6/7/2014 10:00 P.M. ET
Rain keeps Villar from getting in much work
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The morning rain that kept the tarp on Target Field early on Saturday didn't allow banged up Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar the chance to work out on the field with the trainers as much as manager Bo Porter would have liked.
Villar, out of the lineup for the fourth game in a row after he was hit on the right elbow by a pitch on Tuesday, did manage to play catch on the field with head athletic trainer Nate Lucero.
"[On Friday], he took ground balls and was able to get the ball across the diamond, but it wasn't game speed," Porter said. "That's what we were going to try to do today."
Marwin Gonzalez started at shortstop for the fourth game in a row on Saturday, coming off a game in which he hit a home run in place of Villar, who's hitting .195 with five homers and 17 RBIs with 11 stolen bases.
Astros hoping to lock up Aiken soon
HOUSTON -- The father of No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken told MLB.com on Saturday he was hoping his son would have a deal completed soon with the Astros.
The 17-year-old Aiken was drafted by the Astros on Thursday out of Central Catholic High School in San Diego with the top pick in the First-Year Player Draft.
"It's more contract language and a few more ancillary things in the contract to be hammered out," Jim Aiken told MLB.com. "Our advisors are working with the Astros' executives on the contract -- and once the Draft ends, then we're going to get back on it."
Aiken is only the third left-handed high school pitcher to be taken with the first-overall pick, joining Brien Taylor (Yankees, 1991) and Houston's David Clyde (Rangers, 1973). Aiken is the fifth lefty selected first overall, and the first since David Price was taken by Tampa Bay in 2007.
"I'm really excited," Brady Aiken told MLB.com. "I know my advisors and the Astros are talking and they've pretty much got it locked down. I'm really excited and can't wait to get out there and start playing for the Astros."
MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis reported on Saturday the Astros and Aiken had agreed to a $6.5-million signing bonus, which would tie the record for the largest given to a high school pitcher. The Pirates gave Jameson Taillon a $6.5-million signing bonus after taking him with the second pick in 2010.
"I can't comment on it," said Astros scouting director Mike Elias. "It's not necessarily true, either. When we took Brady Aiken, we had a good idea of his signability -- and I expect Brady will sign and it shouldn't take too long. We wouldn't take a kid with the first pick in the country if we weren't confident we could sign him -- and those kids usually end up signing anyway. I don't think it will be long, but we don't have any agreement in place."
The slot value for the No. 1 overall pick is $7,922,100.
Once a contract agreement is announced, Aiken will be flown to Houston to take a physical and meet the media.
"I wanted to get out here and [get] started playing as soon as I could," Brady Aiken said. "The Astros, having the organization that they do have and the young players, young talent they have, it's important to get out there and get used to the system and their philosophy, so I can get to the bigs and help them win some games."
Aiken posted a 7-0 record and a 1.06 ERA in 11 starts in his senior season. He was a 2014 Perfect Game first team All-American and an All-Region first team in California. He led Team USA to the gold medal at the 18-and-under World Cup in Taiwan last September by winning both of his starts -- including a championship-game performance against Japan in which he struck out 10 and allowed one run over seven innings.
Astros agree with pair of draftees, close with another
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Astros have agreed to terms with eighth-round pick Bobby Boyd, a speedy center fielder from West Virginia University, and 10th-round pick Jay Gause, a right-handed pitcher from Faulkner University in Alabama.
Meanwhile, the Astros and sixth-round pick Brock Dykxhoorn, a right-handed pitcher from Central Arizona College, have agreed to a signing bonus and should have a contract done soon after working through the final details.
Boyd told MLB.com he expected to sign his contract within the next day or so and report to Tri-City in the New York-Penn League.
"I'm really excited about it," Boyd said. "It's definitely a dream come true. I really didn't expect this day to come. It was amazing."
The pick, which was No. 226 overall, has an assigned slot value of $162,800.
Boyd, a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder, was a junior for the Mountaineers this year and led the team with a batting average of .356. He also tallied 24 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. He garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors during his sophomore season in which he hit .314 and stole 17 bases.
Gause told MLB.com he planned to sign his deal and will be in the rotation at short-season Tri-City.
"I'm excited, man," Gause said. "I plan on being in the rotation sometime in the next week or so. I've been waiting on this opportunity for two or three years now. I got drafted out of high school (25th round by Indians in 2010) and turned it down and went to college. So I've been waiting for this."
Gause, 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, is coming off a season in which he threw 58 innings and had a 2.17 ERA, along with 83 strikeouts and 24 walks. He is from Shallotte, N.C., and previously attended Walters State Community College.
The pick, No. 286 overall, comes with an assigned slot value of $142,100.
Dykxhoorn is a 6-foot-8, 240-pound pitcher out of Central Arizona College, where he posted an ERA of 2.77 in 78 innings. Dykxhoorn struck out 114 while walking 27.
Dykxhoorn, 19, was drafted in the 20th round out of high school by Cincinnati in 2012 and was a member of Team Canada's junior national team. He pitched in 10 games his freshman season at West Virginia, posting a 3.15 ERA and a 2-1 record. He struck out 20 and walked 11 before moving to Central Arizona College.
"I have basically agreed to a signing bonus -- and it's just the education package and stuff, just minor stuff like that [which needs to be ironed out]," Dykxhoorn told MLB.com. "It's definitely exciting and a bit of a relief, too. I knew what I wanted going in, and the Astros were able to meet it. It was a pretty easy decision for me."
The pick, No. 166 overall, comes with an assigned slot value of $277,400.
Because he's a native of Ontario, Canada, Dykxhoorn said he would need to acquire a work visa before he could report to a Minor League club.
• Jesus Guzman started at designated hitter on Saturday. Porter said he wanted to give Guzman a few at-bats prior to playing games on Monday and Tuesday in Arizona, at a National League park where Guzman figures to perform some pinch-hit duties.
"With the NL games coming and having to pinch-hit and double switch, I just try to get everybody at least a few at-bats under their belts going into those two National League games," Porter said.