The Astros may have gotten a steal with high school right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. falling to them with the No. 41 pick in the draft.
Signability issues were a big reason reason McCullers, who was rated as the No. 13 prospect by MLB.com, fell so far. He has a power arm, with an attitude to match it. Some believe he could end up as a quality closer if he doesn't stick in a rotation. Here's what MLB.com had to say about McCullers.
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.
The Crawfish Boxes profiled McCullers here. David Coleman of The Crawfish Boxes was ecstatic about the pick, and hopes that some money saved by picking Carlos Correa at No. 1 could be used to sign McCullers, who has committed to Florida.
What's sort of genius is that, if Correa did indeed agree to a below-slot deal, the Astros could use the savings there to take McCullers for over slot (maybe $2-2.5 million) and get him signed easily. That would be a huge coup for this team, adding two elite, young talents to a system that needs that kind of upside.