In the span of a calendar year, the Houston Astros traded the four best position players and the best pitcher in franchise history. The primary reason was to cut payroll.
Jim Crane and associates are due to take over the team pending MLB approval. They made their wishes known that they wanted the 2012 payroll to come in around $60 million. The obvious caveat was that they weren't going to compete anyway, so they might as well prepare for the future.
Now that the minor league season is over, it's time to check in on the hitters they got for these five players. They will be ranked in order of which ones are more than likely to experience long-term success.