We're getting close to draft time. In three weeks college and high school players will be getting the calls that will change their lives forever. As fans, our lives too may be different, depending on how these young men preform in their careers. After mismanaging the draft for too long, the Astros finally seemed to get their act together last year. Drafting players like Jason Castro, Jordan Lyles, Ross Seaton and Brad Dydalewicz was a nice way to start the Bobby Heck/Ed Wade regime.
One good draft is not enough. In order for this organization to turn around its poor production on the sub major league level, many successful drafts need to be had in succession. That means 2009 is just as important as 2008, if not moreso. If the Astros don't draft well this year, it's another year until respectability is achieved by this organization on the minor league level.
Who has been selected in past seasons with the 21st selection? Since 2000:
|1998||Jayson Tyner (Mets)|
|1999||Larry Bigbie (Orioles)|
|2000||Boof Bonser (Giants)|
|2001||Brad Hennessey (Giants)|
|2002||Bobby Brownlie (Cubs)|
|2003||Matthew Moses (Twins)|
|2004||Gregory Golson (Phillies)|
|2005||Clifton Pennington (A's)|
|2006||Ian Kennedy (Yankees)|
|2007||J.P. Arencibia (Blue Jays)|
|2008||Ryan Perry (Tigers)|
Obviously, the MLB draft is a crap shoot for the most part. This list is just another example of that idea. Jason Tyner and Larry Bigbie have been nothing more than spare part offensive players. Bonser is a middling starter, while Hennessey has performed decently as a reliever. The next four names on the list, Brownlie, Moses, Golson, and Pennington, have not yet reached the major leagues. Ian Kennedy has, but he has been far from effective in his thirteen big league starts. Arencibia has been nothing short of average in his minor league career, with a career .803 OPS. He is now playing in AAA Las Vegas in the Jays system. Ryan Perry skyrocketed from the University of Arizona to being a part of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff in just one year. He is averaging just under 9 K/9 innings in 16 innings of relief work this season.
From the 20th choice, CC Sabathia (1998) and Denard Span (2002) have had the most successful major league careers, and it's not even close.