Houston Astros: Thoughts on Day 1 of MLB Draft
Day one of the Major League Baseball 2014 Draft is done, a lot of debate surrounded the Astros third straight number one pick. Mock drafts would change who the Astros would select hourly, and the Astros faithful took to twitter to share many opinions on whether it would be Brady Aiken, Carlos Rodon, Tyler Kolek, or even Nick Gordon. Here is how the day one of the draft went for the Houston.
Pick #1 – Brady Aiken: The debate was finally settled and with the first pick of the draft the Astros selected 6’4 210 pound lefty Brady Aiken from Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, California.
Aiken throws an above average fastball which sits between 92-94MPH and has to ability to reach 97 MPH. Aiken throws a 4 and 2-seam fastball, change up, and curveball. All of those pitches Aiken boast brilliant command of, and can throw all for strikes consistently.
Aiken was a great selection for the Astros he shows plenty of upside and has drawn comparisons to pitcher Clayton Kershaw. While comparing Aiken to Kershaw may be a stretch in some eyes, I believe that with the dominant command and ability to throw strikes Aiken will do just fine to make a name for him self.
If the Astros are going to be the AL West terror we all hope for in the next three to five years, then it is going to be pieces like Brady Aiken who will help keep the Astros on top by having a dominant farm system.
Will we see Aiken in the majors in 3 years? Not likely, but he certainly can be a cornerstone of the Jeff Luhnow era that can put the team continuously at the top of the American League.
Pick #37 – Derek Fisher: Derek Fisher is rated as MLB.com’s number 26th overall player in the draft, Fisher is a 6’3, 210 pound outfielder from the University of Virginia who bats left handed and throws right. Fisher has never hit above .300 at the college level which may puzzle some fans, but scouts were sold on him as he was very impressive in the Cape Cod League.
Fisher only played in 35 games for Virginia this season because of a broken right hand, a possible cause for concern from a player who never hit above .300 in college. There is plenty of risk in taking Fisher, as he is an below average fielder with a average arm. Fisher’s best tool is his speed as he stole a career high 16 bags for Virginia this season in only 35 games.
At the plate Fisher doesn’t show explosive power or great contact, he isn’t a developed collegiate prospect what most think they are getting out of college. Derek Fisher needs work and what better farm system to help refine a player than the top rated system in the MLB. The key to remember on Fisher is without risk there can be no reward.
Pick #42 – A.J. Reed: The final pick of day one was Kentucky’s A.J. Reed, the big 6’4, 240 pound left handed first baseman. Reed hit 23 home runs this season for Kentucky in the BBCOR era of college baseball, which is a testament to this young man’s true raw power.
Reed was a .336 hitter with 73 RBI’s this season for the Wildcats while only striking out 48 times in 223 at-bats striking out only 21% of the time. His power is legitimate and by far his best tool.
There is no question that Reed can swing it, but how is his defense? Reed shows an above average arm, he even threw 112 innings for Kentucky going 12-2 on the season with a 2.09 ERA and a fastball that reaches 93 MPH. Reed at first base shows average defense like you would typically see from a guy of his size he doesn’t show much speed or athleticism. Reed is impressive to say the least he can hit, he can pitch, and will turn into an asset for the Houston Astros.
So after one day of the draft, we saw a pitcher who can not only light up the radar gun but consistently throw strikes and is seen as a future ace taken first overall, an outfielder who needs to be refined in many areas but has shown signs of plus ability, and a power hitting first baseman who can even be good off the bump when need be.
All in all General Manager Jeff Luhnow knows what hes doing. I trust him and can’t wait to see what diamonds can be found on day two.