Should The Houston Astros Draft Brady Aiken?
With the Major League Baseball draft looming just a day away, there has been plenty of speculation to whom the Houston Astros would select first overall.
After last season’s draft, it seemed clear-cut to many fans that the first overall pick would be North Carolina State ace Carlos Rodon, but recently many experts like MLB.com’s Jim Callis have said that the Astros will take lefty Brady Aiken as the first overall selection.
Aiken is a 6’3, 210 pound left-handed pitcher from Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego.
Aiken appeared in 11 games on the bump, all of which he started. This season, Aiken posted a 1.06 ERA in 59 2/3- innings, while striking out 111 batters and surrendering only 15 walks 27 hits and one home run.
Aiken boast plenty of upside showing a fastball, change up, and breaking ball that has opportunity to be plus pitches.
Here’s some analysis that MLB.com provided:
“His once-average fastball is now topping out at 97 mph and sits 92-94 mph, featuring both run and sink. He commands his fastball well and throws all three of his pitches for strikes. He gets good depth on his curveball and keeps hitters off balance with his changeup, which usually comes in around 10 mph slower than his fastball. ”
Is Aiken the fit for the Astros? High school pitchers offer a higher risk than college pitchers, while many fans may think that Rodon would be the right selection. He posted a 2.01 ERA in 14 starts this season hurling 98 2/3- innings, Striking out 117 and walking 31.
There has also been speculation that the Astros might take top shortstop prospect Nick Gordon, a 6’1 165 pound high-schooler from Florida.
Nick Gordon is the brother of Dee Gordon, an infielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers but Nick is considered to have a better ability to get bigger and stronger than his brother. Gordon doesn’t have much power but as of today post average hitting according to scouting reports.
This is the third overall number one pick the Astros have had in the last three seasons, but if there is one thing I have learned it’s “In Jeff Luhnow I trust.”
The Astros have shown the potential to be a serious competitor within the next three years with the top-rated farm system, and long term signings of top player Jose Altuve and more recently the long term signing and call up of top prospects Jonathan Singleton and George Springer.
With the recent improvements, can a high school pitcher be ready in time to help the Astros win if they are to be serious competitors in the AL West? The answer to that, in my opinion, is not likely to happen.
Aiken is a left handed pitcher with plus pitches and plenty of upside but the chances of a high school pitcher moving up to the major leagues that quick just aren’t likely to happen.
Here’s my plan — come June 5th I will grab a bag of popcorn, sit on the couch and watch Astros’ General Manager Jeff Luhnow work his magic as the they make their selection to see who our future star is.