Obviously, the biggest news here is the rumor and denial the Astros made about Stanford left-hander Chris Reed. Frankie Piliere, who was on the Delino DeShields, Jr. and Mike Kvasnicka picks before anyone else last season, tweeted that the Astros were working out a deal with Reed for the No. 11 overall pick. Because of the source, I took this news to be a little more solid than most rumors this time of year.
I also was a tad bit apoplectic.
For all the talk about going over slot, for all the thinking that Jim Crane will bring a new day to the organization, and the Astros are going with the slot recommendation on a deal. They have a guy they like, from a school they mine heavily, and they're going to overdraft him by almost a full round. I give up.
Now, I know the Astros denied very, very quickly and that they've been playing up this "power arm" idea in the media. I get that. Stephen Goff and Zachary Levine and Steve Campbell and Brian McTaggart have all been getting the same thing. We've also heard (like in years past) that the Astros can go over slot if they need to.
But, let's analyze that rumor a little more. We know what we've read. We've also seen so many reports, led mainly by Keith Law's sources, that Houston could go over slot for someone like Francisco Lindor or Archie Bradley.
That's still technically a rumor. It's also a rumor that doesn't pass the sniff test. It's not the Astros style to go big or go consensus on a pick. They go with their guy. Bradley seems a little too mainstream to be their guy.
The Reed rumor? Like I said, it's got all the earmarks of what's happened in the past. The Astros narrow in on a guy from Stanford, where they've drafted at least three other players in the past few seasons. It's also an area of the country the Astros hit hard (California). It fits the quirky draft board of one Bobby Heck. It also fits into the kowtowing to these imaginary "recommendations" for slot prices.
That tells me the rumor has legs and should be believed more than the quick denials. Of course, I also got to see Chris Reed pitch Saturday night, as he closed out Cal State Fullerton. I just about pulled my hair out, seeing him in action. This guy? This low 90's throwing closer? Sure, he was heady, getting a big pickoff with one out, but his stuff wasn't impressive. I know I need to see him more, but I think I'm off the Heck bandwagon if they go through with this. Crane can clean house with this front office if he wants. I joked on the podcast that I'd go on the warpath on this site if the Astros took Francisco Lindor, but Reed may do it too.
Let's get to other news from Saturday after the jump...
Looks like the Pirates have decided on Gerritt Cole as the No. 1 overall pick. So says Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Times-Gazette, who is reliable. It's what we've been hearing for a while, but it's nice to get a little more confirmation.
There are also more stirrings that Danny Hultzen isn't a lock for that No. 3 spot any more. May be because of his bonus demands, but the interest in Hultzen all year doesn't just go away because of that. I still think he'll be taken by Arizona.
Also looks like Washington is narrowing in on Bubba Starling with the No. 6 pick. He'd have to get past a couple of teams he's been linked to in the past with Seattle and Kansas City, but I believe that's pretty probable. Neither of those teams seem likely to take him, nor does it make sense for Baltimore at No. 4.
Matt Purke had another rough start Saturday night against Dallas Baptist, which probably drops him even further down some draft boards. I wouldn't be surprised if he's around at the No. 69 overall pick for Houston right now. The question is should the Astros take him? And, should he sign, coming off such a disappointing year?
Over at Minor League Ball, they held their community mock draft, and Houston took Taylor Jungmann, Bryan Brickhouse and Brett Austin, a high school catcher from North Carolina. If this were to happen, I'd be fairly happy. Certainly more happy than if the Astros go with Lindor or Reed at No. 11...