Okay, since we've got a night game, let's talk about some things going on with this club...
1) Kyle Weiland to take the hill - You can take the pitcher out of Boston, but you can't take the Yankees rivalry out of the pitcher. I mean, that's the reason why Kyle Weiland is starting against the Yankees tonight, right? He must've insisted he start against his mortal enemies, right?
In four spring innings so far, Weiland has yet to give up a run, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out three. He's one of 12 Astros pitchers who have yet to give up a run this spring and has more strikeouts than all but four guys in camp.
The question I have is what will Weiland's success threshold be for tonight? If he goes three or four innings with four or less hits, I think he'll probably feel pretty good. As a sinkerball guy, you don't expect a ton of strikeouts, but two would certainly be nice.
If he can do that, I think Weiland will make the case he needs to be in the competition for a rotation spot.
2) FanGraphs Top 100 prospect, no Cosart - The latest Top 100 prospect list was published this morning over at FanGraphs. While both Jonathan Singleton (58) and George Springer (70) are on the list, there's no sign of Jarred Cosart, who sort of revolved with those two on different lists as the Astros top prospect.
It's an interesting call, and I'm surprised Singleton wasn't ranked higher. I'd say that the list skewed towards guys who have more production in the minors, but there are plenty of recent draft picks on the list who haven't had time to establish himself in the big leagues.
What also disappoints me a bit is that there are plenty of players higher than Singleton that were available to be drafted by Houston in past drafts. Guys like Michael Choice (drafted after DDJ) or Nick Castellanos (drafted after Mike Kvasnicka) just make me sad.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Jeff Luhnow put four prospects on the list with the Cardinals. Shelby Miller was No. 4, while he had two International free agents (Oscar Taveras and Carlos Martinez) and another draft pick in Tyrell Jenkins.
3) Weekend college roundup - Let's run through some of the top college guys from the past weekend...
Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford - People really, really like Appel. After he shut down Rice on Friday, everyone is back on the Appel train. The big righty struck out 14 in a complete game victory over the Owls, while allowing four hits, two runs and walking two. Probably his most impressive start of the season so far.
Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M - A really nice start for Wacha on Friday, as he picked up the Aggies' only victory over Cal State Fullerton this weekend. The junior allowed two hits and one runs in six innings, striking out eight and walking one. The run was unearned, which drops his ERA to 0.70. Only two starters eligible for the draft have lower ERAs than Wacha's. If Houston goes with a high school guy like outfielder Byron Buxton at No. 1 or even Mike Zunino (who we'll get to in a minute), they could certainly nab a guy like Wacha in the supplemental round to get the kind of college arm which should move quickly.
Mike Zunino, C, Florida - Big weekend for the brawny catcher, as Zunino bashed two home runs to bring his season total to seven. He went 4 for 12 over the weekend, which actually dropped his average a bit to .414 for the season. The power is there and Zunino seems to finally have gotten over his early season injury. Can he get to 20 HRs this year?
Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU - Another dominant start for the guy who's quickly becoming the top pitcher in this college class. The draft-eligible sophomore struck out 11 with no walks in 8 innings against Michigan on Friday. He only allowed two hits and dropped his ERA down to 1.32 on the season, with 31 strikeouts and two walks in 27 innings.
Mike Yastrzemski, OF, Vanderbilt - That's right, the grandson of THAT Yastrzemski is one of the top college bats in this draft. I don't think there's a chance he could go at No. 1 overall, but he's a great hitter and could make a nice pickup in the supplemental round if Houston goes pitching at the top. This Yaz doesn't have the power of Zunino, but he's had quite a bit of success with these new bats. He's hitting .377/.476/.566 with three home runs, a double and four walks in 53 at-bats. He's also been successful in 2 of 3 stolen base attempts and already has three outfield assists.