Each year, teams take chances on players in the first round in hopes that they will blossom into stars. MLB History dictates that this may not always be the case. The Houston Astros have some first draft picks that have gone on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame like Craig Biggio was in 2015. Some players may not have the same success as Biggio and may not even make it out of the minor leagues.
MLB History: The Picks
The Astros drafted Jason Castro with the 10th overall pick in the 2008 draft out of Stanford University. Castro worked his way up through the Astros farm system very quickly and made his major league debut on in June 2010.
From there, Castro become an All-Star in 2013, which would be his only appearance. After the first spending six seasons with the Astros, Castro elected free agency and signed a three year deal with the Minnesota Twins. After spending time with the Twins, Los Angeles Angels, and San Diego Padres, Castros returned to the Astros this past offseason to back up Martin Maldonado.
Jordan Lyles – Pitcher
Jordan Lyles was the 38th overall pick in the 2008 draft. Lyles was a supplemental draft pick drafted out of high school. Lyles was called up the Astros in May of 2011 and would finish the Astros season before starting the 2012 season in Triple-A. Lyles would be called up again in April of 2012. Lyles’ return to the Astros would be short-lived as he was optioned back to Triple-A after one appearance.
Lyles would spend the remainder of the 2012 season in Triple-A before getting traded to the Colorado Rockies that offseason for outfielder Dexter Fowler and Player to Be Named Later. Since being traded, Lyles has played for the Rockies, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and is currently playing for the Texas Rangers.
Jiovanni Mier – Shortstop
Jiovanni Mier was the 21st overall pick in the 2009 draft. Drafted out of high school, the Astros had high hopes for Mier. Mier jumped around between the minor leagues making it to Triple-A in 2014 before going back down to Double-A in 2015. Mier would never make it above Double-A for the Astros again.
The Astros would not offer Mier a contract after the 2015 season. Mier would sign a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016 but would spend the entire season in Triple-A. In the Spring of 2017, Mier would sign a minor league deal with the New York Mets and spend the season between Double-A and Triple-A. After the 2017 season, Mier would elect free agency, but Mier did not receive any offers.
Multiple First Round picks
Delino Deshields Jr. – Outfielder
Delino Deshields Jr. was the 8th overall pick by the Astros in the 2010 draft. DeShields would never make it above Double-A for the Astros before the Texas Rangers would select DeShields in the Rule 5 draft during the 2014 offseason.
Mike Foltynewicz – Pitcher
Mike Foltynewicz was the 19th overall pick selected by the Astros out of high school. Foltynewicz’s rise to the big leagues was a slow one in the minor leagues’ first two seasons. In 2012, Foltynewicz was the Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 14-4 at Class A Lexington.
Foltynewicz would then move up through the minors, making it to Double-A before getting called up in August of 2014 for the Astros. Foltynewicz would spend the majority of the 2014 season in the bullpen. After the 2014 season, Foltynewicz would be traded to the Atlanta Braves for future Astros fan-favorite Evan Gattis. Since getting traded, Foltynewicz has spent the last 6 seasons with the Braves. Foltynewicz became a free agent after the 2020 season and has since signed a deal with the Texas Rangers.
Michael Kvasnicka – Catcher
Michael Kvasnicka was the 33rd overall pick in the 2010 draft. Kvasnicka would never make it above Single-A for the Astros before getting released in 2014. The Minnesota Twins would sign Kvasnicka to a minor league deal but advanced within the system. The Twins released Kvasnicka in 2015.
George Springer – Outfielder
George Springer was the 11th overall pick in 2011 drafted out of the University of Connecticut. Springer blossomed very quickly and rose through the Astros farm system very quickly. In 2012, Springer advanced from Class-A Advanced California League to Double-A. In 2013, Springer would spend time between Double-A and Triple-A dominated both leagues.
In 2014, Springer would start the Triple-A season before finally getting the call to the big leagues in April of 2014. From then on, Springer would rise to stardom and would never look back. Springer would be a pivotal part for the Astros in helping them win their first World Series Champion in 2017 and was also named the World Series MVP. Springer would elect free agency after 2020 and would go on to sign a 6-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Carlos Correa – Shortstop
Carlos Correa was the 1st overall draft pick in the 2012 draft out of Puerto Rico. At 17 years old, Correa had all of the makings of a superstar. Ranked one of the top prospects in the Astros farm system in 2013, Correa became the youngest player to participate in the All-Star Futures Game and play for the World Team. Injuries would slow Correa’s path to the big leagues, but Correa would finally get the call to join the Astros in June of 2015, and like Springer, Correa would never look back.
Injuries have plagued Correa throughout his career, but when healthy, Correa has delivered in some of the biggest moments for the Astros, helping the Astros win the World Series in 2017. Correa has been the unofficial captain for the Astros as the organization tries to get back on track after the sign-stealing scandal. Correa will be entering free agency after the 2021 season; both Correa and the Astros hope to work out a deal that will keep Correa in an Astros uniform for years to come.
Mark Appel – Pitcher
Mark Appel was the first overall in the 2013 draft out of Stanford University. After much success in college, the Astros were hoping Appel would carry that success as a professional. Appel would struggle during his time in the Astros farm system, never advancing higher than Triple-A. In December of 2015, the Astros would trade Appel and other players to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz. Injuries that would plague Appel during his time with the Phillies would ultimately cause Appel to step away from baseball 2018.
Brady Aiken was the 1st overall pick in the 2014 draft. Aiken and the Astros were not able to work out a deal, leading to Aiken enrolling at IMG Academy in Florida as a post-graduate. Aiken would go on to be selected in the 1st round by the Cleveland Indians in 2015. Since then, Aiken has spent his entire career in the minor leagues. Aiken took some time away from baseball in 2018, and his return is still up in the air. With Astros unable to sign Aiken, the Astros were awarded the second-round pick in the 2015 draft in which they were able to draft Alex Bregman as a compensation pick, and the rest is history.
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