Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekly In-Depth Look: Houston Astros (12-32)

With a total team salary of $17,987,800, the Houston Astros rank last in the league for payroll and are tied for last in winning percentage (.273). Although it may seem that this team does not have a very bright future, it in fact has one of the brightest. Over the past few years, this team has gone into full rebuilding-mode. Shedding away all of their large contracts over the past few years, the Astros have attempted to gather a group of players that they believe will someday win them a championship. Most of these players are in the minor leagues, but that does not take anything away from their talents. Headed by the 23 year-old second base phenomenon, Jose Altuve, the Astros major league team boasts a small group of rising-stars that will ultimately lead their team in the future. Their aces, Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris, have drawn much interest on the trade market, but the Astros seem content on keeping them, along with several of their other core players. One main way the Astros have built up one of the strongest minor league systems in the league is by drafting towards the top of the draft over the past few years. Although the Astros' low payroll is due mainly to their stage of rebuilding, they still cannot go out and sign superstar free-agents like the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers . Due to insufficient funds, the Astros have had to draft cost-controlled prospects in the past, which sometimes made them unable to draft the best player available. Even with this disadvantage, the Astros have put together one of the youngest teams in baseball that could potentially dominate the league in years to come. They clearly have no intent of winning any immediate titles, but the Astros have definitely set themselves on the right path.

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