Can this group of promising young prospects form the nucleus of a championship team? While the odds are obviously against us doing this in the next few years, I don't think seeing a highly competitive Astros team in the near future is as outlandish as many of y'all may believe.
Transition - We are currently undergoing a major transition in all aspects of the organization. Our 2 franchise players were just traded in order to initiate full rebuilding mode, the current team now consists of 11 rookies all looking to create an identity for themselves in the Majors, Jim Crane will end the Drayton era here in the next month or so, and it is appearing more and more likely that we could be the newest AL team come 2013.
Honestly, I don't have a problem with any of these changes. What were doing is not working, so let's try something new. I would recommend a complete overhaul of the team uniforms/mascots/logos (what the heck do trains have to do with "Astros"?), along with a new manager/GM. I know y'all are weary of the AL West, but just think: one less team to beat in the division, brand new rivalries and competition that will rejuvenate the fans and give the players a new sense of ownership/motivation, and no more players like Jason Michaels and Matt Downs pinch hitting every night.
2013 Roster - Let's get to the fun stuff. Look at this lineup and imagine each player's ceiling...then give me a team that can compete (besides the Phillies haha).
1B: Kody Hinze, Jonathan Singleton
3B: Jimmy Paredes
LF: JD Martinez
CF: Matt Kemp (10 yr, $200 million, w/ no trade clause)(what better player to invest in?)
RF: George Springer (let's pray for a great 2012 campaign)
OF: JB Shuck, Austin Wates
1- Matt Cain (8 yr, $150 million)(beat 'em with pitching)
2- Jarred Cosart (please stay healthy!)
3- Jordan Lyles
4- Bud Norris
DH - Hinze (next Carlos Lee without the laziness?)
Conclusion: As the MVP of my high school team this past season, I fully believe that the key to success for a team is not having all the most talented players, but rather having a group of energetic, passionate, and gritty teammates that come together to form tight-knit unit. This is why I am so excited about the chance for new beginning! I'm sick of the Astros starting spring training with 17 losses in a row and the nonchalant attitude that individual performances are all that matters. Watching Carlos Lee play first base and knowing that he is the leader of the team disgusts me.
I believe these guys can bring enthusiasm, desire, focus, and a love for the game that most MLB teams lack and that is why I am optimistic about lots of them reaching their ceilings. With JB Shuck on the bench willing to run through a fence to catch a ball at any time, our big guys will always be kept on their toes haha.
OH, and if y'all are wondering who the heck I am, I am Austin's biggest Astro fan, and yesterday's Progressive Fan of the Game!! I love the site and have a new motivation to fulfill my dream of becoming GM after my TV debut. Thanks for reading my thoughts!