Results tagged ‘ Draft ’

Astros sign a bunch of draft picks

The Astros signed 14 of their 2014 draft selections today, and they have been assigned to Greeneville and the Gulf Coast League. The players assigned to Greeneville are RHP Dean Deetz (11th round), IF Connor Goedert (15th round), OF Ramon Laureano (16th round), IF Antonio Nunez (18th round), C Trent Woodward (20th round), IF Bryan Muniz (22nd round), OF Sean McMullen (30th round), RHP Joshua James (34th round) and RHP Eric Peterson (37th round). The players assigned to the GCL are C Ruben Castro (19th round), C Richard Gonzalez (29th round), IF Dexture McCall (31st round), OF Edwin Medina (33rd round) and RHP Justin Ferrell (36th round).

The Astros have signed 28 of their 41 selections from the 2014 MLB Draft.

Astros, Nix come to agreement

Astros’ fifth-round draft pick Jacob Nix, who was considered to be a tough signing based on his commitment to UCLA, told MLB.com on Tuesday he had agreed to a deal to join the Astros. He said he’ll be in Houston next week to sign his contract, take a physical and have a press conference.

MLB.com’s Jim Callis reported Nix agreed to a $1.5 million signing bonus, which is well above the assigned slot value of $370,500 for the 136th pick.

“It’s a dream come true,” he told MLB.com. “It’s pretty crazy we were able to come to an agreement in the fifth round.”

Nix is a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher from Los Alamitos High School in California. He pitched on Team USA’s under-18 team gold medal winning team in 2013. Also on the team was Houston’s Brady Aiken, whom the Astros selected with the No 1. overall pick, and the two are friends.

“After not being drafted on the first day, I was expecting to go to school and we ended up sorting out a better deal in the fifth round,” Nix said. “I had my dollar figure and if I got my dollar figure I’d turn pro and if it were a dollar less I was going to college. It was a fairly easy decision.”

Nix said he will report to Kissimmee, Fla., next week to begin his pro career.

Astros hoping to sign Nix, Marshall

Astros scouting director Mike Elias was back at work Sunday in Houston trying to sign some of the 41 players the club drafted over three days. Two of his most challenging players to sign will be pitchers Jacob Nix (fifth round) and Mac Marshall (21st), both of whom are firmly committed to college.

Nix, a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher from Los Alamitos High School in California, has committed to attend UCLA. Marshall is a 6-foot-2 right-hander from suburban Atlanta that has committed to LSU. Both would have been drafted higher had they not been so firm in their college commits.

Still, Elias believes the Astros have a shot to sign both. They were two of only four high school players the Astros took from among their 41 picks.

“Mac Marshall has a very strong commitment to LSU,” he said. “It was somebody that we saw on the board that late and drafted him on the off chance that we would be able to sign him. We’re certainly going to make an attempt to do everything within our power and within our financial capabilities. I don’t think it’s going to be a real easy sign for us.”

Nix is a good friend of No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken, who the Astros hope will sway Nix away from UCLA.

“The kid is really tantalizing high school right-hander,” Elias said. “He’s huge. Our scouts compare him physically to Mark Prior. He’s got a really good arm and we see a lot of potential in him, especially with our pitching coach and the way they like to teach. We feel he would be a good fit for our system.

“We knew going into the Draft he was going to be an expensive sign. Being we took him in the fifth round, we wouldn’t have taken him that early if we weren’t confident in the fact we were going to sign him. I am optimistic about that one.”

Luhnow gives Draft update

With about two hours to go before they made their first pick in the First-Year Player Draft, general manager Jeff Luhnow on Thursday provided a brief update for the media.

“It’s a lot easier for me than it is for [scouting director] Mike [Elias] and the gang upstairs,” Luhnow said. “They’re still working through a lot of details. We’re touching base with a lot of players and their advisors and families and trying to get a sense for well beyond tonight, really, where everybody is. We’re getting medical updates on all our players, and we’ll still talking through our board. The work will continue up until 6:07 when we make our pick.”

Luhnow wouldn’t say if they’ve narrowed the list down from the six they were at a few days ago.

“We working on it,” he said. “As you get closer, you start to focus on fewer and fewer players, and we’ll have it down to one in a couple of hours.”

Click here for more information on the players the Astros are considering with the first pick.

 

 

Astros reach deal with third-round pick Emanuel

The Astros have reached an agreement with third-round pick Kent Emanuel, a left-handed pitcher from North Carolina, for $747,700, a source confirmed for MLB.com. The deal is pending a physical.

Emanuel’s signing will mean the Astros have inked all of their Top 10 picks less than a month following the First-Year Player Draft. Emanuel went 11-5 with a 3.14 ERA and five complete games en route to being named ACC Pitcher of the Year and helping the Tar Heels to the College World Series.

Emanuel, who’s in Houston for a physical, said he will get on a throwing program in Florida later this week before reporting to Tri-City.

“I’m extremely excited,” he said. “It’s pretty cool knowing I get to turn baseball into a career. It’s pretty special.”

Plenty was written about Emanuel’s workload and pitch count in the NCAA regionals and College World Series, but he says he feels fine.

“My arm feels great,” he said. “Believe it or not, I just got done getting an MRI and the doctor said my shoulder and elbow look as good as any he’s seen in this Drat class. I’m good to go.”

Emanuel’s fastball tops out around 91 mph, his breaking stuff is fringy and he has a solid changeup. The lefty said that’s his main area of focus for improvement, whether he signs or not.

Yet what he lacks in pure stuff, Emanuel makes up for with pitchability. He has excellent command and knows how to mix his pitches extremely well.

Originally drafted out of high school in the 19th round by the Pirates in 2010, the Woodstock, Ga., native instead honored his commitment to UNC, where he’s had a stellar college career. He went 9-1 with a team-best 2.33 ERA as a freshman in 2011 and followed that season up by posting an 8-4 record and a 1.96 ERA in ’12.

A lack of a true out pitch seems to be Emanuel’s key limitation, but at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, he’s big and strong and understands his craft, giving the Astros hope he’ll be a workhorse at the back end of their big league rotation in the future.

Astros sign 9th-round pick Holberton

The Astros have signed ninth-round pick Brian Holberton, a catcher from the University of North Carolina.

Holberton’s mother, Tobie, told MLB.com on Friday her son signed with Houston on Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C. He will take a physical in the next few days before reporting to rookie-league Tri-City next week.

The signing of Holberton means the Astros have only one unsigned top 10 pick — third-round pick Kent Emanuel, a left-handed pitcher who was a teammate of Holberton at North Carolina.

Holberton hit .308 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs while helping the Tar Heels to the College World Series this year.

Boras in town to wrap up Appel negotiations

Scott Boras, who represents No. 1 overall Draft pick Mark Appel, arrived in Houston on Tuesday afternoon and was scheduled to meet with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow later in the evening in an effort to wrap up negotiations.

The Astros took Appel, a right-handed pitcher and Houston native who didn’t sign with the Pirates after being taken in the first round last year, with hopes they could sign him quickly. Boras told MLB.com no agreement has been reached, but the agent’s presence in Houston is a clear sign a deal is imminent.

“Jeff and I are going to talk about things tonight and we’ll see,” Boras said. “We’re certainly close enough for me to come here and talk, that’s for sure.”

When asked if a deal could be announced as early as Wednesday, Boras said he didn’t want to put a timetable on negotiations.

“Obviously, we’re in a position we think we can work something out,” he said.

The Astros have signed six of their top 10 picks, including second-round pick Andrew Thurman from UC-Irvine, who officially signed on Monday. The assigned slot value for the No. 1 pick is $7.8 million, but several reports late last week indicated Appel could sign for somewhere around $6.5 million.

Regardless, Boras doesn’t see money as a stumbling block.

“I’m here because I think there’s obviously enough fruit on the tree to think you’re going to get something done,” Boras told MLB.com.

Appel’s decision to return to Stanford after being picked No. 8 overall by Pittsburgh last year, bypassing a $3.8 million bonus, has paid off. He was actually better than he was as a junior at Stanford, finishing 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA, a .203 batting average against, 130 strikeouts and just 23 walks in 106 1/3 innings this year.

And being drafted by the Astros, the team he cheered for as a kid, has been a dream come true, Boras said.

“I don’t think there’s any question from the start that if Houston was an option, he wanted to pursue it, being able to have his family near and being raised an Astros fan,” Boras said. “Mark Appel got to go to a great college and his work ethic and perseverance and confidence in himself says a lot about the character that he takes the path he takes.

“Whenever you’re able to get better and go through the process he went through in the last year, it says a lot about why Houston took him and a lot about why he chose Houston.”

Astros have signed 17 Draft picks

The Astros announced Friday the signing of four selections from the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft: first baseman Conrad Gregor (fourth round), catcher Jacob Nottingham (sixth round), outfielder Jon Kemmer (21st round) and outfielder Ronnie Mitchell (38th round). Contract terms were not disclosed. The announcement was made by Astros director of scouting Mike Elias.

The team has yet to announce it, but second-round pick Andrew Thurman told MLB.com earlier Friday he had agreed to terms and would be in Houston on Monday for a physical and to put pen to paper.

Gregor, 21, becomes the Astros highest selection to officially sign since last weekend’s Draft. The first baseman/outfielder out of Vanderbilt hit .308 this season with 48 RBIs and a .440 on-base percentage, while finishing tied for sixth in the country with 54 walks. A Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American, Gregor was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team this summer while Vanderbilt advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. Gregor was signed by Astros area scout Nick Venuto.

“Conrad is an advanced, skilled hitter with a chance to be a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat,” Elias said. “He has a sweet left-handed swing and a very disciplined approach that has worn out opposing pitchers in the SEC and the Cape Cod League.  He has big raw power that we expect will continue to emerge as he develops, and with his speed, he could see time in the outfield as well as first base.”

Nottingham, 18, hit .543 with seven homers and 31 RBIs for Redlands High School in California this season. He was named the 2013 Citrus Belt League MVP, while leading his club to a share of the league title, and also earned 2013 California All-Region Second Team honors. Nottingham was signed by Astros area scout Brad Budzinski.

“Jacob is a very promising young catching prospect,” Elias said. “He was a multi-sport athlete in high school and has shown us big game power along with a plus throwing arm. We are thrilled to get a catcher with his tools and leadership qualities into our system.”

 The Astros have signed 17 of their 40 draft picks this season, including five of their top 10 (not including Thurman). The players agreeing to terms on contracts are listed below.

Rnd (Pick), Player,  School, Ht.-Wt , Assigned to, Date Signed

4 (107), 1B Conrad Gregor, Vanderbilt, 6-2, 220, Tri-City, June 13

5 (137), 2B Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt, 5-7, 165, Tri-City, June 12

6 (167), C Jacob Nottingham, Redlands HS (Calif.), 6-3, 200, GCL Astros, June 13

7 (197), OF James Ramsay, South Florida, 5-11, 180, Tri-City, June 10

8 (227), CF Jason Martin, Orange Lutheran HS (Calif.), 5-10, 175, GCL Astros, June 12

13 (377), RHP Kyle Westwood, North Florida, 6-3, 190, Tri-City, June 10

21 (617), OF Jon Kemme, Brewton-Parker College, 6-2, 215, Tri-City, June 13

22 (647), LHP Sebastian Kessay, Scottsdale CC, 6-2, 200, Greeneville, June 10

23 (677), SS Thomas Lindauer, Illinois, 6-2, 175, Tri-City, June 12

25 (737), LHP Albert Minnis, Wichita State, 6-0, 190, Tri-City, June 12

26 (767), RHP William Chrismon, Christopher Newport U., 6-2, 227, Greeneville, June 12

27 (797), RHP Pat Christensen, La Salle, 6-3, 200, Tri-City, June 12

29 (857), LHP Randall Fant, Arkansas, 6-4, 190, Tri-City, June 12

32 (947), RHP Zach Morton, Northwestern, 6-2, 180, Tri-City, June 12

34 (1007), C Brett Booth, Alabama, 5-10, 205, GCL Astros, June 10

38 (1127), OF Ronnie Mitchel, Dallas Baptist, 5-11, 200, Tri-City, June 13

40 (1187), RHP Tyler Brunnemann, Hardin Simmons, 6-2, 225, Greeneville, June 12

Thurman set to sign with Astros, Appel far behind?

Right-handed pitcher Andrew Thurman, taken by the Astros with the first pick of the second round in last week’s First-Year Player Draft out UC-Irvine, told MLB.com on Friday he had agreed to a contract with the Astros and was set to sign early next week.

Thurman, taken with the No. 40 overall pick, is scheduled to fly to Houston on Sunday and take a physical and sign his contract on Monday. He said he plans to report to the Astros’ short-season Tri-City affiliate.

“I’m just very excited,” he said. “I feel honored and very blessed to have this opportunity.”

Meanwhile, the Astros will soon their attention to No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel, a right-handed pitcher from Stanford. A report by Jeff Passan of Yahoo on Friday indicated the Astros and Appel were “nearing a deal” and could have an agreement by next week.

In a text message to MLB.com, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow wrote the club plans to engage Appel next week. He graduates from Stanford on Sunday. The prescribed slot bonus for the No. 1 pick is $7.8 million.

“I’m hopeful we can move quickly once we start [the] dialogue, but there is no timeframe yet,” Luhnow wrote.

The Astros announced the signing of nine additional draft picks Thursday, bringing the total number signed to 14. That doesn’t include fourth-round pick Conrad Gregor of Vanderbilt, who has signed, or Thurman, who the Astros envision of a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

“It’s what I’ve always been working towards,” Thurman said. “It’s been my dream since I was a little kid to play professional baseball. It’s kind of a surreal feeling, but I still have to work hard. That part of me hasn’t gone anywhere.”

Terms of the Thurman deal aren’t known, but the slot bonus for that pick is $1,397,200.

When asked about Thurman on Friday, Astros scouting director Mike Elias said: “We feel talks are going very smoothly and we expect he will sign at some point, too. Both sides are making progress, everybody’s on the same page. He hasn’t signed a contract yet, so nothing is finalized. We anticipate getting him into an Astros uniform sooner or later.”

Thurman’s fastball could be a plus pitch in the future — he can reach back for a mid-90s heater when he needs to. He throws a curve and a slider, with the former a bit better than the latter, and his changeup is a deceptive offspeed offering.

Thurman’s good command lets his stuff play up and he can move his fastball in and out, going right after hitters with his very strong feel for pitching. That was on full display in the Cape Cod League last summer, when he struck out 49 hitters over 39 innings in seven starts.

“He was somebody we viewed as late first-round talent, and to get him at 40, we were a little surprised he was there,” Elias said when Thurman was drafted. “We’re very comfortable calling him a mid-rotation starter in the future.”

Astros face roster decisions

Here are the players the Astros must place on the 40-man roster by Tuesday or be eligible to be take in next month’s Rule 5 Draft:

Alvarez, Luis H
Castro, Erik B
Cisnero, Jose L
Cosart, Jarred L
Cruz, Luis L
De La Rosa, Luis A
Fick, Charles J
Garcia, Rene F
Genoves, Ernesto E
Goebbert, Jacob D
Gonzalez, Alfredo R
Gouvea, Murilo
Grimmett, Zachary
Grossman, Robert E
Hamburger, Mark J
Heredia, Angel L
Hogue, Jackson G
Krauss, Marc S
Lo, Chia-Jen
Martinez, David J
Martinez, Jose G
Meszaros, Daniel J
Monzon, Jose A
Moronta, Cristian M
Musick, Thomas W
Oberholtzer, Brett R
Orloff, Ben
Perez, Juri E
Quevedo, Carlos E
Quezada, Euris F
Rivera, Darwin J
Seaton, Ross A
Simunic, Andrew
Stoffel, Jason A
Tiburcio, Frederick
Urckfitz, Patrick
Villar, Jonathan R
Weiland, Kyle E
Wikoff, Brandon W
Zeid, Joshua A
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