Who’s Number Two?

by: Evan Valenti (@EvanValenti)

It seems that the Astros will either select Matt Appel (RHP, Stanford, Ca.) or Bryon Buxton (OF, Appling County HS, Ga.) with the team’s first-overall pick on Monday night, barring some unforeseen change. But Houston has another pick on day one as compensation for losing Clint Barmes to the Pirates in the offseason.

So who should they pick at number 41?

Ty Buttrey, RHP, Providence HS, Charlotte, NC:

MyMLBDraft.com has the Astros selecting right-hander Ty Buttrey with its comp pick. A 6-foot 5-inch, 205 pound mammoth, Buttrey features a couple of pitches that could turn into plus-pitches with some fine tuning. At 18-years old, Ty throws his fastball in the high-80’s, low-90’s (he hit 97 mph once), which can be heavy at times. He has two off-speed offerings that project to 50 on the scouting scale (curveball and change-up), but both need some work. He needs to tighten up the curveball and the change-up will come with time. His height will definitely be one of his biggest assets as he continues to fill out his body. Buttrey is committed to Arkansas in the fall.

James Ramsey, OF, Florida State:

At 6-feet and 195 pounds, Ramsey is often lauded for the hard work he puts in day in and day out. Drafted last year in the 22nd round, scouts project this toolsy outfielder as a fringe everyday outfielder, with room for growth. He tools are all average, except for his plus speed, but tends to play above them. This season he hit .382/.515/.673 with 12 homers (team leader) and 49 RBI. Last year he was named the MVP of the Cape League All-Star Game, where he deposited a home run into the bullpen at Fenway Park.

Mitch Nay, 3B, Hamilton HS, Chandler, AZ.

Nay got off to a slow start this season, but has really turned it around lately. A prototypical body for a third baseman (6’3″, 195) and has a plus-arm. Scouts tend to think that he’ll end up moving to right field as he gets older because his glove isn’t great at the hot corner. Nay has had trouble handling off-speed pitches, but has improved in that category as the season has progressed which makes scouts think he can end up hitting for average. Don’t be fooled though. Power at the plate is Nay’s biggest asset. He is committed to Arizona State in the fall.

Tom Murphy, C, Buffalo:

I tweeted about Murphy a few days ago after a regional scout raved to me about him. He told me he loved this kid and whoever ended up selecting the catcher from Buffalo would end up loving him as well. “Murph” hit .311/.396/.616 this season for the Bulls with 13 home runs and 51 batted in (both team-highs). He’s quick for a catcher (ran a 6.7 60) and he is decent behind the plate, but has to work on his throwing as the ball tends to sail on him every now and then. No mistake about it, his biggest asset is his power. In a showcase against Team USA, Murphy hit an estimated 450-foot bomb against LSU’s (and top-ten pick) Kevin Gausman (watch it below). He is a junior at Buffalo, but one would think if he is selected that high Houston could lure him away from his final year with the Bulls.

Nick Williams, OF, Ball HS, Galveston, TX:

I wanted to throw a wild card in here and I think Williams fits that mold. A raw, toolsy dynamo who confuses scouts all across the country. Some see him as a Ken Griffey Jr./Andruw Jones type center fielder with power to all fields, speed to burn (6.47 60), but needs some work defensively. Has quick bat speed, but he tends to have a lot of movement in his swing which he will need to tighten up as he faces better competition. He has tools you just can’t teach, but will definitely need some time to develop. Williams is committed to Texas in the fall.

Make sure you stay tuned for more coverage leading up to the 2012 MLB Draft on Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m.!

Information from Baseball America was used in this report

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