Draft Notes: Astros, Orioles, Red Sox

The Astros hope Stanford's Mark Appel follows in the path of Stephen Strasburg and David Price as successful big league pitchers who were first overall picks coming out of college. Houston is expected to take Appel with the top pick on Monday in the amateur draft as we noted earlier in the day. Let's catch up on the latest draft news and rumors as teams make their final preparations in the hunt for quality Major League talent…

  • The Astros need to ensure Monday's draft bolsters the team's rebuilding effort and that starts with drafting Mark Appel over Byron Buxton, opines Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports. Selecting Appel, a starting pitcher for the Stanford Cardinal, would take the team in a different direction than the addition of Buxton, a high school outfielder with five-tool potential. While Buxton may ultimately have a brighter future than Appel, the Astros are in need of a quality player who can contribute at the big league level as soon as possible.
  • Armed with the fourth pick in the draft, the Orioles have narrowed down their list of potential selections to four players, writes Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com. Baltimore will choose between Puerto Rican high school shortstop Carlos Correa, high school left-hander Max Fried, LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman and University of San Francisco right-hander Kyle Zimmer. The Orioles have encountered mixed success with their recent first-round picks as Matt Wieters (2007) has emerged as a top catcher in baseball while Brian Matusz (2008) has struggled in Baltimore. 
  • Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and scouting director Amiel Sawdaye talked with Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal about their approach to 2011's deep draft class. Sawdaye explains that the Sox felt fortunate to net Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley Jr., both of whom they thought would be off the board prior to their selections at No. 19 and No. 40, respectively. Sawdaye cautions that it's dangerous for a team to set its sights on one specific player, as more often than not, that approach results in the disappointment of seeing the player go elsewhere.

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