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Insider

Checking on former No. 1s

The First-Year Players Draft is less than three weeks away and the Houston Astros have the No. 1 pick for the second straight year after the Pittsburgh Pirates chose first in 2011. Let's check in on the progress of those two picks.

The Pirates tabbed right-hander Gerrit Cole with the top pick two years ago and the UCLA product started this season in Triple-A Indianapolis with a chance to hit the majors sometime in 2013.

In nine starts, Cole is 3-2 with a 3.75 ERA and a 35-23 K/BB ration in 48 innings. He'd held batters to a .214 average, but the walks have contributed to the inconsistent outings, likely prolonging his stay in the minors.

Carlos Correa, the top pick last June, performed well at two-rookie league stops after signing last summer and has rolled that into some success early in 2013 at Class-A Quad Cities.

The infielder, playing shortstop now but potentially sliding to third base before long, is batting .272 with an impressive .399 on-base percentage. There's not much power right now -- three home runs, four doubles and a .386 slugging percentage -- but he's just 18 years old and the fact that he's hitting, holding off the strikeouts and drawing walks is a terrific sign. He's at least a few years away from the majors, but there's certainly more positives then negatives to report.

The 2010 and 2009 No. 1 overall selections were each made by the Washington Nationals, and both are on the 25-man roster and considered present stars. Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Bryce Harper (2010) are major pieces to the Nationals' World Series caliber club.

Click here for the first mock draft from ESPN Insider's Keith Law, where it appears the Astros are leaning toward a college pitcher with the top pick.