Astros top five Draft picks: scouting reports from the experts.

MLB.com provided thorough scouting reports on most of the top players who were expected to be selected in the Draft. Here is the rundown of the Astros’ top five picks:

On No. 1 pick Carlos Correa:
High school middle infielders who have the tools to stay at shortstop long term aren’t always easy to find. That’s a big reason why Correa is so high on Draft lists at this point. Defensively, Correa is above average across the board — range, arm and actions — leaving no question about his ability to stay at short. He can swing the bat, too, with the potential to be an above-average hitter with outstanding power. He’s a solid baserunner who is better underway and has off-the-charts work ethic and baseball instincts. Correa’s swing can get a little long at times and he will occasionally get out of his game plan at the plate. But that’s just nitpicking and the only thing that could keep Correa from being the highest draftee from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy is his commitment to Miami.

On supplemental round pick Lance McCullers:
Major League bloodlines are always a plus and the younger Lance McCullers has the chance to be much better than his father, who spent parts of seven seasons in the big leagues. McCullers is pure power. His fastball can easily touch the upper 90s and it has above-average movement in on right-handed hitters. When he stays on top of his slider it’s an above-average, hard and tight breaking ball. He does have a changeup, but it’s behind the other two offerings. He’s got a feel for it, but doesn’t need to use it much at this level. McCullers is fearless on the mound, with a closer-type mentality (and the stuff to match it).McCullers does struggle with his command at times, which keeps hitters from being too comfortable at the plate. He will need to refine that, along with his offspeed stuff, to be an effective starter at the highest level. But there’s nothing to indicate he won’t be able to do just that with time and experience.

On second-round pick Nolan Fontana:
Take each of Fontana’s tools individually and none of them may overwhelm you. Add them up and you’ll like what you see a lot more. Fontana can swing the bat a little bit, showing a solid approach and an ability to make adjustments. He even has a little power to the pull side and will turn on a mistake. Fontana’s instincts on the bases allow his average speed to play up and he does all of the little things offensively to help a team win. He’s the same way on the other side of the ball, always putting himself in the right position to make the plays, with a solid arm and range and very good hands. Fontana could be a very good second baseman, a decent shortstop or the kind of super utility man championship-caliber teams tend to have. Whatever the case, his abilities and instincts should allow him to help a big league club out quickly.

On third-round pick Brady Rodgers:
While he’s not a soft-tosser — his Major League average fastball will sit in the 90-91 mph range and he can reach back for a little more and maintain his velocity deep into starts — Rodgers is more about the art of pitching than anything else. He has three secondary pitches that should at least average. Rodgers’ slider is a sharp downer that can be a strikeout pitch and his changeup is very deceptive, with both looking like future above-average offerings. His curve isn’t quite as good, but with a 12-to-5 break, it’s more than just a show-me pitch. Rodgers throws all of those pitches for strikes and should have plus location down the line, showing outstanding knowledge of how to mix pitches. His ceiling might be the middle of a big league rotation, but it shouldn’t take him too long to reach that goal.

On fourth-round pick Rio Ruiz:
He’s from SoCal. He hits left-handed. It’s not a real shock Ruiz gets Eric Chavez comps. Unfortunately for Ruiz, he became even more similar to the oft-injured Chavez in March when he had to undergo a procedure to break up a blood clot near his clavicle by his right shoulder.Ruiz has the tools to be an everyday Major League third baseman. He has a terrific left-handed swing, a short stroke with good bat speed. He makes consistent hard contact and there’s more than enough loft and leverage for him to have good power at the next level. He’s a solid, instinctive defender at third, with good lateral movement and a strong arm. Ruiz doesn’t run well, but given his other skills, that doesn’t matter so much. He doesn’t need to run if he’s going to develop into a run-producing third baseman as a professional. That potential should put him in many beginning-of-the-Draft conversations.

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15 Comments

Wow you get paid to copy and past from mlb.com nice

This is just one post out of many Footer has done. Did she really need to reword a paragraph for each of the picks when there’ll be plenty of coverage on them separately?

Judging from the clicks it’s received, I would say this has been a beneficial document where fans can read about the top five picks in one spot. Thanks for checking, though, I really appreciate your concern and interest! Alyson

I, for one, appreciated this post precisely because it was a consolidation of all of the many posts, making it much easier to read about the new draftees.

Precisely why I posted! :) Alyson

Something tells me Cory ate a lot of “past” when he was a kid.

what are the chances Correa goes to Miami and we’ve lost out on our first round pick?

The Astros are very confident they can sign him. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have drafted him. Luhnow sounded very positive when he discussed the topic last night.

Impossible to zero

Luhnow’s a smart cat, we’ll sign’em all. Let’s crush those loser cards tonight!

Alyson stated at the top of the post:
“MLB.com provided thorough scouting reports on most of the top players who were expected to be selected in the Draft. Here is the rundown of the Astros’ top five picks:”

You would have had to do a lot of digging to get all this and here it is in one place after the fact so you can read it all at once. She gets paid to inform, this is one way to inform. Go to a political site and rant. You can stir things up over there and have fun.

Thanks Alyson!

I’m more confident they can sign Correa! For one,I think he loves baseball and wants to play in the MLB, and this is the perfect opportunity for him and his future, (IT’S GREAT FOR ASTROS FANS) second his family has been through a lot, and the signing bonus of 6.5 million to 7.2 million would help them out a lot (as it would most of us).

I love the post, very informative, let’s the fans read a little about each of the players, gives us a feel for where the club is going now and in the future. Thanks Alyson….

Alyson, would you be willing/able to inform us or even guide us to a page with a good explanation on how the new rules regarding maximum amount spent signing draftees will affect teams this year?

It’s really detailed — and way, way over my head. So complicated. Here’s a Jayson Stark column that puts it in simpler terms. Pretty easy to understand in this version (scroll down) http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7270203/baseball-new-labor-deal-truly-historic-one

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