Win, lose or draw? Astros versus the future

It may not be in vogue just yet, but following the Astros is certainly becoming fun for the handful of people paying attention.

And, by and large, it’s the younger generation is making the difference as the Astros try to turn a corner in May. George Springer, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh — just to name a few — are the spark plugs a team that suddenly seems to be coming to life.

Yes, though the Astros are taking strides forward, much of the future of the organization is still one or two levels below the major league club. So what would a two-of-three or three-out-of-five series look like between the club and some of the future?

Here’s a comparative lineup. Yes, I cheated just a bit and added George Springer to the team of the future. Who wins the series?

Jon Singleton 1B Marc Krauss
Anthony Kemp 2B Jose Altuve
Carlos Correa SS Jonathan Villar
Enrique Hernandez 3B Matt Dominguez
Austin Wates OF Robbie Grossman
Domingo Santana OF Dexter Fowler
George Springer OF Alex Presley
Max Stassi C Jason Castro
Preston Tucker DH Chris Carter
Michael Foltynewicz SP Scott eldman
Nick Tropeano SP Jarred Cosart
Thomas Shirley SP Dallas Keuchel
  • Obviously putting quite a bit of stock in Springer’s short run, but does he have a shot at rookie of the year? With odds-on leader Jose Abreu on the DL until next week, Springer could move closer if he continues his hot streak.
  • Apparently the sabermetric statisticians earned their money with Collin McHugh. According to Ken Rosenthal: Luhnow said that while the Astros’ scouts projected McHugh as little more than a long man in the majors, their statistical analysts liked McHugh’s performance in the minors with the Mets in 2011 and ’12.”
  • You’ll get a chance to watch some of the best college talent in the country this weekend. LSU pitcher Aaron Nola could be one to keep an eye on, but Carlos Rodon’s NC State team has played its final game in 2014. Oh, and don’t forget those Ragin’ Cajuns, ranked #1 in every collegiate poll this week.
  • Three Astros’ starters with an ERA at 3.02 or under? When is the last time that happened? In fact, ERAs in the 5+ range have been normal in recent years, but Scott Feldman (3.02), Dallas Keuchel (2.55) and McHugh (2.80) have the Astros pushing .500 for the month of May.
  • And, in case you were wondering, the last time the Astros had a .500 month was September 2010. The team is 12-13 this month.

26 comments on “Win, lose or draw? Astros versus the future

  1. Based on what we saw when Springer came up – I’ll go with the major leaguers. But 3 yrs from now…
    – There is no reason to say Springer can’t pass Abreu – this is the first 8 miles of a marathon.

    – Good info on McHugh – looked good against a weak KC team last night.
    – My Coogs were hacked to be Top 10 in RPI and conference winners and have to go to Baton Rouge. I think the committee did not want Rice and UH hosting 5 miles apart.
    – The starting pitching is the basis for an improved team- fun to watch – I think Strom is doing a fine job.
    – The team is playing loose and a .500 for this month is doable


  2. As of this morning the Astros are tied with the D’backs for the 28th spot in the majors. The Cubs currently with the worst record in the majors.
    I am going to put Deshields in the Futures OF instead of Wates and since you left McHugh off the present team I will put him in Shirley’s spot in the Futures rotation. I like the rest of your team but hoping for a gangbuster 3B of the future to go with the rest of the names. Right now Hernandez is sure surprising me and a bunch of others.
    The Draft is getting close. This time last year I was sure of Appel. This year I don’t have a clue but leaning to Jackson because of his bat and the fact that the long term contract situation would allow him to slot in to replace someone we have now that the club won’t pay in four or five years.
    I’m wondering about the Astros starting pitchers and Strom. Strom is an armslot, pitching sequence, deceptive delivery, add a better fourth pitch kinda guy. The Astros starters sure do seem to be morphing into those kinds of pitchers.


    • oldpro, I hope I continue to be dead wrong about McHugh, but don’t you think it’s a bit early to give him one of those five slots in the rotation going forward? Heck, we’ve got a lot of talent coming up in the next two years, and afterall, McHugh was 0 and 8 lifetime prior to his second coming. I still want to see more before I can totally admit to being wrong about the guy.

      As for Wates, chances are he’ll get a shot before DeShields, and to a degree, he might control his own destiny. If he keeps his remarkable OBP even close to what it is today, and Grossman has not awakened by the break, I’ve got to figure Wates gets his shot then. They’d have to make room for him on the 40 man, but we’ve got a couple of candidates that would not be missed even if they were to be taken off the roster today.

      I’m starting to believe that Dominguez will be a .260 hitter and provide 20 to 25 homers and 80 plus RBI annually. With the quality of his defense, we better make sure anyone who takes the job from him can produce significantly more. We could do far worse at third.


      • Dave, its the team of the present vs the future. I’m assuming that this series is taking place now so If Chip’s not gonna use today’s McHugh, then I want him pitching for me. Since he has around 15 major league starts I consider him a guy of the future and not the present. I also looked at that curve last night and with time it is going to get even better because as he learns how to pitch he is going to hang that beauty less and less. With that snap curve his fastball rides up and into a righties fists and up and away to lefties and his delivery gets that fastball up there deceptively quick. He sat at 93 early and 91 late in last night’s game. Then there is that little sinker that he doesnt throw as much but it fades down with very similar arm motion and is about 5 mph slower.
        Something tells me he is a much better pitcher now than he was when he came here. He just seems to have put it together as an Astro and that is such a pleasant thought.


  3. Just fun to be competitive again, Honestly I keep waiting for a rough week of pitching, our rotation has been UM UM really good. Speaking of pitching what a great pick up Sipp has been, amazing. Saw a post somewhere, maybe the Chronicle, where there were a couple questionable tweets from Singleton.

    I sure hope he can keep his demons in check or he will end up being a bust, no pun intended. Can Tucker play First???


  4. The possibility of ROY is something I’d been wondering about. Its hard to overtake the leader, but Springer’s advantage is that he brings five tools to the table v. Abreu’s one. He may be able to catch him yet.

    I generally predict the team with the first team offense will win the Spring game. With Springer on your futures, I’m only confident calling Altuve a win in head to head matchups for the current bunch. However, I like the way Keuchel and company are throwing right now. Too close to call.


  5. I think I’d put Duffy at third base for my futures team. That said, major leaguers are major leaguers for a reason. Other than Springer, I think the Old Guy team — you know, the one with Altuve — would win hands down.

    Three years from now, probably not.

    I think Springer will give Abreu a run for his money. It’s the Japanese pitcher for the Yankees who really has me worried.

    I find it amazing that any ESPN or SI writer (or FOX) has anything nice to say about a single Astros player.

    Omaha or Bust, Baby! Chip, if those Cajuns make it to the Big O, you need to go with them. I can tell you all the great places to eat, drink and hang out between games.

    I’m just glad our relievers have (mostly) stopped blowing the leads. But, yeah, way to go Rotation! Hey, even Obie and and Cosart throw the occasional gem. In fact, if Cosart hadn’t had that one bad outing in Oakland, his ERA would be a comparable 3.27.

    With four May games left, we could either turn the corner or turn back to our old ways. Go 2-2 and we finish the month a game under .500. That’s turning the corner. Go 0-4, and we finish 5 games under. But if Houston goes 3-1 or better, we actually pick up a game or more against our biggest opponent: The Houston Astros. Wouldn’t that be great!


  6. McCullers is a definite future pro according to these eyes.

    I still don’t think there will be enough payroll to make this emerging squad of youngsters anything more than marginally interesting (NOT competitive) down the road.

    And soon enough, GSpring will be playing for another organization. When? When it’s time for his big payday, that’s when.

    I haven’t seen him play much (certainly not day-to-day, I wonder why?), and thus can’t comment on his plate discipline and pitch recognition. But I do see replays of him jacking all types of pitches all over the ballpark. And these aren’t just mistake pitches either. He’s good. REAL good. Too good to remain in Houston, that’s for sure.

    I admit that I am amazed that Crane didn’t sign his crappy TV deal by now. Soon enough, he’ll be forced to. And it’ll spell long-term suckiness for the organization. Even though it’s been slow to unfold, just watch what happens. It’s inevitable because the demand isn’t there.

    Regading the Evan Drellich article…

    “…Springer had an offer last year that reportedly was worth about $7 million guaranteed with the potential to earn more. The Astros also have made third baseman Matt Dominguez an offer worth $14.5 million for five years, plus two options, and outfielder Robbie Grossman received at least one similar offer – $13.5 million for six years plus two options, a person familiar with the offers said. None of the players accepted….” \

    ….says it all. Just laughable, and VERY indicative of what to expect.

    One last comment: I am glad for Tanner. (: See, it’s not all doom-and-gloom


  7. I guess I’m missing something Bo – Springer is not even arbitration eligible until 2017 and not a free agent until 2020 – and you are acting like he’ll be gone in a year or two. Take a chill pill.


    • I agree Springer is an Astro for a long time with, Altuve ,Correa, Santana, sprinklie in some more studs in the minors SWEEET


    • Pointing out current lowball trends which are indicators for the future. It’s going to take some serious cash to compete in the AL West…. regardless if we are talking 2017 or 2020.

      And you must admit, as I did regarding GSpring’s phenomenal talent, that those offers are off-the-charts ridiculous.


      • Cash? To compete with whom? The overspend-on-aging-stars Angels or the falling-apart-at-the-seams Rangers?

        Oh, I know, with the Big Budget A’s.

        Wait, the A’s don’t have a big budget? Then I’m not sure who you’re talking about. (Again, those pesky facts are killing your argument.)


  8. So now Carter decided to join the fun with 2 HR and 4 ribbies today. After Springer’s homer he has walked twice which helped set up 2 RBIs from Fowler and a 3 run dinger from Carter.


    • I was wondering if no porter had ‘accidentally’ locked him in a closet or something to keep him out of the lineup for a few days. Guess whatever it was paid off…


  9. 10 walks and a hit batsman for KC today – and we are just in the 8th inning. Plus it appears they will be swept. That . . . has . . . to . . . smart.


  10. Bo – the AL West is being led again by the Oakland A’s with the 26th highest payroll in the majors. If you spend money in the right places you can compete.


  11. Had the game on the radio while I FINALLY got out to do errands, but HOLY SMOKE what a game!! Maybe Porter should sit Carter more often! I gotta admit, it sure looks nice to have wins in the 20’s, instead of the teens like last year!
    I’m kinda like Oldpro1, I’m starting to drool over the thoughts of Singelton, Correa,
    Tucker, Wates, with Altuve and Springer leading the charge!
    David Barron, kinda took Drellich to task about his article……, at least someone on the Chronicle’s staff has half a brain.


    • So what do you want to hear from Drellich, typical Chronicel fluff? In spite of our encourging play of late, this is still an organization that deserves scrutiny.


  12. you know what I REALLY love about this recent streak? Only five games ‘worse’ than the Rangers with 1/4 of the payroll. I feel the same way about the Rangers as others feel about the Yankees, so this is a happy thing for me.


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