For Houston Astros fans this year, the one highlight has been the call-ups and being able to see future everyday players getting involved with the current team. Shortstop Jonathan Villar and pitcher Jarred Cosart were names that everyone expected to be at the MLB level this year, with Robbie Grossman also in the mix. But the newest two Astros were on very few people’s radars, yet their stats beg to ask the reason why?
Max Stassi has exceeded expectations in every sense. As the third, and supposedly smallest piece in the Jed Lowrie trade with the Oakland Athletics, Stassi was in the shadow of slugging Chris Carter and pitcher Brad Peacock. Stassi was even bumped out of the Astros top-20 prospects list with the latest batch of prospects.
And yet, at the Double-A level, Stassi hit .277 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI’s. Those numbers are tough to ignore. So when Carlos Corporan went down with a concussion, the Astros skipped right over their Triple-A catching crop and selected Max Stassi.
The other choice was right-handed pitcher David Martinez. Of all the Astros pitching prospects, Martinez is one who has gained almost zero notoriety despite putting up arguably the best numbers of any pitcher in their system.
A product of the Astros Venezuelan academy, Martinez has put up a 14-3 record with a slim 2.20 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A ball this year. Like Stassi, these numbers are hard to ignore, and yet neither of them were in the top-20 prospect lists.
Max Stassi was in the starting lineup for their Tuesday night game against the Texas Rangers and became the fourteenth Astros player to make his MLB debut this year, meaning Martinez will be the fifteenth.
The Astros are moving forward with so many call-ups and with the September roster expansions approaching soon, more new faces are bound to be on the rise.