By DiMarkco Chandler
Secaucus, N.J.—The Houston Astros cleaver management staff pulled a fast one at today’s MLB Draft as they ended all speculation, selecting the outstanding 17-year-old Puerto Rican short stop Carlos Correa. Jeff Luhnow, Astro general manager said Correa “has a chance to be a star.” The 17-year-old could hit 20-30 home runs and could achieve greatness whether he plays shortstop or third base.
The selection was a surprise to most experts, who were almost sure Houston would select Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, who wound up in a Pittsburg Pirate uniform as they picked him in the eighth spot of the first round.
Houston also passed on center fielding slugger Byron Buxton who ended up being chosen second by the Minnesota Twins.
What most experts want to know is why Correa was chosen over Appel and Buxton. If you look at all the data that analysts have before them, Appel appeared to be a potential franchise player. However, the Astros had a different draft playbook in their back pocket. You see, while the media had zeroed in on Appel as the answer to Houston’s struggles, Luhnow was paying attention to history and the new rules governing the amount of money teams can spend signing their draft picks.
The history lesson that Luhnow was paying attention to occured in 1992, which happened to be the last time Houston had the top pick. In that year, the Astros picked Phil Nevin over a young shortstop named Derek Jeter. Well we all know the rest of that history lesson. But that’s not the only aspect Luhnow had to consider before finally settling on Correa. If Houston had selected Appel, there was a chance that the right handed picture might have demanded more money than the Astros could afford. On the other hand, it is likely Correa will fit into their prescribed budget.
Given these variables, along with more than a year of scouting committed to the shortstop, Houston may have pull a real rabbit out of the hat as they begin to rebuild their struggling baseball team.
I’d like to know your thoughts.