It seems like there is always a surprise team to get off to a hot start, and for the most part that team eventually cools down to a point where they were a fluke. Well, the Astros, with their 18-8 start, are that team in 2015, but it’s no fluke. This Astros team could very well be the Royals of 2015 or 2016.
The 2015 Astros so far are all power, as they currently lead the MLB with 40 round trippers, although their pitching has been solid as well, thus far. The efforts of young starters Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh, along with sharpness from the bullpen, the Astros are currently throwing hard with an ERA of 3.08. And don’t forget, their ace from last season, Brett Oberholtzer, has not thrown a single pitch yet for the big team. However, most of the team’s success is due to the brilliance of manager, AJ Hinch, who has taken in the new additions from the offseason and has found the perfect fit for them with the veterans.
Jose Altuve has left off from his 2014 batting title, as he has set the world on fire again with a .360 average, while swiping 10 bags. The rest of the team is just falling in behind him. Sure all sounds great for the team in Houston, but a couple blows so far could come back and bite them just for a little bit. Their newly signed shortstop Jed Lowrie is out for thumb surgery that will leave him out of action until after all-star break. In addition, a few stars including George Springer have not excelled up to par yet, as their numbers have been just average. However, these are just minor flaws, as a very young team like this has a lot of upside.
Unless Houston does somehow overpower the highly talented Mariners, 2016 will be the year they prevail as top notch. With new stars like Gattis, Rasmus, and Lowrie under contract, along with homegrown pitchers that have veteran leadership along side them in the bullpen, the Houston Astros are no joke. This is what baseball is about, and how to win, have a good amount of talent from the farm system, add a few veteran players especially in the pen, then hire a manager who understands. AJ Hinch is only 40 years old, a former big league catcher with a bright mindset. He has the special ability to scout unique talent and form a great team out of it, as he understands baseball like the back of his hand. That is the reason why the Astros are so dominate so far, and will be for years to come.