Astros: Revisiting the 1983 MLB amateur draft hits, misses

(Photo by Robert Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Robert Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

We take a look back at the Houston Astros picks and misses in the 1983 MLB draft.

The Houston Astros have had their share of poor drafts over the years, and 1983 was just one of many. Three of their selections would wind up reaching the major leagues, but they would combine to play in a total of 51 major league games for their entire careers.

The team’s first round pick came at No. 8 overall, and they didn’t miss much before that. The first overall pick, Tim Belcher, did not sign, and none of the other top seven picks would even compile 10 WAR for their careers. The Astros had all the opportunity here but failed to capitalize.

First Five Rounds

With their first round pick, the team selected Oklahoma State catcher Robbie Wine. He would appear in 23 major league games from 1986 to 1987 and hit .146/.186/.195 with no homers or RBIs. Players the team missed here included Dan Plesac, Dave Magadan and future Astro Roger Clemens, who went 19th overall to the Red Sox. Imagine having him, in his MVP season of 1986, in that same rotation with Nolan Ryan and the otherworldly Mike Scott. Whew.

The Astros second round pick went to the Pirates as compensation for the signing of free agent Omar Moreno. With that pick, Pittsburgh took high school pitcher Stan Fansler, who pitched in just five major league games. Players missed here included Rick Aguilera and Glenn Braggs.

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In the third round, the Astros drafted high school pitcher Mike Friedrich. There aren’t any minor league stats listed for him, but suffice it to say he never reached the big leagues. Players who were taken after this included Wally Joyner.

The Astros went with University of Portland pitcher Greg Dube in the fourth round. He pitched in five minor league seasons, never advancing beyond Double-A. Players going after this included Ron Gant and Charlie Hayes.

Then in the fifth round, the team stayed local with University of Houston left-hander Rayner Noble. He pitched in five minor league seasons and made it to Triple-A but did not crack the majors. Players they missed here included Todd Stottlemyre. Others they missed later in the draft included John Burkett, Terry Steinbach, Glenallen Hill, John Smiley, Jeff Montgomery, Kevin Seitzer and future Astros Glenn Davis and Doug Drabek.

Notable Later Picks

The team’s 10th round pick, Santa Clara left-hander Roger Samuels, put up a 4.33 ERA in 20 big league games split between the Giants and Pirates. Their 28th round pick, NW Missouri State left-hander Tom Funk, pitched in eight major league games, all with the 1986 Astros, and had a 6.48 ERA.

Related Story. Revisiting the 1984 MLB Draft. light

And that’s all, folks. This was a rather barren class for the organization, which was one of the reasons why their late 1980s teams declined and the club had to retool around another crop of young talent in the 1990s. Plenty of misses on this one.