One of the Astros greatest strengths been the organization's willingness to simply not care about narratives.
|Astros Midseason Top 10|
|1. Kyle Tucker, OF|
|2. Franklin Perez, RHP|
|3. Francis Martes, RHP|
|4. Derek Fisher, OF|
|5. Forrest Whitley, RHP|
|6. Yordan Alvarez, 1B|
|7. J.B. Bukauskas, RHP|
|8. Teoscar Hernandez, OF|
|9. J.D. Davis, 3B|
|10. Garrett Stubbs, C|
When Jeff Luhnow's group took over, he tore the Astros major league club down to the studs. Present wins were not a priority in any way, and they took a lot of heat for it.
Three straight sub-60 win teams meant the Astros were the embarrassment of the league in many ways. But the front office kept its eyes on the long-term, trusting that eventually winning would rebuild the fan base.
Even after whiffing on first overall pick Mark Appel (later traded to the Phillies), the team was willing to watch Brady Aiken, the No. 1 pick in the next draft, walk away the following year. Offering him a reduced deal that Aiken turned down after an MRI found an abnormality in his elbow ligament, the Astros took public scorn in exchange for receiving the compensatory No. 2 pick in the following draft.
The Astros may have taken a public relations hit, but they landed Alex Bregman, now their everyday third baseman, with that compensatory pick as well as current top prospect Kyle Tucker in the first round of the next draft.
This year has been the big payoff for the tanking years. Houston has had the best record in baseball for most of the first half of the season (the Dodgers passed them just before the all-star break). With a massive 16.5 game lead in the American League West at the all-star break, Houston has the luxury of using the second half to prep for the playoffs rather than fight for a spot.
And the farm system's depth means the Astros can be involved in any deadline deal they are interested in. The team is deep in upper-level athletic outfielders (Tucker, Derek Fisher, Teoscar Hernandez), has a surplus of third basemen (J.D. Davis and Colin Moran) and plenty of talented young arms (Francis Martes, Forrest Whitley and Franklin Perez most notably).
What the Astros will look for is more open to debate–what do you get the team that already has everything? They already have the best offense in the AL and one of the best pitching staffs. Acquiring a front-of-rotation ace would be the biggest potential item on the shopping list, and one they have the trade ammunition to get.