Now that the minor league rosters have been announced, I figured it might be a good time to review the drafts to see how the FO's have done. All players not listed have been released or traded.
MLB: SP Bud Norris (6, 2006), OF Brandon Barnes (6 ,2005)
Only 2 players remain from drafts before 2008, a testament to both the rebuild and the horrible mismanagement of the farm system in that time. Several good players were drafted in the '03-'07 years, including Hunter Pence
, Ben Zobrist
, Drew Stubbs
(who they didn't even sign), and Chris Johnson
. But those hits were more than overshadowed by misses on Brian Bogusevic
, Eli Iorg
, and Max Sapp. Those drafts get a collected "F".
MLB: C Jason Castro
AAA: SP Jordan Lyles (1)
AA: SP Ross Seaton (3), C Rene Garcia
High A: SP Luis Cruz (9)
Extended Spring Training, DL, or Released (EDR): IF Andy Simunic (17)
It looks like 2008 will produce at least 1 long term regular in Castro, and Lyles is very likely to have an extended major leaguer career. Seaton is the only other player expected to reach the majors, and at this point he profiles as a middle reliever or spot starter. 6th round pick Jack Shuck is in the majors with the Angels
as a reserve OF. 2nd rounder Jay Austin
and 4th rd OF TJ Steele were notable busts. For now, this draft gets a C-, but if Castro becomes an all star or Lyles reaches his potential, the grade would be higher.
MLB: OF JD Martinez (20)
AAA: SP Dallas Keuchel (7), OF Jake Goebbert (13)
AA: SS Jio Mier (1), 3B Jon Meyer (3), 2B Kike' Hernandez (6), SS Ben Orloff (6), DH Erik Castro (10)
EDR: SP Tanner Bushue (2), 1B Telvin Nash
(3), IF Brandon Wikoff (5), OF Grant Hogue (35), P Raul Rivera (37)
This is not looking like a very good draft. Mier still has a chance to produce a solid regular, but his leash is shortening. Martinez and Keuchel have reached the majors, but while both will probably play professionally for a long time, neither projects as an impact player in the bigs. At this point, Bushue, Nash, and Wikoff appear to be destined to join BJ Hyatt as notable busts. So far this draft grades a D+, but if Mier becomes an everyday SS, the grade will rise.
AAA: C Chris Wallace
AA: OF Austin Wates (3), SP Bobby Doran (4), SP Jake Buchanan (8), RP Andrew Robinson (12), RP Alex Sogard (26)
High A: 2B Delino DeShields, Jr (1), SP Mike Foltynewicz (1), RP Tommy Shirley (RP)
A: SP Vincent Velasquez (2), C Roberto Pena
(7), OF Jordan Scott (13)
EDR: RP Evan Grills (10), P Jamaine Cotton (15), P Krishawn Holley (39)
Moving forward, the books on these drafts are far from written. DeShields and Folty both have their stocks skyrocketing after stellar 2012 seasons and could end up as perennial all-stars. Velasquez also still has a very high ceiling. All the players in full season ball have a legitimate chance to reach the big leagues. Notable busts include Catchers Mike Kvasnicka (supplemental round) and Ben Heath
(5th rd). Adam Plutko was drafted in the 6th round but went unsigned and will be available in this year's draft. So far, I'd give this draft a solid B, but there's still a wide range of outcomes.
AA: OF George Springer (1), SP Nick Tropeano (5)
High A: OF Brandon Meredith (6), SP Jonas Dufek (9), IF Zach Johnson (15), SP Tyson Perez (17), 3B Matt Duffy (20), OF Drew Muren (22), OF Chris Epps (45)
A: P Kyle Hallock (10), RP Mitchell Lambson (19), UT Jesse Wierzbicki (24), DH Chase Davidson (41)
EDR: SP Adrian Houser (2), P Jack Armstrong Jr (3), P Chris Lee (4), OF Javaris Reynolds (7), P Brandon Culbreth (8), OF Justin Gominsky (11), C Miles Hamblin (12), UT Ruben Sosa (23), OF Wallace Gonzalez (29), RP Zachary Dando (32)
It's too early to really grade this draft, but so far, so good. Springer is a Top 100 prospect and Tropeano is on the fringe of those lists, while a handful of other picks are still on track to reach the majors. No notable prospects have busted yet, although it's not really looking good for Houser, Lee, or Armstrong. I'd grade this draft a B- to this point, but again, it's too early to tell.
High A: SS Nolan Fontana (2), SP Brady Rodgers (3), OF Andrew Aplin (5), OF Preston Tucker (7), C Tyler Heineman (8), SP Aaron West (17), RP Travis Ballew (23), C MP Cokinos (31)
A: SS Carlos Correa (1), SP Lance McCullers Jr (1), 3B Rio Ruiz (4), SP Daniel Minor (9), SP Joe Bircher (10), OF Terrel Joyce (12), SP Brian Holmes (13), IF Joe Sclafani (14), IF Ryan Dineen (25), RP John Neely (30), RP Mike Hauschild (33), RP JJ Jankowski (34)
EDR: OF Brett Phillips (6), RP Erick Gonzalez (15), OF Dan Gulbransen (16), C Ricky Gingras (18), 2B Austin Elkins (19), OF Marc Wik (21), RP Kenny Long (22), 3B Angel Ibanez (28), RP Christian Garcia (29), 1B Mike Martinez (36), RP Mike Dimock (37)
So far the results of this draft have been overwhelmingly positive. Correa, McCullers, and Ruiz all look like future stars, and Fontana, Rodgers, and Aplin balance them out with extremely high floors. Tucker, Heineman, West, Ballew, and Minor look like draft day steals. Any complaints about this draft would be nitpicking, and it bodes extremely well for the future of the Astros
with Jeff Luhnow at the helm. The grade on this group is an A to this point, but as always with drafts where high schoolers are picked at the top, there's a wide range of outcomes.