At the start of the 2014 season, a line not projected to be said was that “it is a good time to be a supporter of the Houston Astros‘ camp.” But in early June, it may actually be a good time to be a supporter of the Houston Astros’ camp. Last week, the Astros had the first overall pick in the MLB Draft for the third consecutive year. With the pick, they selected another young arm in Brady Aiken to help bulk up an already top farm system filled with youth offensively and on the mound. At the big-league level, the youth movement led by rookie George Springer is also progressing for an improving Houston team.
Despite being scratched from Monday’s game, Springer leads the Astros in home runs (12) and RBIs (35). Even with a slow start when first called up, Springer has surged to the top-15 in AL home runs and is second among all rookies only behind Jose Abreu. After going home run-less in April, Springer is impressively sixth in AL at-bats per home run at a 15.3 clip. His talents are really starting to show through and back up last year’s ranking of the 23rd best prospect within the league.
Houston as a team is also enjoying solid play as of late. They are coming off a game where they blasted two grand slams, one of them by fellow rookie Jon Singleton, and have won 12 of their last 16 games overall. Within what is becoming a highly competitive AL West division, the Astros are showing glimpses of turning the corner.
The Astros are a team that may do things unconventionally, but given their current skill set and experience, it is at times working for them. Ultimately the biggest factor for Houston is to have their young prospects gain as much big-league experience as possible before they really are ready to contend. The proof is in the likes of Springer, who struggled in his first 50 career at bats but has really taken off since then.
It may be difficult to admit, but thanks to the George Springer show, the Astros are becoming a team to keep an eye on with their youth movement going forward.
Nick Schaeflein is a Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.