Wasn't that a fun second day of the draft? Lots and lots and lots of stuff to talk about with the 28 selections Houston made. Since I missed out on all the fun of the draft thread, here are some of my quick hitting thoughts on the Astros picks. I still intend to profile the rest of the top 10, but it may be Wednesday afternoon before the last five are done.
The big theme of the day was power. Power arms and power bats. Houston has been lacking those mashers in the lineup the past few drafts, as many of us got understandably frustrated with all these toolsy guys who may not hit many home runs. 2011 fixed that in a big way. Most of the main position players Houston took feature big-time power, from George Springer to Billy Flamion to Brandon Meredith and Miles Hamblin. Like I said, it's nice to see so many power bats get added, and hopefully, this is the second wave of talent for this system that will vault it into the upper 15 in the league.
The arms Houston drafted were also a good mix. There were plenty of Bobby Heck specials, where Houston took a great athlete who is projectable. But, there were also some polished college guys in the mix, which has also become a hallmark of his. Overall, I like the crop of arms and thought they added some good pieces in a draft deep in arms.
Another big thing they did was take some gambles on signability. Jack Armstrong isn't going to be easy to sign, because he stands to make much more if he goes back into the draft next year and has a healthy season. Flamion is another signability risk, since his commitment to Oregon is apparently strong and he went late in the draft. Houston will have to pony up to get him away from college.
When I mentioned a few weeks ago that Gandy Stubblefield might be a sleeper in this draft, I didnt' intend for Houston to take him, but I won't complain about it. I haven't actually seen him in person, but I did sit in a press box with two guys from Kingwood who really talked him up. These were guys who see a lot of high school baseball and they were impressed with how he pitched against a tough Klein Collins team. Stubblefield came on strong this season at the end and outpitched some higher-regarded prospects head to head. If he signs, I'll really be interested to see his progression.
Is it going to be Zach Johnson or Mark Duffy who's this class' J.D. Martinez or Dan Adamson? My money is on Johnson, who comes from a good program and had a decent year in the Big 12 this go-round. Either way, Heck has shown a nice knack for adding highly productive college bats in these middle rounds, so both of those names should become guys to watch.
Speaking of prior drafts, does Miles Hamblin remind anyone else of Ben Heath? The scouting reports talked about his raw power and lack of polish behind the plate and it brought me back to last season when we were discussing Heath in the same way. Hopefully, Hamblin's transition to the majors goes as smoothly as Heath's did last season.