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Astros Shadow System Update

Looking at my roster in September, I thought about adding a few players in free agency but nothing major. I wrote up my thoughts in a previous article. I didn't plan on spending a lot but the more I looked at my roster, the more I saw a few holes.

There is a gap up the middle. I don't have a strong SS and the only players available will be overpays for washed up old veterans. I don't want to pay Brendan Ryan 10 million over 2 years. Overpaying for Cano was a way to help my team get to that next level. It cost me a 2nd round pick and over a million in draft spending but I'll work on that. I have a plan. Considering this isn't in reality and trading isn't an option right now (I'm working on a system for that), signing Cano seems like the best way to get to a competive level.

The way I'm building this has flaws. Cano helps take away one flaw. I expect to get my future middle of the field talent from latin america and they take a long time to get to the majors. I didn't start signing latin american players until 2010. The earliest I can expect them to help is 2015 and that may be pushing it.

Many of my best prospects are getting near the majors for my first wave of impact. I have the first pick in 2014, likely Carlos Rodon and that will help solidify the already strong young rotation. I have a lot of help that is near MLB ready and will be very cheap for a few years, so it's time to move this process forward.

I started with a blank slate. I had the idea to overspend before the CBA kicked in. I overspent a ton in the last two years that I could. I figure it would have cost 103 million in draft spending since 2008 as well as another 20 on international spending. The farm will pay that back with ease.  I am confident in that. At this rate, that is about 25 WAR.

Many said this scenario is unrealistic. It is not unrealistic, it's overly aggressive and goes against conventional thinking. That's what I do. That's what the best often do. It was fully possible at the time, just very risky. I trusted my talent evaluation ability. I want this to be a dynasty and I plan for it to become one. Houston could support one and this is "year four." It's time to kick it up a notch. My goal was to fully compete in year five.

I know that I would have angered other teams, owners and the commisioner doing this. Fighting the pull of the current is never hard but those that ride along rarely ever get ahead. This was my identificaition of a flaw to exploit and this is how I exploited it. I intend to exploit another flaw this year and I will explain that when I do it.

Here is the current state of the system after free agent signings. It looks to be a near .500 team to me.

40 Man Roster
Sonny Gray
Kevin Gausman
Kyle Gibson
A.J. Griffin
James Paxton
Daniel Hudson
Andrew Bailey
John Axford
Daniel Bard
Seth Maness
Edwar Cabrera
Forrest Snow
Chris Hernandez
Dean Kiekhefer
Jorge Reyes
A.J. Cole
Madison Younginer
Chris Carpenter
Drew Cisco

AJ Pierzynski
Max Stassi
JP Arencibia

Jose Abreu
Justin Smoak
Jonathan Singleton

Robinson Cano
Ryan Gennett

Kris Bryant
Mat Gamel
Garin Cecchini

Ryan Jackson
Justin Turner

Robbie Grossman
Chris Young
Nick Castellanos
Chris Coghlan

Start of season lineup
C AJ Pierzynski
1B Justin Smoak
2B Robinson Cano
3B Nick Castellanos
SS Scooter Gennet
LF Robbie Grossman
CF Chris Young
RF Chris Coghlan
 DH Jose Abreu

Start of season rotation
Sonny Gray
Kevin Gausman
Kyle Gibson
A.J. Griffin
Daniel Hudson
Top relief arms: John Axford, Andrew Bailey, James Paxton

 *Four spots on 40 man open. Likely to use two picks in Rule 5 draft if my targets are available. 

Here is the entire system. MLB players in Italics. The prospects are in approximate order based on prospect value.

AJ Pierzynski
JP Arencibia
Max Stassi
Jonathan Denney
Grayson Greiner
Curtis Casali
Elvin Soto
Tomas Nido
Andrew Murray
Matt Rice
Ihan Bernal
Geno Escalante
Charles Moorman
Brandon Sedell
Matt Roberts             
Kelly Norris-Jones

First Base
Justin Smoak
Jose Abreu
Jonathan Singleton
Rowdy Tellez
Christian Walker
Brian Ragira
Roderick Shoulders
Stetson Allie
A.J. Kubala                             
Jared Lakind
Kevin Patterson

Second Base
Robinson Cano
Jacoby Jones
Martin Peguero
Josh Tobias
Wendell Rijo
Tyler Rahmatulla
Tyler Hanover
Creede Simpson
Taylor Johnson
Lonnie Kauppila
Drake Roberts

Third Base
Mat Gamel
Kris Bryant
Nick Castellanos
Garin Cecchini
Rio Ruiz
Amaurys Minier
Rafael Devers
Trey Williams
Matthew Dean
Mitchel Martes
Kevin Ross
Zach Alvord

Ryan Gennett
Ryan Jackson
Justin Turner
Carlos Correa
Raul Mondesi
Phillip Evans 
Gleyber Torres
Malik Collymore
Yimmelvyn Alonzo
Frandi Delarosa
Yairo Munoz
Austin Slater
Luis Enrique Acosta
Blake Hennessey
Ty Afenir

Robbie Grossman
Chris Young
Chris Coghlan
Clint Frazier
Derek Fisher
Danry Vasquez
Austin Wilson   
Justin Williams
Ryan Boldt
Manuel Margot 
Dylan Davis
Jake Cave
Dominic Jose
Nick Buckner
Hersin Martinez                   
Yoel Araujo
Vicmal De La Cruz
Iosif Bernal      
Luis Barrera
Joseph Monge           
Kevin Jordan                                    
Shon Carson  
Terry McClure
Luis Asuncion 
Taylor Dugas
Preston Tucker
Krey Bratsen
Pat Biondi
Dale Carey
Isaac Galloway
Josh Sale
Ryan Garvey
Mark Payton
Danny Poma
Willie Argo
Joseph Loftus
Breshon Kimbell
Kyle Robinson
Khiry  Cooper                       
Christopher Triplett         
Jay Baum
Trey Griffin               
Eric Arce

109 position players

A.J. Griffin
Kevin Gausman
Kyle Gibson
Sonny Gray
James Paxton
Daniel Hudson
Andrew Bailey
John Axford
Daniel Bard
Edwar Cabrera
Seth Maness
Chris Carpenter
A.J. Cole
Lance McCullers
Nick Burdi
Jonathan Crawford
Daniel Norris
Bobby Wahl
Michael Ynoa
Jordan Sheffield
Jake Brentz
Mitch Brown
Amir Garrett
Dillon Maples
Casey Shane
Dustin Driver
Luke Lanphere
Dylan Covey
Ross Stripling
Jorge Reyes
Josh Osich
Kyle Winkler
Jharel Cotton
Brett Mooneyham
Patrick Connaughton
Drew Cisco
Alex Blackford
Thomas Pecoraro
Daniel Mengden
Daniel Child
Austin Maddox
Mauricio Silva
Erick Julio
Callan Pearce
Dan Renken
Alex Sogard
Michael Ojala
Dean Kiekhefer
Cody Martin
Colby Shreve
Daniel Webb
Forrest Snow
Chris Hernandez
Dan Barnes
Ethan Stewart
Hunter Cervenka
Brett Hunter
Matt Lollis
Madison Younginer
Ricky Jacquez
Evan Rutckyj
Dakota Freese
Tim Melville
Carson Baranik
DeAndre Smelter
Austin Urban
Casey Upperman
Philip Pfeifer
Clayton Crum
Andrew Smith
Chase Williamson
Max Homick
Spenser Linney
Tim Brechbuehler
Blake Burrell
Kirby Bellow
Rouric Bridgewater
Trae Davis
Trevor Teykl

79 Pitchers

188 Total Players

Rough Top 30 Prospects List

1 Kris Bryant
2 Carlos Correa
3 Raul Mondesi
4 Clint Frazier
5 Nick Castellanos
6 Jonathan Singleton
7 A.J. Cole
8 Lance McCullers
9 Jonathan Crawford
10 Derek Fisher
11 Nick Burdi
12 Garin Cecchini
13 Ryan Boldt
14 Jordan Sheffield
15 Rio Ruiz
16 Justin Williams
17 Jonathan Denney
18 Daniel Norris
19 Danry Vasquez
20 Rowdy Tellez
21 Max Stassi
22 Ross Stripling
23 Austin Wilson   
24 Bobby Wahl
25 Dylan Davis
26 Grayson Greiner
27 Jake Brentz
28 Manuel Margot 
29 Michael Ynoa
30 Amir Garrett


  1. Off season moves to date to improve and fill holes to field all minor league teams:
    Omar Luis rule 5
    Chris Carpenter P released
    Brett Marshall P claimed
    Chris Young signed
    Corey Hart signed
    Jason Kubel signed
    Justin Turner signed
    Mat Gamel claimed
    Robinson Cano signed
    Jose Abreu signed
    JP Arencibia signed
    AJ Pierzynski signed
    Daniel Hudson signed
    Jesse Crain signed
    John Axford signed
    Joba Chamberlain signed
    Edwar Cabrera claimed
    jack mcgeary milb fa
    fu te ni milb fa
    Matt McBride milb fa
    Mike Hessman milb fa
    Jim Negrych milb fa
    Andy Laroche milb fa
    Yamaico Navarro milb fa
    Seth Loman milb fa
    Oscar Tejada milb fa
    Carlos Rivero milb fa
    Jaime Pedroza milb fa
    Joe Benson milb fa
    Ezequiel Carrera milb fa
    Che Hsuan Lin milb fa
    Mark Mulder milb fa


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