Seeing MLB pedigree, Astros claim Cameron
Club scouted outfielder as potential top five pick; son of 17-year veteran Mike
HOUSTON -- The Astros scouted Georgia high school center fielder Daz Cameron as an option for one of their two top five picks in the 2015 Draft, so when he was still on the board at pick No. 37 because of signability concerns, they couldn't pass him up.
Cameron, the son of former Major League outfielder Mike Cameron, was scouted heavily by the Astros out of Eagle's Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, Ga. The Astros might have to get creative with the largest signing-bonus pool ($17,289,200) in the Draft to sign Cameron away from his Florida State commitment.
Cameron, ranked as the No. 6 best Draft prospect by MLB.com, is being advised by Scott Boras. Cameron, 18, hit .455 (35-for-77) with 10 doubles, eight home runs, 17 stolen bases and 32 RBIs during his senior year.
"I think certainly we were one of the teams best positioned to make a run at him, and we're going to do that when the time is right," Astros scouting director Mike Elias said. "For now, we're just happy to have gotten him in the Draft where we did, and we look forward to engage with him sometime this summer."
Elias said the Astros scouted Cameron "intensely" for their two picks in the top five.
"I'm really thrilled we were able to get him," he said. "We spent a lot of time working, scouting him, making relationships with him and his family. Spent a lot of time in his town doing research on him. He's a wonderful kid with as much track record as you can see from a high school player. He's been with Team USA for years. Had a great season for his high school team, performed well over the summer. Seen him a ton, and to get him where we did, great work by our staff."
The Astros, of course, have manipulated the Draft pool deftly before. In 2012, they signed No. 1 pick Carlos Correa for considerably lower than the slot value and were able to draft and sign pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. and infielder Rio Ruiz -- two players they considered first-round talent -- away from college commitments.
"I'm confident we'll be able to sign him," Elias said.
The Astros got the 37th pick in last year's trade that sent Jarred Cosart to the Marlins.
The Astros took LSU shortstop Alex Bregman with the No. 2 pick and Tampa, Fla., high school outfielder Kyle Tucker with the No. 5 overall pick, giving them three of MLB.com's top seven players in the pre-Draft rankings.
The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 11:30 a.m. CT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at noon.
Elias said Cameron has five tools, some of which are above average.
"He's a great defender out in center field, he can run, he can hit, he's got power, he can throw," he said. "He's what we look for, a very well-rounded high school player."
Mike Cameron was taken in the 18th round in the 1991 Draft by the White Sox and played 17 year in the big leagues with the Mariners, White Sox, Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Brewers, Reds and Marlins.
"I spent a lot of time with Mike this spring," Elias said. "[Scout] Gavin Dickey and I went to his house over the winter. As a staff, we probably watched all of [Daz's] games. We know Mike very well and Daz's family, and they're good people. We're excited to talk with them."