First thought: The Astros are 66-83 with 13 games to play. If the season ended today, the organization would draft second, eighth and 31st in 2015. The first 11 picks are protected.
Jeff Luhnow’s blueprint is centered around rebuilding the organization through the draft. Once the minor leagues are sufficiently seeded, he intends to fill in the gaps and add other key hitters and pitchers through free agency, trades and other acquisitions.
Despite the last 2-3 drafts — and the jury is still out on 2012-14 for the most part — there is not much to shout about from 2005-2011. In fact, there’s not even much to whisper about!
Here’s a quick synopsis of the drafts beginning with the team’s World Series year. The number in parentheses represents the number of players drafted by the Astros (in the entire draft!) who have seen any time in the majors (for any team).
- 2005 (4). Brian Bogusevic, Tommy Manzella, Josh Lindblom, Brandon Barnes.
- 2006 (3). Chris Johnson, Bud Norris, Nate Karns.
- 2007 (3). Derek Dietrich, Chad Bettis, Robbie Weinhardt.
- 2008 (3). Jason Castro, Jordan Lyles, J.B. Shuck.
- 2009 (5). Enrique Hernandez, Dallas Keuchel, Jake Goebbert, J.D. Martinez, Paco Rodriguez.
- 2010 (2). Michael Foltynewicz, Jake Buchanan.
- 2011 (2). George Springer, Nick Tropeano.
Since the lists are so short, the names are included.
Too early to judge the 2010 and 2011 drafts completely? Perhaps, especially when you consider that some teams have worse “records” while others are marginally better.
Still, it puts the focus on the crap shoot that is the draft and perhaps adds question marks to some of those players in Dan’s entry over the weekend. Is Foltynewicz really a top prospect? Will Jon Singleton actually make it in the big leagues despite top notch showings at most every level of the minors? Barring major injuries, Carlos Correa and Mark Appel should be shoo-ins, but what about Domingo Santana, Delino Deshields Jr., Colin Moran, Vincent Velasquez and others?
That the draft is, indeed, such an iffy proposition is another reason that Luhnow is gambling on higher picks. He’s traded for a competitive balance pick for a second year in a row. He selected Derek Fisher in June with the pick from the Orioles in the Bud Norris trade. Just recently, he sent Jarred Cosart to Miami for Moran (last year’s #6 pick) and the Marlins’ competitive balance pick (#31) next June. That will give Houston three of the top 31 picks and that certainly raises the potential success rate for a draft.
In case you’re wondering, six players taken in the first round of the 2012 draft are in the majors today. None of the Astros’ picks from that entire draft have made the jump yet.
Just for fun, here’s where Sunday’s starting lineup was drafted and when they made their debut:
- Robbie Grossman (2008/round 6; debut 2013).
- Jose Altuve (2007/FA; 2011).
- Dexter Fowler (2004/14; 2008).
- Chris Carter (2005/15; 2010).
- Marisnick (2009/3; 2013).
- Carlos Corporan (2003/12; 2009).
- Jesus Guzman (2000/FA; 2009).
- Matt Dominguez (2007/1; 2011).
- Gregorio Petit (2001/FA; 2008).
- Dallas Keuchel (2009/7; 2012).
Most fans and even media are high on several players and it would probably be shocking if this Top 10 didn’t get at least a cup of coffee. So, let’s change the perspective a bit while continuing the prospect conversation.
- Using Jonathan Mayo’s MLB prospect watch, updated recently, break up the Top 10 (or 20 if you dare) into “can’t miss”, “good chance” and “flip a coin” as to whether they will spend considerable time in the majors.
- Is there a Biggio, Bagwell or Oswalt in the bunch?
- Which of the following players were drafted in the lowest round by the Astros: Hunter Pence, Morgan Ensberg, Bagwell, Chad Qualls or Oswalt?
- What is the best mix of players on a team, using these as categories: homegrown, trade acquisitions or free agents?
- Comparing the list of players above who made it (2005-2011), how much better will the drafts of 2012-14 fare?
- Which of the players from the Astros’ 2013 draft and the 2012 draft will be the first to the majors for Houston? For extra credit, predict the month and year.