So Houston snagged their three first-rounders yesterday, which included one familiar name and two major-league spelling hazards. The most notable of the trio is the first, both by virtue of his draft position and because of his bloodlines.
I’ll confess that when I first read the name “Delino DeShields” in mock drafts yesterday, I thought it was a typo – another DeShields, perhaps, but another “Delino”? I didn’t realize that there should be a “Jr.” at the end of his name, or that Delino Sr. was old enough yet to have an old-enough son. I was mostly indifferent to Delino Sr. in his playing days – never particularly liked or disliked him – but I am a fan of baseball bloodlines, and from what I gather, Jr. seems to be a pretty good pick. If he at least meets (but hopefully exceeds) his dad’s legacy, then Bobby Heck should be well pleased.
Houston’s other two picks yesterday I knew nothing of before we picked them, but that’s usually the way of the MLB draft. Mike Foltynewicz is a hard-throwing righty from an Illinois high school, and Michael Kvasnicka is a switch-hitting C/3B with some pop from the University of Minnesota. I can’t say much about either one of them without repeating what draft “experts” have said, but both guys seem to have a lot of upside, and they provide some interesting pieces for the Astros’ future. Envision this potential lineup in Houston in three or four years:
C Jason Castro (.285, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 172 AB @ 2010 Round Rock AAA)
1B Koby Clemens (.284, 14 HR, 39 RBI, 197 AB @ 2010 Corpus Christi AA)
2B Delino DeShields Jr.
SS Jiovanni Mier (.276, 7 HR, 32 RBI @ 2009 Greenville Rk)
3B Michael Kvasnicka
LF Jason Bourgeois (.352, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 17 SB, 216 AB @ 2010 Round Rock AAA)
CF Michael Bourn
RF Hunter Pence
SP Jordan Lyles (RHP, 5-4, 2.86, 57K/69.1IP @ 2010 Corpus Christi AA)
SP Mike Foltynewicz (RHP)
SP Tyler Lumsden (LHP, 4-1, 2.68, 19.K/53.2IP @ 2010 Corpus Christi AA)
SP Felipe Paulino (RHP)
SP Ross Seaton (RHP, 8-10, 3.29, 88K/136.2IP @ 2009 Lexington A)
RP Chia-Jen Lo (RHP, 2.31, 39K/39IP @ 2009 Corpus Christi AA)
That doesn’t look too bad, does it? Now of course this list makes a lot of assumptions, not the least of which is that Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee are all out of Houston uniforms sooner than later, either through trade or retirement. I’ve left Bourn and Pence here on the assumption that they’re the kind of younger stars that Ed Wade will hold onto to build the rest of the team around, but it’s possible that one or both of them could be gone as well, in which case you could place Brian Bogusevic (.295, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 220 AB @ 2010 Round Rock AAA) in the outfield, or move DeShields from second to center. Any prospects returned in a trade of Oswalt (or others) would factor in here too, and you could argue for a handful of other pitchers.
Younger, faster. More exciting. And home-grown. I’d take it.
Local (to Houston) high school prospect and local (to Arkansas) college star Brett Eibner slipped by the boards on Day 1, and was snatched up by Kansas City at #54 before Houston’s first pick today.. ah well. So far, the Astros have added #58 RHP Vincent Velasquez (Garey HS, CA), #90 OF Austin Wates (Virginia Tech) and #123 RHP Robert Doran (Texas Tech)… 26 more rounds to go today.
Houston lost to Colorado last night, 5-1… not much to say about that. Brian Moehler vs. Jeff Francis tonight. Looking forward to Friday, when we go to see the Arkansas Travelers play again, and of course the Astros get the Yankees that day. Who doesn’t love to see their team beat the Yanks?