Astros Trade News: Houston's Most Untouchable Players as the Deadline Looms
The Houston Astros are primed to sell some of their players as the trade deadline looms—since they hold the league’s worst record—but that doesn’t mean that every single player in the organization is up for grabs.
Houston has already dealt one of their big-name players earlier in the year, shipping Carlos Lee to the Miami Marlins in exchange for two prospects.
The Astros will take offers on pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers, but probably won’t end up trading Jed Lowrie—who’s now injured—away, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Nearly all of Houston’s roster could easily be replaced which could mean a busy day on July 31 for general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Baring a shocking, blockbuster trade, there are several players under contract with either the Astros or one of their minor league affiliates that are virtually untouchable.
Here are my suggestions as to who those players might be.
Honorable Mention: Carlos Correa, Shortstop
Bob Levey/Getty Images
2012 Statistics: .162/.219/.265, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 8 R (Gulf Coast League)
It would be tremendously shocking if the Astros were to trade the No. 1 pick in the 2012 MLB draft after having him under contract for a short period of time.
The Puerto Rican shortstop shows a lot of promise which is the main reason why Houston made him the top selection. He’s only played a handful of games of professional baseball, so don’t be distracted by his line.
I think that it’s very, very clear that Correa is off limits. Another GM would be idiotic to even ask at this point in his career.
Jose Altuve, Second Baseman
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
2012 Statistics: .297/.337/.427, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 48 R (Houston Astros)
The lone All-Star representative for the Astros this season should not be traded under any circumstances. He’s having an outstanding year in just his second season in the big leagues and has caught the eyes of many.
Aside from Jed Lowrie, Altuve is having the best season of any other Astro on the roster, according to FanGraphs.
Houston doesn’t really have an impact second baseman in the minor league system and at just 22 years old, Altuve looks to be one of the key pieces for the future of Houston.
Jonathan Singleton, First Baseman
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
2012 Statistics: .273/.395/.490, 13 HR, 52 RBI, 61 R (Double-A Corpus Christi)
Singleton’s having an explosive season at the plate in Double-A and has been impressive in nearly every aspect of the game. His numbers earned him a spot in the Futures Game, hitting fifth in the United States lineup. In the US victory over the World team, Singleton went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Singleton is one of Houston’s most prized possessions at the moment and I don’t see a situation where they would feel comfortable trading him. He has a lot of potential for a young first baseman that could turn into a future major league slugger.
Jarred Cosart, Pitcher
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
2012 Statistics: 4-5, 3.86 ERA, 79.1 IP, 64 K (Double-A Corpus Christi)
Jarred Cosart is arguably the top pitching prospect in the Astros organization and was acquired as a part of the deal that sent Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies—along with the aforementioned Jonathan Singleton. He hasn’t had that much success in the minors, but still shows promise for the future.
Cosart isn’t much of a strikeout pitcher, but still knows how to retire hitters. He’s also much better than the .261 opponent’s batting average that you can find on his player profile.
Houston has many more top hitting prospects than pitching and the Astros should look to acquire more starting pitchers that can complement Cosart in the future.
Jonathan Villar, Shortstop
Photo Credit: Examiner.com
2012 Statistics: .261/.336/.396, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 54 R (Double-A Corpus Christi)
Jonathan Villar was having a pretty good season in Double-A until he decided to punch a wall between innings and potentially put the rest of his year in danger. I recently questioned whether this was just a one-time thing or this will become a trend. For the sake of his future, hopefully it was just a one-time thing.
Villar is a very talented shortstop who is one the fast track to the major leagues—or at least he was until this injury. From my speculation, Villar could be in Houston by the end of next season or at least at the start of the 2014 season. His bat still needs to improve, but I don’t think it’ll be a tough transition.
It isn’t every day that an organization has a shortstop on their hands with the potential to put up pretty good power numbers, but Villar could be one of them. He did have double-digit home runs through the first half the season and could’ve reached 20 should he have stayed healthy.
George Springer, Outfielder
Bob Levey/Getty Images
2012 Statistics: .331/.408/.576, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 83 R (Single-A Lancaster)
George Springer is the other top prospect in the Houston organization to be nationally recognized this season, being named the No. 45 best prospect in baseball in Baseball America’s midseason rankings.
In Springer’s first full season as a professional baseball player, he’s doing a good job at making a first impression. The power that he holds is outstanding and has been a force on the bases. Despite going 20-for-24 on the basepaths, Springer is scoring nearly every single game.
Springer already has over 100 hits this season and has racked up 200 total bases in 85 games. I have no intention of comparing Single-A to the MLB, but only three major leaguers have 200 total bases in the same number games. It might not mean much to the average fan, but this guy could be a future MVP with numbers like that.