Houston has spent the last few seasons at the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category. They’ve just been marking time while their prospects made their way through their farm system. George Springer was one of this regime’s first blue chip prospects to be called up. He produced as advertised before getting injured.
The Astros have a long way to go to compete with the talented teams in the AL West. They could further prove that being patient and slowly building your team through the draft is the way to win in today’s game.
Could we see either Carlos Correa or Colin Moran in Houston this season?
Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Houston Astros.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 70-92
Key Additions: C Evan Gattis, SS Jed Lowrie, 3B Luis Valbuena, OF Colby Rasmus, RP Luke Gregerson, RP Will Harris, RP Pat Neshek, C Hank Conger, SP Dan Straily, SP Roberto Hernandez & RP Joe Thatcher
Key Losses: OF Dexter Fowler, C Carlos Corporan, RP Josh Zeid, 1B Marc Krauss, RP Anthony Bass, RP Mike Foltynewicz, RP Paul Clemens & SP Nick Tropeano
Interleague Schedule: NL West
Projected Starters: Jason Castro, Chris Carter, Jose Altuve, Luis Valbuena, Jed Lowrie, Jake Marisnick, Colby Rasmus, George Springer & Evan Gattis
Projected Starting Rotation: Scott Feldman, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Brett Oberholtzer & Dan Straily
Closer: Chad Qualls
Fantasy Sleeper: OF Colby Rasmus – Rasmus is what we call a ‘post-hype’ sleeper. He was once a highly-touted mega prospect in St. Louis, but hasn’t been able to produce at a high level in the Majors. He has nice power, but his average has always killed him. He was drowning in Toronto and needed a change of scenery. He doesn’t have any pressure on him in Houston. I believe he will do better than expected this season.
Prospects To Keep Your Eye On: 3B Colin Moran – Moran ended the 2014 season in Double-A, but if he does well this season in Triple-A, there’s a slight chance he could end up in the Majors by the end of the year. Luis Valbuena is merely just a placeholder for Moran. He’s a player to keep an eye on for 2016.
Team Analysis: I’ve been hating on Houston the last few seasons. They’ve been stocking their farm system with high draft picks while their Major league roster was atrocious. Some of those draft picks have been getting called up with success. George Springer took the Majors by storm before injuring his quad. I expect a big season from the youngster.
Houston didn’t stand pat this offseason. They acquired Jed Lowrie, Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus to stock their team with veterans. I doubt Houston wants to promote all their blue chip talent on a bad team. They put together their most competitive team since general manager Jeff Luhnow took the job.
Houston won’t be contenders this season, but they won’t be such a big pushover in the AL West. They will continue to keep pushing their prospects through the system in hopes of being competitive by 2016 or 2017. They could end up being a beast in a few years.
2015 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 76 (Prediction: UNDER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 75-87 (5th AL West)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.