HOUSTON -- With a day remaining before making the first selection in the First-Year Player Draft, the Astros' front office, led by general manager Jeff Luhnow and scouting director Mike Elias, continues to work round the clock to make sure they're prepared as possible.
The names of hundreds of players are on a magnetic board and being shuffled around in the team's draft room at Union Station. The first two rounds take place Thursday, but the team is already getting names in order on the board for the first 10 rounds and beyond.
"The guys are busy," Luhnow said. "The area scouts and crosscheckers have been in the room and we've pretty much gone through all the information we have and the board is in pretty good shape right now. We're still have a lot of discussions and we still have a long way to go in terms of making our final decision, but we feel pretty good with all the information we have with our scouts. I'm sure we'll put it into a framework and now it's up to us to make a tough decision."
Luhnow said the Astros are still considering a "handful" of candidates. That list includes college pitchers Mark Appel (Stanford) and Jonathan Gray (Oklahoma) and college corner infielders Kris Bryant (San Diego) and Colin Moran (North Carolina). Georgia high school outfielders Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows are also still on the board.
"We've watched a lot of video and talked among ourselves and got our opinions out in the air in front of large groups and we've had some smaller, internal debates," Elias said. "We have not yet approached making a decision yet."
The Astros also have the No. 40 overall pick on Thursday, and Luhnow doesn't downplay the importance of the task that lies ahead for Houston.
"We expect both of those players to not only make it to the big leagues, but to have an impact on this team over the long haul," Luhnow said. "We can't keep the focus on those picks. We have to pay attention to the entire Draft. We're just at the beginning right now, kind of the calm before the storm. I'm confident. Our scouts have done a good job and Mike has done a good job pulling it all together."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.