Monday, June 21, 2010

/Bubble. Popped.

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...


Andrew said...

While it may not be as exciting as a Strasburg or a Stanton, I would argue that it is still a "watershead moment" for the season and the future as well. Management is essintially "pulling the plug" on a team that we the fans have known is done for a while now. Coupled with the fact that we actually have prospects who have been doing decently enough at AAA to warrant a call up is a sign that the minor league pipeline is close to being back up and running. Which in itself is and exiting thought. So I for one am still excited about the callups.

Patrick said...

I'm excited by the callups as well. Gleeman is right in that Castro will not have an impact like a Strasburg or the aforementioned prospects. But Castro has been the posterboy of the renewed dedication to the Houston Astros organization building up the farm system.

Random thoughts:
Unfortunately, I think some of the more uninformed Houston Astros fans will be expecting too much out of Castro at the plate and will ultimately be disappointed by these lofty expectations. However, i do think his patient approach at the plate will serve the lineup as a whole well.