Over at Hardball Talk, Aaron Gleeman challenged the idea that bringing up Johnson and Castro was "exciting."
...Not all "top prospects" are created equal. Teams like the Nationals (Stephen Strasburg), Pirates (Pedro Alvarez), Indians (Carlos Santana), and Marlins (Mike Stanton) calling up their best prospect represents an "exciting youth movement" and "watershed moment in the franchise's future," but the Astros doing the same doesn't represent much of anything, really.
And then it busts up Castro ("doesn't project as a star, let alone someone whose arrival is capable of creating 'a watershed moment in the franchise's future.'") and Johnson ("giving him a chance to supplant the washed-up remains of Pedro Feliz at third base makes plenty of sense, but Johnson's upside is somewhere between role player and mediocre starter.").
And now Rob Neyer weighs in:
It must be at least moderately heartening to promote a 2008 draft pick to the majors and get him into the lineup. But I think Gleeman's right, as Castro just doesn't qualify for the pantheon of great young catchers. His .411 career slugging percentage as a professional isn't impressive, but it's actually even less impressive than that; his slugging percentage above Class A is just .370. He's young and he's a catcher and there's probably some development potential there ... but if Jason Castro is the best prospect the Astros unveil this summer, the rebuilding process will be off to a slow start.
I'm now going to bed...