Astros fans can all agree that Jeff Luhnow has taken a slow and steady approach to the rebuild, as evident by the three straight losing season that the team endured from 2011-2013, but 2014 finally gave us a glimpse to the light at the end of the tunnel. Not only did 2014 break the streak of straight 100+ loss seasons, but also the long awaited debuts of George Springer and Jon Singleton, representing the beginning of the end of the rebuild. Even though both Singleton and Springer were not part of Luhnow’s regime, Singleton being acquired in the Hunter Pence trade when Ed Wade was the general manager, and Springer being drafted also during Wade’s reign, it was a big milestone reached in Luhnow’s regime.
By current pace, all impact talent is still stashed in the lower minors, we might not see any impact talent reach Houston until September; so is it time to be aggressive with our top prospects? Luhnow recently made comments about how both Carlos Correa and Mark Appel are talented enough to make the jump straight from AA Corpus Christi to the MLB bypassing AAA Fresno all together.
While that jump seems aggressive, it has happened successfully before, case in point being the Astros all world second baseman Jose Altuve. Altuve was part of the three headed monster (JD Martinez and Jimmy Paredes) that made the jump. However all three of them yielded different results; Altuve took the MLB by storm leading up to this past year when he claimed the MLB batting title. JD Martinez on the other showed some promise in his first big league stint, however it took a stint in AAA and a change of scenery to find his stride.
While the success and failures of those three have no bearing on how either Correa or Appel would handle themselves, but it does go to prove that there is no way we can predict just how well they could preform.
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It would be nice for the fans to see more top prospects not only make it to Houston but actually have an impact, especially with the high expectations following last years success. However, the Astros are at a bit of a crossroad, in that it is time to start pushing the prospects with more aggressive assignments, yet they are also at the stage where, if you are not producing then you are replaceable. I for one envision Correa and Appel are both in Houston shortly after the all star break. It will definitely be a story to keep your eye on over the season.