Houston Astros 2013
One team that is really intriguing me this year in Major League Baseball is the Houston Astros. The Astros have been a struggling team in the National League for the last half dozen years since they appeared in the World Series in 2005. This year is going to look completely different from anything the Astros have ever done. They changed colors, changed logos, changed jerseys, changed managers and something that doesn’t happen too often, they changed leagues. They moved from the National League Central into the American League West Division. This move will even the teams in each league to 15 instead of having 16 in the NL and 14 in the AL. There is a different style of playing in each division so the whole organization will have to change their ways from the Front Office Personnel to the coaches to the players. They are also moving into a division that had the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers who both made the playoffs last season. Along with those two teams they are going to have to play a revamped Seattle Mariners lineup and a Los Angeles Angels team that has the 4th highest payroll in the Majors with a 152 million dollar whose best player is only getting paid $510,000. The Astros have a lot of young players that have good potential and a few that could be future stars in the league. They will struggle this year but hopefully it will be a good stepping stone for a successful future.
Jose Altuve will be the full time 2nd baseman. He is a 22 year old that has potential through the roof. He hit .290 in his first full season in the Majors and also added 33 stolen bases. He won’t hit for power but will be a valuable part of a team going through a transition. Brett Wallace can play 1st or 3rd but will be getting the most of the 1st base starting spots. He isn’t exactly the prototypical American League 1st basemen who will hit for a lot of power. He has only hit 16 home runs in his short 232 game career but he should hit for a pretty good average and will be a good defensive player. Chris Carter is a guy that the Astros just received in a trade for shortstop Jed Lowrie. Carter has the potential to hit for a lot of power and do damage with the stick, especially in Minute Maid Park. He will probably play in Left Field but can also play Right field or 1st base. Carlos Pena is the most well-known player on this Astros club and will be the full time DH but could also play 1st. He owns a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove as well as an All-Star appearance. He will strikeout a lot and won’t hit for a good average but when he makes contact it will go far. The combo of Carter and Pena should produce a lot of HR and RBI’s.
The rest of the lineup will probably be filled out by Jason Castro, Justin Maxwell, Matt Dominguez, Ronny Cedeno, JD Martinez, Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez, as well as some others. Castro, Dominguez and JD Martinez are a few of the higher potential players that could make a huge impact this year. Bud Norris is going to be their ace but the rest of their pitching staff will be very suspect. I learned today that they will probably go with an unconventional pitching strategy using a eight man rotation for the first couple months. Using one pitching for the first half of the game and then one for the second half if they do well. After a few months they will then reevaluate who can show the team something good from there. The Astros should be very solid defensively but will struggle at the plate. I do think that they will finish at the bottom of the AL West but should be a contender with development among their lineup and additions to their pitching staff in the next few years. They will be one of the teams that I am definitely going to keep my eye on this year, as well as rooting for them to succeed.
I am Benjamin Brown, thank you for reading my article about the Houston Astros, if you would like to read other articles about baseball please check out my other articles.