Looking back at the 2014 draft is a frustrating exercise. So much of the talk surrounding that lottery focused on the ugliness with Brady Aiken, Mac Marshall and Jacob Nix.
Yet, it appears that general manager Jeff Luhnow, director of amateur scouting Mike Elias and the rest of Houston's scouting apparatus had a very strong draft, even without the aforementioned pitchers.
Let's take a quick look at where those draftees ended up on our Top 30 list and what kind of (brief) season they had.
No. 6 - A.J. Reed, First Baseman
Reed was the highest-drafted player on the list at No. 6. The former Kentucky pitcher and first baseman
His grade, a B-, was equaled by our next draftee, but adds a ton of value to the system. Already, Reed is ranked as one of the best first base prospects in the game, thanks to his prodigious power.
Reed made it to Low-A Quad Cities last season, splitting time with short-season Tri-City. In 285 plate appearances, Reed hit
No. 7 - Derek Fisher, Outfielder
Houston's supplemental first round pick, No. 37 overall, was the highest-drafted player to sign with the Astros. Fisher finished at No. 7 and graded out as a B- prospect. He's one of four outfielders in Houston's top 10.
Last season, Fisher played one game with the Gulf Coast League Astros and spent 41 games with Tri-City. In those games, he hit two home runs, three triples and four doubles with a
No. 16 - J.D. Davis, Third baseman?
Houston's third-round pick, No. 75 overall, clocked in with a grade of C+ on this list. The former third baseman at Cal State-Fullerton has some question marks on his defensive ability, which could have dropped his ratings a bit.
No. 17 - Daniel Mengden, Right-hander
So far, the draft rankings have followed the draft results, as Mengdeng was drafted in the fourth round at No. 106 overall. He got a C+ grade, despite injury concerns plagued his final season at Texas A&M.
Mengden threw in six games last season, including two for Tri-City. In 11 innings, Mengden had a 3.27 ERA with 17 strikeouts and one walk.
No. 33 - Derick Velazquez, Right-hander
Houston's seventh-round pick out of Fresno State, Velazquez threw 23 innings for Tri-City with a 1.57 ERA and 24 strikeouts with two walks. He had a C grade from us and just missed the Top 30. Velazquez also recently had Tommy John surgery and will miss most of the 2015 season.
No. 43 - Ryan Bottger, Left fielder
Drafted in the 12th round out of the University of Texas-Arlington, Bottger made it to Quad Cities last season. He's one of a
In 246 plate appearances, Bottger hit
No. 52 - Jamie Ritchie, Catcher
Houston's 13th round pick out of Belmont got a grade of C on this list. Ritchie spent all his time with Tri-City last season. In 179 plate appearances, the 21-year-old hit
No. 66 - Brock Dykxhoorn, Right-hander
Taking the title for most confusing name to spell in Houston's system, the Astros drafted Dykxhoorn in the sixth round out of Central Arizona College. In 12 games for Greeneville, Dykxhoorn had a 4.31 ERA and 36 strikeouts with eight walks, earning him a grade of C-.
No 68 - Bobby Boyd, Center fielder
Houston's eighth round pick out of West Virginia had a grade of C-. He played in 62 games between Tri-City and Quad Cities, totaling 266 plate appearances. Boyd hit
No. 75 - Brian Radziewski, Left-hander
Another C- guy, Radziewski joins Wojo as a long name that's surprisingly easy to spell. The lefty was drafted in the ninth round out of the University of Miami and threw in 15 games for Tri-City.
No. 75 - Dean Deetz, Right-hander
Yet another C- guy. Deetz was drafted in the 11th round out of Northeast Oklahoma A&M College and played in 13 games for Greeneville. He threw 25 innings with a 8.88 ERA and 24 strikeouts with 19 walks.
No. 80 - Nick Tanielu, Second baseman
Another C- guy, Tanielu was drafted in the 14th round out of Washington State. In 62 games for Tri-City, Tanielu hit
No. 107 - Alex Hernandez, Second baseman
Another C- guy, Hernandez was the lowest-drafted 2014 player to make this year's list. The Astros took the University of Miami product in the 40th round and he hit
No. 107 - Jay Gause, Right-hander
Another C- guy, Gause was drafted in the 10th round out of Faulkner University. He is one of 11 players drafted out of Faulkner since 1987. Gause pitched in nine games, throwing 13 innings with a 9.45 ERA and 13 strikeouts with nine walks.
No. 107 - Zach Davis - Left-hander
Another C- guy, Davis was drafted in the 25th round out of Central Missouri. Davis appeared in 15 games last season, pitching 20 innings with a 4.05 ERA and 26 strikeouts with six walks.