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Astros to hold first Draft workout on Sunday

PITTSBURGH -- The Astros will hold the first of four regional workouts of high school and college players on Sunday in anticipation of next month's First-Year Player Draft. Sunday's workout will be held in the Los Angeles area, with about 20 prospects invited to attend.

The second workout will be held Wednesday in Kissimmee, Fla., at the team's Spring Training complex, the third will be May 26 in Georgia and the final workout will be June 1 at Minute Maid Park. That will also serve as the start of the Astros' pre-Draft meetings, when the front office will begin going over 1,200 players.

The Astros have the No. 1 pick in the Draft for the second year in a row.

The regional crosscheckers from each region will attend the workout in their region, as well as scouting director Mike Elias, national crosschecker David Post, director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal and perhaps even general manager Jeff Luhnow.

For the Astros, it's a chance to interview the players, watch them throw, run and take batting practice and just get a better sense of their tools. It's basically putting the finishing touches on the prospects the team has already been tracking. There's even a forum for the players to ask questions.

"It's a chance to get up close and personal with the process and see some guys further down the list you might not have been able to get crosschecked in the spring," Elias said.

Some of the players the Astros are considering taking with the No. 1 pick will be at the workouts, as well as players up and down the Draft board. The Astros held similar workouts last year.

"This is something in St. Louis we had a lot of success with, and a lot of the later kids [drafted] were kids who attended the workouts," Elias said. "They weren't drafted high or for a significant amount of money, but they got in front of Jeff and the crosscheckers and brought some extra attention to themselves prior to the Draft and put themselves more firmly in our mind on Draft day. When you're staring at the board, you can put a face to the magnet and have a clearer picture of who the player was. It really helps those players get drafted and helps us make better decisions in the Draft."

When asked if local high school players -- and sons of former Astros greats -- Cavan Biggio, Josh Pettitte and Kacy Clemens would be in attendance in Houston, Luhnow said: "I haven't seen the invite list, but I imagine they're on it."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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