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Astros make righty Grigsby No. 1
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06/04/2002 2:32 pm ET 
Astros make righty Grigsby No. 1
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com

Lance Berkman was the 16th overall pick in 1997 draft. (Pat Sullivan/AP)

  • Astros round-by-round picks

    HOUSTON -- Like most baseball fans throughout the country, Derick Grigsby planned to listen to the 2002 draft on the Internet. Unfortunately for the entire Grigsby family, the electricity in their house unexpectedly went out at precisely 11:45 a.m. CDT -- 15 minutes before the draft was scheduled to begin.

    "It got hot in the house, it's dark, and we're panicking because we can't listen to it on the Internet," Grigsby said from his cell phone in Marshall, Texas. "I get a call from Rusty (Pendergrass) -- the (Astros) area scout (in Texas) -- he says 'Congratulations.' I didn't know what he was talking about. I said 'For what?' He said "We picked you, 29th, in the first round.' I was kind of stunned. I didn't know what to say then."

    Grigsby never anticipated that he would be taken in the first round of the draft, but the Astros -- 29th of 30 teams in the pecking order -- pounced when they saw the 6-foot, 200-pound right-hander from Northeast Texas Community College was still available.

    Derick Grigsby

    School:
    Northeast Texas CC
    Position: RHP   B/T: R/R
    H: 6-0   W: 200
    Born: 06-30-1982   Class: JR

    Scouting report:
    Well-proportioned, athletic body, similar to Ben Sheets. Fastball occasionally has very good velocity, sink action away from lefties and bores into righties. Aggressive on both sides of plate. Tight, hard, power curve with some slider action. Also throws a sinking change. Command of three pitches. Composed, but aggressive.

    Scouting video:
    56k | 300k

    "It came as a surprise," Grigsby said. "I was hearing mostly that I was going in the second round."

    According to Baseball America, Grigsby was the top JUCO prospect who wasn't under control to a Major League Club. He spent the 2001 season at the University of Texas, but pitched only 11 innings before transferring to Northeast Texas.

    "We like the package he's got," said Director of Scouting David Lakey. "He throws somewhere between 90 and 95 miles per hour, has an 85 mph slider, and the makings of a good change (up). He's a strong, durable kid."

    Family reasons initially fueled Grigsby's decision to transfer. His mother passed away during routine surgery, and after such a tragedy, he wanted to be close to home.


    'It came as a surprise. I was hearing mostly that I was going in the second round.'
    -- DERICK GRIGSBY
    "I just had a couple of family problems that I had to come to deal with," he said. "I could have gone back (to UT) my sophomore year but I decided to go the JUCO route to get to the pros faster and get drafted out of my sophomore year."

    The plan apparently has worked. Grigsby was only 45 minutes from home at Northeast Texas CC, where he was 3-7 with a 3.61 ERA over 72 1/3 innings. He allowed 29 earned runs on 47 hits with 29 walks and 91 strikeouts, and he held opponents to a .168 batting average. 

    "He threw well for me when I saw him and we were really high on him in the middle of the season but he went through kind of a dead arm period," Lakey said. "He had a couple of games where he didn't pitch like we had seen earlier, but we stayed with him and we saw his last four starts when he (pitched the way) he was earlier in the year."

    Lakey said he envisions Grigsby as a power pitcher in the big leagues.

    "I don't see him as a finesse guy or a control guy," Lakey said. "I see him more as a power guy. Mechanically, he's pretty sound. He has a feel for pitching."

    With the selection of Grigsby, the Astros have now selected a right-handed pitcher with their first-round pick in three of the last five drafts. The club selected right-handers Brad Lidge (1998) and Robert Stiehl (2000) in recent drafts around outfielder Michael Rosamond (1999) and infielder Chris Burke (2001).

    2002 First-Year Player Draft
    JUNE 4-5 | NEW YORK CITY
    Draft order | Rules | FAQ

    FULL COVERAGE:
    Bullington goes first
    Drafttracker
    Complete Draft coverage

    The Astros prefer to select three-year college players over those just out of high school, and Grigsby, having recently completed his sophomore year, falls somewhere in-between.

    "In this particular draft, it's really dominated more by high school players than college players," Lakey said. "If Derick had been gone we were prepared to possibly go the high school route. I would prefer a college player over a high school player, but we base on the best available player. On the board, when it was our time to pick, Grigsby was the top guy on our board that was left. That's why we've been meeting for the past four days and trying to line them up based on ability. We always try to take the best player available and that's what we did this year."

    Now comes the negotiation period, one that Grigsby hopes will come and go quickly and without incident. "I'm ready to sign," he said. "I want to get it over with pretty quick. I'm ready to play."

    Alyson Footer covers the Astros for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.

    ASTROS 2002 DRAFT PICKS
    29 DERICK W GRIGSBY RHP NORTHEAST TEXAS CC
    70 MITCHELL B TALBOT RHP CANYON VIEW HS
    101 RORY A SHORTELL RHP SAN DIEGO ST U
    131 MARK S MCLEMORE LHP OREGON ST U
    161 PATRICK T MISCH LHP WESTERN MICHIGAN U
    191 JOHN P DURAN RHP ST MARYS U
    221 SCOTT P ROBINSON 1B OF RANCHO BERNARDO HS
    251 WILLIAM J WESTHOFF RHP U DALLAS
    281 ANDREW R TOPHAM SS STANFORD U
    311 BRADLEY M CHEDISTER RHP PANOLA JC
    341 JASON R REUSS RF U NEVADA
    371 CHANCE M DOUGLASS RHP CANYON RANDALL HS
    401 NICASIO COVARRUBIAS RF CALIFORNIA ST U
    431 WILLIAM J BOENING RHP YOAKUM HS
    461 JEFFREY E MACKOR C BOSTON COL
    491 JARED L GOTHREAUX RHP MCNEESE ST U
    521 DANIEL S FREEMAN RHP TEXARKANA CC
    551 BRENT S LONG RHP BREVARD COL
    581 AARON HEITZMAN LHP MANKATO ST U
    611 JUSTIN GLOVER OF GRANT HS
    641 IVAN NACCARATA 2B CHIPOLA JC
    671 SAMUEL E FISCHER RHP U DAYTON
    701 JESSE C HARRINGTON SS CONCORDIA U
    731 NICHOLAS J TISONE RHP MANDEVILLE HS
    761 ETHIEN A SANTANA CF COLEGIO BAUTISTA
    791 WARREN R MCGARVEY C COASTAL CAROLINA U
    821 SHAWN P BURRIS LHP DR RALPH H POTEET HS
    851 KEVIN C DAVIDSON C ROLLINS COL
    881 SEAN P KRAMER RHP HILL JC
    911 LADD J HALL RHP EASTERN ARIZONA JC
    941 ANDREW E SALMELA 1B AUGUSTANA COL
    971 TYSON L OLSON LF DIXIE JC
    1001 PATRICK C PEAVEY 3B SANTA CLARA U
    1031 MICHAEL J LORSBACH OF RICE U
    1061 SHAWN T WILLIAMS CF CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOL
    1091 ADAM W SEUSS OF U CALIFORNIA
    1121 DUSTIN L HAWKINS OF WICHITA ST U
    1151 RYAN LARSON 3B U CALIFORNIA-SAN DIEGO
    1181 NICHOLAS L STAVINOHA RF SAN JACINTO COL NORTH
    1211 ADAM J YESALUSKY LHP MINERSVILLE HS
    1241 SCOTT W FELDMAN RHP COL SAN MATEO
    1271 CHASE MEDFORD LHP CF RICHLAND HS
    1300 FREDDIE F THON 1B BALDWIN SCHOOL
    1328 WILLIAM R MAC-HOLMES RHP OMAHA BURKE HS
    1355 RYAN H MCKELLER RHP MCLENNAN CC
    1381 ERIC T BROCK RHP SANTA MARGARITA HS
    1407 RAYMAR R DIAZ OF LAREDO CC
    1433 KYLE THOMPSON RHP PALOMAR CC




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