The Houston Astros have some notable connections to players in the 2020 MLB draft.
The 2020 MLB amateur draft begins tonight, which means we finally have a baseball event to watch and discuss, even if we’re not having actual games yet. The Houston Astros won’t be participating in the first round today, however, as we noted in our draft preview. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing worth watching.
The draft is only five rounds this year, so a number of players won’t get drafted who otherwise would. But they can still sign as undrafted free agents or attend/return to college, if possible, to participate in a future draft. Nonetheless, there are a number of prospects in this potential draft class who have connections to the Astros.
We’ve already discussed the case of Trei Cruz, grandson of Astros legend Jose Cruz. The Rice shortstop is ranked No. 126 in this draft class by MLB.com, which means he could be available for Houston when it picks first at No. 72 overall. The team already drafted him out of high school in 2017, so there’s clearly some interest.
But there are other players in this class who have connections to the team. Here are some of the more notable ones.
The first one is a relative of a current Astro, or rather the current skipper. Manager Dusty Baker’s son, UC Berkeley second baseman Darren Baker, is eligible to be drafted this year after being taken in the 27th round by the Nationals in 2017. He’s not rated among MLB.com’s top 200 draft prospects, so he may sign as an undrafted free agent somewhere.
Many fans are aware that shortstop Carlos Correa’s brother, Lamar shortstop J.C. Correa, was drafted by the Astros in each of the two previous drafts. He was a late round pick both times, so it’s not likely he’ll be taken in this five-round draft, but the team could give him a shot if he’s intent on playing pro ball.
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Remember how Aaron Boone was one of the players many of us forgot were Astros? Well his nephew, Princeton shortstop Jake Boone, could be drafted this year. He’s the son of former major leaguer Bret Boone and part of one of the most notable baseball families.
High school shortstop Milan Tolentino, ranked as the No. 102 prospect by MLB.com, is the son of former Astros player Jose Tolentino. The elder Tolentino appeared in 44 games for the 1991 team, mostly as a pinch hitter, which was the extent of his major league career.
Auburn pitcher Tanner Burns, who’s ranked as the No. 28 prospect by MLB.com, is the son of a former minor league player. His father, catcher and infielder Mike Burns, played in the Astros system for three seasons in the early 1990s, reaching Class-A advanced but compiling just a .576 OPS there. The younger Burns is not likely to be available for Houston.
Jacob Berry, a high school third baseman from Arizona, is also the son of a former Astros farmhand. His father, Perry Berry, was the team’s fourth round draft pick in 1990, though he only made it to High-A ball in four minor league seasons. The younger Berry is ranked as the No. 198 prospect.
Finally, none other than Jeff Bagwell’s godson is eligible for this draft. Davidson first baseman Brett Centracchio has gotten some tutelage from the Hall of Famer, who was college teammates with his father Greg. He put up some impressive numbers in the limited college season this year.
As a reminder, the first round of the MLB draft begins tonight at 6 p.m. CT on MLB Network and ESPN. Day two, which will have the second through fifth rounds, begins at 4 p.m. CT Thursday on MLB Network and ESPN2.