Tagged: mlb draft

Astros won; draft is done

Great game last night for the Astros. Great clutch hits, great outing by Brian Moehler. The Astros are deadlocked 2-2 tonight with the Rockies as I post this, and the game is headed to extra innings. Could be a (relatively) big win for Houston if they pull it out, though, as the Pirates have already lost tonight, so the Astros are officially tied for last place as of this minute. A win would give us a commanding 0.5 game lead over Pittsburgh in the “we’re not the worst!” race.

Didn’t some guy named Strasburg pitch against the Pirates last night? Forgive me if I was more interested today in the Pittsburgh debut of Brad Lincoln. Strasburg was brilliant, no doubt, and Lincoln was less so, but Brad has Houston ties.

After two more days of rapid-fire pickin’, the 2010 MLB Draft is finally done. I talked about Houston’s three first-rounders in my last post, so here’s the rest of their list:

2) Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Garey HS (California)

3) Austin Wates, CF, Virginia Tech

4) Bobby Doran, RHP, Texas Tech

5) Ben Heath, C, Penn State

6) Adam Plutka, RHP, Glendora HS (California)

7) Roberto Pena, C, Eloisa Pascual HS (Puerto Rico)

8) Jake Buchanan, RHP, North Carolina State

9) Tommy Shirley, LHP, Xavier

10) Evan Grills, LHP, Sinclair SS (Ontario)

11) Kyle Redinger, 3B, Cedar Crest HS (Pennsylvania)

12) James Robinson, RHP, Georgia Tech

13) Davis Duren, 2B, Oklahoma State

14) Jordan Scott, CF, Riverside HS (South Carolina)

15) Jemaine Cotton, RHP, Western Oklahoma State

16) Christopher Wallace, C, Houston

17) Tyler Burnett, 3B, Middle Tennessee State

18) Joshua Magee, CF, Hoover HS (Alabama)

19) Jacoby Jones, SS, Richton HS (Mississippi)

20) Daniel Adamson, CF, Jacksonville State

21) Aaron Blair, RHP, Spring Valley HS (Nevada)

22) Zachary Dygert, C, Ball State

23) Adam Bailey, RF, Nebraska

24) Adam Champion, LHP, Arkansas-Little Rock

25) Rodney Quintero, RHP, Chipola JC

26) Alexander Sogard, LHP, North Carolina State

27) Jacke Healey, SS, Youngstown State

28) Jason Chowning, RHP, Oklahoma

29) Broughan Jantz, CF, Nevada Union HS (California)

30) Kellen Killsgaard, RF, Stanford

31) Travis Blankenship, LHP, Kansas

32) William Chrismon, RHP, Menchville HS (Virginia)

33) Michael Ness, RHP, Duke

34) Ryan Cole, RHP, St. John’s

35) Esteban Gomez, 1B, Bishop Ford Central Catholic HS (New York)

36) Ryan Halstead, RHP, Los Osos HS (California)

37) Brian Streilein, RHP, Villanova

38) Ryan Ford, 1B, Plano West HS (Texas)

39) Krishawn Holley, RHP, Mid Carolina HS (South Carolina)

40) Jeremiah Meiners, LHP, Francis Marion

41) Bryce Lance, RHP, Gulf Coast Community College

42) Paul Gerrish, RHP, Texas Christian

43) DeMarcus Henderson, SS, Wayne County HS (Mississippi)

44) Alexis Garza, RHP, McAllen HS (Texas)

45) Ian Vazquez, SS, Perkiomen School (Pennsylvania)

46) Lawrence Pardo, LHP, Christopher Columbus HS (Florida)

47) Joseph Carcone, SS, New Hartford HS (New York)

48) Thomas Pecoraro, RHP, Half Hollow West HS (New York)

49) Kenny Diaz, C, Colegio Angel David HS (Puerto Rico)

50) David Donald, CF, JL Mann HS (South Carolina)

A lot of pitchers, but that’s good. Six catchers, counting Michael Kvasnick from Round 1, which is interesting with Jason Castro knocking on the door in Round Rock. But these guys won’t be knocking on that door for a while, and many of them may be moved to other positions. Two names stand out to me in this list – one of them a catcher in Houston Cougar Christopher Wallace. He’s their first 2010 pick to sign; the kid is a lifelong Astros fan who gets the chance now to live his childhood dream, so you can’t help but cheer him on. The other name that caught my eye is BIG (6’7″) lefty Adam Champion, because he happens to be from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock… which happens to be where I work. I don’t know Adam personally, but I know that the city of Houston loves big power pitchers, so I wish him all the best and hope to see him in Astros pinstripes some day.

Grand salami, El Caballo. Astros win 6-2 in 10, and they’ve officially soared to the great heights of 5th place in the NL Central. One step at a time!

Day 1 Draft is done

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?

Sad day for Adam E., big day for draftees

So in Tigers news not about Armando Galarraga, Detroit designated ex-Astro Adam Everett for assignment yesterday. It’s sad in the way that Morgan Ensberg getting cut by the Rays last spring was sad – that was the end of Morgan’s playing career, and Adam is talking as if this is the end of his. Both guys were key cogs in the 2005 World Series team, and you always want to see old friends do well elsewhere if they can’t do well in Houston. Of course my immediate thought is that, if Everett is released or placed on waivers, the Astros should snatch him up; the buzz about Tommy Manzella all spring was that he “could be the next Adam Everett,” and a 33-year-old Everett couldn’t hit much worse than the 27-year-old Manzella has so far. But the reality is that Adam Everett would not have become Adam Everett if the Astros hadn’t let him go through his own growing pains as a big leaguer, and I think it’s still much too early to give up on Tommy yet. Everett would be a great insurance policy if he’s willing to accept a minor league assignment and if Tommy continues to struggle for another month or two. I’d love to see Adam back in an Astros uniform again. But if this is indeed the end of the road for him, he seems to have an admirable attitude about it. His own comments and those by Jim Leyland speak volumes about Adam’s character.

The Astros did indeed take two of three from the Cubs, so they’re still officially keeping pace with the 2005 squad, but they’ll have to sweep this four-game set in Colorado if they’re to keep that up. Houston dodges a huge bullet this week in that they get to face four Rockies starters not named Ubaldo Jimenez, but I still wouldn’t bet on a sweep. A more realistic goal is to climb out of the NL Central basement before the weekend set with the Yankees. Houston has won six of their last eight to pull within a game back of Milwaukee, so it would be nice to head to New York no longer cellar dwellers.
Of course the biggest news in Astroland today is the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. As has already been often repeated, Houston has their highest pick this year (#8) since drafting Phil Nevin #1 overall back in 1992, and they have more first-round picks this year (3) than they have since 1994. For a farm system that has regularly been rated among the worst in baseball in recent years, this is huge, and probably the most important draft of Ed Wade’s & Bobby Heck’s Houston careers. Brett Eibner looks pretty good…