If you look at the 2012 season as the first one of trial and error with new talent, the one big plus you can take from the position players is that Jose Altuve seems to have lived up to his billing.
After a strong second half of 2011 with the Astros, Altuve followed it up with .290/.340/.399 season, all of those numbers were an improvement over 2011, despite playing a full season in the Major Leagues (147 games played for Altuve).
With Altuve seemingly nailing down second base for the forseeable future, would the Astros consider moving highly regarded prospects who play second base, like Delino DeShields, Jr., to another position that isn’t settled? In a word, No. And Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow used another prospect as exhibit A why he won’t.
“What we don’t want is a situation like Paredes,” Luhnow said. “Where he gets switched around, and then you get switched around again. I don’t think that’s been fair to Jimmy and I think we don’t want to do that to Delino.”
DeShields was an outfielder when the Astros drafted him out of high school, but Luhnow said if the club moved him back DeShields would still face stiff competition to advance to the Majors.
“He’s going to play second base this year. You can talk about centerfield but we’ve got Springer in centerfield. We’ve got Barnes. No matter where you look you’ve got guys that are potentially ahead of anyone you’ve got in the minors.”
Besides, having a logjam of talented players is a problem Luhnow is looking forward to having.
“If we get to the point where we have two potential All Star second basemen on the same roster I’ll deal with it at that point,” Luhnow said. “Right now we’re not quite there yet”