The Astros announced Thursday morning that you should not bother watching any more Spring Training games this season.
— Houston Astros (@astros) March 20, 2014
Ok, that’s not exactly what they said, but they might as well have. Spring Training has given many Astros fans their first live looks at The Future™. Now that Houston’s top six prospects have been sent to minor league camp, there really is no incentive for anyone to watch baseball until Opening Day.
Out of the prospects who were sent down, Foltynewicz put on the best show in Kissimmee this spring. In 10.1 innings pitched, Folty allowed opposing hitters to bat .211 and struck out seven on his way to a 1.74 ERA. He ended his spring campaign on a high note Wednesday – striking out four of the six Nationals he faced.
After pitching just 38.0 innings in 2013 for two Astros minor league affiliates, Appel was unable to take the mound this spring due to an appendectomy. Earlier in the week, it was rumored that Appel would make his major league Spring Training debut Friday, but now he will have to pitch in the minor league camp — if at all.
Correa, who left Wednesday’s game after being hit in the hand by a pitch, is injury free according to multiple media reports. At just 19 years old, Correa led the Astros in Spring Training home runs with two, along with Marc Krauss and Jason Castro. Houston’s No. 1 prospect stood out this spring and did nothing but further prove why he is valued so highly by the team.
Singleton had a disappointing spring statistically – starting 0-for-17. However, he looked as though he was hitting his stride in the last few games – going 4-for-9 with a home run. Singleton will start the 2014 season at AAA Oklahoma City, but has a very good chance of making his major league debut this season as he is already on the Astros 40-man roster.
Deshields managed just four singles in 28 at-bats during his time with the pro club, but he did score six runs and swipe two bases. He will most likely start the season in AA Corpus Christi after spending all of 2013 with High-A Lancaster.
Jeff Luhnow and co. wasted no time quelling the rumors that Springer would make the Opening Day roster. News came out Wednesday that the Astros offered Springer a 7-year, $23 million contract at the end of the last season, but it looks like Astros fans will have to wait until May to see the potential superstar. With 11 strikeouts in 31 spring at-bats, Springer did not do anything on the field to force the front office’s hand — not that it was likely he would have broken camp with the big league club anyway.
All in all, it was a productive spring for Houston’s top prospects. No one was hurt, with the exception of the ball that hit Correa, and the players all seem to be in good spirits. The future is not quite here yet, but the glimpse of it sure was nice.