The Houston Astros needed to hit a home run in the 2012 MLB Draft. In fact, the farm system and major league roster is so depleted that they will need the same for the next few drafts. But if the future success of the team is predicated on the slow steps they take now, they can feel good about the early evaluations of Jeff Luhnow’s first class as the Astros General Manager.
ESPN’s Keith Law recently released his quick evaluations of the top players taken for each team. Law wastes no words before stating how much he appreciates the job Luhnow did:
I love this draft. They’ll likely sign first overall pick Carlos Correa (1) for well less than the $7.2 million assigned value — I’m expecting something around $4.5 million — and spread the money to high-upside prep pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (1A) and sweet-swinging third baseman Rio Ruiz (4). Shortstop Nolan Fontana (2) stays at the position with great instincts, an average but accurate arm and a great eye at the plate.
Brady Rodgers (3) has plus command, and will work with three and possibly four pitches, although his fastball will likely sit at fringe-average. Brett Phillips (6) can run, throw and play the outfield, and has played linebacker in his spare time. With a solid swing, he seems like an outstanding value in that spot. Preston Tucker (7) is a good senior sign with some pull power but probably not enough offense overall to profile as more than a bench guy.
The Astros need an infusion of talent at every position and at nearly every level. A start like this is a good thing for Astros fans to breathe easy knowing that the future is much brighter now than it was three days ago.
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