Astros 2014 Draft Class Introduction

Rich Schultz

A brief introduction to each of the Astros 2014 draft picks.

Let's be honest. Nobody can know about every single one of the Astros 2014 draft class. Well here is a brief overview of every single one.

1st Round: Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic High School (CA): Draft Pick Profile

Comp. A Round: Derek Fisher, OF, University of VirginiaDraft Pick Profile

2nd Round: A.J. Reed, 1B, Kentucky: Draft Pick Profile

3rd Round: J.D. Davis, 3B, Cal State-Fullerton: Draft Pick Profile

4th Round: Daniel Mengden, RHP, Texas A&MDraft Pick Profile

5th Round: Jacob Nix, RHP, Los Alamitos HS (CA): Draft Pick Profile

6th Round: Brock Dykxhoorn, RHP, Central Arizona CollegeDraft Pick Profile

7th Round: Derek Velazquez, RHP, Fresno StateDraft Pick Profile

8th Round: Bobby Boyd, OF, West VirginiaDraft Pick Profile

9th Round: Bryan Radziewski, LHP, Miami: Draft Pick Profile

10th Round: Jay Gause, RHP, Faulkner University: Draft Pick Profile

***

11th Round: Dean Deetz, RHP, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M: You won’t find pitcher’s with much more upside than this in the 11th round. The right-handed pitcher missed the 2013 season while recovering from TJ surgery. So, despite being a sophomore age wise, he just completed his first year of college ball. He has a fastball in the 92-94 range that tops out at 98. His coach thinks he’s a guy who could go as high as the 5th round. He throws a slider, curve, and changeup with the slider being the best off-speed pitch.-Brooks

12th round: Ryan Bottger, LF, UT Arlington: A case could be made that Bottger was the most complete hitter in the Sun Belt Conference, and it wasn't particularly close. Even ignoring the 1.030 OPS, his single-digit strikeout rate (9.32%), 14.41% walk rate, and .205 ISO all rank in the top fifteen in the conference. - AB

13th round:  Jamie Ritchie, C, Belmont: Even if the college catching class hadn’t been so crowded, you’d be forgiven for missing Ritchie, who played in relative obscurity at Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference. But he’s been a stalwart for the Bruins. His .302 average may not pop off the page, but he was 18th-best in his conference at avoiding strikeouts, and 15th-best at BB/K. Combined with good gap power, he was easily among the top hitters in the OVC. His work behind the dish, where he allowed 11 passed balls and caught 13 of the 49 runners who tried to steal on him, will ultimately determine his value as a pro. -AB

14th Round: Nick Tanielu,  2B, Washington State: Announced as a second baseman, Tanielu played primarily third base this season. He can hit for average. He batted over .300 every year. This season he hit .340 with 16 doubles, one triple, and one home run. He struck out 33 times and walked just 12 times.-Brooks

15th Round: Connor Goedert, 3B, Neosho County CC: There’s no way around this, the sophomore Goedert absolutely dominated JUCO pitching this season. He hit .444 with 31 walks which put his OBP at .542! He struck out just just 24 times and was hit by 14 pitches as well. He totaled 21 doubles, 2 triples, and 19 home runs form the right side. Keep in mind that the NJCAA also followed the NCAA in using BBCOR bats. If you put any stock at such low level and unknown quality of fields, his FLD% was awful at .873, so there MIGHT be a question about his defense. He was awarded with being named First Team All-American.-Brooks

16th Round: Ramon Laureano, LF, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M: A 5’11" right-handed hitter, Laureano provides both a high batting average and good plate discipline. He hit .413 this year with 21 walks and just 18 strikeouts. He hit 11 doubles, 1 triple, and 9 home runs while also swiping 16 bases and getting caught just once. This was his sophomore year.-Brooks

17th Round: Ben Smith, LHP, Coastal Carolina: Smith is 6’2" pitcher who went down with a torn UCL after six starts this season. The junior has a FB that tops out at 93 but is usually 88-91. He relies heavily on his changeup and also throws a curve. Scouts see three pitches that can grade out as 55/60 in the future.  He’s usually shown very good strikeout rates but tends to struggle with control.-Brooks

18th Round: Antonio Nunez, SS, Western Oklahoma State College: A smallish shortstop, the sophomore provides a lot on the offensive side of the game. His batting line this year was .371/.491/.506. He doesn’t hit for much more than doubles (just 2 home runs), but has speed and used it for 35 stolen bases and was caught just five times. -Brooks

19th Round: Ruben Castro, C, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy: It’s tough to get information on kids from Puerto Rico unless they get involved in the showcase circuits, which Castro appears to not have. He’s a 5’10" 180 pound left-handed hitter who is signed to play for Wabash Valley College if he doesn’t sign. -Brooks

20th Round: Trent Woodward, C, Fresno State: Woodward is a switch-hitting catcher that stands 6’2" and 200 pounds. He spent a lot of time as the teams DH and batted .290 with 36 walks and 29 strikeouts in his 207 at-bats. He doesn’t have much pop with just 8 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 home runs. In his limited time behind the plate, he threw out 5 would-be basestealers in 15 chances. - Brooks

21st Round: Mac Marshall, LHP, Parkview HS: Draft Pick Profile

22nd Round: Bryan Muniz, 1B, Southeastern: The junior was the Sun Conference Player of the Year this year after he hit .400 with 28 doubles, a triple, and five home runs while drawing 33 walks and only striking out 10 times. He also was hit by a pitch 15 times. He’s a right handed hitter.-Brooks

23rd: Ryan Thompson, RHP, Campbell University: The 6'5" senior was fourth on the team that proudly represents the "Fighting Camels" in innings, despite never starting a single game. He was the team's closer and picked up 17 saves from 88 innings. He struck out 87 and walked 29 batters. Armed with a mid-80's fastball and a slider that his team refers to as "the flying saucer," he can make hitters feel uncomfortable. The arsenal isn't impressive, but it works for someone a funky, low side-armed delivery. -Brooks

24th Round: Vince Wheeland, RHP, Oklahoma St: One of the pre-season "very Luhnow" pitchers, Wheeland served in the capacity of "utility pitcher" for Oklahoma State (http://newsok.com/article/3802890). In 2014, he was the only Cowboy pitcher to reach ten wins, despite having only three starts. For the past two seasons, he’s posted WHIPs under 1.00; with a fastball in the low nineties, a mid-seventies changeup, and both a slider and a curve, he’s excelled at missing bats and limiting baserunners.

25th Round: Zach Davis, LHP, Central Missouri: He’s a 6’3" 220 pound senior who led his team in appearances, all out of the pen. He tossed 41 innings and struck out 51 and only walked 13. He supported a 1.98 ERA.

26th Round: Mott Hyde, 2B,  Georgia Tech: The right handed hitting middle infielder is well rounded at the plate. This year he hit .282 with 12 doubles, 3 triples, and 4 home runs. He drew 26 walks and struck out 51 times. He stole 10 bases in 12 attempts.-Brooks

27th Round: Brandon McNitt, RHP, SUNY Stony Brook: The 5’10 senior pitcher was a First Team All-Conference selection this year and tied for second in innings pitched with 71 2/3. He had a 2.89 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 22 walks. The only information I found on him was that he threw his fastball in the 83-87 range back in 2012 as a sophomore.-Brooks

28th Round: Aaron Greenwood, RHP, Mississippi: Of all the pitchers for Ole Miss who did not make a start, Greenwood lead the way in innings, so he was heavily relied upon coming out of the bullpen. In his 39 ⅓ innings, he struck out 31 and walked 10. He primarily throws a fastball (velocity unknown) and a slider.-Brooks

29th Round: Richard Gonzalez, C , Alabama State: A 5’9" 200 pound catcher hit .277 this season with four home runs while showing good plate discipline by drawing 27 walks and striking out 24 times. He threw out 16 of 36 basestealers for 31% CS rate.-Brooks

30th Round: Sean McMullen, OF, Louisiana State: Hidden in a deep lineup, the senior outfielder was still a very good hitter with a .288 average and tied for the team lead in home runs with 7. He showed very good plate discipline as well with 37 walks and 33 strikeouts. He split most of his time between DH and LF this season and at the plate he keeps his hands high throughout his balanced swing which helps to add loft to his left handed swing.-Brooks

31st Round: Dexture McCall, 1B, Hillsborough CC: McCall is 6’1" and has a filled out frame that weighs 220 pounds. He has broad shoulders and a frame that carries power from the right side. As a 20 year old, his power hasn’t fully developed, but he did hit five home runs this season which tied for the team lead. He also drew 29 walks to just 20 strikeouts. He can also hit for average as indicative of his .360 average.-Brooks

32nd Round: Robert Kahana, RHP, Kansas: The JayHawks #2 starter this year totaled 85 ⅔ innings of 3.36 ERA ball. He walked 26 batters, and interestingly only struck out 33 batters. He throws his fastball 91-94 and has a good slider. Although, his command is lacking which is the source of his struggles.

33th Round: Edwin Medina, OF, St Thomas University: Medina was an All American Honorable Mention for the NAIA for his standout season. He hit .397 with 27 walks and 22 strikeouts. He added 13 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 home runs while swiping 33 bases in 27 attempts. The 5’8" 170 pound junior is a center fielder.-Brooks

34th Round: Joshua James, RHP, Western Oklahoma State College: The JUCO sophomore lead his team in innings with 61 ⅓ across 16 games (10 starts). He totaled 56 strikeouts and 25 walks, showing he has some control issues.-Brooks

35th Round: Keegan Yuhl, RHP, Concordia: Short and stocky by pro standards, the 6’ 240 pound right hander lead the Concordia team on the mound with a 2.48 ERA in 104 ⅔ innings. He struck out 100 while only walking 14. He has a 5 pitch mix with both a 4 and 2 seam fastball, changeup, curve, and splitter.  His fastball is typically 88-92.-Brooks

36th Round: Justin Ferrell, RHP, Connors St College: Ferrell stands out for his height, not overall size. He stands 6’7" but only weighs 190 pounds. Don’t know anything about what he throws, but he was the closer for his team the last two years. This year he struck out 54 and walked 16 over 52 innings.-Brooks

37th Round: Eric Peterson, RHP, North Carolina State: Peterson was the Wolf Packs’ primary reliever this year, appearing in 20 games and tossing 56 innings. He allowed just 14 walks and was third on the team in strikeouts with 63.  Peterson can run his fastball up to 92 and also throws an average curveball and mixes a changeup in as well.-Brooks

38th Round: Michael Foster, 2B, Northeastern: Announced as a second baseman, Foster played both ways and MLB.com reports that his future was on the mound most likely. The Astros appear to like him at the plate though. He batted .299 with 10 doubles, a triple, and 3 homers. He walked 22 times and struck out 27 times. He also stole 18 bases in 21 attempts.-Brooks

39th Round: Brad Antchak, SS, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M: A JUCO freshman who doesn’t actually turn 19 until December. He hit .295 with a .417 OBP this season. He added two home runs, 8 doubles, and 4 triples. He shows good plate discipline with 26 walks to 13 strikeouts and added 16 stolen bases as well. -Brooks

40th Round: Alexander Hernandez, 2B, Miami (FL): One of the better defensive second basemen in college baseball, Hernandez has made more than his share of highlight-reel plays (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CccuVRzsxTM). His results with the bat hasn’t yet matched up with his glovework, but the latter gives him a solid foundation to build a career on. -AB

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