If baseball fans and analysts think Michael Bourn has grown tremendously over the past two seasons in Houston, just wait until 2011.
Bourn, batting .263 and leading the majors with 50 stolen bases, has ripped 25 doubles, six triples and two home runs this season with the Astros, along with driving in 37 runs.
My guess is that Bourn will be looking for even more in 2011 and beyond, as the lightning-quick center fielder is quickly becoming a household name in Houston.
Don’t get me wrong, there will still be veteran voices and leadership in the clubhouse beyond the aforementioned young talent, but a majority of those roles will land on the backs of guys like Bourn and Pence beginning next season.
And I think Bourn will be a phenomenal leader for the team next year, both at the plate and in the clubhouse.
I’d also bank on Bourn having an All-Star season in 2011; don’t be surprised if he enters spring training even faster and more powerful than he already is, as Houston’s true Bourn identity has yet to be revealed.
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org