Prep Baseball Report

Draft Forecast: Houston Astros

Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

Houston AstrosTEAM: Houston Astros
PICK: 28 (Slot: $2,399,400)
POOL: $5,492,900

2017: J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina (15th overall)
2016: Forrest Whitley, RHP, Alamo Heights HS, TX (17th overall)
2015: Alex Bregman, SS, Louisiana State (2nd overall)
2014: Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS, CA (1st overall)
2013: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford (1st overall)

HISTORY: This is the lowest the Astros have picked since 2007, when they had to wait until the third round for their first selection. In that time span, they have had a pick in the top 15 every year except 2009 and been first overall three times. Most of their top picks have been high school prospects and they’re already reaping the benefits of a few in the big leagues.

FORECAST: Houston has the second-lowest bonus pool at just under $5.5 million so if they go with another high schooler, it’ll probably eat up a fair chunk of that, but options would include RHP Adam Kloffenstein (Magnolia HS, TX), RHP Grayson Rodriguez (Central Heights HS, TX), C Noah Naylor (St. Joan of Arc SS, ON), RHP Owen White (Jesse Carson HS, NC), C Anthony Seigler (Cartersville HS, GA) or 1B Triston Casas (American Heritage HS, FL). Outside of recent top picks, Houston has leaned heavily toward college prospects. That would put the likes of OF Steele Walker (Oklahoma), SS Jeremy Eierman (Missouri State), SS Nico Hoerner (Stanford), RHP Blaine Knight (Arkansas), RHP Griffin Roberts (Wake Forest) or RHP Tristan Beck (Stanford) in their sights.

Nico Hoerner, SS, Stanford
PBR Draft Board: 23
HIT: 40/55            POWER: 30/40            SPEED: 55/60            DEFENSE: 45/50            ARM: 55/55

Hoerner is an athletic, medium-frame infielder with good bounce and energy. Offensively, he showed a mostly balanced approach with a loose swing. He’s more of a doubles or gap power type with the chance to hit 10-12 home runs a year in pro ball. He has contact and pitch recognition skills that should allow him to also hit for average, as well as take his share of walks. His above-average to plus speed plays in the game. He showed above-average arm strength with a quick release and solid carry to his target. Although not a silky smooth defender, Hoerner has good hands and is aggressive and confident in the dirt. (David Seifert)

Find Hoerner's full report in the Draft HQ.

Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
PBR Draft Board: 25
HIT: 30/40            POWER: 40/55            SPEED: 60/60            DEFENSE: 45/55            ARM: 50/60
Eierman is a strong-bodied, super athletic infielder. He started the season slow at the plate, but now looks to be locked in. He showed an improved approach with much better balance than last summer. He’s a pull hitter with plus raw power. He shows an above average to plus arm and will likely remain at shortstop, though he could profile as an offensive second baseman as well. He’s a plus runner with good acceleration and his speed impacts the game. (David Seifert)

Find Eierman's full report in the Draft HQ.

Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford
PBR Draft Board: 26

FB: 50/55            CB: 55/55            SL: 50/50            CH: 50/60
Beck is tall, lean and wiry at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds. He mixed four pitches for strikes with a cross-body landing and high-3/4 slot. He occasionally dropped closer to a 3/4 slot. His fastball sat 90-93 mph, occasionally touching 94 and one 95 on a 3-2 pitch that was up and well out of the zone. He generated occasionally swings and miss, but that was mostly due to his pitch mix and not excessive life or pinpoint command. His first changeup was at 83 and plus. It had great bottom and good hand speed. All the other changupes were 80-83 with more average quality and movement. The curveball was his best breaking ball, showing good shape and depth in the 75-79 range. He also mixed in a sweeping slider/slurve at 80-84. (David Seifert)

Find Beck's full report in the Draft HQ.

Blaine Knight, RHP, Arkansas
PBR Draft Board: 28
FB: 45/50            CB: 45/50            SL: 50/55            CH: 45/50
Knight is a highly competitive righty with a slender frame and good pitchability. During the regular season, he won matchups against Casey Mize, Brady Singer, Ryan Rolison and Sean Hjelle. He worked at 90-93 early in the game, touching 94-95. The slider can show plus, but worked more average at 80-84. He also throws a curveball that flashes average at 73-75 and a changeup at 80-81. (David Seifert)

Find Knight's full report in the Draft HQ.

Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, Magnolia HS, TX
PBR Draft Board: 30
FB: 50/60            CB: 50/60            SL: 50/60            CH: 50/60
Kloffenstein works from a high-3/4 slot with a quick arm stroke. His fastball got up to 95 a couple of times but was mostly 92-94 through the first three innings. He had great command of four pitches with all of them coming from the same window. He features a changeup that he throws with fastball arm speed, heavy depth, and some fade. He used his changeup more the first time through the order, but did flash a couple of sliders with 11/5 shape at 84 mph. He also works in the occasional curveballl with more 12/6 shape at 79-80. (Toby Bicknell)

Find Kloffenstein's full report in the Draft HQ.

Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS, TX
PBR Draft Board: 32
FB: 50/60            CB: 55/60            SL: 50/60            CH: 40/45
At 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, Rodriguez has a strong, long-limbed frame. He works from a high-3/4 slot with a low-effort delivery and a long, clean arm swing. His fastball sat at 96 in the first inning, touching 98 mph once. In the second inning his fastball ranged from 94-97. He locates well to his glove side, occasionally coming in to right-handed hitters. He used a big breaking curveball with 11/5 shape and good depth early in the game at 74-78 mph. His slider was his third best pitch for the first three innings with flat, inconsistent spin at 81-83 mph. But the pitch got better from the fourth inning on, and he went to it more often for swings and misses with sharp spin, and late, short 10/4 bite. (Toby Bicknell)

Find Rodriguez's full report in the Draft HQ. 

Noah Naylor, C, St. Joan of Arc SS, ON
PBR Draft Board: 33
HIT: 40/55            POWER: 40/55            SPEED: 50/50            DEFENSE: 45/55            ARM: 55/60
Naylor is athletic with present strength in a 6-foot, 195-pound frame. Offensively, he hits to all fields and will show power when the opportunity presents itself. He has great knowledge of the strike zone and is a polished hitter who rarely chases with a knack for finding the barrel. The tools are there to catch, as he has quick feet and an agile lower half. He is also a solid defender at third base with soft hands. (Chris Kemlo)

Find Naylor's full report in the Draft HQ.

Owen White, RHP, Jesse Carson HS, NC
PBR Draft Board: 34
FB: 45/55            CB: 50/55            SL: 40/50            CH: 40/50
White has a straight line frame with room to add strength. His quick arm works with ease and athleticism. He repeats his delivery with good direction, pounding the strike zone. His fastball movement and location allow the velocity to play up. The curveball is the best secondary offering with hard, late tilt. The slider is still developing with more cutting action, but it showed plane later in the game. The changeup is thrown with good arm speed and comes out of the same window as his fastball. (Brandon Hall)

Find White's full report in the Draft HQ.

Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville HS, GA
PBR Draft Board:
HIT: 40/60            POWER: 55/55            SPEED: 45/40            DEFENSE: 40/50            ARM: 60/60
Seigler is a polished, older high school hitter, that has had a highly decorated career both locally and nationally. In terms of skilled athletes he is near the top of the scale. Seigler's polished approach and swing at the plate from both sides, is one the Hatfields and McCoys could agree on. He will always be an offensive catcher, but has the intangibles to lead a staff. (Blake Davis)

Find Seigler's full report in the Draft HQ.

Triston Casas, 1B, American Heritage HS, FL
PBR Draft Board:
HIT: 40/45            POWER: 40/60            SPEED: 30/30            DEFENSE: 40/55            ARM: 50/55
Standing at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Casas has some of the biggest left-handed power in the country. The swing is not only powerful, as the long levers stay compact and has an advanced approach, driving the ball to all fields. Defensively, there is some intrigue in him playing third base this season, but he still looks somewhat stiff there. He moves much more comfortably at first base and can be an above-average defender there. (Doug Freeman)

Find Casas' full report in the Draft HQ.

Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
PBR Draft Board: 38

HIT: 40/55            POWER: 30/50            SPEED: 50/50            DEFENSE: 45/50            ARM: 40/45
Walker is one of the best pure hitters in the draft and has a selective, aggressive approach with a quiet set-up. Overall, he very balanced and has a fundamentally sound swing. He consistently generates above-average bat speed while also taking a few man hacks, which showed plus bat speed. He showed a below average to fringy arm and range in center field, running fair routes with some first step hesitation and jaggedness at times. In all likelihood, he’ll need to move to left field to have an everyday role. (David Seifert)

Find Walker's full report in the Draft HQ.

Griffin Roberts, RHP, Wake Forest
PBR Draft Board:
FB: 60/70            SL: 60/60            CH: 45/55
Roberts is an athletic, aggressive righty with swing-and-miss stuff and a plus slider as his feature pitch. From a low-3/4 to sidearm slot, his fastball ranged from 90-94 mph, sitting mostly 92-93. At times, it showed 80 life with vicious arm-side action. For the most part, he repeated his 81-83 slider and threw it to both sides of the plate. Occasionally, it backed up on him, but that will naturally happen from his low arm slot. His third pitch was an above-average changeup, thrown at 84-87 with fastball arm speed and late sink. (David Seifert)

Find Roberts' full report in the Draft HQ.

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