Prospect Notes: Rodon, Aiken, Taveras

The Astros should take NC State’s Carlos Rodon with the top overall pick in the June draft even though Rodon’s stock has fallen,’s Jonathan Mayo writes. There’s a decent chance that the worry over Rodon’s less-than-dominant performances this year are “much ado about nothing,” Mayo says. Rodon has gotten great results in his last two starts, and he has a long track record — Mayo notes that some scouts believe he could have been the first overall pick even in 2012 if he had been eligible then. Here are more notes on prospects.

  • The best left-handed pitcher available isn’t Rodon, it’s California high-schooler Brady Aiken, writes’s Jim Callis. Aiken’s velocity has increased this year, and so has his command. “I’d probably take Aiken No. 1, and I think if you asked 30 teams, 15-20 would say Aiken,” says a scouting official from an NL team. “He has taken a real step up. He’s more consistent, he has a good body, good arm action, three plus pitches at times.”
  • Oscar Taveras is “checking off all the boxes” necessary for promotion to the big leagues, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Matheny says the timeline for Taveras’ promotion has more to do with the picture at the big-league level than with Taveras’ performance. “They’re just trying to keep him going not knowing what it would look like up here,” Matheny says. “Knowing there probably wouldn’t be an extended amount of playing time as far as everyday goes. For him, just keep going.” The Cardinals recently promoted outfielder Randal Grichuk to help what had been a struggling big-league outfield. Unlike Taveras, however, Grichuk isn’t a top prospect, which might mean that the Cardinals weren’t as concerned about carving out regular playing time for him. Taveras is currently hitting .316/.370/.515 for Triple-A Memphis.