Ten hours before the draft begins, we have a bit of consensus.
At least, as much consensus as the draft industry can expect at this time of year. The Astros may not have this much consensus in their own draft room, so don't take this as definitive. But, on Draft Day, four different sources have the Astros taking the best player available, high school left-hander Brady Aiken.
That comes with no small set of caveats, however, as every discussion of Houstons' war room indicates they are still talking with as many as six prospects in order to get a below-slot deal worked out.
Without further ado, here's how the mocks break down:
- Keith Law, in his final mock draft for ESPN, sticks with Brady Aiken as Houston's pick, but acknowledges that they're really only in on Aiken, Alex Jackson and Carlos Rodon. Law has been writing this for weeks, so nothing new. He's also been one of the guys with better sources into Houston's front office, and this is of a piece with what TCB has been hearing.
- Baseball Prospectus and Perfect Game's final mock, which is free, tabs the best player available in Aiken. They don't even mention any of the other prospects being in the mix, but acknowledge that this one is up in the air until the pick actually goes to the podium.
- Jonathan Mayo handicaps the field for possible Houston picks. He thinks Aiken is most likely, but says that the uncertainty and longer time table for getting to the majors for a high school player makes it no slam dunk.
- John Manuel's final mock draft for Baseball America also has Aiken at the top. In it, he has an interesting passage:
One scouting source in the top 10 believed both San Diego prep players, Aiken and Rancho Bernardo’s Alex Jackson, were falling to the back of the top 10 due to signability questions.
- We know that Houston will be concerned about signability, so does this indicate they won't go with either high school arm. Could Carlos Rodon end up No.1 after all?
- Finally, the Sporting News today has Houston nabbing Aiken. LIke everyone else, they say that Houston has been talking about six guys, but that Aiken is really the Astros' focus.
What's most likely to happen tonight? Do you see Houston reaching for a guy like Nick Gordon or Aaron Nola here? Or, do you think they'll stick to the draft list and go with Aiken or Rodon?