With the first pick of the 14th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft (406th overall) the Astros select 2B Nick Tanielu from Washington State University.
Tanielu is a 5'11" 205lb righty-hitting junior who was ranked #427 in Baseball America's Top 500 draft prospects, though listed there as a third baseman. This season, he hit .340/.395/.442 with 1 HR and 33 RBI in 206 AB. His family moved from Alabama to Washington to take care of his grandmother, and he became an All-State player as a shortstop in high school.
HS assistant coach Joe Haworth:
"It took us about five minutes to know that this kid is probably going to play for us as a freshman. That doesn’t happen a lot. Without a doubt, Nick is the best hitter I’ve seen since Travis Ishikawa, who just won a World Series with the San Francisco Giants. I’m hoping someday I will be saying the same thing about Nick."
Tanielu was a two-sport star in high school and redshirted his freshman year at Washington State. He has been one of the Cougars’ best hitters since stepping into the lineup, and he led the team in hitting this spring. Tanielu has a good approach and covers the plate well with his compact swing. He drives the ball into the gaps, but he hasn’t shown as much home run pop. Tanielu is a solid defender at third base with an average arm. He earns praise for his competitiveness and makeup. Because Tanielu redshirted, he will have two more years of eligibility if he chooses to return to school.