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Astros Caravan: Opportunity has come quickly for three prospects

Outfielder J.D. Martinez, second baseman Jose Altuve and reliever David Carpenter are a big part of the Astros' rebuilding plan.
BY JACOB UNRUH, Staff Writer, Published: February 6, 2012

Houston Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez still isn't sure what to expect during his first full season in the big leagues.

For that matter, second baseman Jose Altuve and right-handed reliever David Carpenter feel the same way.

“I still don't know what to expect, but I definitely feel more comfortable about my talent playing at that level,” Martinez said during Monday's annual Astros Caravan in Oklahoma City. “I feel I can definitely play at that level and I can do very well. I've seen what they do, they way they pitch to you and they way you just go about your business on a daily basis.”

Martinez played just 53 games last season for Houston after being called up from Double-A Corpus Christi — bypassing Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Many feel Martinez could become the new face of the franchise as part of a rebuilding process and multiple changes in the front office.

That, however, is out of Martinez's control.

“In the sense of that, you hear it a lot,” he said. “‘You have a great opportunity here, you're going to be the face.' I feel like all of that stuff will take care of itself, really.

“Like I said, you've got to control your controllables. That's preparing yourself for the season and going out every day and giving it all you've got.”

The Astros were 21-34 after Martinez was promoted to replace the traded Hunter Pence. Martinez immediately opened on a tear and finished the season with a .274 batting average and six home runs.

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