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The Astros in 2011: Projecting is Fun!

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The year is 2011. Our world of sports is a very different place. For instance, NASCAR and MMA have skyrocketed in popularity, and threaten the supplant baseball as America's third most popular spectator sport. The 2010 Winter Olympics has passed, and nobody noticed. Ok. Some things are still the same. Our local baseball squad is nearing another one of those "Franchise Defining Moments".

This is the season where Lance Berkman is 35, and on the club option year of his contract. Roy Oswalt is playing in his last pre-club option year. Carlos Lee (sadly) is still two seasons away from having his contract be off the books. I will wager a guess that Oswalt and Berkman will be here until the very end. Lee's contract will prove tough to move, but maybe, just maybe, an oh-so-very-close-to-contending team will lessen the Astros financial burden. So, for purposes of this post, assume that another town's fans will have to come up with a Los Caballitos chapter.

Our own farm system, once the laughingstock of the blogosphere is now respectable. Three straight seasons of solid to good drafts, as well as the improvement of talent pre-Wade/Heck. Our scouting of Latin America has been re-emphasized after a decade of neglect. We stuck with the team through poor scouting, poor management, and meddling by Drayton McLane, Jr. (yes, he's still the owner).

Who makes up the Astros' roster? Make a trip to Minute Maid Park at Craig Biggio Field, and this is who you could be watching, if the Astros were to swear off free agents completely:

C: Jason Castro, J.R. Towles

1B: Lance Berkman

2B: Albert Cartwright

3B: Chris Johnson

SS: Edwin Maysonet

LF: Colin DeLome

CF: Brian Bogusevic, Michael Bourn

RF: Hunter Pence

SP: Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Ross Seaton, Polin Trinidad, Jordan Lyles

RP: Bud Norrs, Alberto Arias, Felipe Paulino, Chia Jen Lo, Wesley Wright

Brad Dydalewicz, Andrew Locke, Koby Clemens, Ebert Rosario and Jose Capellan should figure into the equation as well. Throw in Brad James and Sergio Perez, and the Astros will have a nice mix of veterans and young players. If, that long time owner will keep his mits off of things. Or at least keep his hands in his pockets a little more.