The Houston Astros are not a good baseball team. In fact, with a 30-54 record and a .357 win-percentage, the Astros are currently the worst team in Major League Baseball, including the much-maligned Miami Marlins.
There are a number of factors not working in the Astros favor. The first is obviously their move to the American League this season where they are facing much more potent offenses and, for the most part, a higher level of competition. Probably the biggest factor in their lack of success, though, is the simple fact that they just don’t have many quality players taking the field for them this season.
Bud Norris has been relatively solid for Houston on the mound and Jose Altuve has shown promise as a man at the top of the lineup, but no one has really given the Astros any kind of hope for the future like 26-year-old catcher Jason Castro has.
Castro, not to be confused with the dreadlocked former American Idol contestant, is just wrapping up the first half of his first full season and the majors and has looked solid in doing so. Right now he is hitting .265 with a .798 OPS and has belted 11 home runs and 22 doubles while driving in 27 runs. Though that’s not a lot in the scheme of the league, it’s a lot for the Astros.
Castro took the field in 87 games for the Astros last season and didn’t look noteworthy at all. He hit just .257 with a .735 OPS and only hit six home runs and 15 doubles while driving in just 29 runs. He’s played 15 games less this season and has already or is about to eclipse those marks.
Considering that this is Castro’s first real run as the primary catcher for a big league team, he hasn’t been bad at all, especially with little-to-no protection in that Houston lineup. The only real concern with Castrol is the fact that he’s striking out at a rate of almost once per game and already has nine more strikeouts than he did last season. With his increase in numbers, though, it’s hard to pick him apart because of a few more strikeouts.
The Astros have some young talent brewing in their minor league system and they have a couple of young pieces in the bigs right now that could be a part of their future. There’s no way to be certain, but it definitely seems like Castro could be part of their long-term plans.