What the Heck, Astros?
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jayne and I blog about the Astros minor league system at What the Heck, Bobby?. Please get your sympathetic murmurs, derisive laughter and condescending assertions of superiority out of your system before reading any further. I’ll wait …
That’s better. Following the Astros the last few years has been a character-building experience. I started really looking at the minor league system in-depth only last summer when it became patently obvious that the 2011 major league season was turning into a disaster of epic proportions as the Astros rapidly hurtled toward 106 losses. I needed to know that help was on its way. Frankly, I’m glad that I didn’t look sooner.
The Astros farm system under Drayton McLane’s ownership was allowed to totally go to seed, culminating in the disastrous 2007 draft which resulted in zero big league players. Only one player from that draft even remains in the Astros system. That’s the bad news.
Things are looking up, though. Bobby Heck, Director of Scouting for the Astros since 2008 has already had a number of his drafted players make their major league debuts – Jason Castro, Jordan Lyles and J.D. Martinez – and there are others waiting in the wings. Ed Wade, love him or hate him, helped shore up the system with the Pence and Bourn trades last summer. And, best of all, in Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow, we now have an Owner and General Manager who understand how important it is to have a strong farm system.
The Astros farm system has a number of extremely talented players who will eventually make their mark in the major leagues. What we lack is depth, but GM Jeff Luhnow has already started building that depth through trades, waiver claims and Rule 5 picks. The process will continue with the 1/1 pick in June’s draft.
So, if you feel you must, mock the Astros now while you can because we’re going to be surprising people sooner than you think.