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Day Two Draft Recap and Day Three Open Thread

The draft finishes up today, starting at 11 a.m. and going for at most 50 rounds. Any team can voluntarily stop picking players at any time. Only a handful of teams actually go up to Round 50 each year. With the Astros budget already stretched by three first round picks, it'll be interesting to see how many players they draft.

Some quick thoughts on Day Two:

  • The player I like the most is fifth-round pick Ben Heath. There have been conflicting scouting reports on his swing from all manner of sources. One thing that's hard to deny is his power. He looks like he'll add a very strong bat to the minors. If he can stick at catcher, he'll be a great prospect. If he has to move off position, he could well fit in at first base with that kind of pop. I haven't seen enough on him to know if he'll hit for average or not (one at-bat doesn't tell me how long his swing is), but he has good enough bat speed to make the pro transition well.
  • A couple of draft picks could be tough signs, and I doubt the Astros get deals done with both of them. The first is sixth rounder Adam Plutka, who will probably go to UCLA after not going in the first couple rounds. The other is JaCoby Jones. Astros County did a good job running down the pertinent quotes, both from the Brian McTaggart story OremLK linked to and from the local newspaper there in Mississippi. I doubt the Astros would actually offer him 1 million to sign in the 19th round. That much over slot (the maximum for every round after the fifth is 150,000 dollars) would certainly draw the ire of Bud Selig and I don't anticipate Drayton McLane going there. Each have pretty strong ties to the colleges they're committed to and I don't really see the Astros luring them away.
  • On the other hand, I think there is a lot of signable high school talent in this draft class. Both 18th round pick Joshua Magee and 14th round pick Jordan Scott strike me as signable types. The Astros have taken some chances in the past two drafts with high school kids. Sometimes, they do sign, like with Zachary Grimmett (28th round, 2008) or Ronald Sanchez (16th round, 2009). Other times, like with Josh Poythress (16th round, 2008) or Geoffrey Thomas (12th round, 2009), they can't come to terms before the signing deadline. With 50 rounds, teams can take some chances on high-end talent. I'd be happy with two out of the four high school kdis drafted from the 6th round to the 19th actually signing.
  • Speaking of signing, it looks like Christopher Wallace, the University of Houston catcher drafted in the 16th round, has already signed his contract. Expect him to go to the Tri-City Valley Cats in the New York/Penn league. I also expect at least two of the three first rounder to reach agreements before the week is out.
  • Mentioned this in the Day Two thread, but one of my favorite later round draftees is Tyler Burnett, a third baseman out of Middle Tennessee State. He looks like he could hit pretty well, though he's not the kind of athlete the Astros usually draft highly. He definitely will help out the depth at the position the Astros seem to be building up in the low minors. With Jonathan Meyer, Erik Castro, possibly Mike Kvasnicka and now Burnett, the Astros are getting pretty stocked at the hot corner.
  • Another case of mistaken identity happened with James Andrew Robinson, the Georgia Tech righthander drafted in the 12th round. Seems he's listed as Andrew Robinson with the Yellow Jackets, but was drafted as James. This isn't uncommon in the minors. J.B. Shuck is often referred to as Jack. Bubby Williams' real first name is David. Sometimes, T.J. Steele is listed as Thomas Steele. I mean, Roy Oswalt had his last name mispronounced for half of his rookie season. When you have hundreds of players, it's hard to keep all the names straight. As someone who goes by his middle name, I can also sympathize with all these kids.