Let’s dig in a little bit into the 21-member Houston Astros Draft Class of 2022.
1 (28) Drew Gilbert, OF, Tennessee $2.5M
Gilbert started his career in earnest with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, and was 10-for-32 with two round trippers, six RBI, and six stolen bases. Unfortunately, he suffered a dislocated elbow and was placed on the injured list August 23. After initial reports suggested that it wasn’t very serious, it appears now that it was just serious enough to keep him out of action for the rest of the minor league season.
2 (64) Jacob Melton, OF, Oregon State $1M
Melton started his pro career out ignominiously, with an 0-for-17 showing at the Rookie level with the FCL Astros, with six strikeouts. Promoted to Fayetteville despite that, Melton seems to be settling in at the Low-A level well, going nine-for-29 with a pair of homers and seven RBI.
2C (80) Andrew Taylor, RHP, Central Michigan $807K
Assigned to the FCL Astros Blue Squad, Taylor has yet to appear in a live game.
3 (103) Michael Knorr, RHP, Coastal Carolina $487.5K
Knorr was also assigned to the FCL Astros Blue Squad, and hasn’t played yet.
4 (133) Trey Dombroski, LHP, Monmouth $443.9K
Dombroski was likewise assigned to FCL Astros Blue, and also hasn’t played.
5 (163) Nolan DeVos, RHP, Davidson $197.5K
Devos, assigned like his draft-classmates to the Blue squad, has pitched in a pair of games at the rookie level, surrendering a run and striking out one batter over 2 1⁄3 innings. He’s walked three and given up two hits. On August 22, he was called up to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, for whom he hasn’t made an appearance yet.
6 (193) Collin Price, C, Mercer $122.5K
Price was assigned straight to Fayetteville on August 2, and has played in 16 games for them with nine starts behind the plate and five at designated hitter. He’s caught 70 innings defensively, catching six-of-19 base stealers and getting charged with only one error. At the plate, he’s fitting in well with a 15-for-52 showing, one homer and eight RBI.
7 (223) A.J. Blubaugh, RHP, Milwaukee $172.5K
Blubaugh joined the Astros Blue Squad and has pitched in three games for them. He's surrendered two runs on three hits and three walks over 5 2⁄3 frames, and has struck out four batters. His .167 oppBA is encouraging, but the small sample size may be losing something in the translation. He joined the Woodpeckers on August 22.
8 (253) Tyler Guilfoil, RHP, Kentucky $122.5K
Guilfoil has also of-late joined Fayetteville, his third assignment already after playing for both the FCL Astros Blue and Orange. In three games, he struck out 10 in 5 2⁄3 innings, allowing only one hit and two walks. He’s 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA.
9 (283) Brett Gillis, RHP, University of Portland $97.5K
Gillis has pitched in two games since joining the FCL Astros Blue, and has six strikeouts to show for it over only 2 2⁄3 innings. He’s given up one run on two hits and a walk.
10 (313) Zach Cole Jr., OF, Ball State $97.5K
Cole joined the Astros Orange on August 2, and went three-for-20 from the plate. A week later, he joined the Woodpeckers, where he’s 11-for-49 at the plate with five RBI. Most impressively, he’s stolen a combined 10 bases without getting caught thus far in his professional career.
11 (343) Ryan Clifford, OF, Crossroads FLEX HS, $1,256,530
Clifford signed a well-above-slot contract, provided by the Astros to convince him to forgo his Vanderbilt scholarship. Since getting convinced to skip college, Clifford is eight-for-38 with the Orange squad, with one home run and five RBI.
12 (373) Zach Dezenzo, SS, Ohio State $125K
Slugger Dezenzo was sent to Fayetteville for his first assignment, and is 15-for-45 through his first two weeks of play. He’s already hit four home runs with 10 RBI. Although he’s struck out 16 times, he has also drawn seven walks for a hefty .426 OBP.
13 (403) Jackson Loftin, SS, Oral Roberts $125K
Loftin went four-for-16 in a short look with the Blue Squad before getting promoted to the Woodpeckers on August 8. Since arriving at Fayetteville, he’s five-for-31 with one home run and four RBI.
14 (433) Tommy Sacco Jr., SS, TCU $125K
Sacco made one start with the Orange Squad before joining the Peckers, and is eight-for-44 overall through his pro career to this point.
15 (463) Joey Mancini, RHP, Boston College $125K
Mancini joined the Blue Squad on August 11 and hasn’t played.
16 (493) Tim Borden II, SS, Georgia Tech $50K
Borden has already joined both the Blue and Orange rookie squads, but has only appeared in game action with the Blue. He’s seven-for-27 with four RBI.
17 (523) Garrett McGowan, 1B, Pittsburg State University $20K
McGowan’s first assignment was to Fayetteville, where he has collected four hits in 46 at bats. He’s struck out 18 times against only three walks, but has also collected five RBI.
18 (553) Isaiah Johnson, OF, Cienega HS
Johnson is the lone holdout in the 2022 Astros draft class, and is still unsigned.
19 (583) John Garcia, C, Grambling State, $75K
Garcia is catching for the Blue rookie squad, and has put up an 0-for-22 beginning to his career, with three walks and seven strikeouts. He’s thrown out three-of-12 base stealers.
20 (613) Ryan Wrobleski, C, Dallas Baptist $30K
Wrobleski is catching and playing left field for the Woodpeckers, and has two doubles in 25 at bats. Those are his only two hits, and he’s only drawn one walk while striking out nine times.
Extremely early returns, but so far the winners are Dezenzo and Guilfoil. Just keep in mind that only 10 percent of players at Low-A eventually make the major leagues. These guys are all far better than you or I, but the learning curve can be steep from collegiate play to the low minors. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for a Pecker Checker on Friday morning.