Thurm: Astros players are ‘all-in’ to organization’s rebuilding plan

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at Sports on Earth on September 20, 2013:

On a recent Friday afternoon, the Houston Astros relaxed in the visitors’ clubhouse at Coliseum. They had beaten the A’s the night before in the first game of a four-game series, and were looking to further slow Oakland’s drive for the American League West division title.

Jose Altuve was checking Facebook and texting at his locker. Marc Krauss was playing video games on his tablet. And Brandon Barnes was reading the latest issue of Baseball America. Intently. Barnes turned to Robbie Grossman and pointed to an article claiming that San Francisco Giants prospect Gary Brown is faster than Astros outfield prospect George Springer. Barnes and Grossman shook their heads in disbelief. They played with Springer in the minors and they know he’s supremely talented — and fast.

Springer isn’t the only Astros prospect whose name is bandied about in the clubhouse. The players on the Astros’ major-league roster are acutely aware of the young talent general manager Jeff Luhnow has amassed since he took charge of the Astros’ baseball operations in December, 2011.

“Management’s done a good job of restocking the system. A lot of us have been in the minor leagues, even this year. You see the talent we have down there. You realize it’s going to be a good team, in a year or two,” said Krauss. “A lot of young guys are coming up,” added Brad Peacock, acquired from the A’s in spring training in the trade that sent Jed Lowrie to Oakland. “It’s exciting. You’ve got to have good pitching to win. [Asher] Wojciechowski and [Mike] Foltynewicz are coming up. They’re really good. I’m excited to see them.”

These players say they understand Luhnow’s plan to rebuild the organization from the ground up, and they are all in.

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Originally published: September 20, 2013. Last Updated: September 20, 2013.