Two days before the Houston Astros kick off the June MLB draft, their general manager said the team is still deciding who’s set to go first overall.
GM Jeff Luhnow, scouting director Bobby Heck and the team’s scouts have been meeting for the past week to make just such a decision and will likely take their time announcing who will be the No. 1 pick on Monday.
“The Major League Draft is an important event for all organizations,” Luhnow said. “Obviously, we’re making a significant investment in the future. We’re going to decide (on the pick) in due time and we’re going to announce during the draft itself. We will not be making an announcement prior to that. I think it’ll be commissioner Selig who makes that announcement on Monday, so you’ll be watching along with everyone else.”
Draft experts have said this draft class isn’t as good as past seasons, nor has there been one player who has stood out from the rest like Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper did. However, that doesn’t change Houston’s goal, which is to find the most production possible from the position.
“We think about return from the draft in terms of major league value,” Luhnow said. “The first pick will get a lot of attention, because it’s the selection with the heaviest investment in it and it will be the selection with the highest return. But, it’s about all 40 rounds for us. We want to be as diligent as we can and be as productive as we can with all those picks. We’ll balance the risk with the potential reward therein.”
There are maybe five players who have been touted at the top of this draft, but the two that Houston has been linked to most frequently are Stanford right-hander Mark Appel and Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton.