Before the past week, Houston was one of the hottest teams in the league since the All-Star break.

But the last six-plus games reminded fans, media, players, and coaches alike of the Astros of 2010’s past—and proof that there’s still some room to grow before the team gets to where it wants to be.

Regardless of the team’s poor play as of late, the Astros absolutely appear to be heading in the right direction.

Youth and talent abound on this promising group of Houston baseball players.

Will 2011 bring about a 180-degree change and an immediate impact in the National League Central?

Not necessarily—but I have a lot more faith heading into 2011 than I did, say, midway through the 2010 campaign.

No matter how fans feel about the Astros management, no one can argue that they haven’t made the right moves to improve this ball club.

They’ve done what was necessary to wipe the slate of aging super stars and replace them with minor league prospects.

Granted, it took a heavy load to begin that rebuilding process—begun by parting ways with ace Roy Oswalt before shutting the door on the Lance Berkman dynasty in the Lone Star State.

But with the exit of Oswalt and Berkman came the new and youthful faces of guys such as Brett Wallace, Chris Johnson, Angel Sanchez, and Jason Bourgeois—along with blossoming newcomers such as J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, and Matt Lindstrom.

The 2011 MLB season will be an exciting one for the Houston Astros and it’s fans.

And with just one week of action left in a disappointing season, Astros players and fans alike should keep their heads held high as the team closes the door on a dismal year with eyes set solely on the promising future of Houston’s franchise.

It’s only a matter of time before the Astros return to the top of the NL Central standings.

Are growing pains ahead?

Yes, there’s no doubt about it.

But I have absolute faith in this team.

And I am highly confident that Houston will once again be contenders in the majors by 2012…


Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at

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