Mark Appel was ranked as the Astros second best prospect, with Vince Velasquez fourth, Michael Feliz fifth and Josh Hader tenth. Third-best prospect Mike Foltynewicz was soon afterwards traded to Atlanta. Velasquez remains at Corpus Christi and Feliz and Hader are both in Single-A. None of the three are likely to receive a call-up this season, but recent roster activity has suggested that, for the Astros at least, the future could be now. Or at least soon.
The Astros are currently right in the middle of the MLB rankings for average age, at 28.6 years old. The youngest team in the majors is Arizona, 27.2, with Texas only .1 of a year older, on average. The San Francisco Giants have the oldest roster at 30.4 years old. On the current roster, the Astros bullpen plays a significant role in raising the average age. Of the regular starters, only Jed Lowrie, Scott Feldman and Roberto Hernandez are over 30.
The young guns have been performing well, too. Our top two hitters are twenty-five year old Jose Altuve and twenty-four year old Jake Marisnick, who also sit first and third in batting average (.338 and .296 at the time of writing). George Springer, still a relative newcomer, will be a relatively old head when he turns twenty-six in September.
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With the news that Lance McCullers has sped through his final test at AAA Fresno, albeit most likely only a temporary move, and the ever-tantalizing prospect of Correa also making the trip from California to Minute Maid, the possibility of the Astros lineup becoming even younger is very real. McCullers arrival in the big show has been covered on CTH by both Jason and Thomas in recent days.
We shouldn’t forget twenty-four year old Preston Tucker, who debuted a couple of weeks ago and the more familiar face of Jonathan Villar, who have both helped reduce the average age of the roster, but should twenty-one year old McCullers and twenty year old Correa establish themselves on the Astros roster by the end of the season, the team will plummet down the average age rankings and, if the team is able to maintain even a semblance of their early season form, then the much lamented Luhnow project will really start to make some of its critics – myself included – eat their words.