Along the lines of my earlier post about 1b, the goal of the Astros over 2012-2013 should be to find out which of their young players can be productive major leaguers. If they can find 6 out of 8 solid position players over the next two years, locked into a lower salary for the foreseeable future, I think it's reasonable for the Astros to then target some top-flight free agents to fill in the gaps and start piecing together a way to win the division in 2014. What I have no patience for is signing "filler" free agents to make the team go from 78 to 82 wins, or in Bill Hall's case, from 62 to 57 wins :)
The criteria are players who are seen as having upside, but are A+ or above (with exception of Springer). My notion is that players who couldn't be seen as helping the team win a title in 2014 shouldn't be playing now unless there's nobody ready for a shot (hence Barmes should probably stay at short, and maybe somebody more seasoned than Paredes at 3b for at least the first half of 2012). Players at low-A, or who have shown little indication that they'd be MLB ready in the next 2+ years are not on the list (Mier, DDS, Ovando, Austin, Kvas). Looking at the list, I'm most confident about C, 1b, 2b, and LF.
C - Castro / C Wallace
1b - B Wallace / C Hinze / Singleton / C Wallace?
2b - Altuve / Paredes
ss - Villar or bust
3b - Paredes / C Johnson / M Downs / J Meyer
LF - Martinez / Goebbert
CF - Schaefer / Schuck / Durango / Wates / Springer
RF - Bogusevic / Goebbert / Springer / Bailey