In a period in time where there has not been much to be proud of for Astros faithful, there always seems to be a bright spot for Astros fans to enjoy and savor during the middle of the summer. Last year being Jose Altuve being the lone Astros All Star representative in Kansas City, and the year before the Astros had Hunter Pence go to Phoenix before he was ultimately traded to the Phillies. This year is no different, sending catcher Jason Castro to New York City, yet it is far different from the others because of Castro’s background story leading up to this All-Star selection. Jason Castro’s journey to this point in his young career has been a one not easily traveled, being selected for his first ever All-Star Game in his career is a sort of icing on the comeback cake for Castro after the devastating knee injury that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season for the Astros. As heart wrenching a setback like that can be, Castro would not allow it to hold him back.
In his return of 2012, Castro was more reserved, splitting most of the catching duties with Carlos Corporan and Chris Snyder, in order to prevent any stress on his injured knee. A decision that has paid off since, being bestowed with the everyday starting job at catcher, playing almost as many games up to this point as he played all last season. Castro has been the best player for the Astros this year, his numbers do not really jump off the page at you, but they are good nonetheless, especially for a player in only his first full season. I doubt 2013 is a fluke for the young catcher, and this will certainly not be his only All-Star honors, and I feel that the All-Star trip will be a prized footnote in the record books for Castro’s outstanding first half of 2013, but a footnote nonetheless as this year seems to be the quietest coming out party for a Major Leaguer. Understandably so, seeing as the larger market phenom Yasiel Puig is having the biggest of any coming out party that any rookie other than Bryce Harper in recent memory. No matter how big or small Castro’s season is, what is important is that Castro is blossoming before our eyes and being named to his first All-Star Game is evidence of his excellence that is soon to come.
It may not be much, but the pieces will all come together for Houston, now just so happens to be Jason Castro’s time to shine, and make a name for himself in Major League Baseball, much like Jose Altuve did the year prior.
– Richard Perez