The Houston Astros are currently sitting in the basement of the National League Central with a record of 36-73. They’re awful. This much is certain. However, while they definitely suck, they aren’t sucking on a historic level. At their current clip, they should finish the season with around 50 wins – which won’t even sniff the list of the all-time worst teams.
The New York Mets went 40-120 in their inaugural season, so that record is safe. Even if Houston had an August and September like the Marlins’ June (5-22), they’d still get over the 40-win hump.
They will be challenging for one of the worst records in the 2000’s, though. While Detroit’s 43-119 in 2003 will be toppled, the Astros should challenge the Diamondbacks’ 51-111 mark in 2004 for the second worst record of the blog era.
Over the weekend, they traded 28-year-old Gold Glove winning center fielder Michael Bourn and their 28-year-old All-Star right fielder, Hunter Pence. Houston is hopeful that the bounty of minor leaguers they acquired in exchange for two of their better players will turn around the organization.
Most of Houston’s top prospects have entered the organization in the last two years. Via FOX Sports Houston:
First baseman Jonathan Singleton and right-handed pitcher Jarred Cosart were part of the package Philadelphia gave up last week for Pence, and they are ranked 1-2 in Houston’s revised prospect rankings. Outfielder George Springer, the 11th player taken in the first round of this year’s draft, is No. 3. Shortstop Jonathan Villar, No. 4, was part of the package from the Phillies for Roy Oswalt last year. The No. 5 and No. 6 prospects, lefty Brett Oberholtzer and right-hander Paul Clemens, came from Atlanta for Bourn.
No. 7 Mike Foltynewicz, a right-handed pitcher, was the 19th selection in the first round of the 2010 draft. Second baseman Delino DeShields Jr., the Astros’ No. 8 prospect, was a first-round pick, eighth overall, in 2010. No. 9 Jimmy Paredes, an infielder, came from the Yankees a year ago in the Lance Berkman deal, which also brought rookie reliever Mark Melancon to Houston. Outfielder Ariel Ovando, a Dominican prospect given a franchise-record $2.6 million to sign 13 months ago, rounds out the top 10.
Obviously, no one knows which prospects will pan out, but at the very least, there’s reason to be optimistic in Houston. Why, just last night they won a game of baseball against the Cincinnati Reds.