First-Round Pick Drew Gilbert Already Called Up to Single-A

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Outfielder Drew Gilbert, the Houston Astros’ first-round pick from 2022, is wasting no time moving up the minor league ranks.

Drew Gilbert, the most recent first-round pick of the Houston Astros, has already received the first call-up of his professional career. He was promoted to single-A Fayetteville on Monday morning, after originally being assigned to the Astros’ Florida Complex rookie ball team after the draft.

Gilbert debuted with the FCL Astros just last week and wasted no time getting going. He hit a home run in his first at bat, and the Houston’s brass had seen enough very quickly as he got promoted after just 4 games. He finished his short tenure in rookie ball by going 5 for 11 with a home run, 3 walks, 3 steals, and a 1.418 OPS.

Gilbert was drafted 28th overall in the 2022 despite being ranked 21st in TheAthletic’s final mock draft. In 141 games with the University of Tennessee across 3 seasons, he hit 22 home runs and put up 16 steals and a .935 OPS, which included an on-base percentage at the coveted .400 mark. His potential to be a five-tool outfielder clearly encouraged the Astros’ scouts. In addition, ESPN scouting guru Kiley McDaniel had Gilbert ranked 11th on his board.

The Astros have been struggling to find a secure option to play center field for a couple of seasons. They didn’t acquire one at the deadline, so they evidently would rather give their current options a chance at this point in time. Jake Meyers and Chas McCormick are the two players that have been getting an opportunity in center field as of late. Other notable center field prospects include Pedro Leon (AAA) and Colin Barber (high-A). As of now, Gilbert’s ceiling is projected to be higher than any of these players, and he could certainly continue to fast-track his way through the system.

Gilbert became the first player that the Astros selected in the first round since 2019, when catcher Korey Lee was drafted. Before that, each of the previous 3 college position players they drafted in the first round (Springer, Bregman, Beer) have since graduated to the major league level.

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