Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Looking Back at the Astros 2008 Draft Class

As promised, I'm going to continue with an offseason review of all the draft classes from the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2007 draft forward. Today we'll look at 2008, the first class from the Ed Wade/Bobby Heck era. Let's look at the numbers:

52 players drafted
32 players signed
2 players still in the Astros system (plus one drafted later)
16 players still active in affiliated or independent baseball in 2015*

27 position players drafted/15 signed/1 still in the system
11 from high school/4 signed/0 still in the system
5 from junior college/2 signed/0 still in the system
11 from college/9 signed/1 still in the system

25 pitchers drafted/17 signed/1 still in the system
11 from high school/6 signed/1 still in the system
8 from junior college/6 signed/0 still in the system
6 from college/5 signed/0 still in the system

*Of the 16 players who were still active in baseball in 2015, 12 of those were still playing in affiliated ball (four in independent leagues). Of the 12 players in affiliated ball, five are high school or junior college players who did not sign with Houston, but later signed with other teams, one was released (Shuck), one was traded (Lyles), one was re-drafted by Houston in a later year (Jankowski), two left via free agency (Seaton and Garcia), and two are still in the system from the original draft (Castro and Cruz). Four of the players have made their major league debuts: Castro, Lyles, Shuck and Armstrong.

Luis Cruz - September 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Here is a little on each of them. Those who signed are noted in bold. The position shown is the position at which the player was drafted, and I have also indicated in parentheses whether they were drafted out of high school (HS), junior college (JC) or college (C).

1. C Jason Castro (C)

Castro is the only one from the 2008 draft class who is currently on the Astros major league team. In five seasons at the major league level (2010, 2012 - 2015), he has a .237/.309/.393 batting line and a 28% caught stealing percentage.

1s. RHP Jordan Lyles (HS) - Traded in December 2013

Lyles came as a supplemental pick as compensation for losing LHP Trever Miller in free agency. Lyles pitched in three seasons for Houston, going 14-29 with a 5.35 ERA and a 1.454 WHIP before being included in a December 2013 trade (along with outfielder Brandon Barnes) to the Rockies for OF Dexter Fowler and cash considerations. In his two seasons with the Rockies, Lyles is 9-9 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.400 WHIP. Fowler spent one season with the Astros, hitting .276/.375/.399 in 116 games and was subsequently sent to the Cubs for RHP Dan Straily and corner IF Luis Valbuena in January 2015.

2. OF Jay Austin (HS) - Released in 2012

Austin did not play in 2013, but played in independent ball in 2014 and 2015 (hitting .306/.358/.458). He has a career batting line of .261/.323/.363.

3. 1B Chase Davidson (HS) - Did not sign

Davidson did not sign out of high school but later signed in 2011 as he was re-drafted by the Astros in the 41st round that year.

3s. RHP Ross Seaton (HS) - Left via free agency after the 2014 season

The Astros received this pick as compensation for not signing Derek Dietrich in 2007. Seaton made it as far as AAA for the Astros in 2014, but injuries derailed much of that season. He signed with Detroit as a minor league free agent in February. For his minor league career to date, he is 46-60 with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.385 WHIP.

4. OF T.J. Steele (C) - Released in 2012

Steele was released by the Astros in May 2012 and then signed on briefly with the Padres organization before being released by them in July 2012. In the 327 games of his career, he hit .247/.284/.379.

5. LHP David Duncan (C) - Released in 2012

Duncan was actually released by the Astros in 2010, but then re-signed by them in early 2011 only to while away on the DL that entire season. In 50 games (46 starts) from 2008 through 2010, he was 10-23 with a 5.78 ERA and a 1.444 WHIP.

6. OF J.B. Shuck (C) - Released in 2012

Shuck made his major league debut for the Astros on August 5, 2011, hitting .272/.359/.321 in 37 games. He then spent all of 2012 playing in Oklahoma City and was released at the end of that season despite hitting a very healthy .298/.374/.352. Shuck was signed by the Angels shortly after his release by the Astros in late 2012. He was subsequently purchased by the Indians in September 2014 and was then claimed off waivers by the White Sox in November 2014. He played in 79 games for the White Sox in 2015, hitting .266/.340/.350.

7. OF Jon Gaston (C) - Released in 2012

Gaston was released by the Astros in March of 2012 and spent time in independent ball and in the White Sox organization that year. After his release by the White Sox in June 2012, he continued to play in independent ball up through 2015. His career batting line is .256/.334/.449. Gaston also was one of the players who filed suit against the MLB for wage violations in minor league pay.

8. LHP Brad Dydalewicz (HS) - Released in 2012

Dydalewicz made it as far as Lancaster, but was released at the end of 2012 after putting up a career 6.41 ERA and 1.668 WHIP.

9. LHP Luis Cruz (HS)

Cruz played for Fresno for all of 2015 and went 7-5 with a 4.27 ERA and a 1.474 WHIP in 28 appearances (19 starts). He just turned 25 in September.

10. LHP Jarred Holloway (JC) - Released in 2010

Holloway only played in the organization for one season in 2008 (and did not play at all in 2009). In 13 starts, he was 0-5 with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.541 WHIP.

11. OF Jacob Priday (HS) - Released in 2010

Priday played only 32 games in the Astros system in 2008, hitting .216/.331/.324. He was on the restricted list for all of 2009 before being formally released in 2010.

12. SS Jeff Hulett (JC) - Released in 2009

Hulett played two seasons for the Astros (playing more at third base than at short) and then another three in independent ball. He had a career batting line of .216/.296/.293.

13. RHP Kyle Godfrey (JC) - Released in 2011

Godfrey played from 2008 through 2010 in the Astros system. After his release in March 2011, he played independent ball for one season. He had a career ERA of 4.14 and WHIP of 1.522.

14. RHP Chris Hicks (C) - Released in 2012

Hicks pitched in the organization from 2008 through his release in June 2012, although he missed the entire 2010 season on the DL. He made it as far as AAA and had a career ERA of 5.49 and a WHIP of 1.519.

15. C Phil Disher (C) - Released in 2010

Drafted as a catcher, Disher actually played first base for the organization in 2008 and 2009 before being released in early 2010. In a total of 110 games, he had a batting line of .257/.343/.451.

16. LHP Josh Poytress (HS) - Did not sign

Poytress was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 18th round in 2011 and played for them for two seasons before being released in early 2013. He played one more season in independent ball and had a career ERA of 3.57 and a WHIP of 1.422.

17. 2B Andy Simunic (HS) - Released in 2014

Simunic played in the Astros system until his release in early June of 2014. He was briefly picked up and subsequently released by the Braves organization. In his seven seasons with the system, he became a utility player, eventually playing at every position except catcher and hitting a career .276/.357/.339.

18. 3B David Flores (C) - Released in 2012

Flores played in the Astros system from 2008 through 2011 and was released in early 2012. For his career, he hit .258/.312/.430.

19. RHP Ashton Mowdy (JC) - Released in 2010

Mowdy pitched from 2008 to 2010, with a career 4.55 ERA and 1.477 WHIP.

20. C Shea Robin (C) - Did not sign

It appears that Robin never played professional baseball.

21. OF Rodarrick Jones (HS) - Did not sign

Jones was drafted by the Pirates in the 37th round in 2011 out of Southern University and A&M in Baton Rouge, and played in that system for two seasons, hitting .231/.352/.375 before his release in July 2012.

22. LHP Terrance Jackson (spelled Terrence in Baseball-Reference) (JC) - Did not sign

Jackson was subsequently drafted by the Mets in the 45th round in 2010 out of Oklahoma City University, but it appears that he did not sign with them either. According to B-R, his only professional experience was with a team in the Frontier League in 2011 for whom he pitched a total of 4.1 innings (12.46 ERA and 2.769 WHIP).

23. LHP Chase Huchingson (JC) - Did not sign

Huchingson was signed by the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in July 2010 and is still in their system, having reached AAA in 2015. He has a career 3.13 ERA and 1.330 WHIP in 183 games (374.1 innings) in the minor leagues but has not yet reached the majors.

24. OF Danny Meier (HS) - Released in 2009

After playing in only 64 games in the Astros system in 2008 and 2009, Meier was released in July 2009. He played in three additional games in the independent leagues as well in 2009. His career batting line was .196/.263/.366.

25. LHP Mike Hacker (JC) - Released in 2010

Hacker played in the Astros system in 2008 and 2009. After his release in March 2010, he played independent ball until signing with the Red Sox organization in July 2010. He was released by the Red Sox in July 2011 and played independent league ball through 2012. He has a career ERA of 4.68 and a WHIP of 1.626.

26. LHP Shane Wolf (C) - Released in 2012

Wolf pitched in the system from 2008 through 2011 with a career ERA of 5.08 and a WHIP of 1.468 before his release in January 2012.

27. RHP Nate Pettus (JC) - Released in 2012

Pettus pitched from 2008 through 2012 and was released in November 2012. For his career, he had a 4.60 ERA and a 1.504 WHIP.

28. RHP Zach Grimmett (HC) - Released in 2013

Grimmett was in the Astros system for five seasons. After his release in March of 2013, he was signed by the Phillies and spent a short time in that organization in May and June of 2013. For his career, he had a 6.62 ERA and a 1.635 WHIP.

29. SS Chris Jackson (C) - Released in 2010

Jackson spent two seasons in the organization, hitting .208/.269/.279 in 144 games.

30. 2B Mike Diaz (C) - Released in 2010

Diaz played two seasons in the Astros system. After his release in March 2010, he played a season in the independent leagues. Over his career, he hit .262/.316/.348.

31. RHP Philip Rummel (HS) - Released in 2010

Rummel was released in March 2010 after pitching in the Astros system for two seasons and went on to play one season of independent ball. He had a career ERA of 5.41 and a WHIP of 1.609.

32. SS B.A. Vollmuth (HS) - Did not sign

Vollmuth was drafted by Oakland in the 3rd round in 2011 out of the University of Southern Mississippi and played in that system from 2011 until his release in August of 2014. He had a career batting line of .231/.311/.391, playing mostly at third base.

33. RHP Shawn Armstrong (HS) - Did not sign

Armstrong was drafted by Cleveland in the 18th round in 2011 out of East Carolina University. He made his major league debut for the Indians on August 8, 2015 and compiled a 2.25 ERA and a 0.875 in eight appearances out of the bullpen.

34. C Jordan Jankowski (HS) - Did not sign

Jankowski did not sign as a catcher back in 2008, but was re-drafted by the Astros (again in the 34th round) in 2012 out of Catawba College as a RHP. He has a 3.17 ERA and a 1.149 WHIP for his career thus far.

35. C Rene Garcia (HS) - Left via free agency after the 2014 season

Garcia played in the Astros system from 2008 through the end of 2014 when he elected minor league free agency and signed with the Phillies. He split the 2015 season between that organization's AAA and AA affiliates. His career minor league batting line is .264/.303/.338, and his career minor league caught stealing percentage is 37%.

36. RHP Austin Wood (HS)

Wood was drafted by the Rays in the 4th round in 2010 and did not sign and then again in the 6th round in 2011 by the Angels -- this time he did sign. Woods was a highly ranked prospect in the Angels system after the 2012 season, but missed much of the 2013 and 2014 seasons due to injury. He spent the 2015 season with their AA affiliate and compiled a 3.95 ERA and a 1.431 WHIP in 31 appearances.

37. LHP Kirkland Rivers (C) - Released in 2010.

Rivers pitched in the Astros system for two seasons and then in independent league ball for another two seasons, ending his career with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.480 WHIP.

38. LHP Kris Castellanos (HS) - Did not sign

Castellanos played for Florida State one year and for Tampa University for one year, but it appears that he never played professionally.

39. C Tyson Van Winkle (C) - Did not sign

Van Winkle was drafted in the 10th round in 2009 by the Diamondbacks and played for four seasons in that organization with a career batting line of .231/.321/.293.

40. 2B Scott Lawson (JC) - Did not sign

Lawson was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 29th round in 2010 out of the University of Miami and played just one season in that organization, plus one additional season in independent ball. He had a career batting line of .273/.377/.407, playing at second base and third base.

41. OF Tony McClendon (HS) - Did not sign

McClendon was drafted again in 2010 in the 47th round by Oakland, but did not sign. I had assumed that he never played professionally until he showed up in independent ball in 2015, hitting .203/.257/.281 in 16 games for the Vallejo Admirals of the Pacific Association.

42. OF Ryan Danbury (JC) - Did not sign

It appears that Danbury did not ever play professionally.

43. C Austin Green (HS) - Did not sign

Green was drafted by the Tigers in the 13th round in 2013 out of the University of San Diego and has played three seasons in that organization with a batting line of .260/.310/.392.

44. C Edmond Sparks (JC) - Did not sign

It appears that Sparks never played professionally.

45. LHP Grayson Garvin (HS) - Did not sign

Garvin was drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round (supplemental) in 2011 out of Vanderbilt. In three seasons (2012-2014) in the Rays organization, he has a 3.75 ERA and a 1.224 WHIP. He did not play in 2015 and is shown as being on the 60-day DL.

46. LHP Mike Modica (C) - Did not sign

Modica was re-drafted by the Astros in the 24th round in 2009 and played for the Astros for two seasons before being released in April 2011. He had a 4.18 ERA and a 1.546 WHIP for his career.

47. OF Nathan Metroka (JC) - Released in 2009

Metroka played in the Astros system for two seasons, hitting .252/.317/.357.

48. RHP Danny Meszaros (C) - Released in 2013

Meszaros played in the system from 2008 through 2011 and sat out 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. After his release in March 2013, he played one season of independent ball. He had a 4.07 ERA and 1.337 WHIP for his career.

49. RHP Chase Lehr (JC) - Released in 2009

Lehr pitched in the organization for one season with a 6.52 ERA and a 2.276 WHIP before his release in May of 2009.

50. OF Jamal Austin (HS) - Did not sign

Austin was drafted by Seattle in the 13th round in 2013 out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and played in that organization until his release in April 2015. He continued to play in independent league ball in 2015 and has a career batting line of .291/.340/.363.

Previous draft reviews:


1 comment:

  1. The fact that so many of these players only played 1-2-3 seasons just proves how difficult it really is to make the bigs.

    ReplyDelete