First of all, I would like to introduce myself to everyone. My name is Brian Hamilton and I am thrilled to now be writing for climbingtalshill.com. I am a die-hard Astros fan and try to watch as many, if not all, of their games as possible. But with a two year old daughter watching Dora the Explorer and Veggie Tales, that can be tough. I have always watched the games with my Dad for as long as I can remember but I didn’t truly start following them until the 1998 season, when I was 13. I have been hooked ever since. Other than the Astros clinching the pennant, my favorite Astros moment was Jeff Kent‘s walk off home run in the 2004 NLCS in Game 5.
Onto the state of the franchise as I see it. Obviously, our big league club is not very good. We earned the 1st pick in the 2012 MLB Draft after finishing with the worst record in MLB. I will be doing a profile of the top draftees closer to the draft.
Honestly, I do not think we are far off from being competitive and winning again. 2013 could be the start of the “New Astros”. The Hunter Pence trade could go down as the best trade in Astros history. We received 1B Jonathan Singleton, SP Jarred Cosart, RP Josh Zeid and a player to be named later, who ended up being OF Domingo Santana. Normally, I am not a fan of trading for 1B as it is my belief that a power hitting 1B can be found through your minor league system if a player is blocked at another position. However, Singleton is different. I believe Singleton to be a can’t miss prospect. He does everything you would want in a 1B as he can hit for power and average and has great strike zone discipline. This is a guy we can build our team around.
Jarred Cosart is no slouch either as he has a fastball that can occasionally touch 99 and a 12-6 curve ball that drops very nicely among other pitches. Domingo Santana was a pleasant surprise for us this year as he absolutely tore up the minors once he was traded to the Astros. Zeid has drawn rave reviews among scouts for his slider as some have dubbed it “the best in all of minor league baseball.” Singleton, Cosart, Santana and Zeid should all be playing together at AA Corpus Christi this year and all have a tremendous shot of being promoted to AAA or even a September call up to the Astros. A future 3-4-5-6 of Springer-Singleton-Martinez-Santana is dangerously exciting.
At the big league level, I love JD Martinez. I am very intrigued by Jimmy Paredes but I see him more as a SS or 2B than a 3B, however, I believe he was only playing 3B as we literally do not have any other viable options there. With the impending loss of Barmes to free agency, Paredes will likely shift to SS. Bud Norris is another guy who I believe will be instrumental in helping our young pitchers who come up. Wandy Rodriguez, Carlos Lee and Brett Myers should and might be traded at some point. I would look for a Wandy deal in the next month after our ownership situation is resolved. Lee and Myers will need to have strong first halves to be traded for anything of value, but hey, I’ve seen crazier things happen. So fear not, Astros fans, hope is on the horizon and its not too far off.