When Jeff Luhnow accepted the job to become Houston's general manager, he knew the Astros needed to be rebuilt. 2013 was the nadir of the rebuilding process, as the Houston Astros stumbled to baseball's worst record, and will once again have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. The future is bright for the Astros, however, and much of the young talent will be on display this season, as the Astros move toward contention.
Houston made moves during the offseason that had contention in the near future in mind. The Astros traded for Colorado Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler, who is one of baseball's better outfielders. Houston also shored up its bullpen by signing Chad Qualls, Matt Albers and Jesse Crain to modest contracts. Additionally, the Astros signed Scott Feldman, who will serve as an anchor to Houston's rotation.
Houston's lineup will feature lots of young, exciting players. Jose Altuve is locked in as Houston's second baseman, and is one of the better second baseman in all of baseball. Jason Castro is one of the best catchers in the American League, and will once again serve as Houston's backstop. Fowler will patrol center fielder for Houston, and will likely be flanked by Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes.
Astros fans will likely get a glimpse at the team's bright future in the middle of the season. Top prospect George Springer is likely to make his Astros debut at some point in 2014, and is a rare five-tool player that projects as an all-star for years to come. The Astros could also call up Mark Appel, who could blossom into an ace in the near future.
Carlos Correra, the No. 1 overall selection of the 2012 draft, should make his debut at some point in 2014 as well, and projects to be a true impact player at shortstop. Baseball Prospectus prospect guru Jason Parks compared Correra to Troy Tulowitzki -- who is the best shortstop in baseball.
Even if the Astros aren't in playoff contention in 2014, they will be in the not-too-distant future -- and they should be a World Series contender sooner rather than later. Astros fans should be sure to head out to Minute Maid Park this year and catch a glimpse of the future. Check out Ticket Liquidator's stock of Astros tickets, buy yours, and head out to Mintue Maid Park to cheer on the young Astros!
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