6/5/2013 8:03 P.M. ET
Astros working around clock preparing for Draft
By Brian McTaggart and Chris Abshire / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- With a day remaining before making the first selection in the First-Year Player Draft, the Astros' front office, led by general manager Jeff Luhnow and scouting director Mike Elias, continues to work round the clock to make sure they're prepared as possible.
The names of hundreds of players are on a magnetic board and being shuffled around in the team's draft room at Union Station. The first two rounds take place Thursday, but the team is already getting names in order on the board for the first 10 rounds and beyond.
"The guys are busy," Luhnow said. "The area scouts and crosscheckers have been in the room and we've pretty much gone through all the information we have and the board is in pretty good shape right now. We're still have a lot of discussions and we still have a long way to go in terms of making our final decision, but we feel pretty good with all the information we have with our scouts. I'm sure we'll put it into a framework and now it's up to us to make a tough decision."
Luhnow said the Astros are still considering a "handful" of candidates. That list includes college pitchers Mark Appel (Stanford) and Jonathan Gray (Oklahoma) and college corner infielders Kris Bryant (San Diego) and Colin Moran (North Carolina). Georgia high school outfielders Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows are also still on the board.
"We've watched a lot of video and talked among ourselves and got our opinions out in the air in front of large groups and we've had some smaller, internal debates," Elias said. "We have not yet approached making a decision yet."
The Astros also have the No. 40 overall pick on Thursday, and Luhnow doesn't downplay the importance of the task that lies ahead for Houston.
"We expect both of those players to not only make it to the big leagues, but to have an impact on this team over the long haul," Luhnow said. "We can't keep the focus on those picks. We have to pay attention to the entire Draft. We're just at the beginning right now, kind of the calm before the storm. I'm confident. Our scouts have done a good job and Mike has done a good job pulling it all together."
Top prospect Singleton promoted to Double-A
HOUSTON -- Jonathan Singleton, who is ranked the organization's No. 1 prospect by MLB.com, was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi Wednesday, just six games into his Class A stint after returning from a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.
According to general manager Jeff Luhnow, Singleton might not be long for the Hooks roster, either.
"At this point, the plan is he'll stay with Corpus Christi for a series or two and then he'll move up to Oklahoma City after that," Luhnow said. "We want him to get increasingly comfortable and then challenge him every step of the way. He showed us he was ready for the competition, so he's taking the next step."
Singleton hit .286 (6-for-21) with an .810 slugging percentage while belting three home runs and driving in five runs through six games in Quad Cities.
Luhnow also didn't rule out Singleton's chances of ascending to the Major League level by season's end.
"Why not?" Luhnow said when asked if Singleton could play with the Astros this summer. "Maybe this will all end up with him in Houston this summer."
After the suspension, manager Bo Porter took Singleton under his wing during Spring Training and said the 21-year-old first baseman has done everything the organization has asked.
"I made this perfectly clear to Jonathan when this whole situation came about," Porter said. "I told him, 'Your baseball skill set is one thing, but you getting this here situation under control and behind you and making better decisions moving forward is more about Jonathan 'The Man' than it is about Jonathan 'The Baseball Player.'
"Because if we get Jonathan 'The Man' right, then we're going to get the 'Baseball Player,' but if we don't get Jonathan 'The Man' right, we will never get the 'Baseball Player.' To his credit, he has gotten Jonathan 'The Man' right, and I think the baseball part of it will pretty much take care of itself."
Trembley appreciates relationship with O's players
HOUSTON -- There are still seven players remaining on the Orioles' roster who were managed by Astros third-base coach Dave Trembley, who was the skipper in Baltimore from June 18, 2007, until June 4, 2010. He joined the Astros prior to this season.
The players Trembley managed are Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, Jim Johnson, Troy Patton, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz. Trembley was the first big league manager for Tillman, Matusz and Jones, and he had Markakis in the instructional league.
"They've all become Gold Glove, All-Star players," Trembley said. "They had a tremendous amount of ability and they learned to play Major League Baseball at the Major League level. All of them spent limited time in the Minor Leagues, much like the young man they have over there in [Manny] Machado. It was because of their makeup that they could handle it."
Trembley keeps in touch with as many of the players as he can and takes pride in their careers.
"I'm very proud and appreciative of the relationship I've had with those guys," he said. "I think if you ask all those guys, they would be very honest and say we were patient with them and very supportive."
• Singleton isn't the only notable recent addition to the Corpus Christi roster, as center fielder Justin Maxwell began a rehab assignment Tuesday with the team.
"I'm pretty excited about the lineup right now in Corpus Christi," Luhnow said. "You've got a lot of thunder in that lineup between [George] Springer, Maxwell, Singleton and [Domingo] Santana hitting together."
Maxwell, who went 0-for-3 with a run scored, is returning from a fracture to his left hand that he suffered on April 24 and put him on the disabled list.
Porter said he and team doctors will be evaluating Maxwell's ability to play consistently without pain.
"For me, it's more about the health on consecutive days," Porter said. "Yeah, you might be able to swing the bat well one day, but I want to know how it feels the next day and then after three to four days in a row. That's more of a parameter for evaluating him than his performance."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.