We’re a couple months out so let’s get this going.
It’s a crapshoot who the Astros might take at 28, but for whatever it’s worth, BA reports Dana Brown recently showed up to see high school SS Sammy Stafura out of Cortland, NY. He’s been projected as more of a late second rounder so far but BA says he’s on the rise, and Brown was apparently just one of many senior evaluators out to see him.
I’m sure we’ll hear about more player connections over the coming weeks, this is just the first I’ve seen. Brown will be a busy man between now and July 9.
Thanks for getting this going. Never too early to start thinking about the draft.
MLB.com’s mock draft a few weeks ago had the Astros selecting Ralphy Velasquez, a 6’2" C/1B out of Huntington Beach, CA. Question marks about whether he’ll stay behind the plate, but has a strong arm and his bat profiles has potential middle of the order hitter written all over it. Callis says he’s also been fast riser of late, so definitely a name to watch.
ETA: can’t remember where I read it, but there was some chatter a few weeks ago about the Astros possibly selecting George Lombard, Jr. (yes, the son of former Brave George Lombard, which means I’m getting old quick).
The Tourists’ home park is hitter-friendly and Gilbert had a pronounced home/road split there. Of course he was still excellent on the road and he’s been phenomenal in Corpus so it’s probably just another case of Law having more thoughts than insights.
28. Astros — Ralphy Velazquez, C/1B, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS
The Astros also sound like one of the teams who are on Stafura, but if the Yankees like him as much as we think, he’s not getting here. Velazquez is another player linked to the Astros, and he has some of the most exciting hit and power tools in the prep class, even if he’s a risk to move off of catcher.
So that’s another reported “link” to add to the small pile. Velazquez is a LHH from the same high school as former Astros legend Hank Conger. BA ranks him #27 in the class, MLB dot com ranks him #32, so this is right around where you’d think he’d go. The reports on him all seem to focus on the bat, and if he has to move off catcher, I haven’t seen anything but 1B mentioned as his destination. You really have to believe in a high schooler’s bat if you think his defensive options are so limited. But either way, another interesting name to think about.
Callis came out with another mock draft a few days ago. Has the Astros selecting college 3B Yohandy Morales from Miami. Son of Andy Morales who played for the Cuban National Team; has quite a bit of power and a strong arm.
First time I’ve seen his name associated with the Astros.
Interesting, interesting. Callis also ties to the Astros to Sammy Stafura (who we’ve seen linked to them before) and to Walker Martin (who I think is a new one). Between those two, Morales, and Lombard, that’s a lot of infielders they seem to be in on.
And now that I think about it, Dana Brown also said he saw Florida HS SS Adrian Santana play during spring training. Obviously it was convenient for him to check on Florida guys while he was down there, but the GM doesn’t see guys if there isn’t some high-round interest (Santana looks like a probable 1S/2nd round pick).
I know you don’t draft for need, but it sure would be nice if the best player available happened to be an infielder.
Definitely interesting. At this point, I’d be surprised if the Astros don’t draft an infielder on day one. They have a dearth of IF prospects in the system and seems like all of the chatter links them to guys who play with their feet on the dirt.