With the first round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look at how the Houston Astros scored.

Overall, the Astros (at last in my opinion) are a B+ in terms of day one draft choices—and their farm systems are in dire need of offensive additions.

Houston chose speed and athleticism with their overall No. 8 pick, and it appears they were concerned about losing their potential future star and decided to take him early.

The Astros selection?

Second baseman Delino DeShields Jr., out of Woodward Park Academy in Georgia—a guy who has tremendous upside and Michal Bourn-type quickness both on the base paths and in the field of play.

Son of former Major Leaguer Delino DeShields Sr., the younger version of his father is aiming for professional success with the Houston Astros.

Known primarily for his outfield skills and ability in high school, DeShields Jr. (with a 5’9” frame and weighing 188 lbs) can play infield positions as well and is very solid defensively.

In addition, DeShields Jr. appears to have good plate discipline with concrete control of the bat and the capability to hit line drives consistently.

According to a brief scouting report on DeShields Jr. on MLB.com’s Live Draft Tracker, “DeShields has two things really working in his favor: his plus speed and his bloodiness. His dad of the same name spent many years in the big leagues, and the hope is that the younger DeShields could be a similar type of player. He does have the potential to be a very good hitter and puts his speed to use on the basepaths.

“He has more than enough range to handle center field and the hands to play second if a team wanted to give that a look. Scouts have had a hard time getting a consistent read on DeShields. He’s toolsy and seems like he’ll fall right into the risk vs. reward debate. It seems like a team will be willing to take the plunge at some point not too deep into the Draft.”

That report was right, and that team “willing to take the plunge” is the Houston Astros.

Only time will tell how this draft choice pans out, but he appears to be a good fit for an Astros organization in major need of upgrades.

Houston also garnered the No. 19 overall pick in the first round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft—thanks to the Jose Valverde trade—and opted to go with a pitcher.

His name?

Mike Foltynewicz, a right-handed pitcher out of Minooka Community High School in Illinois, who is 6’4” and weighs 190 lbs.

And although he’s committed to play at the University of Texas beginning next season, Foltynewicz may have found his new home in Houston.

The righty’s most dangerous pitch is his sinker, which reaches speeds up to 95 mph, and his secondary pitch is a solid changeup.

After a few years of grooming and learning in the Astros’ minor leagues, Foltynewicz could easily develop into a future MLB pitcher.

According to a brief scouting report on Foltynewicz on MLB.com’s Live Draft Tracker, “Two years ago, fellow Illinois prep product Jake Odorizzi raced up Draft boards late and ended up going in the supplemental first round. Foltynewicz is more of a known quantity and could do quite well when the Draft comes around. That’s because of his plus fastball with plus movement, a good changeup and clean mechanics.

“The breaking ball needs some work but should be fine with more instruction. While it’s typically been the prep arms from the warm-weather areas who go first, Foltynewicz is positioning himself to be one of the first from the Midwest to go off the board.”

Once again, the experts were right—as Houston took the up-and-coming pitcher with the No. 19 pick in Monday’s first round of the MLB Draft.

The Astros final selection in day one coverage was Houston’s supplemental first round pick at No. 33.

This time around, they chose an infielder—as former Houston All-Star Jeff Bagwell announced the Astros’ first round supplemental pick.

Mike Kvasnicka, a hard-hitting catcher out of Minnesota where he just completed his junior year, was taken by the Astros as the team’s final day one selection in the 2010 MLB Draft.

At 6’2” and 220 lbs, Kvasnicka played third base at the University of Minnesota this past season—and the switch hitting batter is pretty solid offensively with a good amount of patience at the plate (although his defense will need some work).

According to a brief scouting report on Houston’s No. 33 pick on MLB.com’s Live Draft Tracker, “Kvasnicka was named Third-Team All-Big Ten as an outfielder for the Golden Gophers in 2009 as a sophomore. He was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 31st round of 2007 First-Year Player Draft but did not sign.”





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Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com


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