Draft Report: Daniel Mengden, College Pitcher

Daniel Mengden grew up an Astros fan in Houston, occasionally going to Minute Maid Park on a weekend to watch a game. Mengden remembers Lance Berkman was his favorite player.

"Once I got older and older, I figured out I was pretty good at baseball, and I really wanted to pitch for the Astros," Mengden said. "I'd want to pitch for any team in the Major Leagues, but it would be really cool to get to play for the hometown team and play for the Astros."

Early Friday afternoon, Mengden got a phone call from the Astros, with the message that he would be joining the organization he grew up watching. The club selected Mengden with the first pick of the fourth round (106th overall) in the 2104 First-Year Player Draft.

"It was nerve-racking and exciting all at the same time," Mengden said. "I kind of had to soak it in for a minute to actually realize I was getting picked by the Astros."

Mengden, a right handed pitcher from Texas A&M, went to Westside High School in Houston and was named District 20-5A MVP three times. He threw 103 2/3 innings for the Aggies and had a 4-9 record with a 4.08 ERA his junior season.

Scouting director Mike Elias said Mengden threw this past season with a stress fracture in his back. The injury heals with rest, which the Astros plan to give him.

"We came in during winter meetings, he would be what we call a group one follow, which is for the top 50 picks in the Draft," Elias said. "To get him in the fourth round is a really good value pick."

Texas A&M coach Rob Childress said he had no idea the Astros were going to take Mengden.

"He's excited," Childress said. "He's obviously a kid that has grown up in Houston and played close to home. The opportunity to work his way back to his hometown, I think is pretty exciting for any kid."

Mengden is the second pitcher the Astros have selected and the first since drafting Brady Aiken with the No. 1 overall pick. Aiken, a 17-year-old left-hander, was followed by three position players out of college: Derek Fisher, A.J. Reed and J.D. Davis.

Mengden is 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, and was named to the USA baseball Collegiate National Team as a sophomore. Mengden, 21, was a two-way player for the Aggies his first two seasons in College Station, Texas.

With Team USA last summer, Mengden began to exclusively work as a pitcher and carried that into his junior year. Mengden struck out 95 batters and walked just 29. Opponents had a batting average of .258 against him.

"Had we made the decision to make him a full-time position player, I think he would've gone every bit as high in the Draft as a catcher and a hitter," Childress said. "Based on our needs at the time, we needed him to be a full-time pitcher."

His first option from the mound is a fastball that ranges from 88-94 mph. His No. 2 pitch is a slider that varies from 82-85 mph. He also throws a curveball and a changeup for his third and fourth options.

"I truly believe he's going to make the Houston Astros organization better," Childress said.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon CT.

Astros take college slugger Davis in third round

Draft 2014: Astros draft 3B J.D. Davis No. 75

The Astros picked up right where they left off with the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Friday, selecting another college bat in J.D. Davis from Cal State-Fullerton with the first pick of the third round (No. 75 overall).

Davis, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander, was both a hitter and pitcher for Fullerton, but was drafted for his hitting prowess, rather than his arm.

"It's a right-handed power bat," Cal State-Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said. "In college, he had power from foul pole to foul pole."

Fullerton lists Davis -- a 21-year-old junior -- as both a first baseman and right-handed pitcher. During MLB.com's Draft coverage, Davis was listed as a third baseman. Baseballamerica.com has listed Davis as capable of playing both positions. Fullerton already had a third baseman, Matt Chapman, who was drafted No. 25 in the first round by the Athletics.

2014 Draft Central

"He played more right field for us than anything," Vanderhook said. "My personal opinion is that he's going to end up being a left fielder."

Davis led Fullerton with a batting average of .338, a slugging percentage of .523 and an on-base percentage of .419. He also led the team with 53 strikeouts and 32 walks.

"J.D. Davis was one of our favorite players in the draft this year," scouting director Mike Elias said. "He's one of the best power bats available in the top three rounds of the draft. We love his swing. We think he can play third base."

In Fullerton's NCAA Tournament game against Nebraska, Davis hit a two-out, eighth-inning grand slam in a 5-1 victory. Fullerton was later eliminated by No. 1 seed Oklahoma State.

Davis was named to the 2014 NCAA Stillwater Regional All-Tournament Team as the designated hitter.

"He's a physical hitter, which are hard to come by [now in the] Draft," Vanderhook.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon CT.

Astros draft prep righty Nix in fifth round

Draft Report: Jacob Nix, HS Pitcher

The Astros selected their second high school pitcher of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft with Jacob Nix in the fifth round (136th overall).

Nix, a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher from Los Alamitos High School in California, has committed to attend UCLA. Nix pitched on Team USA's under-18 team gold medal winning team in 2013. Also on the team was Houston's Brady Aiken, whom the Astros selected with the No 1. overall pick on Thursday.

Nix is a good friend of Aiken's, and the two were texting each other throughout Friday morning. Aiken told Nix the two were rooming together. 

Nix's fastball has been clocked as high as 96 mph. He was ranked No. 60 on Perfect Game USA's list of top 500 high school prospects for 2014.

"He's expected to be somewhat of a difficult sign," scouting director Mike Elias said. "He's got a lot of upside and a lot of exciting development ahead of him."

Nix said the Astros are aware of his expectations when it comes to a contract.

"I gave them a ballpark of what I wanted, and I said don't draft me unless we're there," Nix said. "They must obviously have come up with something."

Elias said that he expects to sign Nix.

"I'm ecstatic," Nix said.

College righty Dykxhoorn picked in Round 6

Brock Dykxhoorn posted a 2.77 ERA this year at Central Arizona College.

After a barrage of batters, the Astros selected their third consecutive pitcher in the sixth round (166th overall) with Brock Dykxhoorn in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

Dykxhoorn is a 6-foot-8, 240-pound pitcher out of Central Arizona College, where he posted an ERA of 2.77 in 78 innings. Dykxhoorn stuck out 114 while walking 27.

Dykxhoorn, 19, was drafted in the 20th round out of high school by Cincinnati and was a member of Team Canada's junior national team. He pitched in 10 games his freshman season at West Virginia, posting a 3.15 ERA and a 2-1 record. He struck out 20 and walked 11 before moving to Central Arizona College.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon CT.

Astros tab college righty Velazquez in Round 7

Draft Report: Derick Velazquez, College Pitcher

The Astros selected their fourth consecutive pitcher by drafting Derick Velazquez, a right-handed pitcher in the seventh round (196th overall).

Velazquez, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound pitcher from Fresno State, spent much of the year pitching relief for the Bulldogs before moving into a starting role late in the season.

In 56 1/3 innings, Velazquez had an ERA of 4.79 and a 3-5 record for Fresno State. He struck out 28 and walked 23.

His throws his fastball at 94 mph and backs it up with a curveball that he's comfortable throwing.

Velazquez, a junior, is from Los Banos, Calif., and played at Merced College for one season, where he was a junior college All-American and the Nor-Cal Player of the Year. His record was 11-0 with a 1.43 ERA.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon CT.

In eighth round, Astros take speedy CF Boyd

This season, Bobby Boyd hit .356 with 24 RBIs and 18 steals.

The Astros broke their streak of selecting pitchers in the eighth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft by selecting center fielder Bobby Boyd from West Virginia.

Boyd, a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder, was a junior for the Mountaineers this year and led the team with a batting average of .356. He also tallied 24 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.

Boyd garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors for a sophomore season in which he hit .314 and stole 17 bases.

Boyd started that season on a tear, batting .427 in his first 18 games, and was held hitless just once over that stretch.

He's from Silver Spring, Md., and played for St. John's College High.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon CT.

Miami lefty Radziewski taken in Round 9

Bryan Radziewski went 8-2 with a 2.86 ERA this season.

The Astros selected a left-handed pitcher with the first overall pick of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Thursday, then waited until the ninth round to take another one.

Ninth-rounder Bryan Radziewski, a 5-foot-10 195-pound redshirt junior from the University of Miami, was 8-2 for the Hurricanes this season with an ERA of 2.86. Radziewski struck out 111 batters with 49 walks.

In 2013, Radziewski was named to the Louisville Slugger All-America second team and the Rawlings All-America third team. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the 29th round in 2013 after going 9-3 with an ERA of 1.78 in 14 starts.

Radziewski is from Miami and went to Florida Christian High School.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon CT.

Astros go for college righty Gause in 10th round

The Astros ended Day 2 of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft with right-handed pitcher Jay Gause.

Gause, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound pitcher for Faulkner University in Alabama, is coming off a season in which he threw 58 innings and had a 2.17 ERA along with 83 strikeouts and 24 walks.

Gause is from Shallotte, N.C., and previously attended Walters State Community College.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at noon CT.