Astros Draft Report Card
BEST PURE HITTER:
|The Astros went up the middle at the top with Mier, who followed 2008 first-round C Jason Castro. Houston puts more faith in predraft workouts than the industry consensus on players, and it used its top four picks on high schoolers Mier, Bushue, Nash and Meyer.
Compared to his stellar defense, SS Jiovanni Mier's (1) bat was considered a question mark. Hitting .276/.380/.484 at Rookie-level Greeneville put a lot of those concerns to rest, and his power was a pleasant surprise. OF J.D. Martinez (20) hit .428 as a Nova Southeastern (Fla.) junior and won the short-season New York-Penn League batting title with a .326 average. SS Brandon Wikoff (5) also handles the bat well and ranked second in NCAA Division I in at-bats per strikeout (32.6) last spring. >> BEST POWER HITTER:
A high school teammate of 2008 No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham at Griffin (Ga.) High, OF Telvin Nash (3) has plus-plus raw power. He had minor surgery to repair a shoulder injury from football, where the 6-foot-1, 230-pounder played defensive end and tight end. >> FASTEST RUNNER:
OF Grant Hogue (35) used his well-above-average speed to steal 17 bases at Greeneville. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
Mier was the best pure shortstop in the draft. He covers a lot of ground and has a plus-plus arm. 3B Jonathan Meyer (3s) has the quickness and arm strength to be a quality defender.
RHPs B.J. Hyatt (4) and Brandt Walker (8) both can touch 96 mph. Neither had much success in college—Walker didn't win a single game in three years at Stanford—but the Astros like their upside if they can develop command. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH:
RHP Tanner Bushue's (2) power curveball or LHP Dallas Keuchel's (7) changeup. Bushue is projectable and his 88-90 mph fastball should develop into a plus pitch.
ODDS AND ENDS
BEST PRO DEBUT:
Mier and Martinez. >> BEST ATHLETE:
Mier also starred in soccer and football (as a wide receiver and defensive back) in high school. Bushue averaged 18.2 points a game in basketball as a high school senior. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:
: Unsigned RHP Raul Rivera's (37) brother Saul is a reliever with the Nationals. Mier's brother Jessie plays in the Dodgers system. GM Ed Wade's clubs drafted LHP Mike Modica (24) three times (Phillies in 2005, Astros the last two years) before signing him this summer. >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS:
Keuchel, who earned both of Arkansas' victories at the 2009 College World Series, throws four pitches for strikes and gets outs with his sinker and changeup. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK:
Martinez is a decent athlete who consistently puts the barrel on the ball. RHP Mike Schurz (44) overcame Tommy John surgery in 2007 and comes out of the bullpen with a low-90s fastball and a low-80s slider. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY:
Houston liked RHP Geoff Thomas' (12, Southern Mississippi) fastball and SS Justin Gonzalez's (46, Florida State) bat, but couldn't sign either away from college.