With the first pick of the 3rd Round (96th overall), the Astros select 6'2" 198lb RHP Brady Rodgers, a junior out of Arizona State. He is a graduate of Lamar Consolidated HS, and was the Fort Bend Herald's Pitcher of the Year three times, throwing a no-hitter and perfect game.
While he's not a soft-tosser -- his Major League average fastball will sit in the 90-91 mph range and he can reach back for a little more and maintain his velocity deep into starts -- Rodgers is more about the art of pitching than anything else. He has three secondary pitches that should (be) at least average....His ceiling might be the middle of a big league rotation, but it shouldn't take him too long to reach that goal.
In his career at Arizona State, Rodgers has 193K:26BB in 219IP and recently earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors, after getting an honorable mention nod in 2010 and 2011. In three seasons at ASU, Rodgers walked a total of 36 batters.
Rodgers is a finalist for Baseball America's Golden Spikes award. Rodgers:
"My repertoire is I have four pitches, and I've always worked on them, even in bullpens. I try to perfect every single pitch, so I can put it in any spot in any count. That's something I've worked hard at, and something I'm still trying to perfect. I have those days I'm wild, and one walk isn't good enough for me -- I have to have zero walks. I'm still working on my control."
Rodgers' 2.33 career ERA at Arizona State is the lowest in the aluminum bat era (since 1974) since Floyd Bannister (former Astros 1-1 pick in 1976) posted a 1.88 ERA.
ASU coach Tim Esmay compared Rodgers to Mike Leake, and said:
"It's not easy to be a Friday starter two years in a row in this conference. Guys think they have Brady figured out, and they're still having a hard time. There's some mettle to him. It's more of his makeup and who he is, and that's really progressed to somebody who is off the charts."
In 2012, Rodgers was 10-3, and posted a 2.27 ERA, with 94H/29ER, 79K:16BB, in 115IP (a team-high), and started the season with 23 scoreless innings.
Clark Goble notes that Rodgers is an Astros fan whose favorite player is Greg Maddux, and played in the 2003 Little League World Series.
Extremely advanced instincts makes him attractive despite mediocre velocity.
Zachary Levine has an update:
I was a little shocked to hear the Astros drafted me – my favorite team. It brought tears to my eyes. The family is real pumped not just to see me go to the Astros but to see me start my career. Being drafted by the Astros is just the cherry on top."