Tuesday's Three Astros Things

Here's some different things to talk about as we wait for Carlos Correa to sign already...

1) Draft reaction - Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

But, don't just trust me. Let's take a page from AC and see what other people are saying about this:

John Hart on Carlos Correa: It’s going to take a little bit longer because it always does for high school kids, but the reward is having a 21-year old kid that has the chance to be something very special. He has the chance to be a big, physical shortstop that can defend.

Harold Reynolds on Carlos Correa: This tells us a lot about the direction the Astros are going in. … He’s as advanced as any high school player you’ll see. The comparisons remind me of Alex Rodriguez. … When you’ve got a chance to grab a shortstop that can be the centerpiece of your foundation of an organization moving forward, you don’t pass on that.

Both of those came from MLB Network's live draft coverage on Monday night.

Here's what Zachary Levine had to say:

In selecting 17-year-old Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa over a coterie of college pitchers, the Astros made the commitment to taking their guy, no matter how long the process of turning him into the big leaguer they think he can be.

The product of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, which combines a traditional education with intense baseball training, was one of the youngest players in the draft but among those with the highest upside.

And what Richard Justice had to say:

When Correa accepted Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow's invitation to participate in a simulated game in Kissimmee, Fla., last week, there wasn't much the club didn't already know about him. But there were questions Luhnow still needed answered.

"I wanted to see how he handled 92-93 mph inside fastballs," Luhnow said.

Correa took 12 to 15 at-bats that day, and handled a diet of inside hard stuff. He showed a combination of discipline and power.

"He swung and missed once," Luhnow said, "and that was on a curveball out of the strike zone."

I'll also repeat what I said last night, in that if Houston can get Correa for about what they offered Appel, and spin that money into the supplemental round, I think they can sign both guys.

Like I said, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

2) Trade Altuve? - Nope.

I know Ken Rosenthal is just starting a conversation on this, and I know that no player on this current roster should be untouchable. But, to trade El Escorpion, Houston would have to get back two or three blue-chip players that they won't get.

I think Astros County did a great job breaking this all down already, and people have been yelling at Rosenthal on Twitter since he brought it up. There's just one point I'd make about this, and it's looking back at Josh Barfield's situation.

When Barfield had that great rookie season for the San Diego Padres, he looked like a star in the making at second base. He hit, but didn't get on base at a particularly high clip. He played decent defense, but was not going to win any Gold Gloves. And, everyone was pretty surprised when San Diego flipped him to Cleveland for Andrew Brown and Kevin Kouzmanoff, who were well-regarded, but not two of the best prospects in baseball by any means.

At the time, they said it was to fill organizational holes, as Kouzmanoff played third and SD didn't have anyone there. But, it turned out to be pretty disastrous for Cleveland, who lost pretty much all its value when Barfield tanked. And San Diego got nothing out of Brown (literally, he never pitched for them) and three Chris Johnson-esque seasons at third from Kouzmanoff.

That doesn't really sound like a win for the Padres or the Indians.

Which is why teams may be wary to trade for young stars who haven't shown multiple seasons of success. Barfield was 23 in his "breakout" season for the Padres. Altuve is younger, but still doesn't have the kind of track record that will make teams ignore the traditional scouting on him. That means Houston won't get the kind of package his talent may dictate.

And, if Houston's not getting at least two impact players and a pitcher for him, why make the trade? Just keep your All-Star second baseman for another year or two when he's making peanuts and flip him before his first arbitration year, if that's the plan. His value should only go up, right?

3) Crane is not Drayton - I'd also like to respectfully disagree with our SB Nation colleagues over at SB Nation Houston. Two different stories recently hint at the Astros moving away from owner Jim Crane by selecting Correa. The thought there is that Crane was pushing to select a college pitcher, especially Appel, who is from the area and might be more marketable.

In dealing with the team, in reading the writers who cover the team regularly, in listening to press conferences with decision-makers, I at no time go the sense that Jim Crane was involved in this decision-making. All of that is borne out of rumors put out by national sources who turned out not to be as in tune with this front office as they thought.

Drafting players is a complicated process. I'm sure Crane was involved in the decision, just like Jeff Luhnow was, or Bobby Heck was, or the regional cross checkers were. Luhnow said in Friday's press conference that "the Astros will make this decision." It was a group process, and the owner didn't seem to be steering that group in any way.

Now, I know it's hard to transition away from the Drayton McLane model. He had a heavy hand in all things Astros and it's easy to fall into the trap that the new guy is the same way. Crane isn't. The point that he's hired good people and is letting them work is a fair one, but I don't think that extended to them defying his preference for which player they picked. I think picked the player who had the biggest chance to impact this team.

Crane is not Drayton. Listen to Z and Tags. Don't listen to Heyman. Wash, repeat...

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