No Astros prospects taken in Rule 5 Draft

Houston selects righty Acosta in Triple-A phase

No Astros prospects taken in Rule 5 Draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Astros escaped the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday without losing any prospects, which was a pleasant surprise for the club on the final day of the Winter Meetings.

Two Minor League players who came up in speculation they could be taken by other clubs -- hard-throwing lefty Reymin Guduan (ranked by MLB.com as the Astros' No. 14 prospect) and catcher Roberto Pena -- will remain in the organization.

"There were rumors about a few guys, and any time you get to keep players you like, it's a good thing," director of pro scouting Kevin Goldstein said. "We're in a situation with a lot of tough decisions to make as far as who did or didn't make the roster. We came here this morning thinking, 'We're going to lose one, maybe two guys,' and the fact we didn't is definitely a good thing. We want those guys to be Astros."

The Astros weren't expected to make any selections, though they had talked about four players they would take a chance on if they fell to them at No. 21. Ultimately they decided not to participate in the Major League phase of the Draft, but they did select right-handed pitcher Octavio Acosta from the Mets in the Triple-A phase.

Acosta, 25, spent his 2015 season in the Mexican League, making eight starts for Oaxaca while battling an arm injury. A Mexico native, Acosta was originally signed by New York as a non-drafted free agent on May 28, 2010. He pitched in parts of four seasons (2010, 2012-14) in the Mets' organization before being assigned to Oaxaca in June 2015.

Goldstein said Acosta is athletic and throws in the low 90s.

"He's a guy who has a chance to get somewhere," Goldstein said. "We've seen three pitches out of him. He's someone a scout likes, so we took him. It's the Minor League phase, so it's a chance to get a name you like and add him to your roster."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.