As we get closer to the draft, the big publications are starting to release their mock drafts. This one comes from a joint effort from Baseball Prospectus and Perfect Game. They released under their "Draft Ten Pack."
Everything is behind a paywall…that is except for the 1-1 selection which so conveniently belongs to the team we choose to blog about, the Astros.
The selection came from Ron Shah who has commented on our site here and has seen the Lancaster team before. And his selection sits well with me.
His selection was Brady Aiken. The LHP from Cathedral Catholic HS in California.
Taking a prep player is often associated with high risk for plenty of reasons: the lack of usable analytics available; unpolished, unrefined players; and a longer development path, which allows for more to go wrong. However, Aiken has shown he is the complete package, making me comfortable selecting him with the no. 1 overall pick. Aiken shows two plus or better offerings in his fastball and breaking ball, with a changeup not far behind on any given outing. The fastball now sits at 92, touching 97. The 76-78 mph curveball is a present plus offering that will flash plus-plus. The 82 mph changeup is solid-average, flashing plus at times. Aiken has also started to throw a mid-80s cutter, but it is seldom used at present. This all comes from an athletic, 6-foot-4 southpaw with a plus command profile, a clean delivery and the frame to add more weight.
I said it on the podcast Sunday, that if I had to pick right now, I would lean toward Aiken. He has the upside and I think he has less risk than your usual HS pitching prospect. Research points to year round pitching and poor mechanics as some of the primary markers for injury. Aiken took the winter off and has clean mechanics for a HS pitcher. I'm on board for this right now.
What your thoughts? Is Carlos Rodon still a better selection? Is the hometown kid, Tyler Kolek have a better ceiling? What about those college hitters that sit on the back end top 10 draft prospects? Or even Alex Jackson?