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Saturday Grab Bag 'O Astros Links

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A lot minor league talk this week, which isn't exactly my area of expertise (it's questionable whether or not I have an expertise at all), but Keith Law offered Astros' fans hope this week by ranking the Astros as having the 28th best farm system in MLB.

In other words- we're not last! Hopefully this can be the moment that we tell our grandchildren about, after decades of Astro dominance, the impetus of which was a couple of solid-good minor league drafts in 2008 and 2009. If nothing else, this is the point where the Astros stopped being a laughingstock among the prospect-knowledgeable bloggers among us. Next up: Ed Wade ignores his reliever fetish and goes after primarily starting pitching during an off season.

Baseball Prospectus projected the 2010 standings, and our Astros ended up at 74-88, good for fifth in the NL Cenrtral. Sure, PECOTA doesn't paint the rosiest of pictures for our guys, but considering how they had the 'Stros pegged for a tad under 67 wins last season, we're already ahead of the game.

This season, our offense looks comparable to the Giants and Nationals in terms of runs scored....yowza. It's a start. The Astros have outpaced their projected PECOTA records in each of the past two seasons, both times by at least seven win, so pencil us in for at least 81 wins! .500, or bust!

Other gazes into the future weren't near as pleasant.

When it comes to the friendliest countries on earth, we're number ten!

Jason Stark has his usual assortment of interesting early year stories, but his trivia question for the week is tops, because well, it's Astro related. He asks:

This season, Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman will become only the fourth set of active teammates who have played together for at least the last 10 seasons. Can you name the other three?

Check out the tail end of Stark's article for the answers. When I first read the question, mentally I read it as: "Name the four sets of teammates who have played together for at least 10 seasons", only to be upset and confused as to why Bags and Bidge weren't included in the answers....I really need to work on my question reading skills before the Bar Exam.

A lot of us don't like Drayton McLane, and with good reason. Before last week though, he wasn't even the worst baseball owner in the state of Texas. Has to be frustrating for a Texas Rangers' organization to have all areas of club working so well...except for the man in charge.

Last, some February reading for Michael Bourn. Baseball has come a long ways in stolen base %! 54.7% success rate league wide in 1905? Almost like a certain catching prospect of ours was playing backstop for every team that season..