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 2018 First Round Pick: Seth Beer

For 2018, the Astros were coming off a World Series win and while the sign stealing scandal hadn't happened yet, they were still picking low at #28 because of their high finish. Ultimately, they settled on one of the more famous college players in Seth Beer out of Clemson who was well-known to have some prodigious power in his bat. However, concerns that his hit tool and approach would not work in the professional ranks led to him falling to Houston.

Sadly, Beer has not amounted to much as a pro just yet. He actually played really well in the lower levels of the minor leagues for Houston and made it all the way to Double-A before he was included in the same trade that brough Greinke over. He continued to hit through the 2021 season in Triple-A and did make his big league debut with Arizona, but big league pitchers ate him up and he ultimately got sent down to the minor leagues and cleared waivers in 2023. Not a terrible pick, but not great, either.

Grade: B

Astros 2019 First Round Pick: Korey Lee

The last first round pick that Houston made in the first round before their two year hiatus was Korey Lee at number 32 overall out of UC-Berkeley. Lee had some gaudy numbers in college and the Astros even then recognized that they had a long-term need at catcher.

Lee is still kicking around the Astros' farm system these days and has been hitting pretty well in Triple-A this season despite some concern with his swing and miss tendencies. The issue is that his defensive game leaves something to be desired and there is no shortage of doubters of his ability to play catcher at the big league level. Still, there is some hope that he is a big league bat of some sort and if he can figure out the ins and outs of catching, he has a cannon of an arm.

Grade: B

Astros 2022 First Round Pick: Drew Gilbert

After their two year timeout from picking in the first round of the draft, Houston was back at it with the 28th overall pick in 2022. This time, they again turned to the college ranks with Drew Gilbert out of Tennessee. His high energy style of play along with some tantalizing tools had Houston very excited to land him in the draft as a guy who could excel on both sides of the ball.

So far, the results have been precisely what the Astros wanted. Gilbert has already established himself as Houston's top overall prospect with an .824 OPS this season so far. He has struggled a bit so far in Double-A at the plate, but we aren't going to read too much into that just yet. Gilbert is looking like a guy that could be good for Houston for a long time.

Grade: Still too early, but is looking like at least a B, if not an A

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