One time. Just one time, I would have liked for the first overall pick to be a slam-dunk, no-brainer. I would have liked it to be David Price, Bryce Harper, Ken Griffey. I would have liked the subtlety to be taken out of our draft coverage.
Last summer, we all assumed that'd be the case. We all assumed that Carlos Rodon was a transcendent talent. Somewhere along the way, all that got lost.
Why has so much changed for Rodon? Why is he dropping down draft boards? Why is there noise that if he gets past Houston, Miami and Chicago, he might free fall in the first round? Isn't he supposed to be a power lefty with an unhittable slider? Why don't teams want that?
Carlos Rodon is a machine. He is a lefty with hop to his fastball. He can eat innings with that frame. He is reasonably developed and can make it to the majors quickly. He would give Houston a killer rotation alongside Mark Appel, Dallas Keuchel and whoever emerges.
Was Carlos Rodon misused by his college coaches? Maybe. That's less of a deal than you think, though. Instead, that should show you a reason why his stuff suffered this year. He wasn't coached properly. Think what Brent Strom and his pitching system can do with Rodon.
Rodon also possesses the intangibles you want out of an ace. He's competed at the highest levels and has a determination about himself on the mound. He has #rig. Houston needs a front-line starter like that.
Look, I'm as worried as the next nervous Nelly about Rodon's elbow. I'd rather not compare the first overall pick to Ken Emanuel in terms of health. But, what I do know is that the Astros' front office is smart. They are prepared and they are diverse. They have a wide range of experience and plenty of ways to analyze things like injury risk in pitchers.
If they sign off on Rodon, I have every confidence they'll keep him injury free.
Take away any concerns over his health and what do you have? A workhorse starter, with clean mechanics, and one of the best single pitches in the draft. He's got good control, even if it's not great in collegiate terms. He's got a better fastball than most lefties. And he's still relatively young for his age group.
Why aren't we all over him again?
Are we overthinking this?
Are we getting caught up in the thought of Houston pulling off 2012 again, signing a guy for less at the top and catching lightning in a bottle with the 37th overall pick? It is very hard to catch that lightning, after all.
The easy thing, the smart thing is not to get caught up in the negative scouting from this season. The smart thing is to take the best player available since last summer. Draft Rodon, get him signed and keep him healthy. He won't disappoint.