With the Astros still owning baseball's worst record, it looks as if they could be picking number one overall next June in the 2012 draft. Even though this season has been disastrous and forgettable, let's try to find comfort in knowing that our Astros have plenty of talent to choose from at the top of this draft class.
I wanted to highlight five guys that the Astros could be targeting with the potential first pick and provide some optimism to our fan base in these dire times.
1. Lance McCullers, RHP, Tampa Jesuit HS (FL)
This power right-hander has been throwing a fastball in the high 90's since his freshman year in high school, and he has been known to touch 97-98 on the radar gun from time to time. McCullers also can throw a hammer curve ball down in the zone that has scouts across the country salivating. He comes from a baseball family with his father spending seven seasons in the majors, and he has the potential to be a fantastic pitcher.
2. Kenny Diekroeger, SS, Stanford
Diekroeger is a big college shortstop who is just a pure athlete with loads of talent. He had a subpar sophomore campaign batting .292 with only two homers, and some scouts have recommended a move to the outfield for him. With the Astros drafting middle infield talent in two of the past three drafts, I hope the Astros pass on Diekroeger.
3. Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford|
Appel is considered to be the top college arm in next year's draft, and his fastball sits in the 92-95 range. However, he has been able to throw 98 at times, and he also relies on a nasty slider. Appel has a broad repertoire of pitches, and he could certainly be the type of pitcher that the Astros' front office would love.
4. Nick Williams, OF, Ball HS (TX)
This local product has exploded onto the national scene in the last year with his raw athleticism and power. He bats from the left side, and he has even drawn some comparisons to Ken Griffey Jr. with his build and powerful swing.
5. Victor Roache, OF, Georgia Southern
Roache is a wild card that could sneak into the top five with his unbelievable sophomore season in which he hit 30 home runs in only 60 games. He is certainly the best power hitter in college baseball right now, and he tore the cover off the ball even with the new college bats.