At exactly 12:10 p.m. ET today Ed from San Mateo asked Keith Law of ESPN this question:
Ok, its May now. When do you expect your first mock draft to be published?
Keith Law responds and actually goes one step further in answering the question:
Week after next. Right now, I'd project the top five to go Gray, Appel, Bryant, Manaea, Moran. Most people I talk to expect the Astros to try to cut a deal with Gray to use the extra money on someone who falls at 40, like Stewart.
Full chat transcript here: http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/47876/mlb-insider-keith-law
Most people expected the Astros to select Mark Appel last year and that didn't happen so take this for what it is, chatter. Just for clarification, Law is not saying that people within the industry are hearing the Astros will select Gray; Instead Law is relying what people within the baseball industry expect the Astros to do with the first selection in the upcoming draft.
I may be a little naive here but I think the Astros plan is to draft the best player available not save up their draft money for later picks. Their are 29 teams selecting players behind the Astros, plus 12 supplemental picks. The Astros have no idea who is going to be available after their first selection so drafting for more money later seems like a silly strategy.
I'm certainly not saying it couldn't happen but I full believe the Astros will take the best player available rather than try to save a buck.
T-minus 34 days and counting.