Astros sign 22 picks, including second-rounder Bushue

The Astros wasted little time signing a handful of players from last week’s First-Year Player Draft, announcing Monday they had inked 22 selections. Houston signed 22 of the 51 players it selected in the draft, including second-round pick Tanner Bushue, a right-handed pitcher from Illinois, and Georgia high school outfielder Telvin Nash, a third-round pick.

Bobby Heck, Houston’s assistant general manager in charge of scouting, said all players were signed within recommended slot and said the struggles of the economy have been evident.

“There’s a little more value of a dollar this year than there’s been in past year,” he said. “Talking with the players and their families, it seems like everyone, whether it’s immediate family, extended family or friends or neighbors, has somebody affected by the economy. That puts things in perspective. It hasn’t been long and drawn out stuff.”

The signed players are either heading to Houston for physicals or heading out to begin their pro careers at Tri-City, a short-season Class A club. Heck and scout Doug Deutsch are still negotiating with first-round pick Jiovanni Mier, a high school shortstop from southern California.

“It’s been very positive,” Heck said. “Doug Deutsch has had multiple meetings with the family since his selection, and we’ve been given all indicators it’s going to happen sooner than later.”

Some of the high school players taken by the Astros later in the draft might not be signed until closer to the Aug. 17 deadline. Houston will spend the summer evaluating some of the players, while hoping some asking prices come down.

“There’s some guys in there that slid (down in the draft) because of signability, and we took them later to see if there’s a chance for them to come off that number,” Heck said.

Here are the rest of the players signed, listed with round, name, position, school, height, weight and hometown:

4th Brailon Hyatt RHP U. of S. Carolina (Sumter) 6-4 205 Taylors, SC
5th Brandon Wikoff SS U. of Illinois (Champaign) 5-8 170 Peoria, IL
9th Ben Orloff SS U. C. Irvine 5-11 175 Simi Valley, CA
11th David Williams C Crowder College 6-0 190 Blue Springs, MO
15th Ryan Humphrey OF St. Louis C.C. Meramec 6-0 190 Blytheville, AR
16th Ronald Sanchez 1B Manuela Toro HS 5-10 180 Caguas, PR
17th Justin Harper RHP Oklahoma City U. 6-3 225 Pheoniz, AZ
18th James MacDonald RHP Boston College 6-2 190 Danvers, MA
19th Brian Kemp OF St. Johns U. 5-10 180 E. Rockaway, NY
20th Julio Martinez OF Nova Southeastern U. 6-3 210 Hollywood, FL
21st Barry Butera 2B Boston College 6-0 180 Madisonville, LA
22nd Mark Jones RHP Manheim HS 6-7 205 Lancaster, PA
23rd Robert Donovan RHP Stetson U. 6-5 215 Royal Palm Beach, FL
24th Mike Modica LHP George Mason U. 6-1 185 Sewell, NJ
25th Nicholas Stanley 1B Florida Southern 6-2 195 Largo, FL
27th Aaron Bay 3B U.N.C. Charlotte 6-0 180 Charlotte, NC
31st Travis Smink LHP Virginia Military Inst. 6-2 200 Dalmatia, PA
33rd Brenden Stines RHP Ball State U. 6-2 190 Granger, IN
34th Scott Migi RHP Texas A&M 6-3 190 Houston, TX
35th Jackson Hogue OF Mississipi State U. 6-0 190 Hattiesburg, MI


Thanks, Tags, for reporting. I hope that you will continue to follow the draft of 2009. I am very interested on how these guys work out.

Are they all headed to Tri-City, or will some head to Greeneville or maybe even Lexington or Lancaster? I’d really like to see guys like Wikoff or Orloff be challenged with at least A ball.

Are they all headed to Tri-City, or will some head to Greeneville or maybe even Lexington or Lancaster? I’d really like to see guys like Wikoff or Orloff be challenged with at least A ball.

I notice that most of these signees are former college players. It is the high school player who has more options, and should be more difficult to sign. It will be interesting to see how many of those players are in Astro gear come August. Still, thanks for the preliminary update…

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