The Houston Astros had the No. 1 pick the 2014 MLB Draft and they decided to take Brady Aiken with the top selection. Aiken, a left-handed pitcher out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, became the first prep pitcher to go No. 1 since 1991, when the New York Yankees picked Brien Taylor.
It was the third year in a row the Astros had the draft’s top selection. In 2012 Houston took high school shortstop Carlos Correa, in 2013 the Astros made Stanford righty Mark Appel the first guy off the board, and now by adding Aiken they are putting together an absurd collection of talent. In our opinion, Aiken was far and away the top talent in this draft and the Astros made the right choice.
So what is Houston getting in Aiken? He’s a 6-4, 200-pound lefty who has the size and overall arsenal to be a No. 1 starter in the big leagues. He has an advanced feel for pitching and that shows with an outstanding mound presence.
His fastball sits in the low-90s, but can touch 96, and he combines that with a plus curveball and a very good changeup that will only get better as he develops. He has even started using a cutter that he mixes in from time-to-time.
Aiken has room to add some weight to his frame and may not be done growing yet. All of that means there could be even more velocity on his fastball eventually. He also has a very clean delivery and a no history of injuries.
The Astros took the best player available and despite his age Aiken should move quickly through the system. He’s a great kid with a great makeup and should be an impact big-league starter in a few years.