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, junruh@opubco.com Published: February 6, 2012
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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.