Houston Astros: What Determines Success in 2015?


Baseball is finally here! Tonight the Houston Astros start their season against the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park, giving us our first glimpse at the new team. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow was busy this offseason, and the club has improved greatly on paper, and in the minds of the fans. Yet, after so many losing seasons what will constitute a successful 2015 season in Houston? We’ll run through some options.

Some fans are predicting a playoff appearance from Houston as one of the two American League wild cards. While this seems like a stretch, if everything goes their way the Houston Astros have a shot at making this happen. Health would definitely have to be on their side, and some of their young players would have to develop as we all expect them to–only quicker. Playing against the AL West won’t do the team any favors, so while making the playoffs would be a great achievement, not making the playoffs does not make the season unsuccessful.

Last year Houston finished with a 70-92 record, a 19-win improvement over the 2013 season. A gradual increase in wins, say to 75 this season would appease the fan base, but still leaves a little to be desired. Winning 75 games may keep the Astros out of the cellar in the division, but it would keep them near the bottom in wins around Major League Baseball.

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For this reason, it’s Plan C that I will consider to be a successful season for the Houston Astros. Just get to .500–plain and simple. We still have another year (and a couple of weeks) until we see Carlos Correa as the Astros’ shortstop, but adding him to a .500 team could be enough to bring in an extra three to four victories in 2016, and that’s just one player.

If the team can build on their success from a season ago, then free agents next offseason will likely be willing to listen to the Astros offers, and take them seriously. Ryan Vogelsong won’t be the big-name free agent pitcher that is in talks with Houston. No, it will be one of the premier free agents from the class of 2016.

2015 is the starting point of what should be a great period of time for baseball in Houston. In 2016 the real fun will begin.

What would you consider a successful 2015 season for the Houston Astros?

Next: Astros Predictions For 2015