The MLB Draft is right around the corner, with the first and second round taking place on July 17th. The Astros are finally back in the mix with some top picks this season. While the MLB draft is probably the hardest draft to try and predict, here is a look at a potential three round mock draft for the Astros.
Round 1, #28) Landon Sims, RHP, Mississippi State
The Astros could go a few different ways here, but in this mock I have them going with a college pitcher. Sims was a big time prospect out of high school who went undrafted due to his strong commitment to Mississippi State. He was a dominant reliever in 2021 striking out 100 batters in 56.1 innings with a 1.44 ERA. He moved to the rotation this season and after three dominant starts (1.15 ERA, 15.2 IP, 2 BB/27 K) he ended up having Tommy John surgery and missing the rest of the season. He has an upper 90s fastball and plus slider but he hasn’t really shown a third pitch yet, leading scouts to think he will be a reliever, though one that can pitch in the bigs immediately. Either way, the Astros might be able to get him under-slot and add another strong arm in the system.
Another Option: Gabriel Hughes, RHP, Gonzaga/Drew Gilbert, OF Tennessee
Round 2, #64) Max Wagner, 3B, Clemson
With the lack of top picks in 2020 and 2021, the Astros double up on college players taking a talented third baseman in the second round in Max Wagner. Wagner performed well in the Northwoods Summer League (1.051 OPS in 31 games) and then followed that up with a dominant 2022 season where he slashed .370/.496/.852 with 27 HR, 76 RBI in 58 games. He is on the younger side at just 20 years old. He possesses plus raw power and has the ability to work counts and draw walks. Scouts noted that he is a capable defender at the hot corner and has solid arm strength for the position.
Another Option: Eric Brown, SS, Coastal Carolina/John Kasevich, SS, Oregon
Round 2C, #80) Jalin Flores, SS, Brandeis (TX)
With the compensation pick the Astros received for losing Carlos Correa, they take a high school shortstop in Jalin Flores. The Astros system doesn’t have a lot of young talent in the middle infield so the addition of Flores would be welcome. MLB.com notes the 6’2″ Flores has a quick right handed swing and the ability to add power to his frame. He is a solid runner on the bases and has the defensive tools to stay at shortstop at the next level. The Astros could go over-slot here to get him away from his Texas commitment.
Another Option: Gavin Guidry, SS, Barbe (LA)
Round 3, #103) Tyler Locklear, 3B/1B, VCU
In the third round, the Astros get another advanced bat in Locklear out of VCU. While scouts think he will end up being a first base only prospect, his bat is what is going to get him to the majors. As a junior at VCU, Locklear slashed .402/.542/.799 with 20 HR, 78 RBI and 47 BB/25 K in 62 games. Locklear possesses huge raw power from the right side and it has shown in game with high exit velocities and good launch angles. MLB.com notes that he is favored prospect by analytics fans. This would give the Astros another advanced bat in the system.
Another Option: Ivan Melendez, 1B, Texas
One more prospect to keep an eye on:
Jacob Rogers, RHP, Friendswood (TX)
Rogers, the Friday night starter for the Friendswood Mustangs, carried the team to the state final including a win in the semi-final game. The 6’2” right hander has a low 90s fastball and a sharp curveball with excellent spin rates. Rogers is an excellent athlete and pitches with an exciting aggression and swagger on the mound no matter who he is facing. He has a solid build with room to add weight too. Rogers has a strong commitment to Texas Tech but the right deal could see him go the professional route.