MIAMI -- The First-Year Player Draft is less than two months away, and the Astros have been doing their due diligence to make sure they make the right choice with the No. 1 overall pick. It's the third time in Houston history (1976, 1992) it's had the first pick.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said he tries to make sure the team has a scout at every game involving players who might be taken no. 1 overall. That includes Byron Buxton, an athletic high school center fielder from Georgia.
"We're looking at everybody, and he's one of the guys we're looking at," Luhnow said. "We not only have the top pick, but we also have a compensation pick, so you never know how it's going to go. We're being comprehensive in our coverage. The guys we believe are in contention for that first pick, we're at almost every one of their games or every game, depending how easy it is to get there."
Luhnow doesn't expect the Astros to decide who they're going to take until close to the Draft, considering there's no clear-cut No. 1 pick like has been the case in years past in Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.
"We want as much information as possible, so we're going to watch them all the way up to the end," Luhnow said. "We'll have a lot of discussions that will involve [owner] Jim [Crane] and [president and CEO] George [Postolos] and everybody and figure out what the decision is at the end. We don't know how the signability is going to work with the new [Collective Bargaining Agreement] rule or if it's going to be easy or hard. A lot of that will ultimately play out in the 48 hours leading up to the Draft."