When the Houston Astros were sold to Jim Crane, it was a changing of the guard.
The Astros old owner took them to their first World Series birth. He did many great things for the Astros, but he is also one of the reasons why they are in the position that they are in currently. The Astros are building from the ground up, and they’re doing it the right way. As if it there were any doubt, the Astros have made their organization substantially better, though it hasn’t been shown at the Major League level right now.
The Astros started the rebuilding process in 2011 when then General Manager, Ed Wade, traded away Hunter Pence. You can make an argument that it really started when the Astros traded away Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt, but 2011 is when the Astros brought in major prospects. Wade isn’t credited enough when it comes to beginning the rebuilding process. While he traded Michael Bourn for close to nothing, he really hit the nail on the head with the Pence trade. The Astros have five prospects on Baseball America’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects list, and a big part of that is because of the Pence trade. In fact, three of the five guys on that Top 50 prospects list are from the Ed Wade era. When Wade traded for Jarred Cosart, Jon Singleton, Josh Zeid, and Domingo Santana, it was just the beginning of what the Astros were going to build.
While the current GM, Jeff Luhnow, has taken some heat for how he put this season’s Astros squad together, the truth is he is doing it the right way. Luhnow is credited with two of the five prospects in the Top 50. Those two are Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers Jr. That doesn’t even include this year’s number one overall pick Mark Appel. The Astros are becoming a loaded organization with all the depth they have, as well as the potential superstars that are coming up through the system. While they are certainly struggling at the Major League level, help is on its way.
At the Triple A level, the Astros have prospects who will see some Major League playing time this season in the form of George Springer, Jon Singleton, Jarred Cosart, who was absolutely fantastic in his Major League debut earlier this year, and Asher Wojciechowski, as well as relievers such as Josh Zeid.
The rebuilding process isn’t fun, but it will be worth it for the Astros. They’re continuing to do things the right way down in Houston, and it will payoff in the long run. The Astros recently signed Jose Altuve to a four-year extension beginning in 2014, so they are beginning to build around their young second baseman, and that new contract is evidence that they are trying to make this process quicker than many people believe. In fact, Luhnow has hinted at signing free agents to multi-year deals in the offseason.
Hang in there Astros fans; your time is coming, and it will be glorious.