2021 MLB Draft Recap: Houston Astros

2021 MLB Draft Recap: Houston Astros

by July 15, 2021 0 comments

The Houston Astros were stripped of their first two picks in the 2021 MLB Draft but still managed to make some solid selections in this past week’s event. Their farm system ranked 25th in baseball entering the draft, so they had a clear need to make some sneaky-good selections. Let’s check out how Houston’s draft went.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Recaps.

Draft Selections

Round 3, Pick 87: Tyler Whitaker, OF, Bishop Gorman (NV)

Whitaker was widely viewed as someone who might be drafted in the back half of the first round. Instead, the Astros were able to select him in Round 3 after not owning a pick in the first two rounds. Whitaker is a speedy outfielder with a strong arm. He projects to be a talented right-fielder long-term.

Round 4, Pick 117: Alex Ulloa, SS, Calvary Christian (FL)

Ulloa is a toolsy player who patrols the middle of the infield. He’ll likely spend most of his time at second base long-term, though the Astros may at least give him a chance to play shortstop. He’s a solid hitter who is capable of putting the ball in play. Defensively, he has good range and an above-average arm.

Round 4, Pick 132: Chayce McDermott, RHP, Ball State

McDermott is a talented right-handed pitcher with an impressive fastball that tops out in the upper-90s. In addition to his heater, the Ball State product boasts a solid curveball that has good vertical break, though the pitch could still use more development. He also has a changeup, though this pitch, too, lacks true development.

Round 5, Pick 148: Quincy Hamilton, OF, Wright State University

Hamilton bats and throws left-handed. He possesses solid speed which gives him plenty of range in the outfield. The Wright State product put the ball in play a lot during college but was never a true power hitter. He did, however, draw a lot of walks and find ways to get on base. It will be interesting to see if he can make the massive leap from Wright State to professional baseball.

Round 6, Pick 178: Spencer Arrighetti, RHP, Louisiana at Lafayette

Arrighetti presents an interesting pick in the sixth round. He dominated (0.00 ERA) through 24 innings of North Woods League action in 2020 but has struggled in college. Over 32 games (14 starts) at Louisiana, he went 9-6 with a 4.11 ERA. That’s a bit too high of an ERA for someone to be drafted in the sixth round, though Houston clearly has faith in him as the two sides have already agreed to a contract.

Round 7, Pick 208: Joey Loperfido, OF, Duke 

Round 8, Pick 238: Colton Gordon, LHP, Central Florida 

Round 9, Pick 268: Aaron Brown, RHP, Tennessee State

Round 10, Pick 298: Michael Sandle, OF, University of South Alabama 

Round 11, Pick 328: Chad Stevens, SS, University of Portland

Round 12, Pick 358: Rhett Kouba, RHP, Dallas Baptist

Round 13, Pick 388: Kobe Kato, 2B, Arizona

Round 14, Pick 418: Bryant Salgado, RHP, Oregon State

Round 15, Pick 448: Adrian Chaidez, RHP, UCLA

Round 16, Pick 478: Nic Swanson, RHP, Northeastern State

Round 17, Pick 508: Justin Williams, 3B, Penn State

Round 18, Pick 538: Bill Wagner, 2B, Liberty

Round 19, Pick 568: Hector Nieves, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy

Round 20, Pick 598: Jackson Linn, OF, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Best Pick

Round 3, Pick 87: Tyler Whitaker, OF, Bishop Gorman (NV)

Whitaker was an incredible pick at No. 87 given the impressive value. He is a speedy outfielder with a cannon of an arm who should stick in right field long-term. This is the Astros’ best pick of the draft solely because of the value they are getting as Whitaker was someone who could have been drafted in the first round. Now, the biggest question is if he will sign or honor his commitment to Arizona. After all, there is a big difference between the $689,300 slot at No. 87 and the money he could have earned in the first round.

Worst Pick

Round 8, Pick 238: Colton Gordon, LHP, Central Florida 

Gordon put up solid stats at Central Florida, but his injury history represents a legitimate concern. The southpaw is coming back from Tommy John surgery and it remains to be seen how this impacted his development. 

Draft Grade: B- 

The Astros did not have any picks in the first two rounds, which essentially removes any chance they had at earning an “A” grade. However, they did bounce back in the third round and beyond. Specifically, their focus on drafting speedy outfielders who can get on base in the later rounds deserves to be commended. They also made an impact in the pitching department, though the selections of Arrighetti and Gordon are somewhat concerning.

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Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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