Last summer, Astros fans had a lot to be excited about. Houston sat atop the AL West and there were no signs of the team slowing down. The success of the team, however, was overshadowed by an event that baseball fans had been waiting for: the call up of Carlos Correa.
Now 21 year old shortstop Carlos Correa was drafted 1st overall in 2012 and has not disappointed since. His meteoric rise through the Astros’ farm system, while not entirely unexpected, had fans buzzing since day one. On June 8th, 2015, he played his first big league game. Correa has shown no signs of slowing down, leading the 2015 Astros to their first playoff appearance since 2005 and cementing himself as the face of the franchise. The future looks bright for Correa and the Stros.
While Correa was making his case for 2015 AL Rookie of the Year, the Astros had one of the best drafts in recent memory. The team reloaded it’s farm system with picks highlighted by LSU shortstop Alex Bregman. Bregman, who plays the same position as Correa, has it all, a talent that the Astros simply could not pass up.
Here’s the issue. Bregman is cutting his way through the minor leagues faster than Correa did. It is likely that he will be called up to the Major League team at the start of next season, if not before that. So, when this inevitably happens, what do the Astros do?
I have gone back and forth on two possibilities. Now, the Astros have more than just these two options, but, in my opinion, these will help the Astros the most.
Move Correa to third base and keep Bregman at short. Correa has an absolute cannon, but doesn’t quite have the range and quickness that you want in a major league shortstop. He has said that he sees himself as a shortstop for the future, so he may not want to be moved. However, he understands that it is a team game and will do what it takes to win. This could very easily be flipped the other way by moving Bregman to third. Both of these guys are more than capable of manning the hot corner with a little off season work.
Trade Bregman for an ace quality arm. Pitching is the Astros’ weakness right now and if they want to make a push this season, they will need to acquire a big name arm. There aren’t many teams who would turn down a package deal of prospects led by Alex Bregman, so this option is promising.
Other not so appealing options:
Move Bregman to the outfield, Move Bregman to second base and trade Altuve, Move Bregman to second base and move Altuve to DH, Move Bregman to catcher, Trade Correa and look like a bunch of fools, Bregman never makes it to the big leagues and this never becomes a problem.
Every major league team would be ecstatic to have the problem that Houston does because it just highlights the potential for greatness for this team. The Astros are loaded with young talent and Bregman will add to that. It will be interesting to see what AJ Hinch and the Stros will do with this looming situation.
One thing is certain, they’ve got something good going on down in H-Town. Go Stros.