With the draft coming up in June and the Astros being in possession of three of the top 33 picks, I find myself wondering how they will go about drafting with those first three picks. The signing bonuses for last year at the same picks went:
1(8) - $2.27 million
1(19) - $1.55 million
1S(33) - $990 k
That's a total of $4.81 million dollars on just three draft picks. Considering that is the total going according to last year's slot recommendations (and we all know how McLane doesn't like to go above slot) IMO this has a big impact on who the Astros are going to draft.
Bobby Heck likes to draft prep arms with projectability and there are quite a few that should be available at #8. My question is will they go after a prep arm with upside and then go for slot-signing college players? Will they go after all prep players (like last year in the first four rounds)? I can see the Astros going after a college position player, a prep pitcher and a college pitcher. Their draft could look like this (I'm just putting names out there, there is still plenty of time between now and the draft).
1(8) -Zack Cox - 3B/2B - Arkansas
1(19) - Kevin Gausman - RHP - HS
1S(33) - Barret Loux - RHP - Texas A&M
May have to go slightly over for Cox, but from early reports he'll sign for slot and wants to start his career. Gausman may take a little more as well to buy him away from LSU and Loux should sign for slot.
My hope is that someone will fall (Whitson, Cole, Taillon) and the Astros will take full advantage of the situation and select that player, take a college bat at 19 and BPA @ 33. Realistically I can see the Pirates doing what they did last year in signing Sanchez to a reasonable contract @ #4 and using the savings to go over slot in later rounds. IMO the Royals will probably do the same thing.
I'd love to see the Astros take one of the prep arms (Whitson, Cole, Covey, Gausman, Taillon(he'll be long gone)), a positional player (Colon, Cox, Gyorko, Choice) or a college pitcher (Eibner, Bettis, Workman, Paxton, etc.)
I have faith that Bobby Heck will get the most with this many picks in the first round, just holding out hope that McLane will let him spend more than usual with such a good opportunity.