It cannot be overstated how much potential the Houston Astros have waiting in the minor leagues. However, something like that is hard to get a grasp on when the MLB club is doing so poorly. But one thing that is impossible to ignore is when the top six Astros minor league clubs make the playoffs in their respective leagues.
This was the first time it had happened in franchise history, and the first time in all the majors since the Pittsburgh Pirates system did it in 2003. That’s saying something. For all the negative records the Astros have demolished this year, there is finally a positive one.
Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City RedHawks finished 82-62 in first place in the Pacific Coast League, American Southern Division. Unfortunately, they were bounced in three games, which may be a blessing in disguise from a different point of view. Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks clinched a playoff berth by finishing first in the first half of the season, but just for good measure they finished first again in the Texas League South, going 41-29.
Advanced-A Lancaster Jethawks did the same as the Hooks, clinching after finishing first in the first half, then repeating in the second half. The Quad City River Bandits, home of renowned prospect Carlos Correa, were the least sure of the clubs. The Class-A team went 43-26 in the second half to secure a second place finish and a playoff berth.
The two lowest levels qualified as well, with the Tri-City ValleyCats finishing 44-32 to take first place and the Greeneville Astros finishing in second in their respective leagues.
It’s something fathomable that Astros fans can be proud of, and those are a rarity in this day and age.