HOUSTON — Astros assistant general manager/director of scouting Bobby Heck told joltleft.com that he’s pleased with the overall performance of the organization’s scouting department in getting out there and working hard to sign a total of 35 of the team’s 50 selections from the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Although first-round (11th overall) pick George Springer and third-rounder Jack Armstrong Jr. reached an agreement with the Astros only minutes prior to last Monday’s 11:00 p.m. CT deadline, Houston ultimately signed their first 13-round picks, as well as 22 of their first 24 selections, to take another giant step forward in terms of player development and rebuilding the farm system.
“Getting Springer and Armstrong signed took longer than we wanted, but it worked out well for us,” Heck said. “Our scouts did a great job in going out and taking a solid, aggressive approach in getting the guys signed. They deserve a lot of credit.”
Right-hander Gandy Stubblefield, the Astros’ 14th-round pick out of Lufkin (Texas) High School, was the highest draftee not to sign.
The 19-year-old will honor his commitment to Texas A&M.
According to Heck, the Astros made a respectable offer to Stubblefield and were still negotiating with the Lufkin product on the final day.
However, Stubblefield made it known upon getting drafted in June that he was strongly leaning toward attending Texas A&M, thus creating an uphill battle over the last two months for Houston to sign the talented 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-hander.
Despite not signing him, Heck has nothing but praise for the Stubblefield family and the approach the Astros took in trying to land him.
“We made a great offer and did our best to sign him,” Heck said. “We did a good job on our part. I have nothing but nice things to say about the Stubblefield family. They were great throughout the entire process. He’s a great kid. You never know what might happen down the road. We will continue to scout him.”
For the latest Astros news, click on the Subscribe button at the top of the page. Also, be sure to follow Houston Astros Examiner Stephen Goff on Facebook and Twitter, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.