Astros Mock Draft Roundup: Experts have Houston looking to the college ranks

The 2024 MLB Draft is closer than you think.
Brody Brecht (14) of Iowa throws strikes as the Florida International University Panthers play the Iowa Hawks in a three-game series at Principal Park in Des Moines on Thursday, May 16, 2024.
Brody Brecht (14) of Iowa throws strikes as the Florida International University Panthers play the Iowa Hawks in a three-game series at Principal Park in Des Moines on Thursday, May 16, 2024. / Lee Navin/For the Register / USA TODAY

In recent years, the Houston Astros have been rather hamstrung in the MLB Draft due to their consistently high finishes as well as the sanctions placed upon them after the sign-stealing scandal. It's hard enough to find big-time talent when you are picking near the bottom of the first round every year, but its exponentially more difficult when you are lose your first-round picks in 2020 and 2021.

That said, the Astros clearly still know how to find value in the draft. Jake Bloss was their third-round pick in 2023 draft, and he just made his big league debut on Friday. Other recent draft success stories includes Jacob Melton, Joey Loperfido and Zach Dezenzo, among others.

This year, the Astros again pick in the first round at No. 28 overall thanks to their ALCS finish in 2023. It is extraordinarily difficult to predict what will happen that far down in the first round, but here is a look at what the draft expects are thinking will go down when Houston makes their first-round pick in the upcoming 2024 MLB Draft.

2024 MLB Draft: Experts have Astros targeting college performers with first-round pick

We're focusing on three well-respected outlets for this mock draft roundup with Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, and The Athletic. No disrespect to any other outlets mocks as there are a lot of good ones (or at least fun ones) out there, but these are places where it is known that the writers have actual connections in baseball and might be getting some insights into teams' actual thinking.

We'll hit The Athletic first as Keith Law is going to be a guy who probably dissents from experts' consensus the most, although he always backs up his thinking with helpful insight. That said, he has the Astros picking Iowa RHP Brody Brecht in his latest mock draft, which feels a bit ambitious. It would be a great pick, as Brecht has a high-octane fastball and wipeout slider that reminds some of Paul Skenes when he is on (although walks have been a problem). The bigger issue is whether or not he would actually be there when the Astros pick, and there is a real chance that he won't be.

As for MLB Pipeline, they don't have Brecht getting past the Dodgers and have a lot of the more interesting college players that could be gone before Houston picks. Instead, Callis and Mayo released Pipeline's latest mock draft with the Astros taking Stanford catcher Malcolm Moore. Obviously the Astros already have their catcher of the future in Yainer Diaz, but this is all about buying into his bat, which gets high grades for his power to all fields. He probably needs to move off of catcher, but that would suit Houston's needs just fine and would be a nice pickup at the end of the first round.

Finally, we come to Carlos Collazo at Baseball America, who has a pretty strong track record when it comes to accuracy with these mock drafts and is relentless in running down actual sources that know teams' thinking. In BA's mock draft 4.0, he has Brecht getting snatched up right before Houston picks and the Astros passing on Moore, instead going with Tennessee third baseman Billy Amick. Obviously there is a very good chance Houston is going to need to replace Alex Bregman after this season and Amick has the ability to hit for average and power, although his aggression at the plate may need to be tempered against higher-quality pitchers if he wants to ever draw a walk.

More Astros News from Climbing Tal's Hill