Jason Castro (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
#8. The emergence of Jason Castro
Jason Castro entered the 2013 season with something to prove. The injury prone backstop had yet to live up to expectations after being drafted in the first round (tenth overall) of the 2008 draft.
Castro silenced some of the critics with a breakout year. In his age 26 season, Castro put together some impressive offensive numbers and stayed healthy long enough to be named as the Astros lone representative for the All-Star game. Jason was completely deserving of the honor of being the first Astros player to wear the uniform of the American League All-Star squad.
Castro established career highs in almost every offensive category in 2013. He tripled his previous high of six homeruns by belting 18 round-trippers while slashing .276/.350/.485 for the year. He also showed dramatic improvement defensively. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended Castro’s season prematurely. The Astros decided to shut Jason down for the last month of the season rather than risking further damage. Hopefully that strategy will pay off and Castro will be able to build on his success in 2014.