Houston Astros: Turnaround Is Coming Soon
It is no secret that the Houston Astros are rebuilding. While it was nice to see this team competitive and hover around .500 for the first two months, they have fallen back to where many expected.
They currently sit 10 games under .500, and look like they are at least one year away from being in playoff contention. Not all hope is lost though, as a number of teams have gone from worst to first in one season.
Houston has built a nice foundation from which they could potentially make a drastic jump. They have had a couple of solid drafts and have added quality prospects through trades the past few seasons.
Here are four examples from the past few years who have made a quick turnaround to give Astros' fans some hope.
Tampa Bay Rays
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The Tampa Bay Rays were bad for a long time, a really long time. They played their first season in 1998, and over a 10 year span had three seasons with more than 100 loses.
However, something good came from all that losing. A number of high draft picks brought them the likes of Evan Longoria and David Price.
After the 2007 season, everything came together for this embattled franchise, and they went from 66 wins to 97 and a AL East Division title. They went all the way to the World Series in their team's first playoff appearance.
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants had four subpar seasons in a row from 2005-2008 before winning 88 games in 2009. The next year, 2010, it all came together for the club, and they went on to win the World Series over the Texas Rangers.
The Giants were led by a number of homegrown players. The list includes: Tim Lincecum, Pablo Sandoval, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Rookie of the Year Buster Posey.
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The Arizona Diamondbacks are the most recent team to accomplish a move from worst to first. In 2010, they finished the year 65-97 and in last place in the NL West. They capitalized on a down year in 2011, winning the division with a record of 94-68. Unfortunately, they fell to the Brewers in the NLDS in five games.
The 2011 team was built a little different than the two previous teams, but they didn't go and break the bank for big name free agents. Rather they built it up with smart, low-risk-high-reward moves. They brought in players like Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders and Aaron Hill.
These players were brought in to support some younger players from the team's farm system including, Justin Upton, Chris Young, Miguel Montero and Daniel Hudson.
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If there is one team right now that is the best example of how a team can quickly turn things around, fans should look no further than the Baltimore Orioles. Now, this story is still being written, but the way this team is constructed it is hard to bet on an epic collapse.
The O's currently sit at 41-32 and in second place in the AL East. They currently have three players in their batting lineup, Matt Wieters, Brian Roberts and Adam Jones, who were drafted by the team. They also have two players out of their starting five pitchers, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta, that were drafted by the Orioles. Those numbers don't include Nick Markakis who is currently on the DL.
The present may not be yielding many wins for the Astros and their fanbase, but hopefully these examples can provide a glimmer of hope that the future is bright for this team.