The Rise Of The 20-20 Player

Some great stuff over at Beyond the Box Score recently about 20-20 players and their rising prominence in the game. What makes them so prevalent these days? Certainly, the ideas in the article are sound. Players are being drafted more and more for their athleticism and raw power, which then translates into home runs and steals when they refine their approach a bit.

It's also telling that the emphasis on on-base percentage instead of slap-hitting has influenced so many leadoff hitters in recent years. Just look at the list of guys who could end up as 20-20 this season. Not  a lot of big-time stars, but some very solid players. 

The reason I bring this up is it seems to be how the Astros have been drafting. We talk about this all the time with the farm system. Do the Astros value true middle of the order hitters or does athleticism and tools trump all? Certainly, guys like George Springer have a very good chance to fit that 20-20 mold one day, but what about Ariel Ovando? Domingo Santana? If they turn out to hit for less power than we expect but steal more bases, does that raise or lower their value?

If this truly is the next wave in player development, I think Houston is out in front of the trend. At least, that's been what they've consistently stocked the system with. Well, maybe not 20 home run players, as the Jose Altuve and DDJ's of the world may not hit that much. But, the power/speed combo is what got T.J. Steele drafted high as well as a host of other players. 

I guess the question it brought up in my mind (which I will now pass onto you) is with the current minor league system and players in the majors currently, could Houston have multiple 20-20 players in its lineup two or three years from now? If so, who will they be? Paredes and Springer? 

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