You know, making pundits looks really less than smart is becoming a really fun game to watch play out. Not that anyone is really trying to make these media pundits look bad, but it is something that has it’s uneasy pleasure. In the 2012 version of the game, the MLB draft held Monday night, June 3,2012 delivered a surprise to get the game off and running right away. The Houston Astros, owners of the overall first pick in the draft, took SS Carlos Correa from Puerto Rico. Immediately the comparisons to A-Rod, Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr, and of course the last five tool short stop in the Astros system, Dickie Thon came rolling in.
But the pundits were dead certain that either Mark Appel, pitcher at Stanford, or Byron Buxton, a very talented high school OF from Georgia were going to be the next Astros pick. The last time the Astros had an overall number 1 pick, they chose Phil Nevin, so things were a bit exciting around the organization. But neither Appel nor Buxton’s name were called out, instead it was Correa. Stretch pick? No, not really… maybe the prototypical “scout” pick if you will. But you would have thought with the reaction around the media types, the Astros just threw away the pick. From here, doesn’t look to be the case.
Later in the night, the Astros pulled another stunner. Young Lance McCullers, he of former major leaguer stock, fell all the way to the supplemental round where the Astros were able to tab him. What is unique about this pick is the noise surrounding the young man, not because of talent, but because of the choice of agent… one Scott “I’m the real Devil Lanse” Boras. McCullers probably scared away a whole slew of good organizations because of the talk of what might be his asking price. The Astros made the pick and hope to sign both Correa and McCullers based on slot money or little above without hurting themselves in the process. If they do, this may be the day everyone looks back on and says “This was the day the organization turned it all around!”
Good job Bobby Heck and new GM Jeff Luhnow!