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

And that was accomplished alongside Altuve, the shortest player on a major league roster at 5-foot-7, and Carpenter. Altuve hit .276 in 57 games after hitting .408 in Class-A Advanced Lancaster and .361 in Corpus Christi.

Carpenter, meanwhile, went 1-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 34 appearances after throwing 19 scoreless innings for the RedHawks. He now has a chance to win the closer's role.

“That's definitely an opportunity I would really, really like to have,” Carpenter said. “It's something that's definitely earned. It's not something that is going to be given to someone. I would definitely like the opportunity to compete for it. But it just comes down to what my abilities are best suited for, whether it be set-up man or as a closer or as a guy that's a sixth- or seventh-inning guy.”

And for many of the youthful Astros, it's all about being hungry in what is their first full season in the big leagues.

“It's definitely, like I said, a hungry team,” Martinez said. “Everyone that's going in there feels like it's too good to be true or they have that uncertainty.

“So you got to stay hungry, you can't let yourself slip. A lot of kids don't get this opportunity in a lot of organizations. So, I mean, the opportunity that we get here, everybody's going to go in there wanting it.”

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