How will a young team handle success?
The Astros were a surprise story throughout the 2015 season, and survived a late-season swoon to secure their first playoff birth in a decade. They clinched a Wild Card berth on the last day of the season so there is a relatively thin margin of error in a competitive American League West. This years squad will not sneak up on anyone and will need to focus on maintaining their success from a year ago. It will be imperative for A.J. Hinch and veterans such as Carlos Gomez, Luke Gregerson and Jose Altuve to not allow last year’s success go to their heads.
Young players like McCullers and Correa seem poised to take the next step in their careers, but opponents will game plan to slow them down. How they adjust in their second year will be crucial to the Astros success this season. Young teams often experience growing pains after initial prosperity. In order to live up to their own lofty expectations, they will need to continue to build on last seasons positives.