First of all, this. For a second straight year, because Steve Martin is a comedic genius.
Secondly, Tim got me in the Christmas spirit with his Astros-themed carol. So, I thought to myself, "If I was really truthful about things, what do I hope for the most about the Astros in 2011?"
Besides the obvious things like beating the Cardinals and Cubs or winning the division, I think about players. What would be the nicest present next year? Who's performance would be a bonus, a surprise, pivotal without being a huge question mark heading into the season?
That one thing for me is Jason Castro's offense. His sophomore season at the plate will be somewhat important. I mean, if he doesn't hit, it'll open questions about whether he can stick at the big league level. There's a minimum that he can hit to make his defense really valuable, and I imagine he'll get there in 2011. But, wouldn't it be sweet if he pulled off a jump at the plate?
That's my Christmas wish, for Castro to pull a line of .275/.340/.400 or higher. A .300 batting average would be awesome, but I don't want my wish to be too implausible. If Castro can get up to that level, he'd be a colossal improvement over last season's catchers. He'd also be a positive at the bottom of the order to go along with Barmes and Hall. Sure, more power would be nice, but I think if he hit that line, I'd be pleasantly surprised and happy with his 2011.
What about you? Do you have a particular wish for the Astros in 2011? Myers as a 20-game winner? Happ at 200 innings? Pence hitting 35 home runs?