I went to sleep last night still thinking about the Astros draft, and I think I've gained some perspective from my knee-jerk reactions. Let's break down some of my thoughts, before we get into Day Two of the draft.
- My pessimism about the DDJ pick shouldn't take away from what I think of the player. I don't think I conveyed that effectively last night. I do like DDJ. He's got a very nice, simple swing and I do think he's got a decent shot to develop some power. Look where he's generating all that pop from now: his upper body. If a pro coach gets a hold of his swing and gets his lower half engaged, I think he's got a good shot to drive the ball with some authority. Plus, while he's small in stature, his physique is strong. That running back's upper body is partly what gives him such excellent bat speed. Add to all that the fact he might be the fastest player in the draft, and I do think he's a solid choice.
- About those "attitude concerns," I think they're overblown. I thought that when I wrote the profile on him and I think that now. 20 years ago, the best athletes in high school played every sport possible. In the fall, they played football. In the winter, it was basketball. In the spring, they played baseball and then ran track in the summer. That's just the way it was. Now, players are pressured into these travel teams that play year-round, and there is no room to branch out. If part of the concerns over his makeup are because he also plays football, then that's just baseball scouts being crotchety. Do you really think the son of a major league baseball player wouldn't take the game seriously? That he'd fall asleep in the clubhouse? ...Um, maybe that's a bad example.
- Listening to his interviews from last night, I think any concerns about his signability are also overblown. He'll get signed for slot or just above it and probably get to playing in rookie ball pretty quickly. The bigger question is where do the Astros send him? I'm thinking Greeneville makes some sense, but wouldn't be surprised if he goes to Kissimmee to play in the Gulf Coast League.
- Folty is also a favorite of mine. I really like his delivery and see a lot of projection there. I don't mind drafting him at No. 19, either, since he's a good value there. Plus, giving him that slot price seems to have fit his definition of "life-altering money." At least, that's the impression I get from reading these quotes from him (h/t to AstrosCounty for the source)
- His high school coach even chimed in.
- I still don't like the Kvasnicka pick. I'm obviously not as high on him as some of the experts out there, but that's not unusual. I don't think we have to like every draft pick the Astros make. For instance, I didn't love the T.J. Steele pick back in 2008 because of his injury history. Same with B.J. Hyatt in the fourth round last season. But, on the balance, there were enough guys like David Berner and Enrique Hernandez to even out how I felt overall. There are enough people who like Kvasnicka's potential long-term that I can live with it to see how he does. If he ends up taking Geoff Blum's spot on the roster as the utility bench guy, it'll be a pretty good pick. After all, I think Kvasnicka is a pretty safe pick. As much as I was preaching playing it safe with the probabilities, I overlooked that with the Minnesota junior. He's got a pretty good chance of being a big leaguer.
Now we head into Day Two. Some great suggestions for possible pickups here. I personally like Austin Wilson, as I said in OremLK's story and I think Reggie Golden may last till the third round. I also think the Astros may decide to go pitcher in the second round, though I couldn't guess who they'd take.
Picks so far
2) Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Garey HS (California)
3) Austin Wates, CF, Virginia Tech
4) Bobby Doran, RHP, Texas Tech
5) Ben Heath, C, Penn State
6) Adam Plutka, RHP, Glendora HS (California)
7) Roberto Pena, C, Eloisa Pascual HS (Puerto Rico)
8) Jake Buchanon, RHP, North Carolina State
9) Thomas Shirley, LHP, Xavier
10) Evan Grills, LHP, Sinclair SS (Ontario, Canada)