Talking late afternoon Astros stuff as we send a hearty congratulations to James and family over at Astros County for their wee one...
1) Bobby Valentine's documentary and the Astros - There's plenty of controversy surrounding the impending documentary, Pelotero, with Bud Selig sending a nasty note to the Red Sox front office about it.
Where it gets interesting for the Astros is that Jean Carlos Batista was featured in it before he signed with the Astros. I'll let Appy Astros explain his role:
The documentary's executive producer is Bobby Valentine.He was interviewed on WEEI about the documentary in conjunction with the July 2nd international signing day. In talking about the pressure on Dominican youth to falsify their age, the interview recaps Batista's situation. He talks about how the age issue may have been unintentional but that it changed his status as prospect dramatically; it changes his signing bonus dramatically and it changes how he is perceived by the Houston organization dramatically. The section about Batista can be found at the 8 minute 50 second mark in the pod cast, I have paraphrased the comments but there is much more there.
You can be sure I'll be watching this when it comes out and try to have a review of the whole thing for you here. Sounds very, very interesting, no?2) Go here now! - Seriously, go here now. Subber contributed to it, and, though I haven't seen anything with it yet, it'll be fantastic. What are you still doing here? Go there, sign up and then come back. I'll wait.
3) More draft news - Three really interesting draft notes now that Houston looks headed to another Top 5 draft pick. First off, it looks like both Mark Appel and Kevin Gausman could be re-entering the draft after spurning their current offers. In Gausman's case, the talk seems to be centering on the fact that he might be just leveraging himself to a bigger contract.
In Appel's case, he might actually go back to school unless the Pirates give up a first round pick. What does that say about his chances of going to Houston next year?
Either way, we can start talking about possible high picks and both of those guys could be in the discussion. Another guy working his way onto the list? Austin Wilson, from Stanford, who is raking in the Cape Cod League this year.
Here' s what BA said about Wilson:
A bit overshadowed by Harwich teammate Phil Ervin, Wilson has gotten off to a hot start of his own, crushing five home runs in his first nine games. Wilson, who struggled in the Cape last summer, has looked much more comfortable in his second go-around. "We won a championship with him last year so guys look to him as a leader," Englert said. "He’s been through it before. He knows what to expect and how much of a grind it is." In addition, the rising junior has proven to be a solid right fielder, displaying a plus arm and above-average speed.
Wilson seems to be the exception to the rule on how Stanford changes hitting approaches. If he can keep up this power surge, he could be a very intriguing guy at the top of the 2013 draft. Remember, the Cardinals and Jeff Luhnow drafted him out of high school.