6/7/2014 9:15 P.M. ET
Astros achieve symmetry with their Draft
Club selects 20 pitchers and 20 position players over three days
By Mike Vernon / MLB.com
The Astros ended their Draft with balance across all positions. But it didn't start that way.
With the first overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, the Astros selected Brady Aiken, a 17-year-old left-handed pitcher out of Cathedral Catholic High School in California. Aiken was widely considered to be the most talented player in the Draft.
Early on, the Astros stayed with pitchers -- drafting them with seven of their first 11 picks. They went with a local pitcher in the fourth round in Daniel Mengden, who grew up in Houston and played for Texas A&M. They also selected another highly regarded high school pitcher out of California in Jacob Nix in the fifth round, who is a good friend of Aiken's.
"We definitely like to get some high-upside high school kids in the Draft," scouting director Mike Elias said. "Jacob Nix, our fifth-round pick, definitely represents that."
When the Astros drafted a position player early, they went for college power. In the second, third and fourth rounds, the Astros selected Derek Fisher, A.J. Reed and J.D. Davis -- who were all known as power bats.
"J.D. Davis was one of our favorite players in the Draft this year," Elias said. "We love his swing. He's got a lot of raw power."
Tommy John surgery didn't scare off the Astros on Day 3 of the Draft. Houston selected pitchers in the 11th and 17th round who had previously had Tommy John surgery in their careers. Dean Deetz (Round 11) suffered the injury while in high school, and collegian Ben Smith (Round 17) was a top prospect at Coastal Carolina before having the surgery in March.
"This is one of the more exciting Day 3s that I think we've had in our three years here," said Elias. "It went really well."
In total, the Astros drafted 20 pitchers and 20 position players.
"We weren't counting, but that's good to know here," Elias said. "I was very pleased with the mixture of pitchers and hitters, and the different positions we were able to get."
Mike Vernon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.