Analysis of Houston Astros options with number one pick

  • David Whitlock

The Houston Astros sit at the top of the draft order for the second straight year.  If not for a recent winning streak, they’d be leading the pack to make it a third straight year next year.  But with the top pick comes responsbility!  Here’s a short breakdown of six candidates that most feel they’ll take, with unofficial RBTS odds on direction.  Ranked by ability, not necessarily Astros fit.

1. Jonathan Gray RHP (University of Oklahoma)

Credit: Ken Inness/ZumaPress.com

Jonathan Gray was the consensus #1 before the adderall test result
Credit: Ken Inness/ZumaPress.com

Why the Astros will draft him: A polished talent with plus stuff on a number of pitches. Would most likely be to the majors in just a couple of years.

Why the Astros won’t draft him: A recent positive test for adderall, the Astros might want a pick with less baggage.  Position players typically have a higher “hit” rate than hurlers

RBTS Odds: 2:1

2. Mark Appel RHP (Stanford University)

appel

Mark Appel, top overall pitcher two years running
Credit: Phil Sears/AP

Why the Astros will draft him: Unquestionable stuff and very seasoned.  Was a consensus #1 overall last year before Scott Boras started floating around high signing demands and teams (including the Astros) shied away to the point he went back to school, so he’s no worse than last year.

Why the Astros won’t draft him: Same thing as 2012, price tag.  The Astros are very leery of Scott Boras, who steered Carlos Beltran away from the team in 2005.

RBTS Odds: 8:1

3. Kris Bryant 3B (University of San Diego)

Kris Bryant has the best power in the draft Credit: Lenny Ignelzi/AP

Kris Bryant has the best power in the draft
Credit: Lenny Ignelzi/AP

Why the Astros will draft him: Probably the best power bat in the draft, improving all around hitter, great arm gives him defensive flexibility.

Why the Astros won’t draft him: May struggle to make contact against Major League pitching, doesn’t have a natural position.

RBTS Odds: 5:1

4. Colin Moran 3B (University of North Carolina)

Clint Moran's name keeps coming up Credit:  Liz Condo/USA TODAY Sports

Colin Moran’s name keeps coming up on the Astros radar
Credit: Liz Condo/USA TODAY Sports

Why the Astros will draft him: Great all around hitter and fielder, expected modest salary demands might give them flexibility to reach in later rounds and offer signing bonuses that other teams can’t.

Why the Astros won’t draft him: Doesn’t hit for a lot of power, most draft experts don’t have him in the Top 3 or 4 for baseball talent.

RBTS Odds: 5:1

5. Clint Frazier OF (Loganville HS, Georgia)

Credit: AP/Mike Janes/Four Seam Images

Clint Frazier has the most tools
Credit: Mike Janes/AP/Four Seam Images

Why the Astros will draft him: Probably the best tools of any position player with baseball acumen to boot. Should be friendly salary demand-wise.

Why the Astros won’t draft him: High school hitters don’t always pan out, the Astros are probably looking for someone to contribute at the major league level in 2015ish, not 2017ish.

RBTS Odds: 5:1

6. Field (Austin Meadows, Trey Ball, Braden Shipley, others)

RBTS Odds: 20:1

Be sure to follow our Blog and Twitter account (@rbts_baseball) as our site manager David Whitlock will be live at the Astros draft party at Minute Maid Park for the latest breaking news.

– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)

Follow us on Twitter @rbts_baseball

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About The Author

David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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