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Saturday Morning Astros LinkFest

Will Folty be the next Wizard? Did Roy withstand the NYC media?
Will Folty be the next Wizard? Did Roy withstand the NYC media?

Lots and lots and LOT of stuff to cover this morning, so we'll get right to a more traditional links post to start your day.

The biggest news to come out of last night was that No. 19 overall pick Mike Foltynewicz has agreed to a deal with the Houston AstrosThis Brian McTaggart piece lists the bonus at somewhere around 1.3 million, which is close to the slot value for the pick. The deal won't be official just yet, but should be announced early next week. I know OremLK should be thrilled with this. One down, two to go.

Speaking of the draft, Bryan Smith over at FanGraphs has two very enlightening pieces up on 2011 draft prospects. Here's the story on the position players and here's one on the pitchers. I know it's still early in the process, but Anthony Rendon sure would look good in Brick Red, wouldn't he? If the Astros don't end up with the first overall pick, I'm sure Matt Purke wouldn't be a bad consolation prize. After all, he did strike out 11 Longhorns Friday in the Super Regional. As a true freshman. Not too shabby, either.

The Hardball Times breaks down the draft by the numbers. I was surprised to see that the Astros drafted the fourth-most high school players of any team. The fact that the Red Sox and Pirates drafted more didn't surprise me. One can spend the money to sign them away from college scholarships. The other needs as many high ceiling players in its system as it can get. I didn't expect to see Toronto second on the list of high school signees. This may be a response to new GM Alex Anthopoulis' rein.

I don't know if you've been following this series, but Beyond the Box Score has been breaking down their list of the best 50 players for the next 50 years. Not surprisingly, there were no Astros on it. This post, however, shows that only one Astro made it into their Top 100 list. I don't even know how to feel about that. I guess Michael Bourn is our only legitimate candidate to be on there, but he's not exactly saber-friendly (he doesn't walk much or hit for power). So, looking over the list, do you disagree with any of their choices? See any Astros that should be included?

It's nice to see a list of the most GIDPs in a season, and also nice to see Miguel Tejada recognized for how incredible he was at killing rallies. 32 GIDPs takes a lot of work. You have to have a team believe in you enough to send you out there, you have to be slow enough to avoid beating out those grounders and you have to swing at a lot of pitches. Good job Miguel! 

Another interesting list of stats is this one from Baseball Reference, with all the teams who won at least 10 one-run games. The 2004 Astros were incredibly lucky to have that good a record in one-run games. It also explains why they had such a good end kick to the season. Notice the 2007 Astros made the list too at 12-9.

Continuing this march down Astros memory lane, Wade Miller pops up on this list of most 100 pitch games in the first 50 of a career. As the author points out, there weren't enough arm injuries here to suggest a full correlation, but I had never really tied Miller's injury to his usage patterns. We talked about Hunsicker's lack of talent production in the early part of this last decade, but could Larry Dierker and Jimy Williams have contributed to some of that? 

Wondering why Brett Myers pitched so many innings on Friday? It was because Matt Lindstrom was out with back spasms and TIm Byrdak was also nursing an injury. On the bright side, Bud Norris is making his rehab start with Round Rock tonight and Chris Sampson will be throwing in a simulated game in Corpus Christi on Sunday.

Alyson Footer was on fire twittering about Roy Oswalt's media session in New York. I'm sure the small-town guy would LOVE to be exposed to that sort of inquest every day. I especially liked this dig about the NY headlines. We at TCB NEVER go for inflammatory headlines...

Another great FanGraphs piece about players who perform better in the majors than the minors. First, it puts the Johan Santana Rule V decision in more perspective. Sure, it was an ovesight that he was left off the 40-man, but his track record sure didn't scream that he was destined to be one of the best pitchers in the league. It also makes me briefly question whether we should spend so much time worrying abou the minor leagues. Then, I realize how much I love digging through those box scores and go on about my business.

Were you ever wondering exactly how you should be using FIP in analysis? Or xFIP? Or how it all relates to BABiP? Here's a timely article to explain it all for you.

With all the bad calls in baseball, is it surprising that the man in charge of overseeing the umpires got canned? Well, "reassigned" is a better way of putting it, but he's still not doing his job. MLB doesn't apologize to players like they did to Roy Oswalt for his ejection. It was an embarrasment, as was the Perfect Game That Wasn't. Something had to be done, and rearranging those job duties is a start. Let's see if anything changes in the next few weeks.

Lastly, I don't know that we linked to this Morgan Ensberg piece over at ESPN. He talks about his draft experience in that very unique way he's developing over at his blog. I loved it, though the commenters on ESPN didn't. I always wonder how players react when they hear that they're drafted. In one fell swoop, Esnberg told us a great story as well as bringing the players' lives into perspective a bit. Just great stuff.