For the first time since 2009, the Houston Astros first draft selection was not in the top 20. Since 2011, the Astros have only picked inside the top 20 twice (Forrest Whitley, #17 in 2016 and J.B. Bukauskas #15 in 2017). Those top 15 picks were more hit (George Springer, Carlos Correa, Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman, Whitley) than miss (Brady Aiken, Mark Appel). Some picks found moderate success elsewhere (Delino DeShields, Mike Foltynewicz) while some have disappeared (Mike Kvasnicka, Jiovanni Mier). Now that the 2018 MLB Draft is in the books, it’s time to take a look at the latest iteration of the Baby ‘Stros. (signings current as of publication date; signing deadline is July 6)
1.28 Seth Beer, OF – Clemson University
Age: 21 (DOB: 11/18/1996)
Beer was drafted for his hit tool. He will be limited to 1B or DH as a professional because of his poor running ability. Won Dick Howser trophy as best college player as a freshman in 2016. Hits for power (56 HR and .648 SLG) and has a good eye (.489 OBP with 180 walks against 98 strikeouts). There are questions about his ability to translate ability to wood bats, but the potential is there. Beer has started his professional career with the Tri-City ValleyCats in the short season NY-Penn League with a triple slash of .273/.429/.500.
Welcome to the squad, Seth Beer! 🤘
— Houston Astros (@astros) June 13, 2018
2.66 Jayson Schroeder, RHP – Juanita HS (WA)
Age: 18 (DOB: 11/14/1999)
Schroeder rated as the best prep prospect in Washington. Currently boasts a plus fastball curve. Schroeder is working on developing a slider, and the development of the slider will help determine if he is a starter or ends up in the bullpen. In 60.1 innings Schroeder struck out 110 and walked only 19. Also, only allowed 13 earned runs.
Our Star Times player of the year, Juanita’s Jayson Schroeder, is drafted by the Astros with the 67th pick of the MLB draft https://t.co/B8oQWlpeye
— Seattle Times Sports (@SeaTimesSports) June 5, 2018
3.102 Jeremy Pena, SS – University of Maine-Orono
Age: 20 (DOB: 11/22/1997)
Pena has good genes as he his the son of former big leaguer Geronimo Pena. Has the ability to stick at SS as a professional. Has a plus arm, above-average speed, and sneaky power. Needs to cut down on strikeouts (16.76 K%) and improve plate discipline (7.49 BB%) in order to truly climb the ladder, but true shortstops are generally worth the wait and Pena is no exception. Joined Beer in Tri-City and has gone for .250/.357/.292 in only 24 at-bats.
#Astros 3rd-round pick Jeremy Pena, shortstop from University of Maine-Orono (@MaineBaseball), arrived in Houston to take his physical and sign his contract: “It’s an honor…Just to get drafted in general is a dream come true. That’s what I’ve been working for my whole life.” pic.twitter.com/ZAe9hG1Jfo
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 11, 2018
4.132 Alex McKenna, OF – Cal Poly-SLO
Age: 20 (DOB: 9/6/1997)
McKenna played centerfield in college, but profiles more as a corner outfielder in the professional ranks. Doesn’t have a lot of traditional power (16 HR in 659 AB) but does have good speed (9 3B). Was the Big West player of the year in 2018. His ceiling has drawn several comps to Mitch Haniger with the floor of a 4th outfielder with speed and occasional pop.
Officially part of the Houston Astros organization. Can’t wait to get to work! pic.twitter.com/ihAZxxTX2H
— Alex McKenna (@Alexjmckenna) June 22, 2018
5.162 Cody Deason, RHP – Arizona
Age: 21 (DOB: 12/26/1996)
Deason was forced to re-think his allegiances after being drafted by the defending champs. A lifelong Dodgers fan, Deason quickly stated the he is now an Astros supporter. While spending most of his time at Arizona as a starter, he is viewed more as a reliever in pro ball. Offerings include a low 90s fastball and ridiculous 12-6 curve. Deason could move quickly.
— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) June 5, 2018
Overall, the Houston draft class is that of a typical Jeff Luhnow haul. Very analytical driven with a good mix of position players and pitchers as well as college and prep athletes. They say it usuall takes 3-5 years to truly assess a draft class, and that doesn’t seem any different with the Astros in 2018.
In a fun bit of news, the Astros also drafted the younger brothers of Carlos Correa (J.C. Correa, Alvin (TX) CC) and Alex Bregman (A.J. Bregman, Albuquerque (NM) Academy). While it isn’t expected that either player will join their sibling in the Houston organization (J.C has committed to Lamar University while A.J. has stated he will honor his commitment to New Mexico), the thrill of being able to call, or in the Bregman’s case, punk, your brother with potential life changing news is a memory that will last a lifetime.
Alex Bregman just told his brother AJ that the #Astros drafted him in the 35th round
“Check Twitter bro” pic.twitter.com/TuPTeiPmvD
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) June 6, 2018
Featured image of Seth Beer – via MiLB.com (photo credit Carl Ackerman/Clemson University)