Houston Astros: James Click has a tougher task ahead of the MLB draft

Houston Astros general manager James Click (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Houston Astros general manager James Click (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The MLB will hold their draft next month and Houston Astros GM James Click will have his work cut out for him. Why? Let’s take a dive into things.

The Houston Astros may be starting up soon with the latest reports indicating that they’ll be able to restart in mid-June.  MLBPA and MLB have to come to terms as far as an agreement to play under these unique circumstances of this pandemic but there’s no question that a deal will get done because they want to get back to work.

We’ll have to prepare for a reality without fans and we’ll be able to watch them on television in a stadium full of empty seats.  It’s doubtful that we’ll see much wide-shots of empty seats by more close-in angles of the action that’s going on the field.

If this launch date does ring true, players have already begun in getting themselves ramped up for what will likely be a quick, rebooted “Spring Training” session in June and then get right to it once the period is over.

Nonetheless, I think we will all look forward to seeing our guys once again and I’ll be prepared for the slew of boos that will bombard social media during those guys.  Had there been fans, there almost certainly would be backlash on each road game they would play.  Now that’s not certain and I think the atmosphere could provide a great benefit to the Houston Astros.

Not only will things look different for the season, what about the MLB Draft?  The draft will still be held, currently scheduled for June 10 but because of the fluid and ongoing situation in regard to the global response to this pandemic, there will be only FIVE rounds.  That’s down from the typical 40 rounds that occur over the course of a three-day period.

The five-round end result was part of a compromise that included a proposal for up to 10 rounds but with the limitations on how team money could be spent — in addition to being able to sign undrafted players — would’ve been severely limited.  This certainly means that there will be many players — definitely within the thousands — who were looking to get their shot at the big leagues to be cut out of the coveted inner circle.

The MLB hopes to have at least a minimum of 20 rounds in 2021 with the expectation that the rounds could be increased back to the standard 40 per draft in the future.

This presents an interesting challenge for incoming GM James Click, presiding over his first draft with the Houston Astros and the shortest draft in MLB history.

With just five rounds — the Houston Astros forfeited their first and second-round picks — you obviously know why — so they won’t make their first selection until after the competitive balance rounds at No. 72, their compensation for allowing Gerrit Cole to sprint to the New York Yankees on a multi-year contract worth more than quarter of a billion dollars.

Click will have just four picks that he needs to get right, a tall, challenging order for a guy that’s

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starting out his legacy with a new franchise.  His credentials are top-notch and is well-respected among executives but even with the first and second-rounders taken away, I’m sure he didn’t expect fewer rounds to pick from.

Now granted, by the time you get to double-digit rounds, the likelihood that player makes the big leagues diminishes but you never know what can happen and you want all of the tools at your arsenal on the table.

I think he’ll prevail just fine but it will be important to watch whom he picks as the farm does need replenishment as a lot of crops has been harvested to keep this championship team together a little bit longer.

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I’ll just be looking forward to seeing my favorites: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel as they look to try to capture their second World Series title this season.

Let’s hope for the best — good luck James, we’re all betting on ya!