HOUSTON -- Astros general manager Ed Wade said Monday he was disappointed first-round pick Delino DeShields Jr., an athletic outfielder drafted out of high school in College Park, Ga., wasn't yet signed. The Astros drafted DeShields No. 8 overall in the June 7 First-Year Player Draft, and have until Aug. 16 to reach a deal.
DeShields Jr., who has signed a baseball scholarship to play at LSU, was the first of three first-round picks by the Astros. The other two -- high school power pitcher Mike Foltynewicz at No. 19 and University of Minnesota third baseman Mike Kvasnicka at No. 33 -- signed shortly after being picked.
"There's so few guys signed [in the first round], but at the same time, I would be less than candid if I didn't say I was disappointed that he's not signed," Wade said. "We take a lot of pride in the work the guys have done from a player development standpoint, and we understand how these at-bats can enhance a guy's chances and movement.
"The only thing we have to do is point at the guy who crouches behind the plate at the Major League level, Jason Castro. He was signed in July of 2008 and is now in the big leagues. If Jason had waited until the very last moment to sign and didn't have the benefit of those at-bats in July and August of 2008, it would be rather unlikely he would be catching at the big league level at this point."
Wade said talks are ongoing and remains hopeful to strike a deal.
"I think everybody involved, both Delino and his family and the Astros, would love to get him into our system playing as quickly as possible, so we're looking at a full-season opportunity next year versus extended Spring Training," Wade said. "This is part of the process. There are very few first-round picks signed at this point, and it's sort of a way of our world. We just hope they don't get to a point upon reflection [and then say], 'We should have done this a lot sooner.' I think it's best he gets out and gets playing."