Last week, we spoke to Astros GM Tim Purpura, for an upcoming article on our program/magazine Cronicas de los Astros. One of our questions was regarding the club’s farm system, ranked 22nd in all of baseball by Baseball America magazine. Purpura told us that he wasn’t really paying attention to such rankings; since he considered them highly subjective, thus distanced from the reality he and his staff deal with every day. He considers that the true measure of the organization’s success is the amount of players promoted to the Major Leagues. The first example in his list was Matt Albers.
That’s why Purpura must have felt satisfied yesterday, seeing the remarkable performance made by the two youngest guys in the Astros fold. Albers shut out the Cardinals for 7.1 innings; and Hunter Pence belted his first career grand slam, inflicting more pain to the Busch faithful for the 13-0 win. We knew Pence’s stuff was legit, but this goes beyond the most optimistic forecast.
For our story, we were told on and on by all the people we researched with, that Purpura’s advantage was his experience in the player development ranks, which gave him the skills to evaluate his team’s reality and make decisions, not just thinking about the here and now, but also the short and medium terms. This looks like one of those decisions, and if the gamble pays off, it seems like the reward will be quite handsome.