Earlier today both MLB and Baseball America released their mock drafts for the upcoming Rule IV draft next month. After Keith Law said the Astros would take Brady Aiken, Jonathan Mayo and John Manuel both had the Astros taking Carlos Rodon with the first pick
A slow start left Rodon's status as the top pick in question, and one of the big high school pitchers below could still be Houston's choice, but here's saying the N.C. State lefty has done enough to reclaim the spot.
Baseball America - John Manuel
Jackson’s power barrage has thrust him into the conversation for the top three selections. It’s unlikely the Astros take him at No. 1, however, and then move him from behind the plate to right field or third base. They’re expected to choose between two of the many lefthanders with upside in this draft, North Carolina State’s Carlos Rodon and San Diego prep Brady Aiken. Rodon has more upside thanks to his top-shelf slider, but as one crosschecker put it, "Aiken does it easier and throws a lot more strikes. He may not have the same present stuff, but he’s more consistent, and his stuff is plenty good. He just does so many things well."
Industry opinion appears to favor Aiken as the top prospect in the draft, and he’s the rare high school player with a long-enough track record to earn the No. 1 selection. But Rodon’s trend lines continue to point in the right direction, and the Astros’ big league struggles likely bring pressure to speed up the rebuilding process in Houston. Rodon’s talent is worthy of the No. 1 pick, and so is the buzz factor he would bring.
I disagree with the reason for why the Astros make Rodon the pick. I don't think the Astros have pressure to select Rodon because he'll get to the big leagues quicker and speed up the rebuilding process. The Astros already have one of the best farm systems in the major leagues and several arms knocking on the door for a big league callup and a few who could begin to fly through the system.
I'm all for the Astros taking Rodon because he's the best player available, but I just don't think they're under that much pressure to take him because of the current rebuild the Astros are in.