Jun 20, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) hits a 2-run home run during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
On Thanksgiving, I posted an article about some things that the Astros are thankful for. Now let’s look at some things we can all up hope for in the upcoming year. I’m going to wish for more realistic and individual achievements that can help the team, and shy away from the obvious ones that we all hope will happen like:
-I want the Astros to win the 2015 World Series.
-I want the Astros in the 2015 Playoffs
Now let’s make one thing clear, I would be ECSTATIC about any of those happening, but don’t late that last one fool you. Bagwell and Biggio have everything to do with me being an Astros fan since I was 5 years old (hence, the “5-7” in my twitter handle, email address, etc.) I just want to try and focus on the 2015 team and things that can help them be successful. With that being said, let’s get started.
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George Springer at 100%: This is pivotal in the Astros future on being contenders or pretenders. A full season could very well mean the King of the Springer Dinger has 40+ HR’s and 100+ RBI’s. It’s not unrealistic to think this is possible as a full 162 game slate would have had him hit 40 HR’s and drive in 102 RBI’s as a rookie. A healthy Springer means a happy Springer; a happy Springer means happy Astros; and happy Astros means a happy fanbase. In the words of Michael Scott, “ That is what we call a win-win-win.”
Jose Altuve has 200 Hits again: Altuve had one of the best seasons in Astros history, and replicating it will be very hard. But you know the little guy is going to go all-out for 6 months to make 2014 a thing of the past, and improve on the incredible season. But even a slight decline to 200 hits wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Astros. He has improved every season in the hits category since entering the league, and he will do everything he can to do it again.
Jon Singleton Awakens: You can’t do much worse than a .168 BA with 134 K’s in 95 games, but that’s exactly the point. Singleton was the top First Base prospect in all of baseball heading into 2014, and there’s a good reason for that. He can launch the ball quite a bit, and for those of us who followed him through the farm system, we know he actually has a good eye at the plate, and the strikeouts in 2014 were just some rookie struggles. We caught some brief glimpses of what Jon Singleton can do for the Astros in the long run, and it would be awesome to see those glimpses turn into stretches in 2015, and eventually consistency.
Collin McHugh is Not Lucas Harrell 2.0: Y’all remember Lucas Harrell, right? For those of you who either forgot him, or simply chose to block his tenure in Houston, let me remind you about Lucas Harrell. Harrell was one of the only bright spots in the 2012 season and was expected to replicate it, only to have a disastrous 2013 season in Houston. After being given a shot to prove that 2012 wasn’t a fluke to start off this past season, it just confirmed that the 2013 version was the real Lucas Harrell. That is exactly what the Astros do not want to see with Collin McHugh in 2015. McHugh finished 4th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting last season, and if he can just come close to his success in 2015, the Astros will have a workhorse in the rotation for years to come.
The Future Arrives: No, I’m not saying fast-forward to 2017 when the Astros win the World Series as I don’t have those kinds of powers yet, but I do want to see two players expected to be part of that roster. I’m talking about you Carlos Correa and Mark Appel. 2015 needs to be the year both of these guys show up to Minute Maid Park and show off to the rest of the baseball world on why we’re so excited to have them up. Mark Appel very well could be on this team and part of the rotation for a good majority of the season, while Correa could simply just get his feet wet in September. As with rookies, we do expect some struggles, but that’s why it needs to happen in 2015 compared to 2016. This is a season where the Astros take another step, and they need two of their future leaders there to help.
Now that you know five things I want to see happen on the field this season for the Astros, what are some of yours?