Imagine your memory has been completely erased, but somehow you know you love baseball. Or perhaps he grew up in Iceland and has no specific loyalty, no obligation to his team following his dad. You could choose any team to turn it into your team.
By 2017, you might have to choose the Houston Astros, the funniest team in the major leagues.
Here are the reasons why Houston is a team that needs to be seen:
A young team
Even if you were not an Astros fan, it is acceptable to admit the following. There will be no repercussions, no need to hand over your fanatic card. One loves it when Jose Altuve hits four hits in a game – a feat he scored eight times last season – even when he does it against his team. When we see Altuve play, we see potential for greatness in ourselves.
Maybe you know the story. When he was 16 years old, he presented himself to an Astros test in Venezuela and showed him the door the same day. Very small, of course. There is no chance for a player smaller than the cargabates to become a player in the majors. Altuve returned the next day in a similar way, then the Astros Al Pedrique heard something on him and signed him for $ 15,000. It was like buying stocks at Apple in 1997.
The Astros have built their shoe around an exciting four-star group, all 27 years or less this season. Carlos Correa, George Springer and Alex Bregman all were first-round picks with classic, lean and powerful baseball bodies. Altuve, was the 5-foot, 6-inch lottery ticket that became the soul and heart of the franchise. What was most impressive of his 2016 campaign was that Altuve found a way to improve, even after winning the batting title in 2014, caputardo two steal base titles in 2014 and 2015 and lead the American League in hits In both seasons. He improved his patience on the plate and added more power, registering the best marks of his career in percentage of base with .396 and quadrangular with 24. He finished third in the voting for Most Valuable Player.
The best. pic.twitter.com/mSzdQxay7V
— Houston Astros (@astros) April 6, 2017
The other three are pretty good too. Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor may have stolen Correa’s attention last year from the pantheon of the great young shortstops, but the refined way Correa plays with his power potential means that it could translate to being the one that will end Among the top three for VMY in 2017.
Here’s a fun statistic to consider: Only two teams since 1901 have had boxers position players 27 and under with WAR of +5 in the same season – the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees did it in the 1942. The Astros could do this this year considering that Altuve, Correa and Springer were five-time winners in 2016. Maybe that’s a bit ambitious for Bregman to be their first full season, but even if we lower the standard to +4 WAR, Only two teams have achieved it in the last 30 years.
Beyond the numbers, Altuve, Correa and Springer have an infectious passion for the game. Yes, there is athletics and obvious skills that one can appreciate, but these players are fan favorites for signing autographs, playing with glasses in the cave, having fun with Miguel Cabrera and becoming memes on the internet and, if connecting homers to Cancer patients.
Let’s put it this way: Astros fans would love Altuve if he averaged .238 instead of .338. But the average .338 helps a lot.
The presence of veterans
The Astros had the youngest team in the American League on average in 2016. That will not be the case in 2017 after Houston signed Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick, made a change to get Brian McCann and claim Nori Aoki. Beltran is no longer the Gold Glove player in center field and is likely to be relegated to designated hitter (turns 40 on April 27), but his late consistency in his career has made him a strong candidate for the Hall of the Fame. He is also in a conquest: He has played in six postseasons with five different teams and has never won a World Series.
Beltrán could become the fifth member of the Puerto Rican Hall of Fame, joining Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Alomar and Iván Rodríguez, who will be exhaled this summer, with just 37 players with at least 1,500 runs and 1,500 RBIs. He is a hero in Puerto Rico and his Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy – one of five private academies on the island – has helped create a baseball renaissance following a talent drought from early in the 1990s through 2000. Correa Is part of that rebirth.
If you want drama, watch the 19 matches between the Astros and the Texas Rangers. Like Beltrán, Adrian Beltre is looking for his first crown. The Rangers have won the last two Western Division titles in the American League in part because they dominated the Astros to a 15-4 record against Houston in 2016 and 13-6 in 2015. In addition, the addition of McCann and the “play this as I play it” philosophy mean that there is a 92.4 chance that he and Rougned Odor will get entangled at some point this season.
The best bullpen you do not know
Ken Giles. The Astros gave up a lot to get Giles, and when he had problems at the beginning – he had two losses and a timed opportunity in April with about 9.00 ERA early in May after allowing four more home runs in his first 10 innings – Then labeled the change as the apocalypse of Jeff Luhnow (no, that was selecting Mark Appel over Kris Bryant). At the end of the season, Giles’ ERA was still at 4.11, but struck out 102 batters in 65⅔ innings with a combined 97 mph straight and slider. He’s who the Astros thought he was: a dominant closer.
Luke Gregerson. This side shooter with his sinker and slider has thrown eight seasons in the majors and his ERA of 3.28 was the worst of his career. Although he has been used as a closer in the past two seasons, he is likely to be the eighth man for Giles this year as he continues to establish himself as one of the best relievers in the sport. It’s fun to see it precisely because it does not pull at 98 mph.
Chris Devenski. One of the “who is that?” Which came to the surface last year, Devenski was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in 2010 by Brett Myers. His numbers will make him salivate like a dog when they serve a steak: 108⅓ IP, 79 H, 20 BB, 104 K, 4 HR. He was a five-game opener, but often A.J. Hinch used it as a long reliever. He pitched two innings or more in 25 of his 43 appearances and had a 1.61 ERA out of the bullpen.
Will Harris. Ah. Remember that he was an All Star and has an ERA of 2.07 in the last two seasons.
This is potentially a key bullpen, as dominant as any in the major leagues. I love the variety, from the fire of Giles to the slider of Gregerson, the change of Devenski and the curve of Harris. And I did not even mention Michael Féliz, a great candidate to make noise after strikes at 95 in 65 innings. And I just mentioned it.
A history of which one can be identified
— Houston Astros (@astros) April 4, 2017
There is a saying that “being a fan of the Yankees is like being a U.S. Steel fan.” Well, we can change that in 2017 to something like “being a fan of the Chicago Cubs is like being a Facebook fan.” Nothing funny about that. In addition, the Cubs already erased their tortuous track record. The Astros still have theirs: 1980, 1986, playoff problems in the era of Jeff Bagwell / Craig Biggio, the Kansas City Royals crash in 2015.
The Astros have been around since 1962 and have never won a World Series match. They were so bad just a few years ago that after winning the first game of the 2014 season, pitcher Bud Norris said: “Being in 1-0 right now feels pretty good.” (They lost their next six games).
So being a fan of the Astros means wishing it to the fans of yesteryear to forget about Del Unser, Jerry Reuss, Lenny Dykstra and Bob Knepper and Nolan Ryan’s inability to win the big game and Baggio and Biggio not being able to play the hype Which Albert Pujols struck against Brad Lidge, and Scott Podsednick’s home run against Brad Lidge and the single against Correa’s glove, artificial grass and ridiculous rainbow uniforms, and that 111-loss season.
Well, let’s say that if you follow the Astros all season and end up winning the World Series, you are going to have a lot of fun.
Houston Astros The Funniest Team In Baseball. A Young team with potential for greatness. The youngest team in the American League on average since 2016.