Astros take lefty Brady Aiken with top overall pick of 2014 MLB draft

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

MORE 2014 MLB Draft: First-round tracker | Jon Heyman's mock

With the first pick of the 2014 MLB draft, the Astros have chosen Brady Aiken, a left-handed pitcher out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. Here's a look at some scouting footage:

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Aiken is exceptionally polished for a prep arm, and, as high-schoolers go, he has the potential to move quickly. Still just 17 years of age, he boasts good velocity on his fastball, particularly for a lefty, and he also commands it.

As well, Aiken made excellent progress with his curveball this season, and it's now a legitimate plus offering. He also has a workable changeup. Considering that dominating prep arms rarely need a third pitch, that's a bonus. Mechanically, Aiken has a clean and efficient delivery and good arm speed. It bears repeating that rarely do you find such a refined package at the high-school level.

Aiken becomes the first high school pitcher taken with the top overall pick since the Yankees took Brien Taylor in 1991.

Courtesy of MaxPreps, here are Aiken's numbers from his senior season:

Obviously, take high school stats with many, many grains of salt, but those are impressive considering the high level of competition in Southern California.

The draft abides by a hard slotting system these days, and this year the top overall pick is budgeted a signing bonus of $7,922,100. A team may exceed the alotted bonus for individual pick, but the team can't exceed its total bonus pool without incurring penalties. For the Astros, they have a total bonus pool of $13,362,200 for the 2014 Rule 4 draft class.
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