Unless you were at Disney Land or had your head in a hole all day yesterday, you know that the Astros drafted Stanford RHP, Mark Appel, first overall in the draft. They then followed that pick up with UC Irvine RHP, Andrew Thurman with their first pick in the second round.
The first pick in this year's draft was probably the most discussed pick in the history of the Astros. Yes, I think we discussed who the pick should be much more this year than last year. Appel started off as being ranked third on our TCB Draft Board in January before moving up to second in February. He then claimed the top spot in March and remained there permanently.
There's been a lot of debate with whether he has a high enough ceiling and whether his Scott Boras factor would be an issue. Jeff Luhnow sent a pretty strong message with picking Appel, saying that he isn't afraid to negotiate with Boras and that he is going to draft the best player available. He has his own TCB Rookie Card already!
There was a lot of talk about the Astros selecting Carlos Correa because he was the cheaper of the top prospects last year and they wanted the flexibility for other picks. You then had other executives this year saying the Astros would play the same game this year and select somebody cheaper like Jonathan Gray or Colin Moran.
But, they didn't. They took the best player available who is also perceived to possibly have the highest price tag.
Moving forward, it was expected that the Astros would take a position player because it's a lot of risk to have just pitchers at the top of the draft. But, Thurman isn't a position player.
Based on the the TCB Top 100, the top three prospects available at 2.1 (40th overall) were Jonathan Denney (catcher), Austin Wilson (outfielder), and Thurman.
Given the variables of the MLB draft, drafting anyone within the top 5-10 remaining is pretty good and something to be happy about. So, given he was third makes me very happy with it.
Add in that Denney is having a huge skid for an unknown answer, I am fine with passing him up at 2.1, considering he's now still available at 3.1. His attendance to the draft and his tweets indicate that he's very open to being drafted so he's not telling teams not to draft him similarly to Alex Bregman last year. He had a worrisome second half to his season at the plate and questions have always surrounded his defense, but his fall is still perplexing. I don't think he should have fallen this far and is by far the biggest surprise of the day.
Wilson is an interesting one. Given his season, the slow development, and the injury, he's quite risky. He did go nine picks after Thurman, so other teams did feel the same.
We have no idea what Appel's demands will be, a risk and someone who may want more than slot, a safer pick is attractive. Thurman is safe and still one of the best available. Good situation.
The Thurman selection may not be the "sexy" pick but it's certainly not one you can complain about. I personally really like it. It may be safe, but that should have been expected to an extent given the possibility for Appel getting a high bonus. I doubt Appel takes full slot, so I expect the Astros spend money in the next round. Remember, Astros played it pretty safe in round two last year with Nolan Fontana.
Overall, I think it was a very effective day. I'm very happy with how the draft unfolded for the Astros last night and look forward to what else they can do today.