Houston Colt .45's

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 21 Jio Mier SS Bonita HS, La Verne, Calif. Calif. $1,358,000
Mier is supported by a large and enthusiastic family. At the 2008 Aflac Classic they made up a sizeable cheering section, complete with artfully constructed banners and signs. His mother Leticia is a fixture at his games, with her ever-present video camera, and has seen plenty of highlights this year. Mier is the rare prep shortstop who projects to remain at that position in pro ball. He has above-average speed and a powerful arm that grades out to well-above-average. He occasionally pitches for his high school squad, and scouts have gunned his fastball in the 91-93 mph range. He has an athletic and projectable 6-foot-2 170-pound frame. Mier has decent hands, though his actions need to be smoother, which should come with experience. He has been inconsistent with the bat, struggling last summer during showcases but looking sensational last fall at the World Wood Bat Championship and the Southern California scout ball all-star game. Overstriding threw off his timing earlier in the spring, but of late he shortened his stride, though he still has a tendency to lunge at the ball and get his weight out on his front leg. When Mier squares a pitch up, the ball flies off his bat. He has the natural quickness and hand-eye coordination to be an excellent hitter. He projects as a line-drive singles and doubles hitter, with slightly below-average power.
2 69 Tanner Bushue RHP South Central HS, Farina, Ill. Ill. $530,000
A sprained right knee that didn't require surgery caused Bushue to miss most of his junior season and the summer showcase circuit in 2008, severely limiting his exposure. Now that he's healthy again, he has vaulted past lefthanders Ian Krol (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville) and Jerad Grundy (Johnsburg HS) as the best prep prospect--and perhaps the top draft pick--in Illinois this spring. An all-area basketball player who averaged 18.2 points per game as a senior, Bushue is just beginning to realize his potential on the diamond. An extremely athletic 6-foot-4, 180-pounder, he repeats his delivery well and throws with little effort. That allows him to maintain his 88-90 mph fastball into the late innings, and he can reach 93 mph with the promise of more to come. Bushue's curveball is a solid-average pitch, though he needs to use it more often, and he also messes around with a slider. He hasn't made much progress with a changeup, a pitch he'll need to remain a starter at higher levels. He has signed with John A. Logan (Ill.) CC rather than a four-year school and should be signable in the first 10 rounds. A team that believes in his upside could pop Bushue as early as the fourth round.
3 100 Telvin Nash OF Griffin (Ga.) HS Ga. $330,300
Head's biggest rival for top prep hitter this spring was Telvin Nash, a monstrous first baseman at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds. Nash runs below-average but isn't a slug, having played third base at times next to former prep teammate Tim Beckham, the shortstop drafted No. 1 overall last year. Nash has as much power as anyone in the state, with some scouts giving him a 70 grade for his raw power on the 20-80 scale. He has strength, leverage and good enough bat speed, but he's not considered an easy sign. He's committed to Kennesaw State and could come off the board around the fifth round to a team that believes he'll consistently tap into his power.
3s 111 Jonathan Meyer 3B Simi Valley (Calif.) HS Calif. $274,500
Meyer is a versatile player whose draft stock has risen steadily as the season has progressed. A solidly built 6-foot-1 switch-hitter, Meyer has played shortstop and third base as well as catching. And as a pitcher, his fastball ranges from 87-91 mph, peaking at 92. Meyer's curveball is serviceable and could develop into a plus pitch. But his future is likely as a position player. He has the frame and arm to be an outstanding catcher. Yet his hands and fielding actions have improved immensely over the past year, and he flashes the playmaking ability to be an average to plus defensive third baseman as well. Meyer probably does not have the speed or quickness to play short, but second base is also a possibility. He is a recent convert to switch-hitting, and while he shows promise he has more power--and is more comfortable--from the right side.
4 131 B.J. Hyatt RHP South Carolina-Sumter JC S.C. $200,000
Hyatt, physical and projectable at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, is considered a raw power arm. He worked as both a starter and as a reliever for USC-Sumter JC but posted a 7.24 ERA in the spring. He was committed to transfer to Kennesaw State, but the athletic righthander flashed mid-90s velocity in a predraft workout with the Astros.
5 161 Brandon Wikoff SS Illinois Ill. $154,000
Despite being one of the smallest players in the Big Ten, 5-foot-8 shortstop Brandon Wikoff is one of its biggest threats at the plate. The lefthanded hitter became the first Illinois player ever to hit for the cycle, batted .373/.434/.544 and finished the season on an 18-game hitting streak. He has exceptional bat control, ranking second in NCAA Division I in at-bats per strikeout (32.6) and reaching base in all but one of the Illini's 54 games. Wikoff isn't toolsy, but he gets the most out of what he has and has fine instincts. He has average speed but his fringe arm may necessitate a move to second base in pro ball.
6 191 Enrique Hernandez SS American Military Academy, Guaynabo, P.R. P.R. $150,000
Second baseman Enrique Hernandez played well at the spring's first showcase, going 4-for-4 and putting himself on the fringes of the top 10 rounds. Hernandez has a short, compact swing with a little bit of pop. Defensively, he has smooth actions, soft hands and a good arm. His body type and defense are similar to Luis Matos, but Hernandez profiles as a better hitter.
7 221 Dallas Keuchel LHP Arkansas Ark. $150,000
Keuchel has been a solid contributor for Arkansas since his freshman season and has stood out in the Cape Cod League, leading the summer circuit in innings pitched in 2007 and earning all-star recognition in 2008. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has picked up a little velocity on his fastball in the last year, now working in the high 80s and touching 91, but he remains a finesse pitcher. He gets good sink on his fastball and locates it well, enabling him to set up a changeup that grades as his best offering. His curveball is fringy, though that's less of an issue for a southpaw who will face righty-dominated lineups. He doesn't have as much stuff and size as former Razorbacks lefty Nick Schmidt, a Padres first-round pick in 2007, but Keuchel has the same competitive edge and workhorse mentality. His pitchability and determination could make him a No. 4 starter in the big leagues, and he could get drafted as early as the fourth or fifth round.
8 251 Brandt Walker RHP Stanford Calif. $150,000
Walker is all promise and potential, for 6-foot-3, 180-pound righthander has a thin resume. Drafted out of high school in the 21st round by the Rangers in 2006, Walker went 0-1, 7.11 this spring and never won a game in three seasons at Stanford. Scouts attending the Cardinal's fall practice saw Walker touch 95-96 mph with his fastball, the type of velocity that drew draft attention despite his lack of on-field results.
9 281 Ben Orloff SS UC Irvine Calif. $25,000
Orloff, a 19th-rounder a year ago, is a skilled California shortstop who handles the bat well, though his range may be short for pro ball.
10 311 Erik Castro 3B San Diego State Calif. $105,000
In the summer of 2005, Castro starred at an Area Code preliminary event at LMU. He flashed a powerful throwing arm from right field, and blasted several wood bat shots out of the yard in BP to both left and right field. Castro's below average speed (around 7.3) made it difficult, however, to find an appropriate defensive spot for him. After a freshman year at the University of Arizona, Castro transferred to San Diego State and found a comfortable home behind the plate. Scouts have rediscovered him this year as Stephen Strasburg's catcher. In that role, there is no doubt that Castro's glove is well broken in. Scouts have been impressed with Castro's ability to "stay with" Strasburg's phenomenal stuff. Certainly, Castro does not figure to catch anyone in pro ball whose pitches are quite as lively. In addition, Castro has improved his footwork and release, and combined with his strong arm he is able to consistently fire the ball down to second in the 1.95 to 2.00 range. Maintaining his ability to utilize the opposite field, Castro has been SD State's top hitter this year, a rarity for a backstop. Lefthanded hitting catchers with quality hit, catch and throw abilities are rare in any draft, and Castro has found his niche.
11 341 Bubby Williams C Crowder (Mo.) JC Mo.
12 371 Geoff Thomas RHP Stephenson HS, Stone Mountain, Ga. Ga.
The state's emerging sleeper prep pitcher was Geoff Thomas, who had a good spring to follow up a successful showcase circuit. He's lean and athletic at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and has signed with Southern Mississippi, though scouts considered him signable. He's loose-armed with an average fastball that has reached 93 mph. He's raw in terms of repeating his delivery, spinning his breaking ball and commanding his stuff but had a chance to go out in the first 10 rounds.
13 401 Jake Goebbert OF Northwestern Ill. $100,000
Outfielder Jake Goebbert's junior season ended April 12, when he slammed into an outfield wall and lacerated his kidney. He's a 6-foot, 205-pounder with a good approach, a quality lefthanded bat and gap power. He has some arm strength but his lack of speed will limit him to left field or first base, and he may not have enough home run pop to project as a regular at those spots. He'll be able to play for Harwich in the Cape Cod League, allowing teams to track him as a summer follow.
14 431 David Berner LHP San Jose State Calif.
15 461 Ryan Humphrey OF St. Louis JC-Meramec Mo.
16 491 Ronald Sanchez 1B Manuela Toro Morice HS, Caguas, P.R. P.R. $105,000
Ronald Sanchez is the third-best catcher on the island. He's not a big kid, but has a big swing from the left side of the plate and is more offensive-minded than the other catchers. He has improved defensively and could be a single-digit pick.
17 521 Justin Harper RHP Oklahoma City Okla.
18 551 J.B. MacDonald RHP Boston College Mass.
Boston College righthander J.B. MacDonald is another senior who could be drafted in the top 15 rounds. MacDonald's best assets are his competitiveness, savvy and command of his 86-90 mph fastball. He does a good job mixing in a decent mid-70s downer curveball and a changeup, and he dabbles with a slider as well.
19 581 Brian Kemp OF St. John's N.Y.
Morris' St. John's teammate, Brian Kemp, ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the New England Collegiate league in 2007, but his stock has tumbled this spring as his legs have slowed down. Once regarded as a 70 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale, Kemp has slowed to a 40 runner this spring as he added bulk to his 5-foot-11 frame. He still stole 16 bases in 21 attempts and hit .379/.470/.507, but it seems likely he'll be back at St. John's for his senior year in 2010.
20 611 J.D. Martinez OF Nova Southeastern (Fla.) Fla.
21 641 Barry Butera 2B Boston College Mass.
BC outfielder Barry Butera will be a quality senior sign in 2010, though clubs are unlikely to make a serious run at him this year. Butera is athletic and versatile, and he could carve out a niche as a utility player in professional ball. He is capable of filling in at any outfield position or in the middle infield, and he plays the game with energy and intensity. Butera has some strength in his lefthanded swing and is not afraid to work the count. He's a good bunter who runs fairly well.
22 671 Mark Jones RHP Manheim Township (Pa.) HS Pa.
23 701 Robby Donovan RHP Stetson Fla.
Stetson righty Robby Donovan has a better body than either of them and has run his fastball up to 94 mph at times. The 6-foot-5 righty sits in the same average range, though, at 88-91, and spots his fringy changeup and curve. He hasn't had the quality results of Andrew and Burgos due to his lack of movement on his fastball and inconsistent command. His best performance came in front of scouts in fall ball, when he touched 94 despite a hamstring pull.
24 731 Mike Modica LHP George Mason Va.
The Patriots were really carried by pitching and defense, however, and a couple of those arms could get drafted. Lefthander Mike Modica was a workhorse and finished the regular season 11-1, 4.17, and he draws pro interest as a lefty who can spin and command a curveball. He needs to cut down his walks.
25 761 Nick Stanley 1B Florida Southern Fla.
26 791 Matt Pare 1B Pompano Beach (Fla.) HS Fla.
27 821 Aaron Bray 3B Charlotte N.C.
28 851 Eric Anderson RHP Mountain Vista HS, Highlands Ranch, Colo. Colo.
29 881 Garen Wright OF Putnam City HS, Oklahoma City Okla. $100,000
30 911 Brandon Petite RHP Vauxhall Academy, Edmonton Alberta
Righthander Brandon Petite has good size and a fastball that sits around 88-90 mph. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder complements it with a good slider and should be a late-round selection.
31 941 Travis Smink LHP Virginia Military Institute Va.
32 971 Greg Peavey RHP Oregon State Ore.
Oregon State righthander Greg Peavey has been even more inconsistent. Ranked as the top prep arm in the Northwest in 2007, signability and a down senior high school season dropped him to the 24th round (Yankees). Now a draft-eligible sophomore, his numbers haven't matched his reputation. He spent his freshman year mostly pitching out of the bullpen, going 2-3, 4.96. He has been exclusively a starter this year, but the results have been about the same: 3-3, 5.30 with 37 strikeouts and 27 walks over 56 innings. Peavey's fastball was 92-94 mph in high school, with a lot of effort, a big head whack and crossed legs. He has cleaned up his mechanics, though his fastball now sits 89-91. So some scouts think he's be best off in the bullpen, where he could go all-out for an inning or two at a time. Because Peavey could significantly improve his stock with a good junior season, it's easy to see him returning to Corvallis.
33 1001 Brenden Stines RHP Ball State Ind.
34 1031 Scott Migl RHP Texas A&M Texas
35 1061 Grant Hogue OF Mississippi State Miss.
36 1091 Tyler Saladino SS Palomar (Calif.) JC Calif.
37 1121 Raul Rivera RHP Colegio San Vicente de Paul HS, Santurce, P.R. P.R.
Righthander Raul Rivera is the younger brother of Saul, a righthander with the Nationals. Raul spent the winter working with his brother to add a sinker to his repertoire. His fastball sits between 88-91 mph, and the new sinker is 83-84. His command and slow curveball are both inconsistent. Rivera, a Bethune-Cookman recruit, is more physical than his brother, coming in at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds. He's aggressive on the mound, never hesitating to pitch inside.
38 1151 Sean Barksdale OF Temple Pa.
39 1181 Rory Young RHP Mountain SS, Langley, B.C British Columbia
40 1211 Dan Sarisky RHP Oglethorpe (Ga.) Ga.
41 1241 Carlos Escobar C Chatsworth (Calif.) HS Calif.
42 1271 Ivory Thomas OF Downey (Calif.) HS Calif.
Ivory Thomas, is a bit undersized for pro ball at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds. He's a plus runner (6.77 seconds in the 60) and has a decent arm. He also offers provocative raw power and drew notice for getting five hits and scoring the winning run in a 20-inning game in 2008, the longest game in CIF Southern Section playoff history. His strength and energy could make him the top draft pick among this trio.
43 1301 Anthony Tzamtzis RHP La Salle HS, Miami Fla.
44 1331 Mike Schurz RHP Iowa Iowa
Righthander Mike Schurz has bounced back after missing all of 2008 recuperating from Tommy John surgery. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder has a 90-93 mph fastball and a low-80s slider, though he'll have to improve his command. He spent his first two college seasons at Radford.
45 1361 Adrian Morales 2B Miami Dade JC Fla.
46 1391 Justin Gonzalez SS Columbus HS, Miami Fla.
47 1421 Matt Branham RHP South Carolina-Upstate S.C.
48 1451 Paco Rodriguez LHP Gulliver Prep, Miami Fla.
49 1481 Matt Smith 1B Mississippi Miss.
Another eligible sophomore for the Rebels, first baseman Matt Smith, attracts more attention as one of the better hitters available from the SEC this year. Smith looks the part at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, and hit 14 homers as a redshirt freshman, a school record for the class. He also struck out 80 times as a freshman in 227 at-bats, and he had adjusted as a sophomore. A solid runner and good athlete for his position, Smith had improved his batting average by 65 points, cut his strikeouts nearly in half and increased his on-base and slugging percentages--though he had hit just six home runs entering regional play. As a sophomore Smith has leverage, and teams may not be willing to pay for a righthanded-hitting first baseman with just six homers.
50 1511 Spencer Hylander LHP Oklahoma Baptist Okla.