Astros 1st Round Draft History

"Biggio" (Prints Available from artist Opie Otterstad) was the most successful 1st round choice in franchise history (1987), but J.R. Richard (1969), Billy Wagner (1993), Lance Berkman (1997), and Brad Lidge (1998) weren't too shabby either.)

Astros 1st Round Draft Picks: 1965-2010

Year↓ Name↓ Position↓ School (Location) Pick↓ Ref
1965 Alex Barrett Shortstop Atwater High School
(Atwater, California)
4 [10]
1966 Wayne Twitchell Right-handed pitcher Wilson High School
(Portland, Oregon)
3 [11]
1967 John Mayberry First baseman Northwestern High School
(Detroit, Michigan)
6 [12]
1968 Martin Cott Catcher Hutchinson Technical High School
(Buffalo, New York)
3 [13]
1969 J. R. Richard Right-handed pitcher Lincoln High School
(Ruston, Louisiana)
2 [14]
1970 Randy Scarbery* Right-handed pitcher Roosevelt High School
(Fresno, California)
7 [15]
1971 Neil Rasmussen Shortstop Arcadia High School
(Arcadia, California)
12 [16]
1972 Steve Englishbey Outfielder South Houston High School
(South Houston, Texas)
9 [17]
1973 Calvin Portley Shortstop Longview High School
(Longview, Texas)
20 [18]
1974 Kevin Drake Outfielder Cabrillo High School
(Lompoc, California)
15 [19]
1975 Bo McLaughlin Right-handed pitcher Lipscomb University
(Nashville, Tennessee)
14 [20]
1976 Floyd Bannister Left-handed pitcher Arizona State University
(Tempe, Arizona)
1 [21]
1977 Ricky Adams Shortstop Montclair High School
(Montclair, California)
14 [22]
1978 Rod Boxberger Right-handed pitcher University of Southern California
(Los Angeles, California)
11 [23]
1979 John Mizerock Catcher Punxsutawney High School
(Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania)
8 [24]
1980 no first-round pick[a] [3]
1981 no first-round pick[b] [3]
1982 Steve Swain Outfielder Grossmont High School
(El Cajon, California)
15 [25]
1983 Robbie Wine Catcher Oklahoma State University–Stillwater
(Stillwater, Oklahoma)
8 [26]
1984 Don August Right-handed pitcher Chapman University
(Orange, California)
17 [27]
1985 Cameron Drew Outfielder University of New Haven
(West Haven, Connecticut)
12 [28]
1986 Ryan Bowen Right-handed pitcher Hanford High School
(Hanford, California)
13 [29]
1987 Craig Biggio Catcher Seton Hall University
(South Orange, New Jersey)
22 [30]
1988 Willie Ansley Outfielder Plainview High School
(Plainview, Texas)
7 [31]
1989 Jeff Juden Right-handed pitcher Salem High School
(Salem, Massachusetts)
12 [32]
1989 Todd Jones Right-handed pitcher Jacksonville State University
(Jacksonville, Alabama)
27§[c] [32]
1990 Tom Nevers Shortstop Edina High School
(Edina, Minnesota)
21[d] [33]
1990 Brian Williams Right-handed pitcher University of South Carolina
(Columbia, South Carolina)
31§[e] [33]
1991 John Burke* Right-handed pitcher University of Florida
(Gainesville, Florida)
6 [34]
1991 Shawn Livsey Shortstop Simeon Career Academy
(Chicago, Illinois)
29§[f] [34]
1991 Jim Gonzalez Catcher East Hartford High School
(East Hartford, Connecticut)
40§[g] [34]
1991 Mike Groppuso Third baseman Seton Hall University
(South Orange, New Jersey)
44§[h] [34]
1992 Phil Nevin Third baseman California State University, Fullerton
(Fullerton, California)
1 [35]
1992 Kendall Rhine Right-handed pitcher University of Georgia
(Athens, Georgia)
37§[i] [35]
1993 Billy Wagner Left-handed pitcher Ferrum College
(Ferrum, Virginia)
12 [36]
1994 Ramón Castro Catcher Lino Padron Rivera High School
(Vega BaiaPuerto Rico)
17 [37]
1994 Scott Elarton Right-handed pitcher Lamar High School
(Lamar, Colorado)
25[j] [37]
1994 Russ Johnson Shortstop Louisiana State University
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
30§[k] [37]
1995 Tony McKnight Right-handed pitcher Arkansas High School
(Texarkana, Arkansas)
22 [38]
1996 Mark Johnson Right-handed pitcher University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
(Honolulu, Hawaii)
19 [39]
1997 Lance Berkman First baseman Rice University
(Houston, Texas)
16 [40]
1998 Brad Lidge Right-handed pitcher University of Notre Dame
(Notre Dame, Indiana)
17[l] [41]
1998 Mike Nannini Right-handed pitcher Green Valley High School
(Henderson, Nevada)
37§[m] [41]
1999 Mike Rosamond Outfielder University of Mississippi
(Oxford, Mississippi)
42§[m] [42]
2000 Robert Stiehl Right-handed pitcher El Camino College
(Torrance, California)
27 [43]
2001 Chris Burke Second baseman University of Tennessee
(Knoxville, Tennessee)
10 [44]
2002 Derick Grigsby Right-handed pitcher Northeast Texas Community College
(Mount Pleasant, Texas)
29 [45]
2003 no first-round pick[n] [3]
2004 no first-round pick[o] [3]
2005 Brian Bogusevic Left-handed pitcher Tulane University
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
24 [46]
2005 Eli Iorg Outfielder University of Tennessee
(Knoxville, Tennessee)
38§[p] [46]
2006 Maxwell Sapp Catcher Bishop Moore High School
(Orlando, Florida)
23 [47]
2007 no first-round pick[r] [3]
2008 Jason Castro Catcher Stanford University
(Stanford, California)
10 [48]
2008 Jordan Lyles Right-handed pitcher Hartsville High School
(Hartsville, South Carolina)
38§[s] [48]
2009 Jiovanni Mier Shortstop Bonita High School
(La Verne, California)
21 [49]
2010 Delino DeShields, Jr. Outfielder Woodward Academy
(College Park, Georgia)
8 [50]
2010 Mike Foltynewicz Right-handed pitcher Minooka High School
(Minooka, Illinois)
19[t] [50]
2010 Michael Kvasnicka Catcher University of Minnesota
(Minneapolis, Minnesota)
33§[u] [50] 

We will have to wait and see how some recent picks like Jason Castro (2008), Jordan Lyles (2008), Delino DeShields, Jr. (2010), and brand new pick George Springer (2011) turn out in the long run, but there is some evidence on the board that the club, indeed, has successfully picked some pretty nice nuggets from the always larger larger pile of Fool’s Gold choices every now and then over time.

The list of actual Astros picks itself hardly reads like the walls of the Hall of Fame, but I’m guessing something similar would be the same pattern we saw with just about any major league club. With all the weight we place today on scouts with strong player evaluation skills, experts remain fallible, and the draft remains governed by many factors other than accurate talent assessment.

Signability of the individual player, a player’s failure to develop and mature, poor instruction and guidance by the club, the random occurrence of career altering or ending injuries, and “luck” all seem to get into the act in one form or another. I have a personal hunch that one big influence upon the development of a successful major leaguer is the presence of a significant positive mentor in the young player’s developmental years. He may be a  manager, a coach, a special instructor, or maybe even a veteran teammate, – but he’s somebody who helps the younger player develop a skill, correct a problem, or simply be the fellow who somehow guides the youngster into believing in himself and taking responsibility for his own behavior. He’s the impact guy, the mentor, the gatekeeper/teacher/big brother who turns out to be the difference-maker in a young draftee’s future.

Maybe I’m making too much of the mentor factor, but I don’t think so. These young kids are going to learn something from several somebodies along the way – and what they learn is going to shape their careers, for better or worse.

Back to the breakdown on Astros picks: The club has chosen 55 players in the first round through 2011. This year’s 2011 choice, outfielder George Springer, is not shown on the chart. Of the total #1 picks, 24 have been pitchers, the highest number for any position; 21 of these pitchers were right-handed; 3 were left-handed. Nine catchers have been selected, while eight shortstops, nine outfielders, two first basemen, and two third basemen were taken also. The Astros also have selected one player at second base. Thirteen of the players came from high schools or universities in the state of California, while Texas with five players and Tennessee with three players, follow in second and third place. Houston also has drafted one player from outside the United States: Ramon Castro from Puerto Rico was chosen in 1994.

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2 Responses to “Astros 1st Round Draft History”

  1. Bill McCurdy Says:

    By E-Mail, Lance Carter writes ….

    I had a chance to see the UConn team play in Corpus Christi back in February. George Springer, Matt Barnes, and Nick Ahmed were three players on the UConn that I was following and studying the stats and I before the draft I was very confident that the Astros were going to take Springer first.

    Great 5-tool player. A rare one to find especially if they are coming out of college.

    I believe George Springer was a great pick for the Astros. Even though I would have preferred them taking the Pitcher from U.T. whose name is slipping my mind at the moment.

    Lets hope the Astros can sign him.

  2. Eagle Right Handed Says:

    […] Astros 1st Round Draft History « The Pecan Park Eagle Of the total #1 picks, 24 have been pitchers, the highest number for any position; 21 of these pitchers were right-handed 3 were left-handed. Nine catchers have been selected, while eight shortstops, nine outfielders, […]

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