Houston Astros 2011 Draft: Where Are They Now?
I think it is pretty common knowledge that the Astros had some poor drafts in the few years pre-Luhnow. Unfortunately, this was a reason that the Astros were set back as far as they were. Failure to sign picks and bad selections is not a good recipe for success. The last draft before Jeff Luhnow took over was the 2011 draft.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 picks for the Astros in the 2011 draft, as well as some other notables.
Round 1, Pick 11 – George Springer, OF
With the 11th pick in this draft the Astros selected a very high potential outfielder in Springer. In his junior year with the University of Connecticut he hit .350 with 23 2B, 12 HR, 77 RBI, 31 SB in 64 games. In his first full season in the minors Springer hit the ground running destroying Lancaster to the tune of a .316 BA with 22 HR, 82 RBI getting him on top 100 prospect lists. He followed that up with an even better 2013 in which he hit .303 with 37 HR, 45 SB between AA/AAA. The Astros called him up in 2014 and he has been one of the core players since. Definitely looks to be a very good pick for the Astros
Round 2, Pick 69 – Adrian Houser, RHP
Houser was taken out of High School and signed with the Astros for $500,000+. The year of the draft he pitched in rookie ball and posted a 4.31 ERA in 48 innings. He stayed in rookie ball in 2012 and posted a 4.19 ERA. The Astros brought him along slowly but he struggled to really master any level. The 2015 season may have been one of his best as he had a 4.35 ERA but 55 K in 49.2 innings. That summer he was traded to Milwaukee as part of the Gomez deal. He dominated AA for Milwaukee and pitched two innings with the Brewers. This season he has a 5.25 ERA in AA.
Round 3, Pick 99 – Jack Armstrong, RHP
The Astros took a risk taking a college arm who experienced some big time control problems in college. Armstrong ended up signing for $750,000 but due to an assortment of injuries including Tommy John Surgery, he never threw a pitch in the Astros system.
Round 4, Pick 130 – Chris Lee, LHP
Lee was drafted out of Santa Fe Community College at just 18 years old. He bounced around rookie ball for three seasons before getting his chance in full season ball in 2014 with Quad Cities. In that season he had a 3.66 ERA but only 75 walks in 113 innings. In 2015 he started the season with QC again but was trade to the Orioles for International Slot Bonus in May of that season. He has been solid with the Orioles this season posting a 2.98 ERA in AA but only has 19 K in 51.1 innings.
Round 5, 160 Pick – Nick Tropeano, RHP
Tropeano was a fan favorite in the Astros system. He was drafted out of Stony Brook after going 12-1 with a 1.84 in his junior season. He found immediate success putting up a 2.36 ERA in short season ball. He followed that up going 12-7 with a 3.02 ERA between A/A+ in 2012. In 2014 he went 9-5 with a 3.03 ERA in AAA and a 4.57 ERA in four starts for the Astros. Many pegged as a potential rotation candidate going into 2015 but he was traded as part of the Hank Conger deal. He pitched well for the Angels posting a 3.65 ERA in 100+ innings but ended up having Tommy John Surgery in August.
Round 6, Pick 190 – Brandon Meredith, LF
Meredith was a big slugger from San Diego State University. He had his best season in the Astros system in 2013 when he hit .279 with 25 2B, 16 HR, 68 RBI, 64 BB/88 K in 105 games for Lancaster. The next season he played between A+/AA hitting just .239. He was eventually released in July 2015.
Round 7, Pick 220 – Javaris Reynolds, CF
This was definitely an upside pick taking a high school center fielder. He signed with the Astros and played in rookie ball in 2011 hitting just .228 in 40 games. In 2012 he played in 11 games in rookie ball again hitting .214. He got another chance in 2013 in rookie ball to prove himself but ended up hitting just .197. He was released early in 2014.
Round 8, Pick 250 – Brandon Culbreth, RHP
Another high school draftee who unfortunately couldn’t put it together. He pitched in four different seasons in the Astros minor league system posting a 6.84 in 50 innings. Culbreth eventually retired from baseball in the summer of 2015.
Round 9, Pick 280 – Jonas Dufek, RHP
Dufek was drafted out of Creighton University and had a decent showing in rookie ball posting a 3.71 ERA for Tri-City. He followed that with a 5.47 ERA in 126.2 innings in 2012. He was converted to a reliever in 2014 and had some success with 74 K in 67.2 innings. Following that season he struggled with injuries and could never make it back full strength. He was released in the summer of 2015.
Round 10, Pick 310 – Kyle Hallock, LHP
Hallock looked like a solid pick coming out of Kent State University where he went 10-4 with a 1.95 ERA in his senior season. This success translated to Tri-City where he went 3-4 with a 2.63 ERA. Unfortunately, he was never able to repeat this success posting a 8.22 ERA in 2012 and a 6.73 ERA in 2013. He was released in March 2014.
Round 20, Pick 610 – Matt Duffy, 3B
This was the only later pick that actually provided some value. Duffy was a bit older when drafted but he well everywhere he went in the minors. He had a career minor league average of .283 and spent a little time with the Astros in 2015 and 2016 but due to roster constraints, he was designated for assignment and claimed by the Rangers where he is currently in AAA.
**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**