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Thursday's Three Astros Things

Is it just me, or does he look extra-scorpion-y in this picture?
Is it just me, or does he look extra-scorpion-y in this picture?

1) Altuve gets a nickname...and IT'S AWESOME - A big, big hat tip to Appy Astros for finally giving us a worthy nickname for everyone's favorite second baseman. It's pretty...well, it's pretty awesome. I'll let him take it away...

El Escorpion!

My reasons:
1. Scorpions are small creatures who pack a big wallop. You might overlook a scorpion because of its size at first, but after you have been stung, you give it due respect. Altuve was seen as a novelty when he first came up but not people are starting to respect his hitting (striking) ability.

2. Look at this picture of Altuve at bat. He coils his bat and loads back like a scorpion ready to strike.

3. There is no record of a baseball player with this nickname so it is original.

It's got everything I like in a nickname. It's unique. It's in Spanish, which I think is fitting AND it's incredibly appropriate while also being very awesome. I can just imagine now yelling "Escorpion" after a big Altuve hit.

Yep, this one gets a big, big TCB seal of approval. From now on, Altuve is Escorpion in my book.

2) Bud Norris retaliated...maybe - Watching the start to Tuesday's game, I noticed that Rickie Weeks seemed unusually chirpy after Bud Norris' first pitch hit him in the back. While I didn't initially think he was reacting to that devastating hit on Jason Castro by Mat Gamel, it did look like Norris intended on hitting him.

The fact that Chris Snyder immediately jumped out in front of Weeks to keep him from charging Norris was also curious, but things quickly calmed down and I didn't really think anything more of it...until I read Brian McTaggart's post saying Norris didn't do it intentionally. Except that he kind of did.

"It kind of got away from me," he said. "I’m going to go out there and stand up for my team. I think the umpires handled it professionally, our team handled it professionally and Rickie handled it professionally as well. Nothing personal against him. It is what it is."

Basically, Weeks knew it was coming, which is why he didn't actually charge the mound. More and more, doesn't it seem that Norris is becoming the de facto leader on this team? Carlos isn't that kind of guy and both J.D. and Jose Altuve are too young to really take to that role, leaving Norris ready to take over that clubhouse. Maybe this was the first outward sign of that.

3) Kolten Wong scouting report - Not sure why I'm doing this to myself, but if I see a scouting report on Kolten Wong, I'm going to link to it.

The second baseman in the Cardinals system gets profiled over at Project Prospect by an anonymous scout. Wong sounds a lot like one Jose Altuve in this report, doesn't he? Well, except for the part about putting on weight. Otherwise, they're very similar sounding players, which may be why Houston went another way in the draft.

But, it confirms that the Cardinals made a pretty good call by tapping him last season. Why is that important? The June draft is fast approaching. We need to figure out what Jeff Luhnow likes in his draftable players if we're going to talk about potential picks. We've seen he likes college players in recent seasons in the first round, and the lastest rumors (per Minor League Ball) have Houston sticking with a college guy at the top spot.

In some ways, I think Mike Zunino could be similar to Wong, where his production gets overlooked by scouts trying to knock him down. If Houston goes with a college position player, they'd be adding a pretty good player by going with the Florida Gator (though I'm still leaning towards Gausman myself).