The Houston Astros toiled away for years in the NL Central with five other teams before moving to the AL West in 2013 to balance out the divisions. Now they are back in full force with a 38-16 record, the best in the league. How did they get back to this point?
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After 2008, the Astros went through six losing seasons. They didn’t finish any higher than fourth in their division, coming in last place for three straight years between 2011 and 2013. Those three years they racked up more than 100 losses, losing 111 games in 2013. The Phillies almost look playoff-worthy compared to that squad.
What the Astros lacked in major-league talent they had in prospects.
The team’s top two prospects in 2014, Carlos Correa and George Springer, are both starters at the major-league level. Correa won Rookie of the Year in 2015 and Springer has 11.6 fWAR since 2014. Two of Houston’s other top prospects, Mark Appel and Vince Velasquez, are both now with the Phillies thanks to the Ken Giles trade.
We hope this Phillies team is more like the 2014 than the 2013 Astros where the imminent arrival of prospects brings success soon, just like the Astros winning the 2015 AL Wild Card.