Signability an issue? Not this year.
The Astros are in some ways still stuck with the reputation that they don’t sign their draft picks — a stigma attached to them three years ago when they had a disastrous couple of months after making their selections.
That was a tough time for the organization, but since then, a new regime has taken over and the very capable Bobby Heck, the club’s Assistant GM in charge of scouting, has changed a lot about how the Astros go about their business once the Draft is over. Last year, they signed all but one pick — their 12th rounder — and they did so in record time. The signing process began immediately after the picks where announced, and within a few weeks, it was done.
Three members from the front office — Heck, GM Ed Wade and national cross-checker David Post — hosted a media briefing before Friday’s game to answer any last-minute questions reporters might have regarding the upcoming Draft. The one statement from Wade that stood out to me more than any other was in reference to the issue of signability.
Or, more to the point: Signability. Is it an issue?
According to Wade, no.
“We have the budget capability to take the best player available with each of our picks,” Wade said. “We’re not drafting the most signable player. We’re drafting the best players available.”
Other Draft news and notes:
Heck said former Draft picks Derek Dietrich, Brett Eibner and Chad Bettis have all signed consent forms to be drafted by the Astros again. All three were drafted in 2007 but didn’t sign with the club and attended college instead.
“We’ve reached out and re-established a relationship with the three players,” Heck said. “They’re all players who we do have interest in, and we’ve continued the evaluation process. They have signed consent to re-select [forms] if we decide to select them. We’ve done the work there, and they would like to be Astros.”
Jeff Bagwell will represent the Astros on Monday at the MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, NJ, where the first-round selections will be announced. Bagwell will be joined by Astros amateur scout Everett Stull at the Draft.
Beginning at 6 p.m. CT, Commissioner Bud Selig will announce each club’s first-round selection. The intervals between each selection will be five minutes during the first round and one minute in the compensation round.
After Monday, the Draft will resume on both Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m. CT via conference call from the MLB headquarters in New York City. The Draft will have a total of 50 rounds.