Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why I'm not worried about the draft

Maybe the Astros take Jonathan Gray. Maybe the Astros take Mark Appel. Maybe they take Colin Moran. Or maybe they take the Phillie Phanatic, sign him for $10, and have a Quadrillion dollars for their remaining picks. I don't care.

I think my position is clear that I don't do scouting. While I have watched A LOT of baseball games, I don't have the track record of looking for the things that scouts look for. I don't have the experience. And rather than make a whole bunch of observations, running the risk of looking like a ninny-muggins, I'll stick to snark. And junk pics.

But here's why I'm not worried: Figuratively, one year ago tomorrow we were wondering if the Astros were going to go with Mark Appel or Byron Buxton. They went with Carlos Correa, and I was stunned. And I've tried very hard not to be jealous over the Prospectgasm that is happening over Byron Buxton.

Carlos Correa is a Midwest League All-Star. He's one of the youngest players in full-season baseball. He's the shortstop of the future. Carlos Correa is the guy that's telling us not to get too comfortable with Marwin Gonzalez at short. He may be a couple of years away (I fully expect him to be in Lancaster, maybe Corpus, by the end of the year), but here's the thing: Signing Carlos Correa - who apparently projects to be a great shortstop - allowed the Astros to sign Lance McCullers, who is also an All-Star. The Twins got Byron Buxton at #2 for $1.1m less than the Astros paid for Correa and McCullers. That's some gaming, right there. Correa allowed the Astros to sign Rio Ruiz, which has resulted in a decent argument that the Astros were able to get three first-round picks.

The Astros are gonna Astro. And while, at the Big League level occasionally this will mean that we see the infield act like they're in a living history version of Keystone Cops, the Astros are looking for the best top-to-bottom draft available. Personally, I'd rather have two of the top 40 than one.