Draft Report Cards: Houston Astros

The Astros strayed again from the herd on picks such as DeShields, Foltynewicz and C/3B Mike Kvasnicka (1s). Velasquez's injury doesn't help in the short term for a youthful class that will need time to pan out
Bonus Spending: $7.3 million

BEST PURE HITTER: The Astros are strong believers in 2B/OF Delino DeShields Jr. (1). He has quick hands, lets the ball travel deep and doesn't get out on his front foot. He has shown the ability to catch up to premium fastballs with excellent bat speed. OF Austin Wates (3) has an unorthodox swing but has good timing and barrel awareness. » BEST POWER HITTER: C Ben Heath (5) has above-average raw power and hit 19 home runs this spring to set Penn State's new single-season record. He then hit 10 in 210 pro at-bats after signing. » FASTEST RUNNER: DeShields is a true burner and top-of-the-scale runner, getting to first base in less than 4.0 seconds from the right side and turning in 6.3-second 60 times. » BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: C Roberto Pena (7) has an above-average arm that at times flashes better. He has turned in a lot of 1.85-1.95- second pop times since signing. He's also intelligent, bilingual and has a feel for game-calling.


BEST FASTBALL: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1) is projectable and has touched 96 mph regularly in instructional league. RHP Rodney Quintero (25) touches 94-95 mph more consistently as a reliever. » BEST SECONDARY PITCH: RHP Vince Velasquez (2) showed a plus changeup in his debut before requiring Tommy John surgery after the season. LHP Alex Sogard (26) has his own injury history but has stayed healthy so far and owns a power curveball with depth.


BEST PRO DEBUT: Heath hit .276/.387/.495 overall at three stops, including a taste of Double-A Corpus Christi, where he had a pair of three-hit games. LHP Thomas Shirley (9) gave up no earned runs in five starts at short-season Tri-City, striking out 28 in 17 innings, before he was shut down with a bone bruise in his right knee. » BEST ATHLETE: DeShields, whom the Astros intend to move to second base. If he can't handle the infield, he has a chance to be a premium center fielder.  » MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: DeShields' father stole 463 bases in a 13-season major league career, while OF Josh Magee (18) is the son of ex-Phillies outfielder Wendell Magee, who logged parts of seven season in the majors. Quintero is a Cuban refugee who gained asylum in Chile and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He played a year of semi-pro ball in Miami before attending Chipola (Fla.) JC. » CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Wates and Heath stand out in a high school-flavored draft. » BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: While scouting Braves second-rounder Todd Cunningham at Jacksonville State, the Astros took a liking to his teammate, 23-year-old OF Daniel Adamson (20). He has present strength, runs well enough to play center field and has plus raw power. If he makes more consistent contact, the Astros will have a well-rounded player on their hands. » THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: RHP Adam Plutko (6), who chose to attend UCLA.