The 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft began last night and he Houston Astros had the No. 1 pick again. This time the Astros selected a pitcher polished beyond his years. California high school left-hander Brady Aiken was the first selection in the Major League Baseball draft Thursday night. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said that Aiken is the most advanced high school pitcher he has ever seen in his entire career and has great command. He hits 95 mph with the fastball with an above average curveball. In this past season, he was 7-0 with a 1.06 ERA. He has committed to UCLA, which is his bargaining chip. If the Astros don't meet the asking price from Aiken, he certainly could be a Bruin. Aiken, of course, has a long road ahead of him to reach the Major Leagues, but the Astros are confident he'll be a big part of their rotation in the future.
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Jonathan Singleton and the Houston Astros agreed to a five-year contract that includes three options worth $10 million over the initial five years, with the potential to be worth $35 million if all options are picked up and bonuses are achieved during the length of the contract. Like George Springer, Singleton will be a key in the Astros lineup starting tonight. He was promoted on Monday's off day, but Astros manager Bo Porter has already said Singleton will be the team's starter at first base and will likely bat in the No. 6 spot in the lineup. The Astros have gotten little production from first base, left field, and shortstop this season and the Astros finally have their prospects to the point they are ready to contribute at the major league level. Singleton was hitting .267 with 14 home runs in 54 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City before his promotion on Monday. With regular at-bats, Singleton could be a source of power over the season's final four months and with Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Dexter Fowler batting in front of him, Singleton should see a lot of RBI opportunities.
MLB NEWS & NOTES