Astros set to begin pre-Draft meetings

Astros set to begin pre-Draft meetings

HOUSTON -- Astros scouting crosscheckers have been meeting to discuss the upcoming First-Year Player Draft throughout the weekend as scouts from across the country have rolled into Houston. At 8 a.m. CT Monday, the Astros will begin three days of meetings leading up to Thursday's Draft.

The Astros will have the No. 1 pick for the third year in a row and own three of the top 42 picks, including the 37th overall pick acquired in last year's trade with the Orioles. The Astros are still considering a handful of players for the top pick and will narrow the list this week. In all, they'll discuss about 800 amateur players.

The list of possible top picks includes North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon, high school lefty Brady Aiken, LSU right-hander Aaron Nola, high-school fireballer Tyler Kolek and high-school catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson.

"We all have our personal points of view and who we like and what order they should be taken in and so forth," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "It's really not until you sit down and listen to all the scouts and get their opinions that you really finalize your own opinions. Then we can go back and figure out the organizational opinion."

The club will also hold the last of four pre-Draft workouts on Monday afternoon at Minute Maid Park. They held three private invitation-only workouts in Atlanta, Kissimmee, Fla., and Los Angeles last month in order to see as many players as possible.

"The workout is great for players, local players that maybe haven't been seen quite as much, and the four workouts are really important for us to get to know some of these players," Luhnow said. "For the high guys, it's really more of a discussion, because we've seen them a lot."

The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Brian McTaggart is a 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.