#14: Spend more time with your kids
A.J. Reed playing first. Photo Credit by Tammy Tucker
Don’t be afraid to call up prospects
By: Elliott Jenkins
Even after trades that included a former first-overall pick in Mark Appel, the Astros’ farm system is still well-stocked. Jeff Luhnow has wisely acquired players that will help the Astros win now and in the future without giving up substantial prospects. The days over overpaying for iffy veterans are over. And, as indicated by the Jed Lowrie/Brandon McCarthy swap and the Jonathan Arauz inclusion, Luhnow is making moves to re-stock the farm system while depleting it.
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The Houston Astros have some prospects that could make substantial impacts in 2016. Flamethrowers Francis Martes and Michael Feliz could provide bullpen or even rotation depth. Joe Musgrove has an opportunity to win a rotation spot in Spring Training. Colin Moran could finally lock down third base for the Astros. Even Tony Kemp could force his way onto the 25-man roster.
Lance McCullers was called up directly from Double-A Corpus Christi on May 18th. McCullers, who turned 22 at the end of the regular season, became a staple of the Astros’ rotation and reinforced that the 2015 Astros were a legitimate powerhouse. The Astros called up Carlos Correa after 24 games at Triple-A Fresno. His impact was immeasurable, and a full season of Correa is easily one of the most exciting storylines going into the 2016 season. But his call-up came on June 8th, almost halfway through the season.
Astros fans were left to wonder how the season could have ended if Correa and McCullers had been with the team since Spring Training or even a month before their call-ups. Would the Astros’ playoff hopes have come down to a nerve-wracking last game of the season? Ah, the what-ifs of baseball. The 2016 Astros should not be shy about reaching out to their younger players in the minors, and at the very least, should invite a few of them up for a cup of coffee.
Next: #13: Have more friends over