JJO, whose knowledge knows no bounds:
It will take several years before the Astros can judge this year's draft, but the Astros were one of the most efficient teams in terms of signing and getting their picks on the field for the second year in a row.
In the past week, general manager Ed Wade has watched several of the club's top picks in this year's draft, including Mier and third-round compensation pick Jonathan Meyer, a third baseman, at Greeneville, and seventh-rounder Dallas Keuchel, a lefthander, at Tri-City.
Wade, on Mier:
“Very athletic, very instinctive. I only saw two games, certainly a short look, but everything I saw in two days confirmed everything on all the info and feedback I've gotten. He exhibits leadership, has fun and he also takes it seriously. There's no question he was a solid first-round pick.
Wade, on Keuchel, and Jonathan Meyer (thought I'd help him out with his name):
“I've liked what I've seen. I saw Dallas Keuchel pitch the other night at Tri-City, and he threw the ball pretty well. The other Meyer kid, the third baseman at Greeneville, he's certainly very aggressive.”
On the signing process:
“It's just not about avoiding the worry (of Monday's deadline). It's the fact that Bobby has made sure the scouts got out there quickly to the players' homes after the draft and gotten them signed. It's given the players a months', plural, head start with pro ball.”
And Wade isn't exaggerating about the quality of guys from the 08 class:
“The consensus of our opinion is we're not overstating the upside of the pitching at Lexington. And we're not overstating the upside of the kids in Lancaster — Gaston, Shuck and Steele. We've got a good feeling about those guys. Certainly Castro at this point is the most visible guy out of the '08 draft. We couldn't be more pleased. But we have other kids in line that given the time they will be what our scouting people thought they would be when they were picked in the draft.”