Scouting The Houston Astros’ Options In The Draft: Hitters


Last week I published my first Astros mock draft, in which I projected who the Astros could take with their top two draft selections.  Today, I will be giving my full scouting report on each of the players the Astros could be considering at number two and five.

Brendan Rodgers/SS/Lake Mary HS (FL)

6’1″, 150 lbs

60 yard dash: 6.77 (Via Perfect Game)

Infield: 93 MPH (Via Perfect Game)

Hitting: Quick, powerful, swing.  He will have the potential to do some damage at the major league level.  Mechanically he’s very sound except for one area in which his hands get a little long on his load, but with his bat speed it’s really a non-issue.

Rodgers begins in an athletic stance.  His feet slightly open, but his shoulders are squared off.  Very basic stance.

Here’s his load and the mechanical issue I was speaking about with his hands.  That front arm comes close to barring out, and his hands get behind his back foot.  This can result in a long swing with many hitters, but Rodgers comes straight to the ball, so this hasn’t become an issue.

Against more consistent velocity he might have to fix that, but it’s not something that will hold him back from being a superstar one day.

His first move after his load is beautiful.  There’s absolutely no wasted motion and his hands go straight to the ball.  His front knee locks in and his hips stay closed off, which keeps his swing short and compact.  His back foot is up and off the ground, allowing his back hip to fire and generate power.  If you’re teaching a kid how to hit, show him this picture.

Again, picture perfect from Rodgers.  His head is down and still looking at where he made contact, which keeps his bat in the zone longer and keeps him on the ball.  His back foot is still up, so his hips could rotate throughout the entire swing.  His arms are extended out in front of him, which carries out the “short-to-it-long-through-it” saying.


The perfect game defensive session is meant for guys to show off their arms, (which Rodgers did by throwing 93 MPH across the infield), so the video is not of much use to us.

However, Rodgers has clean footwork, soft hands, and a fantastic arm.  He will stick at shortstop and there shouldn’t be any talk about him having to move.

Dansby Swanson/SS/Vanderbilt

6’1″ 190 lbs


Swanson has a short, compact swing.  He has some power to the pull side, but you won’t see him drive balls out of the park to the opposite field.  Pull side power at Minute Maid Park could lead to 15-20 HR’s a season.  However, he mostly stays up the middle.  Line drive hitter.  Like Rodgers, his swing is mechanically sound save for one area of the swing.

Swanson’s mechanical flaw is a little more pronounced when it comes to hitting the low ball as opposed to the high strike.

Much like Rodgers, Swanson has a very basic stance.  His feet are slightly open, his shoulders are closed off.

That is the ideal position for your hands to be in at the completion of the load.  They are close to the ear and aren’t behind his back foot.  His knees could be a little more bent which would lead to more explosiveness and athleticism in his stance.

His hands go straight from A to B.  In my opinion, Swanson has the quickest hands of any hitter in this draft.  There’s absolutely no wasted motion.

Here’s an example of Swanson eating on the high strike.  His front leg is locked in at contact, his back foot is actually off the ground, which shows he’s putting everything in the swing.  That picture right there is what hitters strive for.

However, Swanson doesn’t reach this same position on the low strike.  The front leg is still bent, which keeps his hips from rotating and taking full advantage of his power.  Like Rodgers’ hand issue, it’s nothing that will derail his career, but it’s a minor flaw.


Swanson will win a gold glove at shortstop one day.  He’s got great footwork, great hands, and great range.  He also has game changing speed and could be a 50-60 steal guy in the bigs.

Alex Bregman/MIF/LSU

5’11” 190 lbs

If you’re building a leader, you might build Alex Bregman.  Coaches love him.  He’s coachable,  and he’s a leader in the clubhouse, a that part of his game enough I can’t stress enough.  The issue with Bregman-to-the-Astros is the existence of José Altuve.  Bregman doesn’t have the arm strength or the range to stick at short in the major leagues and Altuve isn’t going anywhere.

Again, very basic stance.  He stands slightly open with his shoulders square to the pitcher.

He separates with his hands a pretty good amount from his ear, which is where his power comes from.  His hands don’t go behind his back foot, so it’s not to the point of a mechanical error.

Bregman has tons of pop for his size.  He could be a 20-25 HR a year guy at the next level.  He has a long stride that generates lots of power.  His hands go straight from A to B.

That’s what solid contact looks like.  His front knee is locked, his weight is on his back leg, his head is down.  Perfect.

Out of all the hitters we’ve looked at to this point, Bregman is the furthest along, but the defensive side of things gives more value to Rodgers and Swanson.

Daz Cameron/OF/Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (GA)

6’1″ 185 lbs

60 yard dash: 6.61

OF Velo: 90

Daz is one of my favorite players in this draft.  He has the arm strength of a corner outfielder, the speed of a center fielder.  He has a quick bat.

Daz has an open stance with closed off shoulders.  It’s not as basic as the first three hitters we looked at, but this type of stance has been gaining popularity.  His hands are in close to his ear.

His front hip opens up in this photo, but that might just be because he’s trying to hit homers in batting practice.

It will be a theme with all of these hitters, as Cameron’s hands go straight from A to B after his load.  He’s a little upright and there’s not much explosiveness in that position, but with his speed it doesn’t really matter.  He has power to the gaps and he could lead the league in triples one day.

His front knee is locked in at contact, his head is down, and his arms are extended.  His feet are a little narrow, which again contributes to the lack of power.  He’s only 18 and he’s skinny, so who knows what he could turn into if he fills out his frame.


He’s what scouts look for when looking for a good defensive outfielder.  Speed and arm strength are vital, and Cameron possesses both.  Scouts say Cameron is instinctive as well, which undoubtedly comes from the tutelage of his father, Mike Cameron.

Kyle Tucker/OF/Plant HS (FL)

6’4″ 175 lbs

60 yard dash: 6.77

OF MPH: 89

Tucker, who happens to be the brother of recent Astros call up, Preston Tucker, is physically imposing.  He has lots of room to grow physically, as he’s only 175 pounds even though he’s 6’4″.

Tucker stands upright and really narrow.  There’s lots of moving parts to his swing, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.  Especially for someone his size.

Ideally, a hitter’s shoulders should have a downward plane once they reach this position.  His are even.  Even is acceptable, but it could give him the tendency to pull off the ball and swing with his shoulders more than his hips.

Tucker, however, like the other hitters goes straight from A to B and has no wasted motion merging from his load to his swing.

Another pretty looking contact position.  Tucker’s front leg is locked in, he’s making contact in front of the plate, his head is down, and his back foot is up, allowing his hips to fire.

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Tucker doesn’t look like the natural outfielder that Cameron does.  In the video I studied, he had poor rhythm in his approach to the ball.  He did field balls cleanly and make good throws, and it’s nit-picky, but that’s what you have to do with these top guys.

Most people around the baseball industry think the Astros will take hitters with both of their top five picks.  If that rings true, I would take either Swanson or Rodgers at #2.  The D-Backs have the first overall pick and will take one of those two guys most likely, and I would take Cameron at #5.

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