Grading the Houston Astros' last 8 first round draft picks

The Houston Astros have had some big MLB draft success recently, but wow have they missed on some picks, too.

Jul 3, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (2) in action during
Jul 3, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (2) in action during / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Astros 2015 First Round Pick: Daz Cameron

The Astros' final first round pick in 2015 was in the comp round where they spent $4 million to sign Daz Cameron, a high school outfielder from Georgia. Daz was one of the top draft prospects in the class and the Astros were able to push him down to the comp round because they were willing and able to pay his salary demands because of their inflated draft bonus pool that year.

Cameron was long on raw talent, but never really figured things out sadly as he struggled to hit consistently in pro ball. After not making past low-A with the Astros, he was included in the trade that brought Justin Verlander to the Astros in 2017. Daz would have an up and down minor league career with Detroit and eventually make it to the majors, but didn't end up doing much and ended up getting claimed off waivers by the Orioles. $4 million is a lot to spend on a guy that can't even stick in the big leagues at all.

Grade: D

Astros 2016 First Round Pick: Forrest Whitley

This one is a bit of a bummer. The Astros had the 17th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft and they selected Whitley out of the Texas high school ranks. This pick was looking amazing for a while as many considered him to be the top pitching prospect in all of baseball and he was on the fast track to the big leagues.

Unfortunately, things have not been as good recently. Whitley got suspended for 50 games for violating MLB's drug prevention and treatment program in 2018 and then missed the 2021 season because he had to have Tommy John surgery. He is now nursing a lat injury that is going to keep him out a few months and it sounds like he could be getting shifted to the bullpen when he returns. There is plenty of "what might have been" with this one.

Grade: C

Astros 2017 First Round Pick: J.B. Bukauskas

In 2017, the Astros were picking 15th overall and decided to go with JB Bukauskas out of the University of North Carolina. Bukauskas' stuff was worthy of being picked higher than this, but there were some concerns that his size and effort in his delivery would force him to move to the bullpen eventually.

Bukauskas pitched pretty well with the Astros despite dealing with some injuries, but was ultimately traded to the Diamondbacks in the deal that brought Zack Greinke to Houston. Bukauskas would indeed end up getting moved to the bullpen and he is currently bouncing around the Brewers organization. Houston got some value out of the pick at least, but picking a reliever in the first round of the draft kinda stinks.

Grade: C