Top 5 Houston Astros Rookie Performances Of 2013
Who Was The Best Astros' Rookie?
The Houston Astros have a great crop of young talent, it can’t be said enough. They had six Minor League teams make the playoffs and three won championships. They have six of the MLB’s top 100 prospects. But a prospect is everything but worthless to a Major League club. A player has to prove he can play at the Major League level, or all the hype and hubbub surrounding him are 100 percent, grade-A worthless.
So when the Astros called up so many rookies during the 2013 campaign, everyone was watching. What they saw had to be exciting. The rookies rejuvenated a fizzling team that delivered loss after loss. Non-rookies like Chris Carter and Matt Dominguez saw their stats turn around. Non-rookies like Lucas Harrell and Erik Bedard saw their position replaced.
It was a very impactful summer for the future of the Astros. Not only did so many guys make an impact at the MLB-level, showing that the Astros are literally breeding talent in the minors, they also snagged another first-round pick. While that’s not normally something to celebrate, it can be on this occasion.
The Astros are becoming relevant, and fast. Don’t be surprised if they start grabbing attention early on in the 2014 season.
The look of the Houston roster changed, seemingly overnight. Now the youngest average club in the majors by a full year, the Astros young talent is becoming Major League talent.
So who were the best rookie performers of the 2013 season? Take a look and find out.
5. Robbie Grossman
The only reason Robbie Grossman is at No. 5 and not higher is because he was hurt for the better part of the end of the season. But let's not forget what he did do. After a lackluster first stint and being sent down, Grossman came back up with a vengeance. Since his second call-up, Grossman hit .322 with four home runs and 22 RBIs out of the leadoff spot. It will be exciting to see how much he will contribute to the 2014 squad.
4. Kevin Chapman
A bullpen guy. Wow. Well, consider Kevin Chapman the only successful bullpen experiment of 2013. With 18.0 innings pitched out of the pen, Chapman managed a 2.00 ERA with a .161 opponent batting average. He was primarily used against left-handers, but there's no point in being nit-picky when it comes to the Astros bullpen -- his stats are impressive. Hopefully he can emerge as a prominent bullpen guy in the years to come.
3. Jonathan Villar
Butt-slides aside, Jonathan Villar had a great rookie season. After treading water with a batting average around .270 all year in Triple-A, Villar was called to duty in the Majors when the Astros' shortstops continued to underwhelm. Despite slumping towards the end, Villar still hit .261 with 17 stolen bases, and was combining wonderfully out of the nine spot with Grossman in the lead off spot. Villar has a stranglehold on the short stop position, and it's his to lose going into 2014.
2. Brett Oberholtzer
With an arsenal of nicknames prepped and ready, Brett Oberholtzer stunned in 2013. After a feeble stint in the bullpen, Oberholtzer was pushed into the starting rotation.
The result was extraordinary.
Oberholtzer started nine games, seven of which were quality starts and four of which were shut-outs. He posted a 2.14 ERA and only walked 12 in 59.0 innings. It appears the Michael Bourn trade is finally paying dividends, as teammate and trademate Paul Clemens also posted decent numbers.
1. Jarred Cosart
It was easy to see this one coming, given the recent article admiring his rookie season. That being said, Jarred Cosart went from Triple-A ace to MLB ace in the span of a couple weeks. His debut start was one of the best debuts in modern memory, and his entire rookie season was the best in about a century. The guy has all the tools to become a prolific starter for years to come on an Astros' roster that could factor into a playoff race sooner rather than later.