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A Sad State of Bonus Baby Affairs In Houston

In their ongoing series of building a lineup based solely on players teams drafted and signed to their systems since 2000, Beyond the Box Score turned its wandering eye to Houston. The results aren't pretty. Here's their projected lineup: 

3B - Drew Sutton

2B - Ben Zobrist

RF - Hunter Pence

1B - Chris Johnson

DH - Koby Clemens

LF - Brian Bogusevic

CF - J.B. Shuck

C - Jason Castro

SS - Tommy Manzella

After the jump, I'll list their projected starting rotation and have some thoughts on the list.

The pitchers from this piece were:

No. 1 - Bud Norris

No. 2 - Mitch Talbot

No. 3 - Jordan Lyles

No. 4 - Jason Hirsch

No. 5 - Troy Patton

Setup - Matt Albers

Closer - Chad Qualls

Seven of those picks came in the sixth round or later, meaning Houston had to mine a bit of talent late in the draft. It also meant there were a lot of high-profile busts in the meantime.

The biggest thing that stands out here is that Houston lost two valuable players in the Aubrey Huff deal. Both Mitch Talbot and Ben Zobrist went to Tampa Bay for a few months of Huff. Yes, he filled a need in Houston and no one could have expected Zobrist to turn into Zorilla. But, he makes a much better second baseman than Bill Hall.

I was also struck with how much I knew all of these players and had such high hopes for all of them in turn. This last decade is when I started following the minor leagues religiously, so all these names were familiar. I can remember getting excited by Matt Albers and disappointed when he was included in yet another bad trade. 

The other thing that's kind of sad about this list is that many of these players are currently in the minor leagues. Houston hasn't even developed enough talent in the past 10 years to build a roster out of just major leaguers. Sure, Jordan Lyles is probably the exception of players who are good but need time in the minors. Hirsh, Patton, Bogusevic and Shuck are not. They're just not good enough to be everyday big leaguers, which has been the problem with this farm system in the past decade.

All indications are that Bobby Heck and Ed Wade have restocked to the point that this won't be the case in the next decade. Until then, we have to put up with lists like these...

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.