HOUSTON -- The Astros will hold three pre-Draft workouts in the coming weeks for invited players they're targeting in next month's First-Year Player Draft. The first workout will take place Sunday at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Los Angeles, as the Astros ramp up preparations for selecting at No. 1 overall.
The second workout will be held May 27 in Atlanta, and the final workout is scheduled for May 30 at Minute Maid Park. The workouts are only for players who receive invitations from Astros scouts. In the past few years, the club had held just one pre-Draft workout in Houston.
Astros assistant general manager/director of scouting Bobby Heck said the team has adapted the same method general manager Jeff Luhnow used in St. Louis in holding three workouts in conjunction with their regional scouting meetings.
"The players aren't necessarily tied to regions, but the one thing it does is it gives kids different chances to go to different venues if there are conflicts," Heck said.
Heck said there will be between 25 and 40 players at each workout, depending on which players accept invitations, have the means to travel to the workout and won't be conflicting with their high school or college schedules.
"They're coming to our workouts because we know them, out scouts know them well," Heck said. "Their coming because of the relationships they built with scouts, and a lot of them have a comfort level and want to be Astros. We're going to bring some guys in to get some questions answered.
"It's really to put a bow on things and put them in big league park or put them next to other prospects, and you can tell who the [better] prospects are. When they're up against one another, that helps you make better decisions, and you get face time with the kids and get to know more about them."
The annual Draft takes place this year on June 4-6, beginning with the first round and Compensation Round A on Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m. ET. The first night of the event will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com Rounds 2-40 will also be streamed live on MLB.com on June 5-6.
MLB.com's coverage, sponsored by CenturyLink, will include: Draft Central; the Top 100 Draft Prospects list; Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player; and the Draft itself. You also can keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. Get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.