In the sport of baseball playing a 162 game season takes its toll on the players and fan bases. There are going to be some years where teams can consistently win, and years were a team can lose so many it could feel like a long summer. Both of these scenarios best describe the Houston Astros.
From the years of the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s winning baseball came pretty easily to the Houston Astros. The team had two very notable players that led the charge every season. Craig Biggio, and Jeff Bagwell. Both players are now in the Baseball Hall Of Fame. From the years 1997 to 2005 the duo helped lead the Astros team to the post season six times, this does include a World Series run in 2005. After the two departures due to retirement the Astros went through a stretch of losing baseball. Six years of losing seasons that included losing over 100 games three different times. Houston even went from the National league to the American League. The Astros are finally adjusting to the American league, the past two seasons winning baseball has returned to Houston. After defeating the New York Yankees in the 2015 AL Wildcard game the team was able to take the World Series Champion Royals to a game 5 in the American League Division series but were unsuccessful. Last season did finish 84-78 but with the late run by the Texas Rangers they were denied by their in state rival the post season. In 2017 the Houston Astros have a lot returning and some new and old faces.
ASTROS KEY PLAYERS
2B, Jose Altuve: The Astros lead off hitter is entering his 7th season with the club. Altuve is a 4 time All-Star and has made it the last three seasons. He is a career .311 batter with some pop to his bat, in 2016 he hit a career high 24 home runs which was third on the team.
SS, Carlos Correra: The 2015 rookie of the year is one of the best young players in the game. Last season Correa was twice named AL Player of the week, he also had 20 home runs and drove in 96 runs which tied Altuve for the team lead.
RF, George Springer: Another pretty young star on this club, last season put together his best power year hitting 29 home runs and knocking in 82 runs. The Astros are big on this outfielder as the last two seasons he won a team honor of the Astros Heart and Hustle Award.
SP, Dallas Keuchel: The 2015 AL CY Young winner had a rocky 2016, last season Dallas only had 9 wins compared to his 20 the previous year. Keuchel will still be the team ace in 2017 looking to lead his team to the playoffs.
The Astros also added some help behind the plate receiving Brian McCann in a trade with the Twins. Houston also brought back an old friend in Carlos Beltran that should add some power to the lineup. Beltran has not played in Houston since 2004, but had a solid 2016 campaign hitting 29 home runs. Beltran is projected to be the DH this season.
The 2017 Houston Astros have the pieces to make the post season. They will have to compete with the Rangers and the up and coming Mariners for a tough AL West race. Although the 2005 team made it to the World Series the Astros has never been able to win it. All Astros fans are hoping this could be the year.