaguers taken between this pick and the team’s next pick.

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With their fifth round pick, the team grabbed third baseman Billy Hart out of the University of Southern California. He did not advance past Double-A ball. Players taken after this included Lance Lynn and Marco Estrada.

Notable Later Picks

In the sixth round, the Astros drafted outfielder Brandon Barnes, who hit .233/.282/.330 in parts of two seasons in Houston. He was traded to the Rockies in the Dexter Fowler deal and owns a career .242/.290/.357 line in six major league seasons. Taken a few picks after this was current Astro Michael Brantley.

In the eighth round, the team took third baseman Koby Clemens, son of then-Astros pitcher Roger Clemens. He made it as far as Triple-A but didn’t quite hit enough to crack the major leagues.

None of the team’s remaining selections ever made it to the big leagues, so this was a pretty weak draft, even by this franchise’s standards. The most they got out of this class was Bogusevic’s 1.7 WAR, and that was after he switched from a pitcher to a position player. This was just one of the drafts that paved the way for the eventual rebuild.

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