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Houston Astros 2014 Draft: Where Are They Now?


Houston Astros 2014 Draft: Where Are They Now?

Last week I took a look at the 2013 draft, which was really a failure compared to the 2012 draft. This week I am moving on to the 2014 draft. Another year, another #1 overall pick, and another blown selection at that #1 pick (on top of some other controversy). This draft developed quite a few legit prospects, but the jury is still out on many of their professional careers. Here are the top 10 picks and other notables.

Round 1, Pick 1 – Brady Aiken, LHP

Yikes… where to even begin with this one. Aiken was a really good prospect and the Astros selected him #1 overall making him the first high school pitcher selected #1 overall since 1991. Carlos Rodon, Tyler Kolek, and Aaron Nola were other possibilities. The Astros originally offered $6.5 million to sign, but after doing their own medicals, they found issues with his UCL and ultimately failed to sign him. The supposed last offer was $5 million but Aiken did not feel this was a fair offer. Not only did this mean they didn’t sign the top pick, the slot money they were going to save with this deal was going to used to sign a couple picks later in the draft.

Now, there is a HUGE silver lining. The Astros were given the #2 pick in the 2015 and they selected Alex Bregman. So it ended up working out, but at the time, a failure to sign the #1 overall pick and subsequent high school draftees later in the draft wasn’t a very good look. Aiken was drafted in 2015 to the Indians with the #17 pick. He has a 5.18 career minor league ERA in just 179 innings. Career WAR: has not played in MLB.

Round 1, Pick 37 – Derek Fisher, OF

Fisher was a high ceiling prospect drafted out of the University of Virginia. He came into the Astros system and broke out almost immediately posting a .847 OPS with 31 SB in his first full season. After another good season in 2016, he was ranked the #83 prospect according to MLB. He made his MLB debut in 2017 and helped the Astros win the World Series. He was up and down in 2018 and eventually traded to the Blue Jays in 2019 in a deal that acquired Aaron Sanchez, Joe Biagini, and Cal Stevenson. Career WAR: 0.4

Round 2, Pick 42 – AJ Reed, 1B

Reed was an intriguing prospect coming out of Kentucky as a Golden Spikes Award winner. He was very good with the bat but also a solid pitcher. After the draft, he destroyed the ball in the minors including a 2015 season which saw him slash .340/.432/.612 with 34 HR, 127 RBI and helped him become the #11 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America. Reed would debut with the Astros in 2016 but hit just .164 in 45 games. He didn’t really have a spot at the major league level and spent much of his time in AAA, where the results seemed to fall off. He was claimed off of Waivers by the White Sox in 2019 and just recently announced his retirement from baseball. Career WAR: -1.6

Round 3, Pick 75 – J.D. Davis, 3B

Another great college bat, Davis came into the Astros system and mashed much like Reed. In his first full season in 2015, Davis his .289 with 26 HR, 101 RBI. He followed that up crushing 23 homers in AA in 2016. Davis debuted in 2017 playing in 25 games. He split time between AAA and MLB in 2018 and was eventually traded to the Mets before the 2019 season. In 2019, he had a breakout year with the bat hitting 22 HR with a .895 OPS. Career WAR: 0.3

Round 4, Pick 106 – Daniel Mengden, RHP

Mengden was a solid pitching prospect coming out of A&M. With a funky delivery and mustache, he was quickly someone people enjoyed watching. His first full season he struck out 125 in 130.2 innings with a 3.72 ERA but was traded at the deadline in the deal that helped the Astros acquire Scott Kazmir. He has pitched in 56 games for the Athletics and had a career 4.68 ERA. He will be 27 in 2020. Career WAR: 1.9

Round 5, Pick 136 – Jacob Nix, RHP

Nix was drafted out of high school and agreed to a $1.5 million deal, well above slot for this pick. But when the Astros failed to sign Aiken, they lose the additional slot money and were unable to sign Nix. He was drafted the next season in the 3rd round made his major league debut in 2018, though he has a 7.02 ERA in 9 career starts. Career WAR: -1.1

Round 6, Pick 166 – Brock Dykxhoorn, RHP

Dykxhoorn was drafted out of Central Arizona College at 19 years old. He is a massive human being, 6-8, 250 lbs out of Canada. He had some success in the minors making it up to AAA but was released at the end of the 2018 season. He finished his minor league career with a 4.37 ERA. Dykxhoorn pitched in Korea in 2019. Career WAR: did not reach MLB

Round 7, Pick 196 – Derick Velazquez, OF

Velazquez was drafted out of Fresno State and actually had a really nice debut posting a 1.57 ERA with Tri-City following the draft. Unfortunately he struggled with injuries and missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He came back in 2017 but only pitched in 8 games. On May 10th, 2017, Velazquez retired from baseball. Career WAR: did not reach MLB

Round 8, Pick 226 – Bobby Boyd, OF

Boyd was drafted after hitting .356 as a junior for West Virginia. Boyd was a decent prospect and had some success (.283 with 40 SB in 117 games in 2015) but ultimately capped out in AA. Boyd retired from baseball in May 2017. Career WAR: did not reach MLB

Round 9, Pick 256 – Bryan Radziewski, LHP

Radziewski was a successful college starter and got drafted into the Astros system and has success. In 2015 he had a 3.48 ERA with 97 K in 106 innings. From there he struggled with injuries and was never able to get back on the field. According to MiLB he is still showing “active” but he hasn’t played since 2015. Career WAR: did not reach MLB

Round 10, Pick 286 – Jay Gause, RHP

Gause was drafted out of Faulkner University but threw just 13.1 innings (9.45 ERA) before exiting the Astros system. He has played some independent ball since. Career WAR: did not reach MLB


Round 11, Pick 316 – Dean Deetz, RHP

Deetz was a high potential pitcher selected out of Northeast Oklahoma A&M. He broke out in 2015 with a 1.70 ERA in 63.2 innings. He followed that up with a 3.76 ERA making it to AA and flashing a plus fastball. He made his major league in 2018 pitching in 3.1 innings. Last year he had a 7.15 ERA in AAA. Career WAR: 0.0

Round 14, Pick 406 – Nick Tanielu, 3B

Tanielu put up nice numbers in college .364 over his final two seasons. He came into the Astros system and has hit consistently ever since including .308 in 2015, .288 in 2018 and .295 in 2019. Overall he is a .295 hitter in 536 minor league games. I still think he will debut with a major league club at some point. Career WAR: has not reached MLB

Round 16, Pick 466 – Ramon Laureano, OF

Laureano was one of my favorite prospects after the draft and he broke out in 2016 when he slashed .319/.428/.528 with 15 HR, 43 SB. He struggled a little bit the next season in AA and was traded to Oakland prior to the 2018 season. Unfortunately for the Astros (not for him), he has been really good for the A’s hitting .288 with a .853 OPS and 29 HR in 171 games. Career WAR: 5.9

Round 21, Pick 616 – Mac Marshall, LHP

Marshall was another prospect the Astros were expected to sign overslot but the deal fell apart after they couldn’t reach an agreement with Aiken. Marshall was drafted in the 4th round the next year by the Giants and made it to High-A in 2019. Career WAR: has not reached MLB

Round 34, Pick 1006 – Josh James, RHP

James has had one of the best rises I have seen from a prospect. From a 34th round pick out of Western Oklahoma Junior College to being a major league caliber pitcher. He had some success early but once he got his sleep apnea under control, he really took off striking out 171 in 114.1 innings in 2018 and earning him the ranking as the #46 prospect prior to 2019 by BP. James debuted in 2018 and has a 4.06 ERA with 129 K in 84.1 innings. He should be a big contributor in 2020. Career WAR: 0.8

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**Photo Credit: Tammy Tucker**

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