I Hope Astros Prospect Jason Castro Doesn't Become Next Jeff Bagwell*

Richard ZowieCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 12: U.S. Futures All-Star Jason Castro of the Houston Astros looks on during the 2009 XM All-Star Futures Game at Busch Stadium on July 12, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

* I know exactly what you're thinking. Rick! Are you crazy?!Why wouldn't you want Jason Castro to become the next great Astros ball player?

There's a lot of potential for Jason Castro to become the next Astros star like Jeff Bagwell. But I hope he doesn't turnout the way Bagwell did.

Yes, Bagwell had a great career with the Astros, had his number retired and will almost certainly wind up in the Baseball Hall of Fame someday. I’ll never forget an incident that showed just how much respect Baggie had in the MLB.


In Cincinnati, years ago, during the first season of Great America Ballpark, he hit career home runs 399 and 400. When it was announced on the scoreboard that he’d hit his 400th career long ball, the Reds fans gave him a five-minute standing ovation.


But we also remember that the Boston-born and Connecticut-raised Jeffrey Robert Bagwell began his career with the Boston Red Sox. He seemed destined to do what every New England kid dreams of—playing for the Olde Towne Team.


And then, as the Red Sox decided they needed bullpen help for the postseason, they traded Bags to the Astros for reliever Larry Andersen and his nasty slider. After all, Boston already had a third baseman in Wade Boggs along with two other third-base prospects, so Bagwell was expendable, right?




The Red Sox would get quickly snuffed out in the post season as Andersen left via free agency. Eventually, Boggs would left via free agency for the New York Yankees.


Bagwell, meanwhile, moved over to first base with Houston (who already had a starting third baseman in Ken Caminiti) and took off almost instantly.


Not known in his minor league career as a power hitter, Bagwell would go on to do something at the MLB level that few others have ever done—hit two upper-deck home runs at Pittsburgh’s old Three Rivers Stadium.


I hope, as Houston has the potential for postseason play this or next season, that they don’t decide to trade Jason Castro for some short-term gain.


I’d hate to see Castro have a Hall of Fame career as a New York Yankee, Atlanta Brave, St. Louis Cardinal or—even worse—as a New York Met.


With Castro’s potential, I hope he’s put onto a list of untouchable prospects that other teams might ask for in trades.