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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Past Drafts put Astros into current rebuild mode

Club has selected MLB-fewest 53 players since 1990 who have made it to big leagues

Past Drafts put Astros into current rebuild mode

In trying to revitalize the Astros, the current management team has undertaken a youth movement, which at this point has created a starting lineup in which no player is old then 28.

It is not, however, easy.

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For all the effort that Houston has put into its scouting and drafting the past couple of years, the farm system was pretty bare when the new regime arrived following the 2011 season, and there is no quick fix to a Minor League system.

Using a survey compiled by reporter Conor Glassey, and updating it through Friday, the Astros not only have produced the fewest players from the Draft since 1996 -- the first year all 30 teams took part -- but are a distant 30th.

There have been 53 players drafted by the Astros since 1990 who have made it to the big leagues, and only two of them are among Houston's current starting nine. Right fielder George Springer, 22, was the Astros' No. 1 pick in 2011, and catcher Jason Castro, 27, was their first-round pick of '08. Second baseman Jose Altuve, 24, was signed as an amateur free agent in 2007.

The Astros have filled out the rest of the lineup with young players acquired primarily in deals for veterans who didn't fit in Houston's long-range plans:

• First baseman Jon Singleton, 22, an eighth-round pick of the Phillies in 2009, was acquired from Philadelphia in the Hunter Pence deal in on July 29, 2011.

• Third baseman Matt Dominguez, 24, a first-round pick of the Marlins in 2007, came to the Astros in the Carlos Lee deal on July 4, 2012.

• Left fielder Alex Presley, 28, an eighth-round pick of Pittsburgh in 2006, was a waiver claim in March from Minnesota.

• Center fielder Dexter Fowler, 28, Colorado's 14th-round pick in 2004, was acquired in the offseason from the Rockies for pitcher Jordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes.

• Designated hitter Chris Carter, 27, a White Sox 15th round pick in 2005, was acquired from Oakland on Feb. 4, 2013, in a deal that sent Jed Lowrie to the A's.

The Astros' 53 Draft picks who have made it to the Major Leagues are 10 fewer than Minnesota, which ranks 29th. Cleveland have had 64 players get to the big leagues, and Seattle, Cincinnati and the Mets have had 65 each.

At the other extreme, St. Louis has had 96 Draft picks since 1996 who have made it to the big leagues, followed by Arizona (93), San Diego (87), San Francisco (86), Oakland (84) and Detroit (80).

First-round hits

There have been four Drafts in history in which the first 10 players selected all reached the big leagues: 1976, '81, '84, '96 and 2008. The first 21 selections in '08 have reached the big leagues, as have 26 of the 30 first-round picks.

Two of the four first-rounders from 2008 who have not yet reached the big leagues are in the Minor Leagues this year. Allan Dykstra, a first baseman who was the Padres' pick at No. 23 and is the son of former All-Star Lenny Dykstra, is currently with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas. Shortstop Anthony Hewitt, the Phillies' pick at No. 24, has played with Double-A Reading and Class A Clearwater this year.

The 1994 First-Year Player Draft fell one player short of having the top 10 reach the Majors. Left-hander Doug Million, the No. 7 overall pick that year by the Rockies, died of an asthmatic attack during the instructional league in 1997.

The rotation

• The Dodgers lead the Majors with 71 stolen bases entering Saturday's action. Kansas City is second at 50, and Cincinnati is third at 47. The big difference? Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon has 36 stolen bases -- 14 more than Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton, who ranks second in the Major Leagues with 22.

• Seattle has won three games in three cities in three days this week. The Mariners closed out a homestand with a 4-0 victory against Detroit on Sunday, beat the Yankees, 10-2, in New York on Monday in a makeup game, then opened a series in Atlanta with a 7-5 victory on Tuesday.

• The Cardinals lead the Major Leagues in games delayed or postponed by rain. Coming into the weekend, St. Louis not only had eight games postponed, but also dealt with nine rain delays totaling 11 hours and 22 minutes. Michael Wacha has had six hours and 30 minutes of rain delays in his starts, tops among Cards pitchers.

• National League Central-leading Milwaukee will get a durability test this month. The Brewers opened a stretch of 15 out of 18 games on the road on Wednesday. They will be off on Monday in between trips to Pittsburgh and New York, and then embark on a stretch of games on 20 consecutive days.

• San Francisco went into Saturday with the biggest advantage of any division leader -- 8 1/2 games over the Dodgers -- and with a favorable schedule the rest of this month. Coming off a 5-2 road trip, the Giants opened a stretch of 20 of 25 at AT&T Park with a 4-2 victory against the Mets on Friday. The Giants are an MLB-best 20-9 (.690) at home.

TMI

The Boston Red Sox became the 12th team since 1945 to have a manager and two coaches ejected from one game after a contentious encounter with the Tampa Bay Rays on May 30.

Boston manager John Farrell was ejected in the first inning by home-plate umpire Dan Bellino for arguing that Tampa Bay starter David Price should be ejected for hitting Red Sox slugger David Ortiz with a pitch.

Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo took over, and he was tossed in the fourth inning for arguing that Price should have been ejected for hitting Mike Carp. Third-base coach Brian Butterfield stepped in as skipper but only lasted until the sixth, when pitcher Brandon Workman threw behind Evan Longoria of the Rays, resulting in automatic ejections of Butterfield and Workman.

Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn assumed command of the team and eventually guided them to a 10-inning win.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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