The Astros select Delino DeShields, Jr - 2B/OF from Woodward Academy in Georgia.
At 5-9 and 188 pounds, DeShields' best trait is his speed, as he was one of the fastest players in the draft. He is committed to LSU, but the Astros have until August 16 to sign him and likely send him to rookie-level Greenville or the Gulf Coast League.
Back in April, New Orleans.com said that DeShields would go to LSU to play baseball if he didn't like the signing bonus (which should be in the $2-$2.5m range).
Immediate reaction comes in from Jason Churchill:
Personally, I don't like the selection, despite his 80 speed and potential to be a plus glove in center. Keith may feel differently, but the upside is limited here. I would have gone Whitson, Zack Cox, Michael Choice or Grandal here. Houston has C Jason Castro in their system, but since Grandal is better, I ignore the depth and take the better player.
And Keith Law:
I like DeShields, but I don't know if I would have taken him here. I believe in his hitting, though.
DeShields is a speedster and an outstanding athlete who is virtually certain to sign. With one of the weakest farm systems in the league, the Astros will look to the Draft for an infusion of talent, and DeShields is a solid start. DeShields was also on the Blue Jays' and Rays' radars.
While roaming center field for Woodward this spring, DeShields showcased his speed and arm strength. He was leadoff hitter for the College Park private school, leading the team in homers (9), RBIs (40) and stolen bases (29) while posting a .415 batting average...
...Last summer, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound DeShields held college football offers from nearly a dozen schools, including Georgia Tech, Stanford, Ole Miss and Central Florida. Some schools liked him at tailback, while others recruited him at cornerback or wide receiver.
Before he reached a decision, some of the offers were pulled. “Football coaches told me that they were hearing good things about me from baseball people‚ and they were scared of losing me to baseball,” DeShields said.
Woodward Academy Assistant Coach Chris Reed:
“He is such a great athlete. He can make things happen at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. He has the one intangible you can’t coach — speed.”