The MLB Draft has come and gone. The Astros, as everyone and their dog would be quick to remind you, were without a first- and second-round pick in this year’s draft as part of the punishment of the sign-stealing scandal. That said, Houston still had four picks in the five-round draft model that could help elevate a drained farm system down the road. And with the passage of time, we can now gauge to see how you, the fan, initially viewed the selections.
It is no surprise that a team without a first- and second-round pick would generate mix reviews. After all, right-handed pitcher Alex Santos was Houston’s first selection of the draft at 72nd overall. While baseball teams have been known to hit on players in later rounds, it is difficult to underestimate the effect of having to wait seventy-one picks before selecting someone. That is a lot of quality talent gone before a team has the chance to add an impact player. The 2007 Astros, for example, surrendered their first- and second-round picks that year when they signed Carlos Lee and Woody Williams in the prior offseason. The club also failed to sign their third- and fourth-round picks that year. Only four of the draft picks that year would even reach the majors and all four made their debuts with another organization not named the Astros. I’d venture to say that the 2020 draft is already off to a better start than 2007 as Houston at least signed all of their draft picks this year.
I’d assume the poll above is gauging the reaction of the Astros first actual pick of the draft, who was the aforementioned Santos, and not the first-round pick. If it were a first-round pick, well, I don’t see many Houston fans complaining about a World Series title at that cost, even under less than ideal circumstances.
Most fans expect a draft pick in the 2020 Draft to make an impact between the 2021 and 2023 seasons. For most college-age players, that is likely the case. For high school age, it may take a bit more time, but there are notable exceptions to that school of thought in baseball history.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a true baseball poll if we didn’t mention commissioner Rob Manfred, who hasn’t been exactly the most popular person in the sport. Let’s just say that 65 percent of fans who voted aren’t enthralled with him at the moment.
In fact, fans who voted in the poll are nearly split if Manfred should even force a season to happen at all in 2020. I can see the draw to having baseball this year, but at this point in the pandemic and the ensuing labor conflict with the player’s union, it feels like there are plenty of risks that Major League Baseball isn’t quite accounting for at this time.
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