Youth is the X-Factor for the Houston Astros

By Daniel Jamieson
Jose Altuve
Jeff Hanisch – USA Today Sports

The 2013 season has, to this point, been less than impressive for the Houston Astros. This is the viewpoint shared by most casual observers of the game, but not quite so for those who are really paying attention.

The Astros, with an average team age of 27.2, are second youngest only to the Atlanta Braves. The youth of the team is its strength, as those invested in the club have gambled on the concept that the promise of the youngsters will come to fruition sooner rather than later.

Patience is extremely important at this juncture, especially for fans of the Astros, who grow weary of watching their team fall far out of playoff contention so early in the season.

Many fans may not be aware of the success of this year’s farm teams, who possess a number of prospects who may be donning the Astros uniform in the very near future. Shortstop Carlos Correa, first-baseman Jonathan Singleton and outfielder George Springer are just three names that many predict will be making a big impression before too long.

Many of the Astros minor-leaguers top baseball experts’ lists of players to look out for. Farm development is the lifeblood of organizations like the Astros, whose modest payroll pales in comparison to a club like the New York Yankees, which has the ability to poach solid prospects from smaller teams.

Of course, the first-team stars of the Astros are some of the youngest in the league. Jose Altuve was a National League All-Star in 2012 in his rookie season at just 21-years old. Jason Castro, who along with Altuve stands the greatest chance of making this year’s All-Star game, is just 25.

The Houston Astros are a young team ready to mature. The talent is absolutely there, and it will not be too long before they are back into consideration as a true playoff contender.

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