Houston Astros nab adroit SS Grae Kessinger in the 2019 MLB Draft

Houston Astros shortstop Grae Kessinger (Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Houston Astros shortstop Grae Kessinger (Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros were able to nab the versatile Grae Kessingerastros in the second round (68th overall) of the 2019 MLB Draft. What does he do best? Let’s look.

The Houston Astros have completed Day 1 of the 2019 MLB Draft and they were able to fulfill some future needs with the players that they selected.  Although that’s the way things are, I’ve always felt that the timing of the MLB Draft is peculiar during the middle of the season.

In professional football and basketball, their respective drafts are held in the offseason but I do believe the timing is intended so that prospects could jump into development right away by latching onto their respective team in the minors.

And besides, having the draft in the winter when free agency and the annual owner’s meetings would make for a compact yet quite hectic schedule so the best timing of having the MLB Draft is honestly right about now.

The season is in full swing and it’s right before the trade deadline so that franchises and their respective front offices can direct their undivided attention to the serious business of making mid-season tweaks.

But anyway, the Houston Astros selected Korey Lee in the first round — 32nd overall — last night.  A lot of experts had him ranked a lot lower than where he was drafted and as I mentioned last night, a lot of the experts are regretting their decisions.  They know the power, respect and ingenuity that the Houston Astros‘ front office holds so if they feel Lee is a top college prospect, then he certainly should be.

Nonetheless, the night wore on and the Houston Astros selected Ole Miss shortstop Grae Kessinger in the second round — 68th overall — to close out the night.

What’s there to say about Kessinger?

Kessinger is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound SS that’s right-handed and quite versatile.  He was drafted in 2016 but decided to continue his collegiate career up until this point.

He’s also the grandson of shortstop Don Kessinger who partook in 2,078 games in 17 seasons (1964-79) mostly with the Chicago Cubs as well as the Saint Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox toward the end his career.  He earned six All-Star appearances and two Gold Glove awards throughout the course.

Here’s what A.E. Schafer of SB Nation’s Viva El Birdos had to say about Kessinger:

"“I scouted Grae Kessinger coming out of high school, and he just so happened to be a personal favourite of mine in the Persons of Interest group in 2016. At the time, he was a lanky, rangy athlete who handled shortstop at a reasonable level while showing off tremendous contact ability with a bat in his hands. He felt to me like a bit of an Alex Bregman starter kit, in fact, with maybe a better chance of sticking at short.Well, three years later, I still like Kessinger, but it’s a little more complicated at this point. In the intervening years, he has filled out and slowed down substantially, and while he’s still playing shortstop right now in college, I’m not confident you want him to do that in pro ball. Second base is probably the best option, considering he doesn’t have a huge throwing arm that would push him toward third instead, but in reality he has more the look of a utility guy who can work mostly up the middle to me. That’s not a bad profile, by any means; it’s just less of a slam dunk than what he looked like coming out of high school.”"

He also added this about what he didn’t like about him:

"“It’s at the plate, though, where I’m really more conflicted about Kessinger. See, here’s the thing:More from House of HoustonAre you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?Houston Texans: 4 reasons Romeo Crennel is right coach right nowAstros-Twins Wild Card Series: 5 things to know as MLB postseason beginsHouston Texans: The Most Underrated Sports Drought EverHouston Texans: J.J. Watt’s early case for NFL Hall of FameGrae Kessinger put up some remarkable numbers this spring. He hit over .400 in SEC play, which basically means he hit over .400 against the very best competition college baseball has to offer. He still has fantastic contact ability, pushing his strikeout rate below 10% this season. The problem? I kind of hate Kessinger’s swing.”"

Take a look at some film that Schafer provided in his post here.

So what does this mean?  If Kessinger develops on schedule, he could be a nice backup plan when he’s ready to go within the next three years or so, when a lot of the Houston Astros‘ core contracts will be up for negotiation.  There’s no problem in the team thinking about the future while in this era of prosperity and having that mindset ensures the continuity of the success that they’ve had.

Astros steal Korey Lee in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft. dark. Next

Let’s hope for the best.

Kessinger is batting .332 coupled with five home runs and 47 ribbies with a .969 fielding percentage for the Rebels this season.