Every Houston Astros fan over the age of 10 remembers going to an Astros’ game and going for one thing only: the killer B’s. Whether you called them the Killer B’s or Killer Bees was debatable but was not debatable was the terror that Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, and Lance Berkman put in opposing pitchers day in and day out.
Fast forward to 2015, Biggio is now enshrined in the Hall of Fame, Bagwell to follow hopefully, and Berkman will most likely end up on the outside looking in at Cooperstown. The Houston Astros are no longer on the outside looking into the playoff race. With a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels, the Astros and their young crop of players seem poised for success over the next decade. Leading the way for now are 25-year old’s Jose Altuve and George Springer, along with 20-year-old Carlos Correa.
Altuve made his debut at the ripe age of 21 in 2011 after terrorizing minor league pitching for five seasons, ending with a .327 average. Altuve came into the show as a solid .285 hitter and has emerged as a perennial All-Star, leading all of baseball in hits and batting average last season. Altuve has his average this season back up to his career mark of .302 and leads the AL in stolen bases once again.
Springer arrived in Houston last year with much hype, and deservedly so. After finishing up the 2013 minor league season with an accumulated 37 home runs and 108 RBI, while yielding a .303 average and 46 stolen bases, Springer was the talk of Astros fans everywhere.
When Springer finally made his Astros debut in 2014, he started off extremely slow. Springer was known for being streaky, and it wasn’t long before he rattled off eight home runs in 8 games to get all of Houston excited. Unfortunately, a quad strain cut his season short, and Springer finished the season with 20 long balls and 51 RBIs in 78 games while hitting .231. Springer has pulled his average up this year; however, injury has once again placed him on the DL.
Correa is the man. Correa was the number one pick from the 2012 draft and has lived up to every ounce of the hype, which seemed impossible. The consensus top three prospects from every list that mattered, Correa has helped to bolster this lineup and provide the solid hitter it desperately needed. As a front-runner for AL ROY this season, Correa looks like he could be the top challenger to Mike Trout for many MVP awards the next decade.
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While I’m sure you already knew everything I just went over it, I just want you to think about it. Are these guys the next “Killer Bees”? Yes, they don’t have any cool names that we can think of YET, but the production they give us is pretty cool. Maybe for now, we will just call them “Club Astros.”
All three are future gold glovers, providing web gems daily along with the offensive prowess they bring to the table. Comparing them to Hall of Famers and perennial All-Stars this early could be a stretch, but I think it to be very possible.
Houston will be a hot spot for baseball talent for years to come, and these three guys should be at the very forefront.